Recent research suggests currently, only 46 per cent of SMEs have facilitated web-accessible customer relationship management systems. This figure is 50 per cent lower than the 96 per cent uptake rate predicted by a 2009 report and represents a real missed opportunity for hundreds of businesses to improve the efficiency of their operations.
Early adopter Morgan O’Brien, MD of Irish pumping equipment manufacturer, Combiflow, explains that his company’s mobile CRM system “has given our remote workers the luxury of being able to work almost anywhere.” Adding that, “It has given us the freedom to make the most of the time spent with potential clients.”
By contrast, companies with offline CRM systems are often faced with incomplete data sets, as employees meeting clients outside of the office space can mistakenly forget to update details on the office CRM database on return. Given that a recent study reported that 81 per cent of organisations offer some degree of flexibility to employees in terms of when and where they work, the ramifications of this wasted CRM system potential could be greater than first understood.
Speaking on the numerous benefits of a mobile optimised-CRM system, O’Brien expounds that his sales staff “can update and share their calendars with the entire sales team, as well as add appointments, sales quotes and customer correspondence details without having to go into the office.” In his own words, “This has resulted in more sales calls and, ultimately, more business.”
In addition, mobile-accessible CRM systems provide sales staff with detailed information on past interaction with customers, wherever they go. This enables them to improve the level of customer service they deliver, cementing business relationships and ensuring lucrative partnerships continue into the future.
These combined advantages make the observed low uptake rates for web-accessible CRM systems all the more unanticipated. It can surely only be a matter of time, though before businesses begin to realise they are disregarding such a potentially profitable opportunity.