With the light at the end of the long, dark pandemic tunnel now considerably brighter, one thing we can say about the next “normal” is that with so many companies seeking a quick post-COVID-19 rebound, the pressure will be on business development teams to keep potential project pipelines full, and the bottom line growing.
Wearing the business development (BD) hat means continuing to produce, whether or not face-to-face interactions are limited in the wake of COVID-19. Because much of a BD team’s work takes place remotely, in the field and, at least for now, at their home offices, it’s incumbent on companies to equip their business development people with a strong set of mobile customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
Here, based on our extensive work supporting the business development efforts of organizations in a range of industries, are five mobile CRM capabilities that are proving indispensable to BD teams:
- Full mobile integration. A fully integrated mobile app has become a must-have, not just a luxury, for BD teams. That app should meet them at every key milestone in the BD pursuit, giving them access to business resources, capabilities, information and a single source of truth, and should do so seamlessly, in real time, without friction or additional steps.
- A mobile app that meets them at every key point in the business development pursuit, giving them instant access to insights from past projects and other tribal knowledge along the way, and effectively connecting the dots between past projects, opportunity data and current pursuits. All this should happen seamlessly and frictionlessly, without additional steps. From a data standpoint, the app should give them access to a single, reliable source of truth, while sparing them unnecessary, duplicative manual data entry. Their time is better spent doing what they do best: relationship-building.
- A CRM system that’s purpose-built for the business you’re in. In our experience, BD teams are more likely to adopt and use a system that fits their operating model, rather than a generic solution that doesn’t synch well with their processes, workflows and data needs.
- The ability to access and manage contacts from anywhere. Key contact data should be available anytime, on any device, from any channel, not stranded somewhere on an inaccessible email thread, or worse, on a scrap of paper or business card abandoned in a jacket pocket.
- A rich set of mobile CRM tools. Look for a CRM with a range of on-the-go capabilities. That could include a feature that enables the user to surface and link strategic insights like Linkedin profiles and company pages to a contact, and to uncover all past projects associated with a company, providing a fuller picture of a firm or person with whom they’re interacting. The ability to create call logs for an interaction directly from a smartphone is also helpful, as is caller ID capability that surfaces key contact and company information instantaneously when there’s an incoming call tied to a pursuit. BD people also like having the ability to create meeting plans straight from their contacts, using their mobile device.
If you’re in a project-based business, CRM capabilities like these give the people who wear the BD hat at your company an edge.
About the author
Akshay Mahajan is General Manager of CRM for Unanet, home of the only project-based growth platform owning the pre-sales process for market leaders winning business in the AEC industry.