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6 Mobile CRM Mistakes You Do Not Want to Make: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Selecting Wrong Mobile CRM Features

Selecting the right features for mobile CRM software is key, said Martin Schneider, head of Product Evangelism at SugarCRM. Some features are vital, others may appear vital at first but might be more appropriately classified as nice to have, and then others may be pushed by vendors but not very important at all. Making too many features available on mobile devices may hamper adoption.

"Think about what absolutely must be there in a mobile capacity. Use common sense and think about use cases," said Schneider. "For example, do reps really need to forecast their entire year on a phone? In many instances, trimming the feature set will enforce best practices."

Ideally, there should be a consistent CRM experience for the user, across mobile and desktop. This encourages the sales team to leave their laptops behind when they are on the road, relying instead on tablets and smartphones. However, the feature set must be properly designed and customized, Schneider said, so they can work seamlessly on their desktops upon their return to the office.

Not Having a Mobile CRM Strategy

Many companies have an existing CRM system that is not enabled for mobile usage. They must determine how to transition from that platform to mobile CRM. Those with legacy systems that pre-date mobile often require a migration.

"If you bolt on a mobile component, data silos will be created — and not just around the customer, but also around the metadata-like activities like calendar and meeting notes," Schneider said.

The downside of this is that reps can lose sight of what is important to the customer. In the end, believes Schneider, bolting on a mobile component is more difficult and cumbersome than migrating to a flexible, cloud-based and mobile-friendly platform.

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But whether the implementation is from legacy to mobile, or simply extending a modern CRM system so it performs better externally, the role of planning cannot be understated. With more than half of high-performing companies currently delivering or planning to deliver sales directly to customers and prospects via a mobile app within the next two years, according to Software Advice survey findings, it's important that companies think through their mobile CRM plans carefully and make it a top priority.

"The greatest mistake that companies make is in the initial deployment of their mobile CRM strategy," said Greg Gsell, director of Sales Cloud Product Marketing, Salesforce. "From the outset, sales managers need to think about the value they are providing to sales reps and how they can best integrate their data within their mobile CRM."

The most successful companies, he said, are deliberate with their mobile CRM strategies. They identify and train on the top use mobile cases. They understand their reps' pain points and start solving these first. This not only adds focus, it reduces the initial budget and improves return on investment. This will then pave the way for more mobile features to be added.

"Companies and consumers rely on their mobile devices more than ever before, so without a mobile connection, opportunities to engage customers and prospects in the right way are often lost," Gsell said. "Whether it's face-to-face interaction or contact through mobile, sales reps need access to their customer data. Denying your sales team a mobile method to consume customer information can mean the difference between closing a deal and losing it."

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in Florida, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

This article was originally published on April 21, 2016
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