This is the second blog in our pair on the relationship between mobility and sales, marketing and customer relationship management.
Last time, we looked at the massive increase in mobile behaviours amongst customers, and how the enterprise needs to react. Today, we’re examining behaviour within the enterprise itself, and how qualities like remote and flexible working are making new demands on technology.
The mobile workforce – why flexibility and connectivity are so important today
Multiple factors have driven the expansion of the modern mobile workforce. As businesses grow and acquire new sites, it’s inevitable that some employees will have to take on more travelling between them. Furthermore, updates to employment law mean that staff members can request flexible working patterns, including variable starting and finishing times and home working – in turn, this means that teams can be split up for certain periods of time, and require sophisticated mobile technology to maintain communication and collaboration.
Field sales, of course, have always been expected to put the customer first and embrace a life of travel, but technological advancements mean they’re no longer disconnected from the office the moment they step into their car.
Mobility in enterprise, technology for sales teams – where CRM can make the difference
What do these technological advancements look like? They include basic hardware of course – the laptops, tablets and smartphones that keep sales connected to the office, their customers and each other, and allow them to set up office anywhere from a hotel room to the kitchen table. But what applications are actually being run on these devices?
For the sales team, customer relationship management (CRM) applications are clearly the most crucial. IDC’s white paper ‘Next Generation CRM: Driving Productivity With End-To-End Cloud Services’ explains that ‘the next generation of CRM applications is at hand’, providing employees not only with constant access to ‘the latest CRM releases, services and innovations’, but also increased flexibility and more freedom for the IT team. In other words, cloud-based CRM applications allow salespeople to receive real-time service updates and access every vital feature any time, any place – critical in the mobile world.
Sophisticated phone features are another vital element of a successful CRM application – like simple, straightforward click-to-call functionality on the move and smooth call routing for salespeople on the road.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the finest examples of a CRM product designed not just to support a mobile, flexible sales team but to take advantage of the power of that mobility and flexibility. Take this, from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide:
“Use your Windows 8, iPad or Android tablets to stay up to date with your customer info—even when you’re on the go. CRM for tablets has been enhanced to increase sales productivity with flexible, role tailored dashboards and analytics, personalised home pages and the ability to navigate by hierarchy, as well as improved support for disconnected scenarios. A new personalised home experience allows mobile employees to pin key records and surface analytics from any tablet enabled dashboard in CRM and to easily access and analyse their key data on the go.
Connectivity is not always available while travelling. With offline drafts new records can be created and changes are synchronised once reconnected.”
So – is your business empowering its sales team with the very best mobility technology? Prodware is a Microsoft Gold Partner and can advise on every element of choosing and integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM – contact us today.