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Managing Relationships on the Run: 4 Reasons to Adopt a Mobile CRM Your competition for new business isn't likely to fade in 2018. Empowering your sales team members with a mobile CRM will give them what they need to keep your business growing and thriving.

By Jonathan Herrick Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tim Robberts | Getty Images

After years of experts saying it was coming, mobile usage has eclipsed desktop. Including tablets, mobile usage has exceeded 56 percent, according to StatCounter's December 2017 GlobalStats report, while 43 percent of users prefer desktop.

What does this mean for entrepreneurs and startup founders? It means your software and sites have to be adaptable to mobile. But what you might not realize is that it's time to update your CRM to include a mobile strategy as well. With your sales team members always on their phones, it makes sense to give them the tools they need right where they are. Using a CRM compatible with mobile devices -- whether it's a web browser with cloud CRM or a mobile CRM app -- they can access important customer data when they meet with customers and prospects out in the field.

According to research conducted by Innoppl Technologies, 65 percent of sales reps using mobile CRM met their goals. In contrast, only 22 percent of reps using systems that weren't mobile-enabled achieved the same. At Hatchbuck, a mobile CRM strategy has helped our sales teams to move deals faster and more efficiently.

Closing deals with agility and grace.

Today's customers don't just want to know you're there for them, but that you can also respond quickly to their needs. A mobile CRM puts all of the data sales teams need at their fingertips.

While instant, easy access to customer data is the most important aspect, there are many good reasons to upgrade to a mobile CRM in 2018. Here are four benefits of doing so that will make you happy you did.

1. Syncing saves time and boosts revenue.

Recent research by labs showed that 47.2 percent of sales reps are inside sales, selling remotely most of the time. However, even outside salespeople sell remotely at least 45.4 percent of the time.

If these figures reflect your sales approach, a mobile CRM can help you keep everyone on the same page, saving time and money over the long haul. It gives the entire team -- customer service, marketing, sales -- a 360-degree view of customer data at all times. Access to the most up-to-date information, all in one place and on the go, enables better, speedier responses to your prospect and customer needs.

Related: How Start-ups Can Benefit by Using Customer Relationship Management

When Molex moved to a mobile CRM, for example, its sales reps were able to see opportunities in real time. For this niche B2B company, a manufacturer of electronic and fiber-optic interconnection systems, mobile access to this kind of information proved invaluable. The improved teamwork created by Molex's mobile CRM increased revenue by 5 percent the first year.

2. Mobile keeps you on your toes -- in a good way.

In a study conducted by Nucleus Research, sales productivity was boosted nearly 15 percent with mobile access to a CRM.

A mobile CRM ensures that sales opportunities don't slip through the cracks or out of the sales process completely. Ultimately, people buy when they're ready. However, with a mobile CRM, your team is able to respond immediately to questions as they come up -- and close that deal the moment the customer makes a purchase decision.

Related: 5 Powerful CRM Techniques That Can Help in Marketing

Using a mobile CRM has been an easy way to put our own product into practice. Our salespeople have access to all of the people in their pipeline with the tap of a finger, whether they're at their desks or in a sales meeting. With the entire team able to quickly retrieve tasks, notes and upcoming to-dos on their calendar, we're hyperfocused on the customer experience, delivering timely communications and fostering better relationships.

3. Increased engagement helps convince naysayers.

Let's face it: Busy salespeople aren't always the most open to implementing change. Getting these teams on board with a new system is usually a tall order.

However, by giving them access to the CRM on their phones, you enable them to stay connected and engaged throughout the entire customer life cycle -- whether they're out on the road or working after hours.

Related: 7 Data Sources You Should Absolutely Be Plugging into Your CRM

The key to encouraging the adoption of any new initiative is to demonstrate the true value for the user. This holds true for your sales team, too. Once we proved that a mobile CRM system could increase sales (and commissions), we soon had a crowd of devoted users.

4. Mobile CRMs improve data quality.

Data integrity is paramount to building better relationships with your customers. However, data is only useful when it's accurate.

Avoid collecting incomplete data or missing out on opportunities for sales, upsells and re-engagements. A mobile CRM standardizes customer and prospect data within a uniform system that's accessible at any moment. In fact, according to a survey by Software Advice (a Gartner company), 82 percent of salespeople using a mobile CRM believe it improves data quality.

To illustrate: Say a sales rep goes out on a call but has to wait until he's back in the office to enter meeting notes, adjust appointment times or update customer info on a desktop CRM. There's a good chance he'll forget some critical piece of data along the way -- or forget to enter it at all. If the CRM were mobile, though, he could enter that information on the spot, in real time, and even let the customer review and confirm that the data is accurate.

Your competition for new business isn't likely to fade in 2018. Fortunately, empowering your sales team members with a mobile CRM will give them everything they need to keep your business growing and thriving, no matter where they are.

Jonathan Herrick

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

CEO of Benchmark

Jonathan Herrick is CEO and chief high-fiver at Benchmark Email, BenchmarkONE and Contacts+, bringing together 150 employees serving over 25,000 customers and 1 million users in 15 countries and nine languages worldwide.

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