The Importance of Mobile in Medical Device Sales and Service

A new generation of mobile savvy reps and customers are changing the landscape of how information is consumed and action initiated. A mobile technology enabled sales and service model are critical for medical device company success.

Medical Device Sales and Service Reps are always in the field. One key way to improve direct customer interactions is to use mobility—mobile tools and applications that provide real-time information and productivity-enhancing features at a lower operating cost.

Critical information that helps reps help their customers; whether they are surgeons, nurses, patients, lab techs or buying committees, include:

  • Product information
  • Patient indications
  • Outcomes data
  • Competitive information
  • Purchase history
  • Pricing
  • Inventory
  • And more!

Laptops were the first big leap in productivity. These tools are great but they have their limitations—including weight, portability, and expensive hardware and software support. On cost alone, laptops and can cost $2,000 or more, whereas mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) range from $400 to $800.

Enabling mobile devices for medical device reps helps them become more responsive to customers and boosts top line growth. Apps that utilize information from CRM and ERP systems and deliver actionable, relevant data can improve the efficiency and productivity of reps significantly. Here are a few benefits for enabling mobility for medical device reps:

Product/Pricing Information: Instant product availability and pricing information are important to reps and customers. This provides them both with critical information in the field as they make their sales and service calls. They can save time on inquiries that clients may have about a product; whether purchasing a new item or repairing an existing one. Customer service and responsiveness is key in a very competitive environment. Mobile apps can provide instant information and ideally the instant ability to respond to requests.

Collaboration: Mobile devices and apps provide great opportunities for access to subject matter experts that can be critical to servicing a customer. Physicians and technicians are often hired by medical device manufacturers as medical science liaisons (MSL) or key opinion leaders (KOL) and are employed to answer questions that doctors may have about specific devices or procedures. Because both the physician and the liaison tend to have busy and unpredictable schedules, this often means a game of phone tag that can take days. With mobile, they can have a quick chat over video or even instant message, getting the physician quick answers to important questions.

E-detailing: E-detailing or detailing, uses highly visual images and content to make complex information easier to understand. Think of it as PowerPoint on steroids. It’s used quite heavily in pharma sales, and we see it starting to be used by medical device companies. Consider a company that manufactures a knee or hip joint and needs to teach physicians how it’s used. Or, a complicated diagnostic instrument requires service. A mobile e-detailing app can present information in 3-D renderings, product details, schematics and graphically demonstrate how to use the device can be used to aid in understanding or resolving issues more quickly.

Collateral: Rather than carry around loads of paper materials, brochures, service books, diagrams, and maintenance checklists; providing this information on mobile devices and apps save serious money on printing costs and distribution. And, unlike paper collateral, this information can also be instantly updated and distributed to reps and customers. More sophisticated systems can even track when materials are opened, when they are read, or provide customers and prospects the ability to comment on their contents.

Eliminating Paperwork: While forms and signatures are a fact of life in this business, making them digital both increases productivity and enhances regulatory compliance. A two-for-one. Antiquated paper forms that can easily get lost or damaged can quickly and easily be turned into digital forms. A few taps of your finger and data can be quickly logged. Use that finger to make a digital signature and the rep is on their on their way to the next call.

Cameras/Video: Cameras and videos in mobile devices can be important tools for servicing customers. If a product is shipped to an organization and a part is missing or broken, reps can communicate with field technicians to send a picture of needed parts or scan a barcode to make sure the right one is shipped to their customers. Customers can also use an app to collaborate with sales and customer service teams, sending photos or videos to help describe problems they have with the device. This can help eliminate potentially confusing and frustrating email or phone conversations and improve customer satisfaction. Isn’t that easier than trying to describe “the blue thingamajig underneath the round tray”? Those types of conversations are frustrating for both sides, and a problem that’s essentially eliminated by mobile technology.

Mapping/Routing: Think about a rep who has a new territory (because territory realignments never happen in this industry) — no more fumbling with paper maps or gps devices. The latest advances in mobile apps take full advantage the mapping and routing capabilities built into these devices. A rep can all of his appointments, hospitals, physicians and related data visually on a digital map and with a tap or two get instant driving directions. How’s that for increased productivity!

