In today’s mobile world, many employees need access to their tools and company information anytime, anywhere. Gone are the days of the salesperson sitting at his or her desk making 75 calls a day to hit a quota–unable to accomplish anything at all if they step away from the computer. Now, whether they’re selling building materials, pharmaceuticals, or fresh produce, sales representatives need comprehensive, intuitive, connected tools that can be used on any device–on the road, in the office or at home.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have existed since the 1990s, evolving from the early days of contact management software, to nearly dying during the dot-com burst and reviving in the years that followed. In the early 2000s, the book “CRM at the Speed of Light” by Paul Greenberg, later coined the “bible of the CRM industry,” brought to the forefront the concept of a CRM system that completely manages the business relationship. Many of Greenberg’s ideas have come to fruition, and as cloud technology has developed, CRM has become an integrated part of the organization, its information, and its processes.
The drive for a better CRM system is a result of customer demand. After the start of the social revolution, which was of course, spawned by the Internet and augmented by the widespread use of smartphones, companies began to want innovative technology that could do more than just prompt phone calls and track sales. Now that we have access to more information, to more people, through more channels, and are able to do more with mobile devices than ever, our customers are well informed.
They expect prompt, accurate information, when and how they want it. They want integration, connection, and more control. And if your company can’t deliver, there’s surely someone else–just a few taps and swipes away–who can.
On the flipside, organizations often expect a great deal of success from their field sales teams–even those teams that have not been provided the latest tools to give customers what they need, or keep up with the competition. The problem is if your salespeople are blindly making decisions and taking liberties to get the sale without having access to the right information, there can be serious damage done. Nothing makes a hot lead turn cold faster than misinformation or wasted time, good intentions not withstanding
CRM goes mobile
Naturally, since the customer has evolved, sales must evolve too. CRMs are integrating with mobile technology to give salespeople many of the same tools on the road as at the desk. Providing the ability to easily access useful information–buying history, contact information, shipping updates, etc.–on a mobile device to address customer needs has become critical. So are tools to:
- Connect all devices and applications.
- Collaborate with team members on the fly.
- Enter information such as orders and customer data, instantly.
- Receive leads from demand gen systems.
- Keep track of activities.
But, not all CRM systems are created equal.
Learn more about the things to remember when choosing a CRM system and avoiding the trap of the wrong CRM system....
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