Mobilising CRM delivers competitive advantage

Access to customer relationship management (CRM) resources while on the move creates a competitive advantage that all businesses should be capitalising on in today’s climate, according to a new study.

Empowering employees to access and update information wherever they are can prove to be a real business benefit not only to mobile workers, but also for office-based employees who rely on real time data, the report from Forrester Consulting on behalf of RIM, showed. The report highlights how and why organisations in Europe are mobilising enterprise applications, like CRM, to gain a competitive advantage.

Based on the responses from over 1,000 business and IT decision makers, from companies in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, the research shows that the top two reasons organisations mobilise CRM are improved sales and improved employee productivity (87%).

The third biggest driver to mobilise CRM was improved customer service (55%), suggesting that the trend to mobilise enterprise applications not only benefits internal operations, but also increases customer satisfaction.

With information changing at such a fast pace in today’s business environment, mobile employees can not solely rely on accessing information from a desk-based system as it is often inaccessible on a timely basis or out of date by the time they leave the office.

Respondents from the study also outlined five main benefits of mobile CRM, compared to traditional desk-based access, which included: improved productivity of front-line personnel (77%); improved customer experience (74%); increased customer satisfaction (73%); improved business process efficiency (73%); reduced CRM costs (63%).

Chris Burke, managing director at RIM, EMEA, commented: “To be effective, mobile workers need to call upon the most up to date information wherever they are. Many of our customers, in a broad range of industries, have already recognised that mobile CRM can offer significant operational and customer-facing benefits and they are selecting the BlackBerry platform for its security, manageability and depth of support from CRM application vendors.”

Nearly three quarters (73%) of the respondents who have deployed mobile CRM explained that it helps front line personnel be more effective in their jobs.

The survey sample represented different sized organisations from across Europe and showed that although more large companies up to 500 employees have mobilised CRM systems to date, a greater number of smaller organisations (63%) have plans to mobilise their CRM systems. The benefits are so compelling, in fact, that over two thirds (69%) of companies who have mobilised CRM stated that they are likely to recommend others do so.

The most common areas within an organisation that utilise mobile CRM are: sales (63%); customer service (60%); and field service (51%).

The study is testament to the interest many organisations are expressing to mobilise enterprise systems for their ever increasing mobile work force. The report outlines that more than half the respondents who have a CRM system in place previously lost sales or service opportunities because the information they needed was available back at the office.

Burke added: “This alone is a compelling enough reason for organisations to seriously consider extending their CRM solution to mobile workers.”