Voice recognition: Some have considered this the Holy Grail and tech companies have been pursuing useful voice recognition for years. With updated technology like Cortana and Siri we are literally on the verge of having good voice recognition that actually works! “CRM make an appointment with Dr. Jones at 2 p.m. next Tuesday”. Yeah, that’s possible!

Are you ready to jump on the opportunity to increase productivity and top line growth with mobile devices and apps? With the above capabilities, medical device sales and service teams can fully utilize all the benefits mobility can provide.

For more information about Infinity’s mobile CRM solutions for Medical Device professionals, contact Infinity Info Systems at …

Microsoft Convergence 2015

Well, it’s over; another successful Microsoft Convergence event has wrapped. This year Microsoft Convergence 2015 was held March 15-19 at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

Satya Nadella kicked off the opening keynote on Monday morning to a packed house at Philips Arena. In a surprise visit, Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks made an appearance on the stage and discussed how he uses technology for his work and personal life.

Convergence 2015 - Satya

Kirill Tataroniv took the stage after Satya and discussed the new age of the customer we are living in and how “the customer is the most important business process”. The Age of the Customer has created a shift in how customers interact with and buy from companies. It’s the Age of the Customer—the rules have changed. And if your business is not changing with it, there could be trouble ahead.

This is the first year Infinity Info Systems had a booth presence and we did it in pretty grand style, as one of the Gold Sponsors for the event.

It was an awesome even for our team and we had a near constant stream of visitors throughout the week. It was great to catch up with our customers, partners and potential customers. In addition to the great meetings and conversations a few product highlights include:

CRM Online Spring ’15

Codename “Carina”, the next CRM release scheduled for this spring was officially revealed at Convergence 2015.

One of the best new productivity improvements is the new Navigation Bar. Finally we get a single screen view of all entities…no more scrolling right and left to get to an entity.

Dynamics CRM 2015 Navigation

A few other areas of interest are:

  • Business Process Flows – you can now go backward when using other entities for stages of your sales process.
  • OneNote integration – Super cool! Finally can easily link your notes from OneNote to CRM and vice-versa.
  • Excel Improvements – Faster and easier imports and exports. Drag and drop a file to attach it to a record…woohoo!
  • Exchange folder integration – drag and drop contacts and emails to an Outlook/Exchange folder to have it sync CRM. Works great for mobile devices!

A whole lot more info will be coming soon as Microsoft starts communicating those details. Stay tuned!

A closing note, Microsoft Convergence 2016 will be held April 4-7, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A great location and a great time of year to visit NOLA. I can tell you from our experience that Microsoft has been firing on all cylinders. We are seeing some exciting things coming and a lot more on the roadmap.

If you would like to learn more about what was announced at Convergence give us a call.

Quickly Create A Personal View – Dynamics CRM 2013

Friday Tip! How to Quickly Create a Personal View in Dynamics CRM 2013

This tip is courtesy of a fairly recent feature in Dynamics CRM 2013. A personal view is a list or group of records that can help you target and segment lists of your CRM records. Most users know they can create a Personal View in Dynamics CRM 2013 using Advanced Find. Nothing wrong with creating personal views using Advanced Find, it just takes a few more steps than what I’m going to show you.

Let’s say you have a field for that ranks your customers and prospects, e.g. A, B, C, D, etc. Now you want to create a list of all your A and B current account records. Here are the simple and fast steps to create an AB Current Accounts list.

I’m going to start with my All Accounts view to make sure I get all the AB Current accounts in my list.

  1. Start by selecting the Filter button on your list.

View Filter Button

  1.  Now we can enter our filter criteria. In this case I am going select the Rank field and simply check A and B

 

View Rank Filter

 

  1. Let’s also select the Account Status field and check Current.

View Current Filter

  1. Once all your criteria is added, select the View drop down, then scroll down and select “Save Filters as New View”.

View Save Filters as New View

 

  1. This will display the Save as form, in this case I’m calling the view AB Current Accounts…name yours as you need.

View Save As

 

  1. That’s it! You have your new view. Now you can share it with others as well!

View New AB Current View

Pretty sweet right. This approach saves several steps and who doesn’t like doing things faster and more efficiently.

