Your field sales force depends on their smartphones more than any other device—specifically laptop computers—to stay in touch and up to date, manage their time, access the Internet and collaborate with colleagues. If they can’t also use it to tap into the full functionality of your CRM system, they’re not going to be as productive as they might be. Here are some additional shortcomings that a non-mobile capable CRM presents your road warriors: lack of real-time visibility in the field and from the field; lack of ability to share documents with colleagues and managers; lack of ability to see the latest status or profile on a customer or prospect moments before walking into a meeting with them and a lack of visibility into other systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Is your CRM bad for sales? Time to go mobile. (Part Two)
Lack of ability to share documents. By relying on traditional customer relationship software, field sales reps may be unable to access documents such as historical e-mail threads, proposals, contracts, or other important information that can help them prepare for meetings and improve their chances of closing a sale. Not having this information at his or her fingertips means a sales rep must take time to contact someone back at the office who does have access to documents and can provide the information. Mobile CRM enables sales reps to access and share the documents they need, such as contracts, while in the field. The rep can e-mail a contract to the prospect while in the prospect’s office, and then have the contract printed and signed on the spot, closing the sale with maximum efficiency.
Lack of access to latest updates. Sales reps need to be able to get up-to-the minute information just before they step into a customer’s office. If the customer has just placed an order with tele sales, or complained about a late or incomplete order with inside sales, the field rep needs to know this. That enables he or she to address the issues up front and get on with the original purpose of the sales call. With mobile CRM, sales reps can review timely and accurate data about the interaction history of each client with a single click, adding insight to all client meetings. The end result: the sales rep saves time while making a good impression and increasing the chances of making a sale—and additional sales. And, the progress of a customer’s case can be tracked much more easily and accurately with a mobile CRM system.
Lack of visibility into other ERP modules. CRM isn’t the only system a field sales rep needs to have access to. Not having access to ERP modules such as warehouse management systems prevents them from seeing real-time inventory. That means reps can only estimate how soon a product will be shipped and arrive at the customer’s door. Being unaware of sudden depletions in stock means that salespeople may provide customers with inaccurate estimates of delivery time. Mobile access means reps can provide accurate and timely answers to client questions about inventory, shipping, account status, and more.
Continued in Part Three.