Thursday, February 10, 2011
Mobile CRM Apps: What to look for when evaluating CRM for your business
Increasing demand and competition — as well as advances in mobile technology — have fueled important changes in the customer relationship management (CRM) software industry. CRM software has become easier to use, and it supports a broader array of mobile devices.
If you spend time on the road, these recent developments are good news:
Web browser support. Most CRM software vendors now have Web-enabled products that use Web browsers as the interface for their products. This means you can access CRM modules from within Internet Explorer or your favorite browser — a definite advantage for users who don't have time to learn the ins and outs of a new CRM application interface. You can also enter and access all of your data with hyperlinks and other familiar navigational constructs.
Integration features. Many CRM products now offer integration features. Microsoft Office integration, for example, lets you embed Word and Excel documents into client records and view the documents without launching a separate application. This saves time and lets you use your CRM solution as the main interface to other productivity applications.
Support for handhelds and PDAs. Even personal digital assistants (PDAs) are beginning to get support from CRM software vendors. When paired with a PDA, CRM software offers ultimate portability. A PDA gives you the freedom to abandon your laptop without sacrificing access to calendars, e-mail, and client records. Synchronization features in CRM software for PDAs let you receive updates from your laptop and download changes you've made through a automated replication process.