 

Yammer Document Conversations Rolling Out

Yammer Document Conversations in Office 365, OneDrive and SharePoint

Yammer conversations is the next step in Yammer integration with Office 365, OneDrive and SharePoint. It brings in-context Yammer conversations along-side documents. And not just Office Online docs like Excel, PowerPoint or Word, but over 30+ file types like .mp4, .gif, and others.

Team collaboration very often focuses on documents. How often have you had to have multiple calls and conversations about document edits, updates and changes? Well, it is a whole lot easier to communicate about those documents outside of email and standard (sometimes confusing) document track changes features. Not only that, many document types don’t have any change tracking. Having conversations about documents from within the documents themselves, not only enhances communication, it also improves employee engagement.

This is a pretty sweet addition to improve collaboration. If you were at the recent SharePoint Conference you might have caught a demo of this. The feature is slowly being released to all Yammer & Office 365 customers so expect to live in your Office 365 and Yammer network soon.

With document conversations users can share their ideas and expertise from within the content they are editing or reviewing. I think this is awesome. I can work from SharePoint Online, OneDrive, or Yammer and have access to my content and all of my conversations.

Check out more details here at the Office Blog – I have included a short video on this new feature below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdL43ID0ccQ

Yammer Document Conversations

Dynamics CRM Spring Wave 14 Rolling Out

The Dynamics CRM Spring Wave 14 is rolling out.

The notifications started hitting administrator’s email in-boxes early this week. So, the release is actually a little early! Fine by me as I like nice surprises like this.

You can find more details and getting ready steps here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx

As a Friday Tip the following is what you can expect as part of the upgrade notice. This update isn’t exactly following the previously communicated process of CDU’s (Customer Driven Update). Microsoft was going to provide 90, 30, 15, and 7 day notices of upgrades once they were scheduled. In this case, the notifications just started showing up in email inboxes. Technically Microsoft applied a UR (update rollup) and you have the option of completing the steps for the actual CDU.

As a refresher, going forward a UR will be bug fixes and performance improvements, and will be automatically applied. A CDU will have functionality improvements and notifications and potentially additional steps are required from the customer/user.

In any case here is what the email will look like. if you haven’t received yours already.

Spring Wave Email NotificationOnce you receive your notification, login to your CRM application and go to Settings, Administration.

Spring Wave AdministrationStart with selecting the “Install Product Updates” link. This will take you to a nicely done additional details screen. Check out the materials here as Microsoft did a nice job.

Spring Wave DetailsHere is what you find if you click the More links on this page.

Spring Wave Fine Print and Resources

Now it’s time to click the Update button; you will get a chance to back out of your don’t want to start the process just yet.

Spring Wave Last ChanceOnce you click OK on this page though, it’s too late. The upgade begins but you get to watch a nice little video while you wait. The update time varies, most are taking between 10-20 minutes.

Spring Wave InstallingThat’s it! You are done.

Spring Wave Ready Rock and RollAfter the upgrade is complete you will see the following changes to your system.

Spring Wave Customer Service 1

And here are the admin settings for configuring all the new Customer Service capabilities.

Spring Wave Customer Service Admin

You are now ready to enjoy the Dynamics CRM Spring Wave 14 Updates.

Next tip I’ll cover the Social Listening and Marketing updates that are also included in this wave. There are a few more steps required to add those capabilities.

Dynamics CRM Mobile Apps Updated

Dynamics CRM Mobile Apps Updated

Good news for those of you that are using the Dynamics CRM 2013 Mobile Apps. Microsoft just posted an update that includes the ability to reconfigure the apps to different URL’s and organizations.

Those of you using these apps may already know, it’s been “challenging” to switch the apps to a different URL, e.g. a test instance and production instance. The only option was to delete the app from the device, then re-install it. Yeah, not pretty or friendly. If you haven’t been using the Mobile Apps, stop what you are doing right now and go download the apps. This is a free option and a great addition to easily access your Dynamics CRM data and applicaiton while on the go.

Mobile Features Include:

  • Access to your activities, accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities
  • Easy-to-use interactive dashboards
  • Simply tap to quickly enter customer data
  • Access your personal views to see your most important data
  • Pin records as tiles to your Start screen to instantly access your most important information

Reconfiguring the Mobile App

To reconfigure your app, start the app on your device. From any screen, swipe up or tap the ellipses … to find the reconfigure option.

