CRM’s can really make a difference if used well or be a great Rolodex or Teledex for business. What is yours being?
Only last week I heard an international manager discussing his expectations and costs of his CRM and he described it as an overpriced Teledex or Rolodex and could not understand why IT people kept pushing it.
To be honest, it was not the CRM’s fault – but the application of the CRM. I did ask, what they were using and it was Saleforce, so an excellent example and flexible CRM. What had happened was that the application was not been applied to the business needs very well – if at all. This could be due to changed needs, or due to poor initial setup / training or even staff changes.
But what I have found to be a constant business expressed problem is “How to get the CRM to really work for a company, when the data is too cumbersome for a mobile environment”. The problem is that most CRM’s let you define your pages, allow a mobile version of this, but the actual data that a person on the road needs is far more streamlined, and less in data entry than the main CRM’s can offer. Now a few allow unique forms to be created for each log in, but management of that in itself can be really difficult.
So what do you need to work out?
- What data do my remote people need access to
- What data do I need my remote people to enter
- What equipment do my remote people have access to.
With this information, you will be able to get a good list of quality options.
Why is the data read and data entered necessarily different?
As person on the road may need contact details, past visits, existing products or services. They may need to know any important notes or documents. But as a company, you may need to know, who visited, when they visited, how long, what was discussed, quoted, photographed. So as you can see these really can be quite different.
You may also have Zone locked users (they are only to see a specific area due to confidentiality). Keeping your data safe at all times is important. So even if the phone or tablet is lost, your data remains safe. Even managers can lose their mobile devices, and if they can delete data remotely, then their access needs to be secure and easily secured in the case of an emergency.
Why does the equipment matter?
Some software will only work on certain browsers, or devices. Only a tablet, not a phone. Need a certain level of internet access to work. You may have costs involved in the number of access times, or locations. This will impact on your ability to use this data cost effectively. You may also have a variety of irregular users, (e.g. for a short time only).
It is no good if your CRM has a mobile option, but this option requires you to purchase the latest IPads, and you have no I-pads at this stage, and the cost is way above the available budget. So flexibility on information is essential.
What is a possible Solution?
Products like CRM-Map can really solve this issue.
Ease of Use: The remote person does not need to look for the client, as if they are near or at the client site, their Icon is showing on the google map, and the sale person need only click on it.
Own Designed forms and Custom Fields: So you can add the fields you need to match your CRM. Having only what you want to see or enter. This is a really easy way for remote people to get access to the right data and fast.
AutoMatic and Seemless:The forms you design can be auto integrated with your data dynamically, e.g. so as you do alternations in the office – it transfers to the field and as people do changes in the field it can go to the main CRM database.
Data Protection: As this is not your core data, your core data is protected. If a user loses their mobile device, even though it requires a password access, you can easily alter their password access and lock out the lost device. Plus, as Zones are available in this product, you can limit a user to a specific zone and then they can only see the data in that Zone.
Flexibility: Products like CRM-Map are not limited to hardware. Basically if your system can use Google maps it can use CRM Map. So you can use whatever hardware is available on minimal bandwidth.
Cost: CRM-Map excels here also. As you only pay per user that you need to use this product. So a really low cost option. IF you need extra users for a month, then you only pay for that month for the extra users. A good low cost option.