Mobile CRM—Mobility and Social for Increased User Productivity

Rebecca Wettemann

CRM Thought Leader Rebecca Wettemann In Her Own Words

Rebecca Wettemann, VP and founding partner of Nucleus Research, published a research report that found adding mobile device access to CRM made sales people 14.6% more productive, adding social and mobile access together increased productivity by 26.4%, that 74% of organizations have enabled some form of mobile CRM access and that 67% of mobile CRM users use an iPhone.

"Customers should have an overall strategic view but also break this into manageable chunks. Often CRM can become self funding in a phased way. Starting with pilot groups to gain adoption and show the best use cases for the organization and then pushing out to a broader group."

—Rebecca Wettemann

Key take away points in the mobile CRM discussion with Rebecca Wettemann:

  • By way of background, Nucleus Research was founded in 2000, and publishes technology research pursuant to an investigative, case-based approach rather than a traditional analyst opinion approach. The company's core research vehicle is the ROI-based case study, with a particular emphasis in deciphering technology payback. Over the prior 13 years, Nucleus has authored hundreds of CRM-based case studies.
  • In a Nucleus research report, titled The Value of Mobile and Social for CRM, the analyst firm found that adding mobile device access to CRM software solutions made sales people 14.6% more productive. In this research report, Nucleus focused on sales productivity as that's often the first adoption area of mobile CRM. The research also discovered that 74% of organizations have enabled some form of mobile CRM access.
  • Examples of CRM-enabled sales person productivity enhancements included live activity feeds related to outstanding customer sales or service issues which empowered sales staff to speak more intelligently with their customers, the ability to enter information from the field for more accurate and timely input, and field sales use of mobile capabilities such as geo-mapping which helps make more efficient use of limited time.
  • Rebecca notes that mobile CRM may cater to certain vertical markets particularly well, such as pharmaceutical and medical devices. For example, many mobile devices can support disconnected use while in a medical facility as well as delivering rich content presentations (with devices such as tablets).
    A word of caution when determining mobile CRM objectives. Projects will simply require sales people to enter data on a mobile device (for the benefit of others) will be challenged in terms of user adoption—this objective largely failed on the desktop and will very often similarly fail on a mobile device.
  • Rebecca also advises that companies which achieved the least success when deploying mobile CRM were those that simply migrated existing desktop CRM processes to a mobile device, whereas those achieved greater success reimagined how to take advantage of the unique capabilities of an iPhone, iPad, Droid or other mobile device.
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is an increasingly popular enterprise mobility strategy that allows staff to use their personal mobile device of choice. But while mobile devices may be personally owned, the data is company property and employees may or may not always recognize that if that data becomes lost, compromised or exposed, the company could face a legal or public relations nightmare. Executives and IT leaders have a challenge in educating staff and ensuring data confidentiality and integrity on personally owned mobile devices remains intact, however, Rebecca notes that information security compromise occurs regardless of device ownership and currently 63% of organizations continue to dictate what mobile devices are to be used.
  • While policy varies by industry and level of data sensitivity, Rebecca notes that some businesses mandate the right to access and swipe data from lost or stolen devices which posses company data but where those devices are personally owned by staff.
  • Nucleus mobile CRM study also found that 67% of mobile CRM users access their CRM system with an iPhone – making it the most popular mobile CRM device by a large margin. However, the iPhone has made it into the business world not from any type of strategic IT planning and deployment but instead by the employees who have adopted them as part of their personal lives and subsequently want to leverage them in both personal and professional contexts. This is yet another example of the consumerization of business IT, and in fact, parallels the adoption of cloud CRM which similarly was brought in to the enterprise not by IT but by business users and managers.
  • Nucleus research also found that adding social and mobile access capabilities to CRM increases productivity of sales people by 26.4%. Use cases that contributed to this productivity gain included integrated mobile access to social networks and integrated activity feeds which automatically push data via a subscription process in real-time and in context.
  • When planning a mobile CRM deployment, Rebecca advises implementors to give top consideration to user adoption and business use cases which drive benefit to the users.
  • Looking ahead, Rebecca expects the mobile CRM market to deliver increased filtering (for more relevant activity feeds) and personalization for the user—not necessarily more data but the delivery of real-time data in greater context.

The next podcast discussion is with Forrester analyst Bill Band.