In today’s cut-throat competition, every data point needs to be collected for whatever it may be worth immediately or in future. Read More
While a lot of companies have already welcomed CRM and have integrated it into their day-to-day sales operations, the results are sometimes disheartening. A CRM implementation sounds perfect at the strategy meeting but often fails on-ground. Here is the full story.
An FMCG sales rep goes to an outlet, pulls out his device to open the CRM and capture the call details. The CRM takes forever to load and starts eating into his productive time. Sometimes he is lucky and the CRM loads instantly but the fields are not intuitive. Input time is way higher than he can afford at an outlet. He has to report his daily productive calls and he is worried he will miss the incentive mark. He quickly pulls out his book instead to note the details manually. He decides to input them in the software end of the day. End of the day he sits at the distributor point and punches only the mandatory fields, combines SKUs, skips out of stock demands and so on. His manager at the head office sits to analyse this half baked data and the results are as expected. It is garbage in – garbage out.
Sounds familiar? Well, that’s the on-ground reality. The sales team faces problems of slow CRMs, bandwidth and connectivity issues so often, they find a way around it. Data loses its sanctity and its worth. If you are facing this, it’s time to integrate mobile-offline.
What is Mobile-Offline?
The new CRM feature, Mobile Offline enables the sales reps to create, delete, and modify records on the go without internet connectivity. It allows adding new notes, looking up contacts and even accessing recently used records. So, the next time internet is down or you have limited bandwidth haunting your staff, thank CRM for Mobile Offline feature. It keeps them in action regardless of connectivity.
How does it work?
A copy of your data sits on the cloud. It is downloaded to a local database for offline use. When a user loses connectivity, he is automatically moved to offline mode and last synchronization time is shown. When the user goes online, the offline data collected by him gets automatically synchronized. Its works 2 ways:
- Data updated by the sales rep is available for rest of the organization to see after every sync
- The sales rep can see updates to the CRM, made elsewhere by another user, after every sync
How to implement it right?
Sounds perfect? Well, it may not be if you don’t have the right implementation team by your side. Be sure to ask questions like these:
- Is your data safe and 100% protected? The cloud service must be a reputed one. For instance, Microsoft Dynamics / Salesforce/ Oracle are fully secure.
- Will your data be accessible with best possible upload and download speed? If not, it defeats the purpose. The sales team cannot sit staring at a loading screen.
- Will the data get overwritten or be lost? Well, this is an important one. When duplicate copies of data get created, it can be a mess eventually. A reputed CRM will not have this hurdle though. Test it and see it in action before full implementation.
- How quick will the synchronization be? If the user has to refresh to see the updates, it fails in user experience. It should happen instantly, speedily and invisibly.
Benefits to Business
You will be amazed by the advantages this small upgrade can bring.
- Your data gets updated in real time. All analytics are current and no opportunity is ever lost.
- You have a buy-in from the sales team who is happy to embrace CRM, just like you.
- Your team is more effective on-ground. While the sales team makes their daily calls, they can stand at an outlet and view the shopkeeper’s last purchases, his unmet orders due to stock outs, stock turnaround time of the outlet and others stats pertinent to the conversation he has with the shopkeeper.
- Managers at head office can see live action on their screen and can how well or how poorly a new scheme is working.
In order to fully utilize CRM’s ability, keep it as simple as possible. One reason that inhibits its competence is complexity. When you use the mobile offline feature – select the fields carefully. If you take the complete CRM offline, it will put load on the user’s mobile memory. Keep it light.
The Final Word
A CRM is only as good as what the sales rep rates it to be. If the last person in your sales channel does not find it worth it, it probably is not. Evaluate sales offline and keep your CRM always-on. With options like Mobile Offline, CRM is spreading its claws in all industries and is even turning indispensable for some. Don’t be left behind.