By John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director
As ISM’s Software Lab Director, I have noticed a key trend in CRM marketplace – the growth of mobile CRM functionality within CRM applications. A 2013 Forrester survey found over 50% of respondents stated that supporting mobile devices for their employees is a key priority. This seems to be in line with other macro indicators such as Morgan Stanley’s Research that found smartphone sales exceeded PC sales in 2013 and forecasts that tablets will outsell PCs by 60% in 2015.
The primary drivers accelerating mobile CRM adoption are new mobile technologies and the morphing of mobile technologies into the enterprise. From a technology perspective, the emergence of ubiquitous high-speed broadband connectivity, smartphones, and tablet devices with vast computing power and longer battery life, along with increased employee adoption of touchscreen devices like the iPhone, Droid and iPad, have empowered employers to connect with their employees and customers on a continuous basis. Mobile technologies and devices adoption have become ubiquitous and employees now expect mobility functionality from their employers. Employers are now viewing mobility as another option in their continuous push for improved labor productivity.
As compared to laptops, mobile devices are less costly, always on, and support connectivity to GPS services for location awareness. This empowers mobility-driven use cases and business processes that can deliver big impacts to mobile users and their employers.
In a 2012 Nucleus research report, the analyst firm found that adding mobile device access to CRM software solutions have on the average made company employees 14.6% more productive. Examples of mobile CRM employee productivity enhancements included: live activity feeds related to outstanding customer sales or service issues which empowered sales and customer service staff to speak more intelligently with their customers; the ability to enter information from the field for more accurate and timely input; and the field use of mobile capabilities such as geo-mapping which helps make more efficient use of limited time.
If you are trying to address: CRM user adoption, sales productivity, sales effectiveness, timelier follow-up of leads or improved lead conversion rates, gaining a competitive edge or even reducing the cost associated with sales staff turnover, then you have a reason to further explore how mobile CRM can support your objectives. At ISM we recommend starting with a mobility adoption plan tightly linked to your organization’s strategic direction and making sure you get the people, process and technology mix right. And, when choosing a mobile CRM solution, you will need to consider factors such as employee buy-in, ease of deployment, ease of use, security and user experience as well as the integration with your present and planned CRM strategies.