Customer relationship management (CRM) is a hot software market, according to Gartner. Global CRM spending hit $23.2 billion in 2014, up 13.3 percent from $20.4 billion in 2013. Mobile CRM apps, which connect systems to many more users, account for a chunk of this investment.
According to a Software Advice survey, nearly half of all CRM users say they access CRM systems using smartphones, while 45 percent use tablets. Nearly 30 percent use a combination of laptops, desktops and mobile devices. Over half of mobile CRM users say that mobile access greatly improves the quality of their CRM data.
Given users' fondness for mobile CRM, use of mobile CRM apps will continue to grow. Here is a short list of useful mobile CRM apps. (If you have some favorites that aren't mentioned here, use the comment form at the bottom of the article to let us know your favorite.)
Mobile CRM Apps
Sugar Mobile: Sugar Mobile, a mobile CRM app for Apple's iPhone and iPad or for Android, is an extension of the Sugar Professional or Enterprise Editions. It simplifies access and interaction with customer data on the go while allowing users to log calls made on the mobile phone via the Mobile app. Any address can be clicked on to bring up the Google map location, and changes to system data are updated in real time — no need for cradling or synching of devices. Personal daily activity screens allow users to view upcoming sales calls and other events.
For more on Sugar Mobile, see Mobile CRM Review: Sugar Mobile for iPhone.
Box.net Mobile: Box.net Mobile is a favorite of Martin Schneider, senior director of marketing at SugarCRM. Box.net lets you organize and view all of your content online in a file/folder structure. Any of these folders can be rapidly turned into a webpage. Files can be viewed in 100-plus formats, including full-screen presentation mode. Widgets can be created to share files on a webpage or blog. The company offers the app for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android.
Salesforce Chatter: Robin Daniels, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), said Chatter is the company's most successful product launch ever, in use by more than 80,000 companies worldwide.
He characterizes Salesforce Chatter as the industry's first cloud-based social enterprise collaboration application and platform. It leverages the social features popularized by consumer social networking sites like Facebook — such as profiles, status updates and real-time feeds — with the goal of raising productivity. Employees and teams only follow the people, applications and data that are most important to them. Everything is stored in the cloud and can be accessed through mobile devices and the Chatter Mobile application.
"Executives reported that Chatter is making their employees more productive — with 28 percent fewer meetings and 32 percent less email," said Daniels. "In addition, nearly 50 percent of the users surveyed said they could find information faster than ever before."
In an interview on Diginomica, the VP of IT for AstraZenica said the global pharma company has some 60,000 active users on Chatter, who have generated 17,000 posts and comments.
For more on Salesforce Chatter, see Six Ways That Salesforce.com Uses Chatter.
Batchbook: BatchBlue Software's Backbook is a social CRM program for small businesses that also comes with a mobile CRM app to provide mobile access to social networking contacts and basic CRM functionality. All changes are synced with the main Batchbook account.
Thanks to a partnership with Formstack, users can build forms on their mobile device that feed contacts directly into the Batchbook database, ensuring that contacts are always up-to-date.
HubSpot: HubSpot, a mobile CRM app available for iPhone and Android, provides inbound marketing that helps companies "get found" on the web and convert leads to new business. It offers analytics to help improve marketing investments. Analytics allow users to track their progress for generating visitors, leads and customers. Users can track performance of email campaigns and manage multiple HubSpot accounts from the app.
Resco MobileCRM: Resco MobileCRM lite is a mobile CRM app for sales force and field service people that allows them to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM data or data from Oracle Siebel or other systems from the iPhone and Android and Windows phones.
"The MobileCRM iPhone app is the first one I have been able to use and get access to all my features except for email," said Doron Eskinasi, owner of Professional Software Development Corp. and himself a developer of CRM applications. "The app synched all my data to the iPhone and I am able to access it at ease."
Earlier this year Resco acquired competing mobility specialist CWR Mobility, a purchase that Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultant Koen VdV said is a big deal because "the two biggest ISVs in the mobile Dynamics CRM world ... can now fully focus on taking on Microsoft's free mobile Dynamics CRM app and extending its functionality into other CRM systems."
Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant and Oracle Mobile Sales Forecast: Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant and Oracle Mobile Sales Forecast are mobile CRM apps that connect sales users with their Oracle CRM on Demand applications. Oracle acquired cloud customer service specialist RightNow Technologies in 2011, which beefed up its mobile CRM capabilities.
Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM: The Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM application is designed to give sales teams fast, reliable access to SAP CRM data from any mobile device.
ForceManager: The ForceManager mobile CRM app, available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone or BlackBerry, allows users to check account details and manage deal pipelines, among other functions, from their favorite mobile device. One of its most useful mobile CRM features allows users to check all previous interactions his or her company has had with a prospect or customer, viewing calls, emails and visits and more from a single screen.
Zoho Mobile CRM: The Zoho Mobile CRM app for Android and iOS offers plenty of mobile CRM features, including several that leverage mobile devices' geolocation capabilities. For instance, users can check in and geotag sales calls, to keep managers and colleagues in the loop. They can also do a "near me" search to locate nearby customers or colleagues.