Guest post courtesy of Anece Ahn, Inbound Marketing Specialist, Repsly

The demand for CRM solutions has grown exponentially in the last few years. Much so that Gartner projects that by 2017, CRM will be a $36 billion market. And all this makes sense – in 2015, you won’t find a single organization in sales without a CRM system in place.

mobile-crmHowever, what you don’t know is that the majority of CRM initiatives end in failure. A study by the Merkle Group reported that . The reality is that the hype with CRM sparks many organizations to jump in on purchasing well-known, big box solutions without fully understanding the solution.

A typical big box CRM solution has a hefty price tag. For instance, if you purchase Salesforce, you will quickly find that in addition to the price of the software, you will need to shell out even more in deployment and training costs. These implementation costs alone could cost anywhere from $5,000 to well over $80,000 depending on size, industry, and business objectives.

What leaders need to know is that CRM is not a one size fits all solution. CRM comes in different sizes and shapes, and the one we will discuss here is a popular alternative: Mobile CRM.

Mobile CRM is the product of technological evolution. The first roots of CRM and SFA solutions came into existence nearly 30 years ago. Since then, different types of CRM solutions have come into the scene with enhanced features and usability.

The development of Mobile CRM has been influenced largely by recent shifts in technology – in particular, the movement towards mobile, social, big data, and cloud technology. So what is Mobile CRM and how does it differentiate from regular, big box CRM?

More than just a “CRM on your phone”
Essentially, a mobile CRM is defined as a software solution that allows your employees to access, update, and interact with customer information from their smartphones and tablets. But really…it is much more that.

Easy User Adoption
One of the reasons to why such a large percentage of organizations fail to make use of their CRM system is due to employee reluctance. In a poll of 500 SME CRM users, 82.9% of respondents said that getting employees to use their CRM software was .

Professionals using Salesforce know that there is a steep learning curve. Like this article on Forbes illustrates, a CRM enthusiast recommends that in order to make Salesforce work for you, you should hire a CRM administrator and enforce the system into the company culture by providing ample support and training.

While this doesn’t affect organizations that have enough time and resources, this is simply not an option for agile sales organizations looking to stay slim and run fast.

This sheds light on this next point. If user adoption for CRM is as easy as using heavily consumerized media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter more people would be using it.

Unlike traditional CRM, a Mobile CRM will not require weeks of training because it is user-friendly. Think back to when you first used Facebook – once you started using it, it was self-explanatory. The same principle applies to Mobile CRM. You will be up and running within minutes.

Advanced Feature Set
A robust Mobile CRM solution will house multiple tools under one roof. Feature sets may include a wide range of tools including photo taking, GPS location and mileage tracking, appointment scheduling, messaging features, and more.

Traditional CRM, however, is much narrower in terms of feature sets. This requires companies to mix and match different tools together. As a case in point, an organization might be using separate apps for CRM, GPS location tracking, team messaging, etc. With this approach, you run the risk of having separate silos of data that cannot communicate with each other to form a larger picture.

Alternatively, a Mobile CRM will capture and consolidate data in one platform. The connection between these tools helps managers gain faster and more insightful information on operations.

Real-Time Data
Traditional CRM relies on manpower to feed, monitor, and massage data to keep it up-to-date and relevant. On the other hand, data in Mobile CRM requires much less attention. Mobile data collection and cloud technology allows information in Mobile CRM to be always fresh with real-time information. And with real-time information, sales managers can identify and address inefficiencies instantly.

When it comes to choosing a CRM, there are many options to choose from. Do not invest in a CRM solution simply because you heard it worked well for someone else. To avoid a costly mistake, search for a solution that suits your budget and unique business needs. There’s never been a better time to shop for CRM, as there are enough options in the market to find the right one for you.

About the Author
This guest post is courtesy of Anece Ahn, Inbound Marketing Specialist at Repsly. To read more posts from the Mobile Workforce Management Blogclick here.