Unleash your Sales force Potential with Desktop Productivity Applications


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The Global Market place today has become personalized in nature. Sales personal are required to provide customized solutions real time in order to cease the deal. Precise information about Prospects & Offerings at the opportune moment makes the sales force truly potent. Shorter sales cycles free up resources and infuse the energy to supersede Sales targets. CRM Technology Solutions have always been an enabler in this pursuit however with their own share of challenges. This article explores the usage of Desktop Productivity Applications such as Email Integration Options to bridge this gap and eventually attain increased Sales force mobility, upturn in productivity, maximum CAPEX Utilization and reduced OPEX.

Sales function being the revenue engine occupies a prominent spot in an enterprise. Irrespective of the superior design and impeccable quality a product may still fail to hit the market if the sales strategy and execution flounder. It is the fulcrum that is responsible for building relationships with customers and in the process bring business to the table which is then fulfilled by other functions. However the key challenges faced by this unit are evolving with time.

Cyber age technology has enabled businesses to spread their tentacles into the Global market place posing stiff challenge to traditional players. Customers now have access to a wealth of information about alternatives and are getting into quicker decision making cycles. This ability to access information unlike ever before make customer loyalty take a back seat. Undoubtedly the Sales staffs on the ground face a multitude of challenges Vis a Vis their counterparts a couple of decades earlier.

Ability to differentiate offerings and services is the way forward to sustain in the competitive environment. Customers are looking for personalized services that are specifically tailored made and thus suits them the best. This is exactly where the modern day sales strategy revolves around and the winners capitalize on. Technology plays its part in this process and has become a launch vehicle to attain the strategic goals of an enterprise. Cutting edge CRM solutions provide Campaign management, Lead Management, Sales and Service modules amongst others. Nevertheless the CRM technology space comes with its own challenges.

No Offline capabilities

A major limitation with most of the CRM solutions is that they do not provide offline capabilities. An employee if not connected to the enterprise network is often not able to make use of CRM capabilities.

An account manager for example while on travel would like

 To access key account specifics like location, crucial Contacts within the account, Opportunities in the pipeline, Call Reports, Historic Activities, Email communications etc.
 To work out a solution based on customer needs on the site and create an opportunity and or an agreement
 Create an opportunity and assign the paper work to the back office staff while he is still on site

All these become difficult and impossible when the Sales personal is on travel and offline.

Lower Productivity

It would be the dream of any enterprise to allow their Sales force to just concentrate on selling and reduce the admin work. Sales personal however often end up repeating data entry multiple times. Probably once at the customer location on their notepad and then subsequently in the CRM applications after they return to office. This repetitive work not only eats into the prime selling time but also causes significant delays in the pipeline. Delays cause a negative perception in the minds of the customers which may in turn lead to loss of repetitive business.

The other challenges of traditional CRM applications being lower Technology adoption and the risk of not being able to capture information because of want of application access.

Conceptual Solution

Any solution that we can think off need to cover the following aspects. In order to be fully equipped an employee would need access to both CRM functionality and enterprise data.


A simple but effective solution would be to use the offline capabilities of Email applications. Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes for example offer users the capability to maintain a copy of Emails which is accessible even when they are not connected to the Exchange server. Similarly new Emails could also be drafted locally and then synchronized with the exchange server when the user is again online. Expanding the same idea, email applications like Microsoft outlook or IBM Lotus Notes can be tuned to mimic the functionality of Enterprise CRM applications. Today we can see a good number of commercially available integration products in the market.
This paper delves into the benefits of integrating desktop productivity applications such as emails with mainstream CRM applications.


Healthier User Adoption

Many a time substantial investments in CRM technology infrastructure remain underutilized much below the capacity plan. In reality users prefer to use a single application to perform all their daily chores and this premise deters the adoption of new technologies. Low adoption levels have a far reaching impact on Strategic goals of Growth and Operational Efficiency.

Email integration options come in handy to tide over this resistance and increase user adoption. By providing users an additional handle to work on the CRM application through a day to day well know application like Microsoft Outlook/ Lotus Notes could push the adoption levels to peaks.

Lower Training Cost

Users be it either existing employees or new hires would arguably have a prior working experience in email applications be it MS Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes. It would be much easier for these users to visualize CRM entities within emails applications. Capitalizing the levels of familiarity Enterprises can cut down a significant portion of their CRM application training cost.

Lower TCO

There is no additional server level maintenance activity that is required. The existing application maintenance cost of CRM and the Email application is not going to get heightened.

Online and Offline capabilities

Users would be able to carry on their CRM usage both in online and offline mode just as emails are.

Customization capabilities

Email Applications comes with a flexible Customization capability

Superior User experience

We would be able to provide an opportunity for the user to experience the superior User interface and features of the Email client. Email Applications such as MS Outlook and IBM Lotus notes come with a rich feature set right from data entry, search, sort etc. These features allow CRM desktop inherits these superior features and provides the user with a whole host of options to play around with.

srijayaram S
Srijayaram holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and has more than 8 years of IT experience. He is working as a Senior Consultant with Infosys Limited. He has led IT transformation projects bringing significant benefits to clients across the globe.


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