Mobile, Social Give CRM an Edge

March 8, 2012 – Customer relationship management decision-makers are finding a decided advantage in productivity and ROI from add-ons with social media data and mobile devices, according to a new report from Nucleus Research.

The research and advisory firm surveyed 223 CRM officers in the U.S. and Europe for the report, entitled “The Value of Mobile and Social for CRM.”

About three-fourths of respondents have connected their CRM for mobile use, with 14.6 percent noting a substantial increase in sales productivity from the link. Largely, Nucleus found that the increased productivity from mobile CRM is driven by the development of customized, device-specific applications.

Advantages from social data were less clear cut for the 82 percent of respondents who have connected capabilities with CRM. Approximately 12 percent of respondents reported high productivity gains from connecting CRM to social media, such as integration of external and internal social networking data, or activity updates delivered to customers and users. However, 7 percent reported no returns so far with social connections to their customer management implementations, and another 16 percent stated they were unaware of social CRM. Nucleus cited the lack of understanding as key to the marginal returns, though they expected that to change with the development and adoption of more social and collaboration solutions and services.

Although the success of early adopters of these CRM capabilities varies, to totally ignore these capabilities may give rivals the edge, said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus.

“Given the relatively low price point of many mobile CRM applications and the fact that most social capabilities are bundled into CRM at no additional per-user price, organizations that do not explore mobile and social strategies are likely to lose competitive advantage in 2012 to those competitors that do embrace these technologies,” Wettemann said.

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Overall, more than 50 percent of those surveyed said they expect to implement social and mobile CRM capabilities with development and direction from in-house IT.

Many respondents had more than one mobile device for sales functions, though iPhones led the way with use by about two-thirds of CRM decision-makers surveyed, followed by Droid (48 percent), iPad (46 percent) and Windows phone (35 percent). When it came to selecting a mobile device for CRM access, management dictated which device was used 40 percent of the time. Twenty-three percent of mobile devices for CRM were chosen by IT officers, and that same percentage of users was able to make the choice from a list approved by their IT department. Only 14 percent made the selection on their own, according to Nucleus.

Click here to access the report.

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