When I talk to organisations looking for a new CRM solution, on-the-road or mobile access to the system is always a high priority. This raises an important question: “What mobile devices are your sales team using?”
Traditionally the answer to this has often been BlackBerry, however there is no doubt that the Apple iPhone has taken the consumer and business worlds by storm. BlackBerry, the go-to phone of choice for many organisations, appears to be slowing down – especially in those companies where “bring your own” or employee-selected phones are the norm.
The good news is that accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 from either of these devices is a piece of cake. Even better is that your employees can also use their work-issue or personal iPad or Windows Phone to access the same CRM system without being second-class citizens.
For salespeople, having access to their CRM data on the road is critical. It enables them to make decisions on the go, follow things up for customers in real-time, and enter orders or new opportunities with minimal fuss.
Let’s take a look at how Julie, a “road warrior” saleswoman, uses mobile CRM to make her day easier. Julie uses an iPhone, but also carries an iPad for use at home, in the office, or in the carpark prior to appointments.
8:30am: Check the day ahead
Julie starts by reviewing her Outlook calendar for the day. It’s automatically kept in sync with appointments from Microsoft Dynamics CRM, so she only has to look in a single place to know where she’s expected to be throughout the day.
9am: Arrive at the first customer, place an order in CRM
Julie’s first appointment is with a customer who she knows she has a $15,000 opportunity with. She visits Adrian, and during the course of the meeting Julie closes the sale – her first for the day. Julie returns to the car and marks the opportunity as won. Immediately, the CRM system in the office is updated to include details of the sale.
10:30am: Review changed calendar Julie has received an e-mail from Susan to say she’s sick, so the 11am meeting cannot go ahead. Julie opens the appointment on her phone, changes it to tomorrow, and saves it. With a bit of free time, Julie returns to the office to make some phone calls. At 12:30pm, she has lunch with a customer – although she’s not actively selling to Darren today, she has tracked the appointment in CRM so that she can recall it’s details later in the sales cycle.
2pm: Second customer visit, schedule follow-up visit.
At 2pm, Julie visits Recreation Supplies, a customer who has falling purchases from us. After a quick chat, the customer tries to delay making a commitment. Julie, ever connected, immediately schedules a follow-up visit for the following week. The appointment will immediately show up in her Outlook calendar so her peers know she isn’t available.
3:30pm: Third customer visit, place another order.
Visiting Superlative Inc for her monthly sales cycle visit, Julie lands another sale from a regular customer. The details are entered as soon as she returns to the car, so that the warehouse can fulfil the order early the next morning.
4:30pm: Fourth & final customer visit. Place order.
On a roll, Julie makes her final visit for the day. At Litware Inc Julie takes another small order from a regular purchaser.
5:00pm: Review dashboard with updated sales notes & update calendar for tomorrow
Returning home after a successful day, Julie sits on the sofa with her family. Taking out her iPad, she logs on to see the latest sales dashboard. Not only has she got higher MTD sales than most of the office, she’s on target to reach her goals for the month. Happy, Julie turns off her iPad and enjoys her evening.
Although our mythical salesperson used a PC early in the day to review her calendar, she could have easily used her iPhone for the entire day. By making use of always-available, always-connected mobile devices, Julie’s employer has made her life easier. She’s more able to review what’s going on with her customers, and the barriers for her to enter data into the company CRM system are removed.
As your customers demand instant updates and employees desire smartphones and always-on connections to their line-of-business systems, can you afford to leave them in the dark? By truly enabling your field sales team, they can better serve your customers’ needs without lumbering around a laptop or wasting time visiting the office purely to use a PC.
Professional Advantage specialises in CRM solutions, including best-of-breed mobile access on iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone.
For more information about these solutions, visit our website http://www.pa.com.au/microsoft/products/dynamics_crm.htm