Magazine Article | November 20, 2006

Mobile CRM Improves Sales Force Performance

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, December 2006

Pioneer Investments follows a traditional model for wholesaling its financial products: Mobile sales reps partner with internal counterparts to market Pioneer’s products to large financial institutions that deal directly with customers. Teamwork, collaboration, and access to good sales data are essential to sales success.

In the past, Pioneer’s mobile reps were only able to access the company’s Epiphany eSales CRM (customer relationship management) system on their laptops. That meant finding the time and space, while on the road, to boot up a laptop, connect it to a dial-up connection, and search for customer information prior to meetings. Reps could also view the information in an offline format, but could not be sure it was the most current data without synching with the back end system. Because of the difficulties accessing real-time customer information in the field, reps were relying heavily on their internal counterparts to look up information on the fly, making numerous phone calls throughout the day.

When Pioneer considered ways to improve the effectiveness of its sales team by offering them wireless access to CRM data, user acceptance was a key consideration. Pioneer wanted a solution that was easy to use and without a steep learning curve. Pioneer implemented the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution to connect salespeople to back end CRM data. Pioneer also deployed mWholesaler, a mobile application by Pyxis Mobile, on BlackBerry devices for the sales team.

Salespeople can access the resources of their Epiphany eSales database to:

  • check recent sales tickets

  • send thank-you e-mails

  • track campaign follow-ups and call rotations

  • manage how they pursue new leads

  • enter touch points, such as deadlines for meetings or mailings

  • manage demographic information such as contact information, important personal details, and reminders that build stronger customer relationships.

The impact of having CRM data readily available has made mobile salespeople more prepared when they go to meetings because they can now look up client histories in real time. It has also changed the relationship with their internal counterparts — for the better. “Our internal people are seeing a boost in productivity because they aren’t on the phone all day,” says Tom Santaniello, manager of application management. “Reporting is also completed in a timely manner. Now, a sales rep can visit a client and note the results of the meeting immediately after it takes place. The lag time between customer visits and reports has diminished noticeably.”