March 30, 2018

How Consumer-Style CRMs Unlock Agility in the Field

Written by
Frank Brogie
Tags: CRM

Sales, marketing, and account management mean different things for field teams than they do for people who work behind a desk. With every client interaction happening face-to-face and hours spent on-the-go that might otherwise be spent at a keyboard for desk workers, field teams have different requirements for the ideal CRM than their office-bound peers.

More than simply fitting onto on the small screen of a smartphone, mobile CRM apps have to be tailored to a fast, on-the-go workflow. They must support simplified data entry, automated routing and other field-first functionality, and super easy sharing that make them more like Instagram than Salesforce.

Mobile-friendly isn’t enough for a team that works exclusively in the field – mobile-first is essential.

To fill this need, a new niche of consumer-style CRM tools are rising to the occasion, empowering field sales, marketing, and service teams to work smarter and more agile on-the-go.

Here’s how consumer-style CRMs help teams of all sizes unlock agility in the field:

Simplifying Data Collection

If there’s one place consumer-style CRMs shine, it’s in the way they make data collection a natural part of the workflow. Familiar activities like snapping and tagging photos and leaving comments and notes combine with social-style messaging capabilities to make field teams’ workflows intuitive and non-intrusive. With this approach, field teams using consumer-style CRM apps collect and share data as a seamless part of their natural routine, saving hours that might otherwise go into compiling daily or weekly reports.

By eliminating the dreaded “office day” for administrative tasks, a mobile-first CRM empowers teams to spend more time with their accounts and capture better data about every visit. Plus, from a management perspective, having up-to-date data about your tactics in the field unlocks a new level of agility and responsiveness.

For healthy sweets brand UNREAL Candy, embracing real-time data meant the ability to try, fail, and try again faster than ever.

“When we have an idea, we try it out,” explains the company’s Marketing Director, Billy Allen. “The very next day, if it worked we double down. And if it didn’t, we do something else.”

That formula drove a 25% increase in sales where the team was using Repsly, a specialized mobile CRM for field teams.

Standardizing the Way Teams Work in the Field

Not only do consumer-style CRM apps help make individual reps more efficient in the field, but they give management teams the tools they need to standardize and socialize best practices — a difficult task given field teams’ disperse nature.

With workflows, standardized data collection forms, and scheduling capabilities, mobile CRM apps give users the tools they need to start bringing structure to their team, as well as the data they need to improve that structure in an agile way.

For example, a field sales organization could roll out a new account management process, scheduling visits at each client location every six weeks and equipping the team with a different set of tasks to complete at each visit. With the right mobile CRM, they could roll out the plan with minimal required training and start measuring the effectiveness of each step in the new account management process right away, implementing updates on the fly as new data comes.

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Socializing Insights to Create Culture of Learning

If an agile team has to commit to one thing, it’s constant learning and adapting. This new class of consumer-style CRM tools places a premium on not only collecting but also socializing insight from the field, which empowering teams to learn quicker about what’s happening in the field and make smarter decisions about what to do next.

For plenty of teams, sharing data, conversations, and insights from the field starts in email threads and Google Docs. While that seems to work at first, a couple weeks and a few new hires later cause those written reports to get complicated. And untangling data out of an email thread with hundreds of messages and dozens of recipients does not exactly make for agile decision-making.

With a mobile CRM tailored for socializing insight from the field, the fix can look like social sharing model between reps, encouraging casual communication via in-app messaging and team-wide activity sharing. For managers, it’s a simple dashboard to track progress across users and locations in real time – and the flexibility to integrate that data with any system of record the rest of the company might be plugged into.

Making a switch from the email-based nightmare described above to a more organized and shareable CRM-based system helped one team in the cosmetics industry cut reporting time by as much as 88% every week, paving the way for faster, and smarter, decision making at every level.

For teams that do their work on-the-go, finding a CRM that does more than merely fit on a small screen has long been a challenge. But with a new class of mobile CRM apps bringing consumer-style paradigms to the market, field teams have an opportunity to take advantage and work smarter and with more agility, in the field.

Frank Brogie is the Content Marketing Manager at Repsly, where he writes about field sales, merchandising, and team management best practices alongside some of the world’s fastest-growing consumer brands. Repsly’s super easy-to-use mobile CRM powers more than 1,000 brands around the world, including Canon, Adidas, Vita Coco, and KIND Snacks. To learn more about Repsly, or to see how their mobile-first CRM can transform the way your team works in the field, schedule a time to chat with us at www.repsly.com.