November 2, 2016

Mobile CRM: Moving Beyond Data Collection

Elaine Chang

Mobile CRM: Moving Beyond Data Collection

TaroWorks, a mobile app built into Salesforce.com’s CRM platform, is one of a growing number of mobile CRM tools that can help field staffs move beyond data collection by offering capabilities to track sales and help manage supply chains in remote areas of developing countries.

Traditional pen and paper information gathering methods and even some digital data collection and analysis techniques send data only one-way – from the field into a black box. That forces field team members to wait until someone else runs a report before they can access the aggregated information and analysis.

Personalized Data

Mobile CRM tools can provide a two-way flow of data between the field and cloud-based database systems in real-time. As a result, field agents can not only log vital metrics, but an entire organization can view a single dataset or analytics report simultaneously, from multiple locations, even while offline – using their mobile device.

The ability to personalize data collection and analysis is one of the strengths of a mobile CRM app like TaroWorks as it allows users to cut through massive amounts of information to view the current or historical data of direct importance to their individual projects. Research done by Forrester Consulting and reported by CRM magazine highlights the importance of such functionality to users.

“Personalized data feeds are the preference for many employees, the study finds, with 74 percent saying that they’d prefer to access a subset of personalized data rather than a comprehensive data set for data collection,” CRM magazine reported. “Additionally, 30 percent of employees would appreciate personalized notifications for tasks, while 28 percent believe that a personalized feed of individual actions and updates would improve the way employees approach and take action on information.”

Needs and Benefits

Before you consider evaluating such offline, mobile CRM apps for purchase, answer these questions to help you and your organization assess your needs:

  • What will the data be used for?
  • What kind of analysis are we doing?
  • Where are we storing data?
  • What level of resources do we have to support this system?
  • Where is the data coming from?

For more detail on these questions, have a look at a guest blog post we wrote for ICTWorks.

Finally, you’ll need to help your organization understand the benefits of mobile data collection and analysis and how an offline, mobile CRM can significantly enhance those capabilities. Here are a few additional basic benefits to consider :

  • Offline, mobile CRM tools like TaroWorks make working in the last mile as easy as the first by helping social enterprises and nonprofits employ the same powerful technology used in the private sector. This reflects a trend toward “vertical CRM” systems designed for particular industry segments.
  • Real-time data collection and analysis increases the speed of decision-making in the field and improves the quality of M&E reporting.

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About the author...

Elaine Chang

Elaine Chang

Sr. Manager, Global Market Development

Elaine’s background in marketing research and data analytics has shaped her goal of helping organizations use insights from better data to create positive change in communities. She has a BS in Marketing and Finance from New York University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Elaine is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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