If Consumer Apps Were Built for the Enterprise: A Lesson in User Experience| By |Rachel Serpa

As consumers, we absolutely refuse technology or applications that fail to make our lives easier and our days more productive. But as business people, we are often forced to use software that not only fails to make our lives easier, but actually makes them harder. Why does this happen?

Somewhere along the line, with behemoths like Salesforce dragging decades worth of existing technology behind them, it became acceptable for enterprise software to resemble Excel both in features and functionality. Many sales teams are still forced to use sales platforms that were built well before mobile and social, when complex tables and endless fields were the norm.

Yet with personal access to intuitive, user-friendly applications, today’s sales force has zero interest in wasting time discovering the idiosyncrasies of ancient CRMs. Reps are quick to realize that hand-written logs and Excel itself are easier than using an outdated CRM, which leads to poor adoption rates in 74% of organizations. Low CRM adoption means that little sales data is being captured, which in turn prohibits companies from getting the insights they need to make smarter and more strategic decisions.

To explore this conundrum and help put sales leaders in the proper mindset to evaluate their next sales platform, we’re imagining how three of our favorite consumer applications might change if they were legacy enterprise solutions. Get ready!

Uber

Uber makes it super easy to catch a ride with one of its nearby drivers; so easy, in fact, that it is essentially displacing the traditional taxi business. All you have to do is turn on your mobile location settings, enter your payment information and voila – you’re already halfway to your destination. Not to mention, Uber has officially eliminated the awkward business of tipping your driver. And the company is far from finished innovating with the recent announcement of its groundbreaking self-driving car services.

So how would Uber be different if it had been built in the age of legacy enterprise technology? For starters, you would probably have to enter the address of your current location every time you opened the app. Rather than automatically having the nearest available driver assigned to you, you would be given a list of potential drivers in your area, and be asked to choose one from a long list of options. This driver may or may not be available.

You know that convenient notification that you receive when your driver arrives? That would cease to exist; instead, your driver would call you. And although electronic payments would be totally possible inside the application, Uber would instead require users to sync their PayPal accounts with the application or pay cash. Yes, that’s right, cash.

Venmo

Venmo is a digital wallet that makes paying back your best friend for those concert tickets or drinks an absolute snap. Simply transfer money to Venmo or link your bank account and/or credit/debit card directly to your account. From there you can find your friends to begin securely paying and requesting funds. Venmo takes a cue from social networks by allowing users to send messages with their payments, opt to share them with their Venmo networks and receive real-time push notifications.

Now, imagine Venmo had been founded in the 90s for enterprise use. First of all, it wouldn’t have a fully functional mobile app. Instead, all transfers and payments would have to be made via desktop, while mobile would provide a read-only log of past activity. Upon signing up, each user would receive a personal Venmo account number, which would be required to find and connect with other users each time a payment is sent or received.

Of course, these added layers of friction would pretty much kill any possible social interaction within the application. However, for a small added fee, you could download Venmo’s companion chat app, which lets you have real-time text conversations with those you have previously interacted with. But let’s be honest: at this point it would probably be easier to write and mail a check.

Spotify

Spotify specializes in bringing music to the masses across basically any device. Spotify offers two services, both with unlimited streaming: free and premium. The free model features ads, allows users to listen to playlists or artists in shuffle mode only and has a limit for how many songs a listener can skip in one session. With premium, listeners can pay $9.99/month for ad-free streaming. Premium users can also search and play specific songs, skip as many times as they like and even listen offline.

Time to pretend Spotify was built for the enterprise before the dawn of the Spice Girls. The first thing to go? Unlimited streaming. But premium users wouldn’t find out that there was a cap on how many songs they could stream per month until they actually reached it. In which case, they would be required to pay an additional fee per song.

The next issue would be the fact that you can use your Spotify account to stream music on your laptop, smartphone, tablet, PlayStation, Amazon Echo, etc. No more! Each device would require users to download a specific version of the Spotify application with a distinct username, password and fee. Suddenly, we’re talking about a huge hassle and a lot of do-re-mi…

The Next Generation of CRM

By looking at these three cutting-edge consumer apps through the lens of legacy enterprise software, it’s easy to see why traditional CRM adoption is a painful struggle for modern sales reps.

It also sheds light on the types of features, functionality and experiences businesses should demand from their sales solutions.

Your team shouldn’t have to be tied to their desks, forced to use 5+ integrated point solutions or suffer through hours of manual data entry to use its CRM. The value provided by your sales platform should far outweigh the effort and costs required to make it work.

To make sure that you are selecting a next-generation, consumer-grade sales platform that will drive productivity and performance across your organization, download our free CRM Buyer’s Kit.

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