Customer relationship management (CRM) software company Salesforce.com is launching a free, scaled-down version of its mobile offering today called Mobile Lite.
The Mobile Lite product will allow users to access up-to-date account information, log in their response leads and customer requests, review customer service requests and search for solutions, and update an account’s tasks and calendar.
But what’s interesting about the announcement is less the product itself, and more its target: all 1.5 million subscribers to Salesforce CRM. Where mobile support was once something users had to pay extra for — either by ponying up an extra $50 per user per month, or by purchasing the most expensive, “unlimited” account — it’s now something Salesforce offers to all its customers as part of the basic package. Users just download the mobile app to their iPhone, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile device, and their access will automatically be determined by what they’ve paid for. And, of course, it will be easy to upgrade to the full, paid version.
It’s pretty obvious why having access to your Salesforce account and data from anywhere (say, before an important meeting) would be useful, and in fact the San Francisco company says the full mobile version can double the amount of leads that are converted into actual sales. Salesforce also touts the fact that it will be able to push the mobile application live to 1.5 million customers immediately, since all the software and data is hosted by Salesforce itself (traditional competitors like SAP have to take the more cumbersome route of creating mobile middleware).
Whatever the method, I imagine this kind of mobile access will soon be expected of any CRM software.