According to IT analyst firm Gartner, mobile CRM software will increase by 500% in 2014. Gartner is also forecasting that the number of mobile CRM apps will rise from just 200 in 2012 to over 1,200 in 2014. In addition to this, Gartner predicts that the popularity of software as a service (SaaS) will continue to grow and more than 50% of CRM will operate as SaaS. This means that developers will be tasked with not only keeping up with the trend, but will also have to discover new ways to capitalize on this growth.
Gartner’s Executive Program survey, which included 2,053 CIOs, provides even further proof that mobile CRM will continue to be extremely important in the next few years. According to the CIO’s that were surveyed, customer retention is the 4th highest priority in 2013. Companies are beginning to realize that the customer experience extends beyond just the customer service department. The customer relations aspect of business is being incorporated into marketing, sales, and every other department.
The rise of CRM isn’t confined to one particular part of the world. The entire global CRM software market is set to increase by 9.7% this year, including SaaS and on premises. SaaS CRM itself is on pace to increase 18% for this year.
Johan Jacobs, the research director at Gartner states, “Many organizations want to extend their customer service to the mobile platform market. However, the reality is that not all good applications make a good mobile application.” Gartner says that IT leaders should focus on four critical factors when developing a mobile application’s strategy:
- Supply: The proper skills and infrastructure needed to develop and implement the strategy.
- Demand: What the company’s customers want and need.
- Control: Who is in control of the strategy and how the plan operates.
- Risks: Any possible setbacks or issues that can affect the strategy.
Will the rise of CRM create a challenge?
The rather quick rise in mobile CRM may create a shortfall of development skills. It will be crucial that companies are able to produce high performing apps. As the capabilities of CRM apps grows, it will become increasingly important for developers not to overwhelm apps with rich media and other features that could possibly affect loading time.
One issue that Gartner says companies are currently weighing in on is whether to offer these apps free of charge. One option that Gartner recommends is to offer both a free and a paid version, which is a very popular pricing strategy in both SaaS and mobile app industries.
Due to the increased popularity of mobile device usage, Gartner also mentioned that the use of traditional desktop computers has been on the decline recently. Mobile CRM software is becoming much more advanced and can include many, if not all of the same features a desktop application can.
Overall, mobile CRM and SaaS will increase significantly through 2016. This movement has been taking place for quite some time and will only keep growing as mobile device usage overruns desktop applications.
Kfir Bar-Levav started out as a sales rep in 1995 and since then has acquired extensive entrepreneurship skills and sales experience as a result of working in the field and managing the sales teams of leading international fashion and luxury brands. Kfir founded WRNTY Ltd. in 2006 and today serves as VP of Business Development.