A recent SAP meta-analysis of randomly selected mobile CRM case studies revealed two compelling reasons companies deploy mobile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions: to boost sales force productivity and to provide a strong competitive differentiation in the eyes of the customer.
Businesses that implement mobile CRM say that being “identifiably different” from competitors is key to impressing customers. When a salesperson walks into a customer meeting with powerful mobile CRM technology at hand, the sales call is elevated.
Nicholas Kontopoulos, senior director of SAP Global Marketing CRM, dubs this mobile CMR-armed rep ‘the 21st century sales warrior.’ “With smartphones,” he says, “It’s easier to manage your agenda with mobile email and calendars and to learn about customers and competitors through Internet search tools.”
“But simply adding a mobile tool to an existing lead-tracking or opportunity management system does not address the fact that there has been a seismic shift in the seller-buyer relationship,” Kontopoulos continues.
Salespeople must better manage sales interactions and be armed with easy-to-use tools that provide immediate visibility and insight. This requires mobile solutions that leverage best practices, provide instant communication between the mobile sales force and the back office, and deep insight into the customer accounts. “Mobile solutions must not only deliver improved sales efficiencies, but most importantly enable your sales warriors to become more effective in ensuring that they make every customer conversation count,” says Kontopoulos.
Mobile solution Must-haves
The ‘21st century sales warrior’ needs a mobile solution that supports the need to gain insight into the most profitable deals and customers in the pipeline. They demand mobile CRM systems that enable them to work together with other sales reps; share information inside and outside of the company; and increase their knowledge and effectiveness developing responses to customer requests — any time, any place, and in a way that ‘wows’ the customer.
SAP’s mobility experts understand these needs, and have identified four key “must-haves” in a mobile CRM solution: speed, ease of operation, consolidated information, and the ability to easily obtain reports.
“The question is not simply whether to go with iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry or something else,” explains Dietmar Bohn, vice president of Solution Management at SAP. “The real question is: ‘What are your organization’s needs and how will mobile CRM benefit your customers?’”
“For example, automatic schedule synchronization, workflow and account tools, and current reports pushed from the central system to the remote user are basic necessities for most organizations,” continues Bohn. “Mobile analytic tools like direct access to customer history, present status, and future models are important, too.”
SAP mobile CRM solutions are available in a rapid-deployment package that offers customers a predictable fixed scope, cost, and time schedule, coupled with superb SAP CRM integration. “SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions provide customers a safe way of mobilizing their sales force because they can start with the functionality they need and adopt more rapid-deployment solutions as their needs grow,” says Hari Prasad Subramanyam, global rollout manager of SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions for Mobile.
The SAP rapid-deployment solution for CRM Mobile Sales contains technology advancements that are proven differentiators for a mobile sales force. It incorporates SAP mobile platform technology that provides mobile account management, contact management, activity management, lead management, and opportunity management from the mobile device. It contains native app integration and mobile analytics, too.
“Sales teams need mobile CRM tools to compete,” says Subramanyam. “A company can wrestle with defining needs for months, or start with a core set of best practices, as in SAP rapid-deployment solution for CRM Mobile Sales, and begin experiencing the benefits in as little as eight to ten weeks.”
How to Choose an mCRM Solution
Making technology decisions while software capability continues to accelerate can be tough – and scary – for many organizations. It is best to start by defining the main problem that mobile CRM needs to solve in the organization. Then, identify a solution that meets three things (in this order): the needs of the customer, the end user, and the organization.
First, identify what your customers expect in terms of the organization’s representative having the latest access to the account, the type of information needed for reports, order processing, and scheduling.
Then, determine what your field-based users need in relation to productivity, communication, ease of use, enablement, security, and timing. Ask: Will users need to be able to input account information? Get analytics while they’re on the road? The answers will help define the type of solution that has a better fit with the population of users.
Finally, map out the organization’s needs for integration, flexibility, scope, budget, best practices, problem resolution, support, and schedule.
When you consider the customer, user, and organizational needs, your choice in mCRM is better aligned with your business goals.