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Publication Date: 07/1/2011
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Maintaining Key Customer Relationships with Mobile CRM Technology

The ability for employees to be productive and remain connected while on the move is growing more critical for more organizations every day. Thus, the iPhone, iPad and various Android devices have had a tremendous impact on the way companies do business. Included in this is the way companies use customer relationship management (CRM) software.

In the age of the iPhone, clients and prospective clients expect customer service and sales reps to be prepared to answer questions and close deals no matter where they are or when. CRM software designed specifically for mobile devices aids in this effort. With the right mobile CRM solution, company representatives can access and update their important customer data from any mobile device. The key to this, however, is finding the right mobile CRM solution based on actual need. There are dozens of mobile CRM products on the market, and deciding which has the right features and capabilities can be a challenge. When considering which options are most important, some should be at the top of the list. Here are suggested must-have features to look for when trying to find the right mobile CRM solution:

Getting the Right solution
Scalability. When choosing the right mobile CRM solution, be sure to account for business growth potential, and then consider whether or not the solution will be able to handle the anticipated increased workload. Adding more users increases the need for collaboration and retrieving cross-team information. A truly scalable solution should be able to operate as effectively with an entire fleet of users as it does for a single individual.

Ease of Use. As with any business product, a new mobile CRM solution will only be profitable if it is used regularly. Look for a mobile CRM solution that has an easy-to-use interface and intuitive features. Several products on the market are built around flashy interfaces and a multitude of features that seem impressive. In the end, however, these simply add clutter to the product and confuse the user. A successful implementation of a new technology solution hinges on user approval, and user adoption is best achieved when the product is simple and familiar.

Synchronization Capabilities. One of the most important features a mobile CRM product should have is the ability to access and manipulate the same sales and customer information as that is stored in a company's primary CRM database. This synchronization assures access to the most current data for each client account, even moments before walking into an important meeting. It also negates the need to maintain multiple CRM databases.

Importance of Scheduling
Task and Appointment Scheduling. Choosing a mobile CRM product that also has complete scheduling features, such as those found in Outlook, will prevent users from overlooking deadlines and missing important meetings. Quality mobile CRM applications will provide users with the ability to schedule events and set up reminders that will either email or alert them about impending deadlines or upcoming appointments. This may seem like an obvious feature, but there are solutions on the market that do not provide full scheduling capabilities.

Tracking Capabilities. A good mobile CRM application has to give users an at-a-glance rundown of where their clients stand at any given time. There is nothing worse than going on a sales call and not being able to remember what happened during the previous meeting. Attempting this without comprehensive CRM tracking capabilities can be like trying to light a fire without any matches. Success is possible, but more often than not, the individual simply ends up rubbing two sticks together, hoping for a spark.

Device Compatibility. As the consumerization of IT firmly takes hold in many organizations, the myriad of mobile devices that users demand support for continues to grow. Mobile CRM solutions that are compatible with a wide range of mobile devices are obviously ideal. Even better is mobile CRM software that is platform-independent, such as Web-based solutions.

Compatibility With a Larger CRM Suite. As much as users rely on mobile devices, most will typically still return to a home base — the desktop or laptop in their office. Mobile CRM solutions that incorporate into a larger standalone application ensure the ability to jump between the two without any disturbance to productivity.

Professional User Training. The last critical feature to look for in a mobile CRM application is user training. Reputable mobile CRM software providers offer professional training programs for users, showing them how to best use the application to maximize their efforts and close deals.

Based on these mobile CRM best practices, Avidian Technologies recently released a completely platform-independent mobile CRM. "Prophet Mobile Web", as the solution is called, is the most recent extension of our line of Microsoft Outlook-based CRM solutions. This new mobile CRM enables customers to access their CRM data from any Internet-connected mobile device.

This is made possible because Prophet Mobile Web leverages users' CRM data stored in Avidian's private, secure cloud. Thus, it acts as an extension of Prophet OnDemand, the cloud-based version of our CRM software.

By providing access to the same Web-based data users rely on at their desktop or laptop, Prophet Mobile Web provides users with anytime access to the most up-to-date information. It also eliminates the need to physically synch data. Other features provided by Prophet Mobile Web include:

  • Access contacts, companies and opportunity data from virtually any phone.
  • Secure login.
  • View, create or edit opportunities.
  • Add data/time stamp notes.
  • Track activity types associated with notes.
  • Add or edit products and services associated with opportunities.
  • Access and edit contacts directly from within Prophet Mobile Web.
  • Call or email contacts directly from within Prophet Mobile Web.

In today's fast-paced world, business happens everywhere. However, this does not need to come at the expense of productivity and efficiency. Mobile CRM solutions, such as Prophet Mobile Web and others that provide the capabilities outlined above, provide a way to stay connected to mission-critical information while on the go.

Contact: Avidian Technologies, 2053 152nd Ave. N.E., Redmond, WA 98052 800-399-8980 Web:  \par

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