Chances are that when you hear the acronym “CRM,” a few things come to mind. Maybe you think of Salesforce.com, the first big CRM platform that debuted in 1999. Maybe you think of a sophisticated database with superior analytics, but at a steep price. Most of these characteristics do belong to CRM software of the traditional variety, but increasingly sophisticated and simple technological innovations have paved the way for CRM software that looks nothing like it’s complex predecessor: mobile CRM.
Mobile CRM software is designed specifically to simplify field operations, such as purchasing, merchandising and client sales, and its intuitive interface and flexible price point make it accessible for businesses of all sizes. This post will break down mobile CRM into the five W’s (Who, What, Where, When and Why) in order to better explain what the software does and why it’s a great alternative to more traditional CRM choices.
WHAT Does Mobile CRM Actually Do?
Mobile CRM varies based on the software company you’re purchasing from, but the best options will have a variety of features and offer businesses the option to add or subtract features to their price package. Mobile app features include messaging, GPS tracking, photos, customizable forms, customizable CRM fields, digital ordering, scheduling, workforce tracking and electronic signatures.
For backend users, mobile CRM software on their desktop or tablet allows managers to optimize territory management, promote employee accountability, and build custom forms for collecting and tracking relevant data. Managers will also receive all data from the field in real time, giving them the ability to make adjustments and solve problems quickly and effectively.
WHO Should Use Mobile CRM?
Mobile CRM software is unique in that it’s available on both mobile devices and desktops, which means that it can and should be used by both field teams and office managers. Field representatives can use mobile CRM to eliminate menial day-to-day tasks, like filling out forms by hand. They’ll have access to detailed records of all activities, jobs and visits completed at each location, making it easy for them to anticipate and answer client questions at any time.
On the backend side, field managers are able to track and organize their customer database using fields and tags customized to fit their business’s unique needs. Managers are also able to keep tabs on their representatives in the field and collect data in real time. Mobile CRM software’s easy-to-use interface means that managers won’t have to spend significant time learning its ins and outs, and most mobile CRM is easily integrated with existing software solutions.
WHERE Can You Use Mobile CRM?
The name says it all; you can use mobile CRM wherever you want, as long as you’re using a device supported by the software. Most mobile CRM options work offline as well, which means your reps won’t need wifi to use the app. In addition, mobile CRM is optimized for GPS tracking, with automatic location and time tags attached to each activity a rep completes while in the field.
Mileage and time tracking functions also highlight mobile CRM software’s portability. These features automatically record how much time is spent on a client visit, as well as enable reps to report their start and end of day odometer readings. As a result, managers can foster a culture of accountability no matter where their employees conduct business.
WHEN Should You Consider Implementing Mobile CRM Instead of Traditional CRM?
The problems that businesses face when engaging in customer relationship management are widely the same across the board, no matter the industry or company size. To achieve success, any business must manage and analyze customer data, but not all organizations have the funds or manpower to implement a complex traditional CRM solution.
Your business is ready and perfect for a mobile CRM solution if your current CRM strategy is prone to errors and inefficiencies, such as a heavy administrative burden from the use of spreadsheets and paper forms or no central database. In addition, a lack of compliance assurance for representatives in the field can signal that it’s time to implement a mobile software solution. There’s never a perfect time to make changes for any business, but traditional CRM demands time, expertise and money in a way that mobile CRM does not, making it all the easier to choose whenever you see fit.
WHY Should You Use Mobile CRM?
If the benefits of a mobile CRM solution aren’t already clear from reading this post, I’ll briefly consolidate and explain them now, focusing on its value added that is unique from traditional CRM’s. First of all, mobile CRM is proactive in a way that traditional CRM is not. It arms field reps with data while also keeping managers updated in real time, whereas traditional CRM software is more about tracking trends on the backend. In addition, mobile CRM prioritizes both the manager and the remote employees, while traditional CRM often provides “very little actionable insight for the sales rep,” said Javier Aldrete of Zilliant.
Mobile CRM is also differentiated by its intuitive interface and often lower, more flexible price point. Perfect for small to medium sized businesses, mobile CRM solutions don’t take much time or effort to integrate into existing systems or to teach to employees. Flexibly priced packages that charge per rep are also great perks for companies with smaller field teams.
Ultimately, choosing a CRM solution is a decision that each business must make for itself, taking into account its own budget and needs. However, the best decisions can only be made once the decision maker knows the full extent of options available. Mobile CRM software is certainly an option, and it’s one that’s expected to give more traditional CRM a run for its money, if it’s not already.