Posted on January 7, 2014 by Eric Martin on Catavolt Blog
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications like Salesforce.com, Zoho, and others are where many sales people truly live every day, whether in the four walls of the office or on the road. The typical common daily tasks such as keeping up with leads, opportunities and accounts still ring true no matter what application you’re using. Mobile apps, however, are now providing sales people with opportunities to be more responsive to customers – the beginning of the evolution from account “upseller” to actionable customer service resource.
This is an important evolution for sales organizations. As consumers and business buyers become more educated about their purchases, the majority of purchase decisions are made before typing in the website URL or picking up the phone. Customers are now looking for single points of contact that can go beyond sending new brochures and contracts – they need actionable resources that can help them resolve issues, get what they need done quickly and accomplish their specific business goals.
So how are mobile apps helping drive this evolution in sales? They’re providing opportunities for rapid collaboration with back office systems and staff, breaking down organizational siloes partly created by the technology currently in place today.
For example, if a sales person has real time access to inventory data from a back end manufacturing or warehouse system on their mobile device, they can respond to customer requests for availability on site and without having to submit paper requests or pick up the phone. What is normally a one business day turnaround on information for the customer becomes a five minute turnaround – improving customer service and speeding up the opportunity for account growth.
They’re also providing sales supervisors with real time insights into the activities and performance of their teams, so team activity can be analyzed and optimized to ensure maximum revenue growth and customer service. Sure, seeing the activities of your sales team in real time on a map, for instance, is a helpful tool. But understanding what your sales people need to get their job done, and being able to quickly deliver that data to them in an efficient manner to help them truly be more productive and responsive is going to make the real difference in the long run.
Mobile apps are providing opportunities for sales teams to position themselves as customer service innovators in their organizations. When developing mobile apps, think beyond CRM for sales: give your sales teams the ability to reroute cross-organization resources and accommodate customer requests with a tap of the app.