Untethered Benefits - Customer Relationship Management

There are management benefits of mobile CRM that are undeniable—more than 50 percent annualized return,according to Gartner Group vice president William Clark—but the real benefits are for the road warriors themselves.

The workday of a salesperson on the road is considerably longer than eight hours. Because they’re on the road,they also carry out their personal business. For example,the National Basketball Association issues BlackBerrys to the players so they can call home and send e-mail while traveling from game to game. Of course,interestingly enough,with the rise of Twitter and mobile clients for Twitter that pretty much exist for every device,the problems with providing those devices are beginning to show with guys like Charlie Villaneuva of the Milwaukee Bucks being slammed by Bucks management because he tweeted during halftime of a Bucks-Celtics game in March 2009.

Because the salespersons are dependent on the devices they use,what device it is will directly impact their productivity. Studies done by Richard Hill of PowerHomeBiz.com found that the impact is so great that 82 percent of the managers surveyed believe that handheld access will drive field usage of CRM,and even more (91 percent) believe that mobile SFA will be really important. Other known benefits:

  • Improves relationships with customers What the customer needs to know is there in real time certainly,but an iPhone or BlackBerry Bold can break the ice and start some “coolness” discussions. Don’t underestimate the value of that.

  • Order management If done right,you can create new orders and get status on existing ones. Often can be tied to catalogs.

  • Sales information for customers Pricing,available quantities,discounts,order status all available to customers.

  • Competitive intelligence This doesn’t appear in most mobile CRM apps at this stage as more than web-based surfing. But the near future will bring that from some important companies.

  • Customer intelligence Creating reports on the device that outline customer account activities; or with the use of GPS,customer availability,or,with the ascension of the social web technologies,a look at the customer’s profile which includes their likes and dislikes. All those things needed for greater customer insight.
    But let’s not ignore management. Aberdeen Group did a 2008 study and came up with these numbers:

  • Seventy-nine percent experience year-over-year improvement in revenue per sales rep.

  • Ninety-two percent achieve a bid-to-win ratio better than 20 percent.

  • Sixty-nine percent achieve better than 60 percent rates of sales performance.

One thing about mobile CRM is that the ROI is actually tangible. That’s great for now. What about the future?

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