The impetus of this post is due to the fact that our partner and creator of the SugarCon mobile application, CrowdCompass, sent over some cool usage metrics around the event.
The results were illuminating. There were well over 300 users of the application, on just the iPhone alone – with a small number of iPad and Blackberry users. This represents nearly half of the attendees of the event. And the app was accessed nearly 3,000 times. Pretty nice numbers for a little free app focused on a single three day event.
Ok, apart from bragging about the awesome job my team did in working with CrowdCompass to create a great mobile app – I do have a point. It is this…
The iPhone has made mobile a must have. As more businesses adopt iPhone and iPad devices (and Droids as well) – we are going to see more and more demand – from END USERS – for great mobile experiences. SugarCRM for example is answering the call with a resident iPad app and better iPhone and Droid support through partner Appcelerator.
But forget about the vendor side – the user side as I note is very important. Does your current CRM implementation support mobile usage in any way? Can you customize it? And, if you have yet to deploy a mobile CRM strategy, will that involve an additional learning curve?
These are important questions – and if you haven’t answered them (or at least started asking them) – you may be in danger of seeing an end user revolt. There are a lot of methods for managing data on mobile devices that can sync to online or other data repositories that are NOT managed by your organization. Organizations without a strong mobile strategy run the risk of falling back into the “data silo” crises that nudged them into a central CRM in the first place.
I am almost of the mind that as we look at new trends like social CRM – they should be secondary to a strong internal mobile initiative for many organizations. Think of it this way – mobile is less about traveling salesmen these days and more about taking your iPhone to a lunch meeting, or meeting on the other side of the office, and not dragging your laptop.
Simply put, the notion of “connected” has changed in profound ways. And we should all be doing our best to keep our associates connected – to their CRM, to their prospects and customers, and to each other – as much as possible.