CRM Mobile Configurable App Reconfigure

This will take you to the initial screen where you can enter a new URL.

CRM Mobile Configurable App Login

Thank you Microsoft. This makes things so much easier!

The apps are available now in the respective app stores.

Sharing Saved or Personal Views – Dynamics CRM 2013

Sharing Saved or Personal Views

Sharing Saved or Personal Views that you or your users have created is a great way to encourage adoption and use of Dynamics CRM. With some of the UI/UX changes in CRM 2013 the question of how to share Views has come up several times recently. Oddly the ability to share a View or List you create in CRM is a little “hidden”. To shine some light on these great views that are worth sharing, follow the steps below.

    1. Navigate to Advanced Find.
      1. E.g. go to Opportunities
      2. Click the ellipsis
      3. Click Advanced Find

Advanced Find

      1. On the Advanced Find form, click the Saved Views button.Advanced Find Saved View
      2. Select the View (or multiple views) you want to share.Advanced Find Select View
      3. The Share button becomes enabled, click it. The Share saved view form is displayed.
        Advnaced Find Share View
      4. Select the users or teams you want to share the view with.Advanced Find Select Users
      5. Select the type of access you want the others to have. In most cases, leaving the default Read is fine for most needs. Click Share and you’re done! The selected users will now have access to the view.Advanced Find Select Options

If you haven’t checked out Dynamics CRM lately, or use a different CRM, check out Dynamis CRM 2013 here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dynamics CRM 2013 Spring Release Preview Guide

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Spring Release Preview Guide is now available.

You can download it from here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=395005

The CRM 2013 Spring Release Preview Guide highlights the new features and capabilities that will be released soon. The Spring Wave is one of the biggest updates to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This is going to be HUGE! There are lots of something for everyone in this release, including marketing, sales and service.

Marketing

Microsoft Social Listening enables you to identify who’s having social conversations about your company, products, competitors or another topics. Track buzz, trends and sentiment related to things like your customers, campaigns and competitors.

Dynamics Social Listening

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, provides email marketing, landing pages, social campaigns and more on par to most of the third party marketing automation systems available today. Quickly and easily deliver qualified leads to your sales teams and measure the return on marketing investment. It also includes lead nurturing and scoring, improved dashboards and analytics, and an awesome campaign visual designer.

Dynamics Marketing Campaign Designer

 

Email Marketing

Send highly personalized E-mail messages to drive improved open rates. Personalize the content per sender, recipient, subject & content allowing you to send fewer emails with greater business results.

  • Deliver mass and transactional emails scalable to millions of emails to customers per day
  • Cross campaign rules to build sophisticated nurture and drip email campaigns.
  • Manage and control how many emails a contact can receive in a given time period to improve email performance.

Dynamics-Marketing-Email

Sales

For sales teams, there are enhancements to the CRM Tablet apps. We’ll see Social Insights right inside the mobile experience. Social Insights provides real-time company and contact information like financials, breaking news, social buzz and social connections. It’s very powerful for marketing, sales and account management professionals to help you engage more effectively to win more deals and spend less time spent researching and more time selling.

If you are an Android fan, the mobility updates will include a version for Android devices. As before, the iPad is also supported.

Dynamics CRM Tablet Updates

The mobile experience will also be extended to include Customer Service capabilities optimized for people who want to keep an eye on high priority Cases, monitor Queues or route items across the queues to deliver amazing experiences no matter where you are.

Customer Service

There’s lots of new “stuff” for customer service professionals—from the powerful self-service capabilities in the recently acquired Parature, to the multi-channel capabilities coming in CRM including the Unified Service Desk to empower contact center agents to resolve customer issues with ease.

MIcrosoft Unified Service Desk

 

Parature includes lots of awesomeness including:

  • Parature Portal: a 24/7 customer support center that is seamlessly integrated into your current website. It includes a searchable knowledge, submit help tickets, track its progress and receive automatic email notifications.
  • Parature Mobile Self-Service: Provides mobile friendly, responsive designs of the portal that work across desktop and mobile devices. 
  • Parature Facebook Portal: Seamlessly provides FAQs and KB searches, or create help desk tickets from inside of Facebook. 
  • Parature Real-time Chat: provides instant live online support to provide assisted support online.  
  • Parature Knowledgebase: provides quick answers to common questions and support issues, plus essential downloads including forms, how-to videos, product manuals, knowledge base information updates and more. 

