Magazine Article | July 25, 2006

Mobile CRM Solution Improves Sales

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, August 2006

Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD) is the wholesaling arm of Lincoln Financial Group, which sells a variety of financial products and solutions, including mutual funds, managed accounts, retirement solutions, life insurance, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and college savings plans. LFD markets and sells these products to financial services firms, wire houses, independent financial planners, and life insurance producers. To help its 245 wholesale representatives be more productive and successful, LFD invested in a CRM (customer relationship management) system. This system was designed to help the reps keep track of customer information, their daily activities, and product sales.

The CRM system was originally designed to be deployed on laptops. However, LFD found that the reps were not entering information into the CRM application on a timely basis because the reps did not want to carry their laptops with them into every meeting. The company decided to create a proprietary version of its CRM application that would provide access to data and e-mail from handheld devices to improve application usage. After researching several vendors, LFD chose the OneBridge Mobile Data Suite from iAnywhere, a division of Sybase, and implemented the CRM application designed for BlackBerry devices. Of the other mobile solutions LFD considered (many of which were e-mail application), none seemed to provide the ability to synchronize e-mail and calendars and use the same sync engine with applications. OneBridge could provide both types of synchronization from the same platform. LFD originally planned to deploy the application on Pocket PC devices, but, when LFD’s reps tested the devices, they had connection difficulties and problems with battery life. LFD found the BlackBerry 8700 devices’ battery lives were longer and the devices were supported by a broader range of wireless data carriers.

With the solution deployed to the field, LFD’s field representatives are able to access vital information right at the point of customer contact. “The bottom line is that having the ability to access and update important information from the BlackBerrys in real time makes our wholesalers more efficient and effective,” says Terry Mullen, senior VP and head of sales at LFD. “It means more face time with customers, enhanced customer satisfaction, and less office and administrative time.”