Mobile CRM: The Time To Invest Is Now

— April 01, 2008

Wireless email is so routine. Your customers are accustomed to using their BlackBerry, smartphone and/or wireless laptop to do email or even some Web browsing. But, for customers to see your sales or field service rep accessing company or individual account information wirelessly, now that is pretty cool!

Your reps can check the customer's account, and view orders, deliveries, account status or inventory in the warehouse. All on a device over any wireless network for under $100 per month including "normal" wireless email.

Accessing real-time data and transacting business remotely is mobile CRM. And mobile CRM is not just for the large enterprise. The untapped market of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB) is a strong part of our growth within the wireless industry and specifically CRM. Carriers are dedicating teams to these markets and even RIM has put a large focus on SMB this year. What are the drivers behind this growth? Customers are demanding we know more about them and their business and they want us to know now! Gone forever are the days when sales people lugged huge briefcases into their account meetings and prayed they had the right information in order to close the deal. And in order to have the right information, right now, we need wireless access.

Implementing a mobile CRM package has never been easier. Companies have deployed wireless devices and have corporate accounts with their wireless carriers. It becomes a decision based on your current in-office CRM application and its ability to be used wirelessly in the field. The application need not be a completely stripped down version, but one that allows the remote users the ability to view and access customer information from their wireless device.

Nonetheless, deploying mobile CRM within an organization is not without its challenges. Security is the most important element. Protection of company information must be addressed early, because log-in and passwords just cannot cut it.

The team that helps you implement this solution in the field is an important element to the deployment's success. Whether it is the independent software vendor (ISV), the systems integrator (SI), a hosted company or an internal champion, the project leader must deal with these key questions:

  • How will the application get installed onto the devices?
  • Will it be done over-the-air or does every device need to be brought into the office?
  • How will these devices, and the mobile CRM application, be managed remotely?
  • How will updates to applications happen?
The time is right for any sized mobile workforce to fully deploy a mobile CRM solution within their organization. Devices are more robust than ever, networks are widely available and fast, airtime rates are continuing to fall, application license seats are available from a variety of sources at excellent prices.

Customers want real-time information from their account rep while he or she is sitting in front of them in the conference room, in the office or out at lunch. Today is the best day to deploy Mobile CRM.


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