Mobile CRM: Make Salespeople Move


Share on LinkedIn

Mobility is cool. Photograph by Miss Karen.

If you give salespeople a mobile CRM application, will the result be increased SFA adoption?

To find out more, I spoke with Christopher Willis, executive vice president in charge of marketing and strategic alliances at Pyxis Mobile, an Innoveer partner that offers a mobile application platform used by about 500,000 people and more than 3,000 businesses.

According to Pyxis Mobile, about 80% of all projects developed using its mobile platform involve CRM data.

Is using mobile CRM now a no-brainer?

Willis: Absolutely. Today, companies that don’t have a mobile solution are behind. It’s a competitive differentiator in hiring as well. One thing we’ve seen, especially in financial services, where we did a lot of our early work, is that employees move from company to company, and you get a guy showing up on his first day and saying, “Where’s the mobile app? I need my mobile app.”

Especially as younger people are entering the workforce, they’re used to having a smartphone, texting, sending messages, Facebook, all on a mobile device. That’s part of how they do their job, and companies need to be able to deliver that.

Is security still a concern?

People who aren’t in mobility sometimes ask us about security. But when we talk to IT — security, infrastructure, architecture — no one worries about BlackBerry security anymore. If it’s good enough for the Department of Defense and government agencies, it’s good enough for you. So let’s focus on what you can do.

With almost every software vendor today offering mobile versions of its applications, why use a mobile platform such as Pyxis Mobile?

To do a lot more than you think you can do. Yes, everybody from Oracle to now SAP to has a mobile component. And if the only thing you use is one application — say, Mobile — that’s cool. But that’s never the case. No one application has all the information your company needs, and if you try to make a small-screen view of a large-screen system, in its totality, then you’ve created a bigger mess than what you already had. Because it’s hard enough to use it on the desktop.

So with Pyxis Mobile, it’s about creating a workflow that allows an employee to be the best employee they can be, using multiple data sources. Doing that regardless of device type, too, creates an overwhelming sense of freedom. As in: “We can tie applications to as many users as we want, make it available on as many devices as we want, and really meet the needs of our constituency.”

What’s an example of how a salesperson would use this single, mobile-friendly view of multiple data sources?

One example is the “fallen angels” report, to show who you did big business with last year, but not this year. The challenge with creating that report is, the data doesn’t come from just one application.

But if you can create that report, you can work your way down the list, call someone and say, “Last year we did $3 million in business with you, but this year only $10,000. What are we doing wrong?” You’ve taken data from all of these different sources, put it into a single view, and made it actionable.

Do tools and workflows such as that help increase CRM adoption?

Yes, because in general, salespeople don’t love their CRM system. … So, our approach is to make it less like a large-screen CRM application, and more about offering intuitive data backed by a mobile workflow that adds value for salespeople.

As a result, instead of it being a system they don’t like, salespeople are getting essential information, and that makes a difference. Because even one more meeting per week can generate additional dollars in the pocket of the salesperson, and for the bottom line.

What dose mobile CRM offer sales managers?

Within the application, we can create multiple views of data. These use cases, or workflows, provide different views for management, senior management and reps. So a manager comes in, sees a roll-up of all their sales reps, and can manage them all on a real-time basis. Assuming that we have given them useful data and that they have good levels of adoption — in the range of 70% to 80%, which is what we see in organizations that manage this well.

What’s real time about the platform?

Say I’m on a phone call, and I enter a note. Management can see — in real time — what I’m doing and provide me with timely feedback on my performance, and not guess how I’m doing until I later update. So it goes from that monthly or quarterly review of “I think you’re doing well,” to that real-time “I see you’re doing well,” or not, and I can provide you with feedback. That also allows an organization to have and retain the best employees.

So CRM users aren’t just taking data out, but also putting it back in?

Yes, and nowadays, almost 100% of our business customers also use our real-time automation features. So, for example, say you make a phone call. I go into my CRM application, open a record and press “click to dial,” then talk to a prospect and hang up. Immediately, I’m brought back into the mobile CRM application after the phone call and an activity is created. Now, I can click out without adding anything, but the activity has been added. So with zero effort, I now have an activity update.

Same thing with meetings. Say I want to order you a prospectus. I do that in the application, and it’s marked “sent” from a SharePoint repository or in some cases a third-party literature fulfillment vendor. So for any activity where you interact with a customer, the system will create a CRM record. And it does that right away — in real time — rather than synchronizing the data later, after you needed to see it.

That level of automation sounds like a powerful way to keep the CRM system relevant and useful?

We’re trying to automate as much of this as possible, to take it out of the hands of the sales reps. We have a sales team internally that uses it too, and it’s hard to get them to update it. We’ve found that you’ve got to automate.

Learn More

To further increase SFA adoption, learn how to sell CRM to your salespeople.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here