2013 has been named as the year for mobile CRM. Companies are expected to hire more remote workers and equip them with devices that support mobile CRM applications.
We may only be two weeks into 2013, but executives already have a clear picture in mind for how they hope the rest of the year to unfold. What they want, in a single word, is more: more mobile CRM functionality; availability on that functionality on more devices; and more vendors supplying mobile CRM applications.
As we look into the future of this year, it looks as if more mobile CRM is indeed on the way.
The Need for Remote Access
A top driving factor behind the need for mobile CRM this year will be the hiring of more remote workers. Last year we saw a sharp increase in the number of remote employees hired by both small companies and corporations alike. This year that number is only expected to increase.
With the recent advances in technology, the workforce has expanded outside of the office and more companies are realizing the benefits of hiring remote employees. Because of this factor, the need for mobile applications (such as mobile CRM) has increased significantly. Employers are seeing the benefits of mobile software, including the increase in worker productivity as work can now be done at anytime from anywhere, and jumping on the mobile bandwagon.
The expected growth in the number of CRM mobile users will have its own set of ramifications. The mobile CRM experience is already trending to a simplified, role-based CRM user experience -- a trend that is expected to accelerate in the upcoming year. Different types of users will have different mobile experiences based on their specific roles. This will provide each user with the data they need where and when it is necessary.
New Industries Expected to Transition to Mobile CRM
2013 will also be the year during which mobile CRM makes a serious play for the business-to-business user.
In the past, the term “CRM” has been associated with lead tracking and post sales customer service. Companies were happy to receive weekly or monthly status reports on how their projects were progressing. Today, they want information instantly (live project updates, transparent communication and real-time status reports).
In short, CRM users expect to be able to communicate via their devices at all times, check project statuses, upload files, and add or approve expenses, budgets and invoices.
This type of functionality is expected to extend beyond typical business industries to the "blue collar" sector this year. In the past, mobile CRM apps were primarily build for desk-bound, white-collar employees; however, this is expected to change. This type of business-to-business functionality will extend beyond typical business industries to the "blue collar" sector, starting this year.
Expect to see an influx in companies launching mobile CRM apps for employees who are constantly out in the workforce. The manufacturing, transportation, hospitality and utilities industries are all expected to enter into the mobile CRM territory.
The Rise of the Mobile App
2013 will also see a shift in the definition of what "mobile" actually is -- or at least a blurring of its current definition.
As phones get larger and tablets get smaller, people are going to start choosing between a phone or a tablet, eliminating the need for both. For the most part, though, mobile computing will stay within its current definition this year. Trends that began to emerge last year and in 2011 -- especially the emergence of tablets -- are still unfolding.
Tablets are increasingly replacing home desktops and laptops, and are being used as the go-to device outside of the office. Expect to see a tremendous rise in mobile apps from already-established CRM systems. This will allow businesses to manage and effectively support their employees who do the majority of their work via tablets.
For the average business, mobile CRM is a smart investment. For more information about mobile CRM and what it can do for your business, click here.