Why It’s Time to Prioritize Mobile CRM for Your Outside Sales Reps
Why It’s Time to Prioritize Mobile CRM for Your Outside Sales Reps
The importance of anytime accessibility
Do your field reps have remote access to CRM prospect and customer information including their calendars, appointments, accounts, contacts, locations, activities, opportunities, cases and reports?
Does a lack of remote access to the CRM system require that your field reps enter their notes from site visits hours after-the-fact when they are back in the office or hotel room?
Or can they enter those notes in real time from the corner booth of the Starbucks they’re telecommuting from?
What happens when a field rep visits a prospect halfway across the country or even the world?
Without remote access to CRM, your outside sales team is spending a lot of time and energy trying to conduct business and manage account information while completely disconnected from centralized information, scheduling, routing, and other resources that can empower them.
In other words, they’re flying blind—and in surprising numbers.
Too many outside sales reps are flying blind
According to a 2014 Software Advice study, 52% of CRM users still don’t access their CRM system via smartphone.
This is a huge liability.
When salespeople don’t have remote access to CRM, they can’t enter their activities or upload files into the system until they’re back at their computers.
So what happens when a field rep visits a prospect halfway across the country or even the world? Or does a discovery call while commuting? What happens when reps don’t enter their notes into the CRM system until the end of the day? Or the next day? Or Monday?
For remote sales reps, the delay could be hours or even days depending on the circumstances. And the longer the wait, the more likely those reps are to forget (or forget to enter) important information.
The chance of forgetting something is directly proportional to…to…
Can you remember every important detail you talked about at breakfast this morning? How about dinner last night? Two nights ago? Three?
Now what if you also have to remember to write all those details down hours or days after the fact?
That kind of recall is basically what we’re asking of our field reps when they can’t add their notes, photos, and files from site visits to CRM until hours or even days after the fact. Inevitably, those reps will forget something from time to time .
Sometimes, they’ll miss the little things. After all, it is impossible to remember the dates and details of every phone call, every conversation, and every site visit without a system.
But even those little things can add up to big problems down the road. If information from these activities and the dates they occurred are not entered into the CRM system, then days or weeks down the road they will be completely forgotten.
Your reps could be missing critical information needed for timely responsiveness and effective opportunity management. They can’t set reminders, can’t check their notes…nothing.
And management will have no visibility of these activities, by rep or by customer, so there’s no help coming from the corner office.
Missing information means missed opportunities
If you or your team miss reminders to follow up, it can cost you the deal!
If you miss critical information and fail to act, then you will lose credibility with the customer, which can also cost you the deal or diminish your chances of success at the very least.
And when you don’t act on complaints or issues from existing customers in a timely manner, they will feel ignored, which can also cost you their business.
If it’s not in the system, your sales managers lose the insights they need to manage most effectively. This can hurt sales performance and leave both salespeople and management in the dark as to why.
The benefits of mobile CRM
CRM ties your enterprise together by extending resources and processes to the entire organization. Mobile CRM makes those resources and processes accessible via any device from anywhere at any time.
Mobile CRM gives field reps the ability to do business anytime, anywhere, making it more convenient and worthwhile for salespeople to adopt and use the CRM system. And when salespeople buy in, management gets the visibility they need.
Plus, when your team uses mobile CRM:
- You build your reputation for reliability and responsiveness by ensuring you and your team never miss meetings or follow-ups
- Your sales reps can manage their accounts from anywhere
- Your sales and customer service reps always have access to customer information that is up-to-date, accurate, and valuable
- Your managers know what’s going on in your organization in real time, and can do more to help their teams succeed
Is your business taking advantage of mobile CRM?
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Colin Chambers is a senior CRM consultant at Azamba. He has served as a CRM and ERP consultant, small business owner, and CRM practice director in his 23-year tech career. In that time, he has completed more than 100 CRM implementations, primarily in the petroleum marketing, software, healthcare, and U.S. government contracting sectors.
Colin's goal is to leverage technology to simplify and streamline sales and service processes, increase user adoption, and ultimately, to empower salespeople to increase sales.