Mobile CRM App vs. Traditional CRM: 7 Reasons For Going Mobile

6 min read

So you’ve heard about some of the benefits of a mobile CRM app, right? But still perhaps a little unsure about exactly what it is, what it entails and why on earth you should be considering replacing your traditional system with it.

Well, let’s start off with a brief of description of a mobile CRM app:

“A mobile sales system or platform that delivers full CRM capabilities via tablet, smartphone and smartwatch to field sales teams on the move.”

As you can see, the key differentiator is “on the move” or “mobility”. Mobile CRM is designed to give sales teams full access to marketing, sales and customer care data whenever, and wherever they might need it.

Now take a second to think about your sales team and how often they are out on the road visiting clients, prospecting new business and travelling between calls.

You can begin to see the advantage a mobile CRM app has.

So without further ado let’s get stuck in.

7 mobile CRM app benefits over their traditional counterparts

mobile CRM app

It’s not anchored to the office

As a sales manager you wouldn’t dream of denying your sales reps access to your CRM, would you?

However, by not giving your field sales team a mobile solution you are handicapping their ability to work efficiently when out on the road.

It’s not feasible to expect them to recall each and every detail from a sales visit, drive all the way back to the head office or nearest coffee shop WIFI to plug it all back into the CRM.

One of the major advantages of a mobile CRM app is it’s accessibility to the sales rep immediately before and after a meeting. If they need to query certain details pertaining to the last order a client made, they can. If they want to see the latest interaction a customer had with your company, they can. If they want to access the latest digital product catalogue when with a client, they can!

Maintenance costs

Software as a service (SaaS) implementation costs are significantly cheaper than those of their on-premise counterparts. You see, traditional CRM systems are normally housed on software platforms and on-site servers (web, NAS, database servers etc.) which are pain to install and can take months before they are up and operational.

Now we haven’t even begun to factor in labor costs for maintenance, software upgrades, patching, as well as the in-house IT team necessary to operate the system. If we add on the cost of bringing in someone to train the sales team how to operate the traditional CRM it’s starting get pretty expensive.

High user adoption rates

The Achilles heel of traditional on-premise CRM and even some SaaS CRM providers is that they’re incredibly difficult to use. Because they were designed and built to be used in the office (and the office alone) when they are eventually converted over to mobile it felt like running Windows 95 on an iPhone – slow, cumbersome and difficult to navigate. You can literally picture your sales reps shudder at the thought of using it.

“the most expensive CRM is the one that nobody uses.”

A mobile CRM app is like a sleeker, faster cousin. It is designed to run on mobile software and as a result has an incredibly intuitive feel, can be used by everybody and has much higher adoption rates – even for some of those senior members of your sales team.

There’s actually a great story of one our clients sitting the “older” sales folks down with a handful of mobile systems just to see which one they would use on a daily basis, such is the importance of user buy-in. You should definitely go check it out.

Remember there’s nothing worse than paying thousands of dollars for a something that nobody uses…

More insight for sales managers

Now as the majority of your sales team have now bought into the new mobile CRM app, you’ll see a tenfold increase in the amount of raw data being entered. And it’s not only an increase in quantity, but quality too.

That’s because a mobile CRM app boasts flexibility, which allows field sales reps to upload information from the remotest corners of their given territory.

Let me give you an example.

Imagine you are running a sales team of let’s say, 15-20 reps. Their sales territories span all across the region in areas with little to no network coverage meaning getting back to base and updating the CRM is difficult and often an afterthought.  They’re also strong, independent characters who don’t particularly like being micro-managed and called constantly for an update but of course, as a sales manager, you need some visibility of what’s going on.

Now if you had deployed a mobile CRM here is why this WOULD NOT be a problem

  • Huge sales territories – irrelevant, they can enter the data as soon as the meeting is over – no need to hustle back to the office.
  • Micro-management – no need to constantly call for an update as you can check their feedback in real-time.
  • Data accuracy – the information you are looking at is entered in real-time, not a cobbled together recollection made a week later.

This whole process delivers you, the sales manager, with real-time, live data with which to reflect on and use as a basis to make accurate business decisions. It shows you where you need to double down your efforts, whether that be in coaching certain individuals or adjusting your upcoming forecast as well as eliminating duplicate records and garbage reports.

Increased efficiency

It’s not just the sales manager who receives the benefits of a mobile CRM app but the individual reps too.

A new understanding of the importance of user adoption and the need for real-time data has forced companies to shift the spotlight back on the front line user.

How are they using the tool? How can we mike their lives easier? What tools can we create to help solve their biggest pain points? Answering these questions has led to the creation of mobile CRM that maximizes the efficiency of teams working out of the office.

Again, let me give you another example. A member of your team has a 10 a.m. visit with a client 2.5 hours away from the town/city center, right out in the boonies somewhere. They are miles from the nearest printer and have forgotten the 30+ page contract and detailed photos that they need for their next sales visit. Under normal circumstances this would seem like a lost cause.

However, with a fully connected mobile CRM system they could access these files straight from their mobile device, whether that be a tablet or smartphone and present it on a single, clear screen to the client with the digital signature function enabling them to sign-off on the deal then and there.

Mobile CRM apps also come with built-in geolocation services. If they are running a tad late for a meeting the CRM automatically feeds them back the quickest route, taking into account current traffic conditions.

Its features like these that help field reps in closing deals faster, maximizing the chance of increasing profits and ultimately reaching those quarterly sales targets.

Byod (bring your own device)

One of the major stumbling blocks we touched upon earlier was user adoption. By enforcing the use of a rigid system accessible only via a stationary terminal you are adding yet another barrier to entry. Remember, sales reps don’t need any more excuses for not using the CRM…

Most mobile CRM are extremely flexible when it comes to workable OS (operating systems) meaning if one your sales reps has a Samsung S8 (Android) and another an iPhone (Apple) there’s no issues with compatibility – the CRM will be equally effective on both systems.

What’s more, specialist mobile sales systems are designed specifically to be used by these OS meaning every little detail has been thoroughly thought out; the navigation from the home page to the account menu, the accessibility of Google Maps or Waze right down to the clarity of the document or catalogue screen. These may seem like minor details but make a huge difference in maximizing the system’s user uptake.

Integration with other business apps

Think of all the business applications your sales teams use as small cogs in a clock. When the cogs are perfectly aligned, everything runs smoothly – the hands go around in tandem and all is well on the clock face. However, if just one cog is slightly out of alignment or worse, not touching at all then the whole thing breaks down; you lose track of time, arrive late for the sales visit and end up missing out on a perfectly good opportunity…

Maybe that’s a bit extreme but hopefully you see what I’m getting at.

When your sales reps sends an email to a client from say, their mobile’s Gmail or Outlook app they want that same information to be simultaneously relayed back to the CRM. That way when the sales manager logs into the CRM they have that information readily available and don’t need to ask the rep for a short summary of what’s happening. Nobody likes doing the same work twice (and nor should they have to!)

In conclusion it’s clear there are some obvious advantages of a mobile CRM app: its ability to increase individual rep productivity, deliver real-time live data to sales managers and ultimately, maximize the chance boosting team revenue. I understand It’s not easy switching over systems (and can be a real pain in the a** to do so to) but I hope at least the points above give you a little thought*

*p.s. if you’re struggling for a bit of buy-in from the IT team, refer them to point number 2.