SAP CRM on a smartphone: Why it's working for me

19 April 2010

Michael Eldridge

Michael Eldridge

Former Managing Director, UK

Its important to understand how a Smartphone based sales force automation solution, such as the new Sybase CRM application for SAP, can add value to your business.

The solution is an application aimed at Smartphone's. Although it doesn't provide access to the entire CRM functionality or replace fully featured browser access, it does open an array of opportunity and scope to enhance customer satisfaction. The Smartphone application drives business efficiencies by reducing the cost to serve customers. It gives my sales team the right tools for their job and provides scope to make them productive and in turn fulfilled.

In an ideal world Account Managers have continuous access to CRM, giving them access to information on the fly and the ability to update information in real time.

Laptop based technology still isn't there. Despite the increasing ubiquity of WI-FI and 3G there are a couple of significant problems with laptop based access.

  1. Connectivity - we all think twice about the availability, speed and reliability of connectivity available before we try and access online resources outside of the office.   
  2. Time - how long you need to wait for your laptop to open applications. For me its a good 10 minutes and I don't think I am unusual!
  3. Convenience and cultural acceptance -  there are lots of times when it just isn't appropriate to get your laptop out either because you don't have the room or it would create a barrier to effective customer interaction.   

Because of this. I find I set aside time to update CRM and it often becomes a chore rather than an activity which adds value to my job.

I find it invaluable to remind myself of basic information directly before or during a meeting such as open opportunities, recent interactions and, if you have a memory like mine for names, reminding yourself of the names of key individuals in the customer.

I also find it useful to make updates and create actions whilst the information is fresh in my mind. Typically this might be on the underground or in a taxi.

So this is where the Sybase Mobile CRM application comes into its own. It doesn't try and replicate the full CRM functionality available through a browser, but it does give me most of what I want when I am out and about - Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Activity overviews together with the ability to update basic details and notes.

As you might expect there are fields missing for us, but I'm told by our developers it's mostly easy to add what I am asking for.

So in summary, it makes my interactions with customers more productive and gives me access to key information when otherwise I'd be struggling.  All in an offline/online mode which, yes, means it works on the underground, in planes and other areas with no or little connectivity - in what has so far been a fast, convenient and responsive way!

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