Parature

Server-side Synchronization Updates

Server-side synchronization allows administrators to easily manage the synchronization of email, tasks, appointments
and contacts between CRM and Exchange. No additional cost….unlike some other solutions out there!

The original release synchronized  data between Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Exchange on-premises deployments only. We will now see support for both Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Exchange Online as well as the continued on-premise option. POP3/SMTP3 providers are also supported for sending and synchronization of Email.

SharePoint Integration Enhancements

Simplified integration between CRM Online and SharePoint Online will be managed inside of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. If you have Dynamics CRM Online and SharePoint Online you will no longer need to install and configure the CRM List Component to enable the Document Management integration. Woo-hoo!

Sandbox Environments

A big request from larger customers and those that prefer dev/test and production environments. It will be point and click simple to configure isolated, non-production online environments. Administrators can make a copy of a CRM Online instance into a Sandbox Instance.

  • Minimal Copy only includes customizations & schema from source
  • Full Copy includes all application data, users, and customizations from source
  • Administrators can reset a Sandbox Instance back to factory settings (e.g. delete and re-provision)
  • Administrators can take/restore a snapshot of a Sandbox Instance  (only one snapshot per instance at any time)

Dynamics-CRM-Sandbox

And lots more good stuff!

Microsoft plans to deliver the Spring Wave features to CRM online customers as an automatic service update with the option to opt in for additional Customer Service capabilities, and to the on-premises customers as an installable service pack (SP1).

Market smarter. Sell effectively. Care everywhere.

Mobility Leads List of Top Digital Priorities

Mobility Leads List of C-Level Top Priorities

mobilityCIO Insights just posted one of their slideshows.  You can view the slideshow of the survey results here: CIO Insight Mobile Priority Survey

The slideshow is from an Accenture survey that shows mobility leads the list of top digital priorities. The survey, of nearly 1,500 global C-level executives, found adoption of mobile technologies and applications as top of their list of priorities.

While mobility is top of mind of most leading organizations, there are still challenges for some organizations, including;

  • strategic, organizational and operational shortcomings
  • struggles in the rollout of mobile capabilities
  • lack of formal metrics to measure effectiveness
  • insufficient funding

The good news despite these challenges, companies are moving aggressively to adopt mobile technologies and applications. The focus is geared toward helping them achieve their business objectives.

While mobility is tops in the survey, rounding out the Top 5 include:

Mobility Leads List of Top Digital Priorities

I am seeing the majority of customers and prospects I talk to ALL have the above top of mind. It’s all related to helping how we can understand and service our customers better. It’s about customer experience and business impact.

It’s not hard to understand why. I read an article recently that showed 6 BILLION people now have cell phones. That’s nearly everyone on the planet. We are clearly a mobile and connected world. So, it’s only natural that customers and users need to be able to access their business-critical data on the device of their choice from wherever they are.

Another interesting fact from the survey, only 2% of respondents have NO mobile strategy. Let’s hope your organization is NOT one of the 2%. If you are, think about the fact that your competitors are thinking mobile.

Another factoid is 83% of “leader” organizations compared to 77% of “other” organizations rank mobility in their Top 5 priorities. Again, are YOU one of the leaders, or other?

If you prefer infographics, Accenture has posted one here for the survey results: http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-mobility-trends-research-2014.aspx

You can also download a pdf of the survey here: http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Mobility-Research-Report-2014.pdf

Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 2 Available

Update

The Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 2 (UR2) is now available for on premise customers. In addition, all Dynamics CRM Online organizations should already have received UR2 for CRM 2013 Online. If you use the Outlook Client, you will want to download the update (or get it from Windows Update).

This is a recommended update as it fixes quite a few nagging little nits and a few nice additions.

Some of the more noteworthy additions are, official support for:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Internet Explorer 11 (including the Windows app version)
  • CRM for Tablets (MoCA) and full web client on iPad Air
  • iOS7 iPad (Safari) full web client
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

A couple  of the nagging little nits that are now resolved include:

  • Subgrids continually displaying the “Loading…” message (this one was really annoying)
  • The “Save and Close” button has re-surfaced on record forms.

See the full release and get the downloads from here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2919956