Business mobility’s great, right? But getting it right you can come across a few pitfalls, just like with any new solution or process an organization is introducing for the first time.
So what are the essentials to keep in mind before launching your first mobile CRM project?
1. Define your goals
Sometimes companies have only a broad unspecified idea of what they want to achieve implementing a mobile CRM solution. Surprisingly often the expectation can be as vague as “everything will be more streamlined once the mobile solution is up and running”. Yet they don’t define what streamlined actually stands for in their scenario.
As one of our customers confirmed: With mobility it is important to have a clear vision and a use case scenario to hit the ground running. They wanted to get rid of paper forms, manual data re-entry and measure the success of attending tradeshows – how many appointments and meetings have taken place, what did they focus on, how much of new business has come from a particular tradeshow. With a clearly defined goal like that, Resco helped them accelerate the lead management and the sales reps’ daily work.
At this stage the important part of the process is also the involvement of end users – they understand their roles and therefore they should be able to help decide what functionality is required. But for a successful deployment it needs to be done in a coordinated way. Every requirement should be then checked whether it should be implemented using standard functionality or needs a further customization.
And also worth to keep in mind is the triad of desirable functionality – low cost, quick delivery and high quality. You can only ever have two of the three, and your business priorities should decide which two will you choose.
2. Analyze the business process
If you mobilize inefficient or broken processes, they’re still inefficient or broken. They merely do whatever they do more quickly. This frequently stems from many small changes that have been made without anyone reviewing the entire process. While these changes might seem as useful improvements on their own, implementing them and not keeping an eye on the big picture can derail even a process that was functional up to that point.
For example, a technician servicing a wind turbine doesn’t necessarily need mobile access to the invoicing information and capabilities. But he/she definitely needs to see the availability of spare parts the company keeps in stock to carry out the repair, or to give an accurate time estimate to the customer.
Make sure to find out what processes are actually in use by the staff in the field and implement those to the mobile solution. When the processes have been mapped out, compare them to the standard functionality of your solution – after all, why re-invent the wheel through extensive customization, if you can gain the maximum benefit functionality is already available straight out of the box?
3. Review your data entry
Going back and trying to correct data is a major cause of headache and a leads to users not trusting the system. Missing or inaccurate data will in fact break any CRM solution, mobile or otherwise. Fortunately, you can reliably sync the data from your Dynamics 365/CRM or Salesforce when using Resco.
However, just as important is the ease of new data entry – because users generally see their need to get the job done as far more important than their managers’ accurate data or reporting. Alpha-numeric fields, picklists, checkboxes, photo, video, and audio attachments, phone and e-mail communication tracking all aim to simplify the adding of new information. On top of that, Resco’s automatic synchronization and fully functional offline mode ensure that the freshest data is always available to the back office and mobile users in the field alike.
4. Test even the road less traveled
Obviously, you need to try and see how the users will actually work with your mobile CRM solution in real life, rather than what a developer thinks they will do. But don’t test just the standard process. To make your solution as bulletproof as possible, focus also on the exceptions – the extraordinary or scarce situations your team may come across.
What if the record is modified in the mobile app and on the server at the same time and a sync conflict occurs? What if there’s a network outage right in the middle of the synchronization process? What happens if a device gets lost or stolen? All irregularities combined may only account for a marginal portion of the total usage, but it’s essential to test them to ensure you have a truly robust solution.
5. Don’t walk it alone
Your in-house IT department may be experts in your existing systems, but have they ever tried to bring a CRM out to the field? And do they have your sales, field service or other related processes down to the smallest detail?
If not, seeking out the right implementation partner is a smart move. You could use the leading technology, yet the end result might not live up to the expectations. And equally – the same technologies, approached differently, can yield a result exceeding the original goals. Furthermore, an accomplished outside organization, can contribute extra ideas and improvements based on their experience in previous projects. That’s why customers who choose Resco can select from a global network of 600+ implementation partners, ready to assist with their mobile projects.
If you’re not sure where to start with implementing mobility for your business, check out our new partner marketplace where you can choose from partners with numerous solutions for a range of business verticals. Or ask us anytime, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to answer all your mobile CRM questions and more!