It’s that time of year when adults find an excuse to play dress up, and a Halloween party this past weekend brought me inspiration for today’s blog post. The Lone Ranger and his trusty sidekick “Silver” made a great team, but one without the other was not much of a force to be reckoned with. I see similarities of this when thinking of CRM deployments and mobility!
Ok so a bit of a stretch but I do believe the mobility topic ends up as a nice to have versus a must have feature in the CRM solution selection process. We expect so much out of our field sellers, but invest little time on device platform selection and guaranteed connectivity to our CRM solutions. Just think if you go the extra effort to understand a day in the life of your field sellers and mobile requirements how much more productivity you might gain from them?
*Gartner says mobility will be a trillion-dollar business by 2014! Reference that report and consider the below checklist when addressing the CRM mobility topic:
- Device support is a must since the growing trend is to let the mobile workforce chose the platform they would like to leverage. With this flexibility come the need to have CRM compatibility with BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, iPhone and Android operating systems. I would add two additional midsize mobile devices that are gaining IT support and customer demand which are iPad and HP Slate 500.
- The CRM system selected must be browser independent now that Internet Explorer makes up just fewer than 60% of the market opening up 40% of the market running on Safari, Chrome and a slew of other browser substitutes. This topic also ties back to preloaded browsers that come on devices such as the iPad.
- Online and offline support will be driven by field seller location and connectivity provided by the selected mobile phone carriers. I find that having both options will be needed to insure there are no productivity setbacks as your sellers move between meetings.
- Top interactions offered to the mobile CRM user should be easy contact lookup, phone call placement, access to schedule, ability to schedule and complete activities, view & interaction with opportunities and viewing of some historical data elements. More specialized mobile workforces will require task specific interaction so this topic and requirements will be defined on a company by company basis.
Make mobility a priority at every turn in your CRM deployment and your organization will generate strong user adoption within your mobile workforce.
* Gartner reference is pulled from “Analysts Explore the Changing Face of Mobility at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 17-21, in Orlando” STAMFORD, Conn., October 21, 2010 http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1455314