Native app vs browser-based: what’s best for a mobile CRM?

Mobile CRM is already a powerful tool for a lot of reasons. But if you want to get the most out of your software to drive sales and reach business goals, you’ll need to make an important decision: CRM app or browser-based CRM system?

Here’s what you need to know about each option.

CRM app vs browser-based CRM

Using a CRM app has one obvious negative aspect: it requires installation. Maybe that’s not too much of an inconvenience for your sales team. But the other common issue is limited functionality. Mobile apps on a whole tend to be a watered-down version of the full website, and you could miss out on critical functionality your team needs.

If you access your CRM on a mobile browser, however, you can access the full suite of tools from a browser-based CRM, unless it redirects you to a watered-down mobile site version. Today there are many CRM applications that use a responsive design and HTML5 to deliver the same functionality across phones, tablets, and computers.

Find vendors offering the right mobile CRM for you with this completely up-to-date CRM vendor directory

But that’s no reason to abandon the CRM app idea entirely. So much of the success businesses see with CRM comes from integration with other processes and systems. A CRM app designed for a specific platform will likely provide device-specific features and integrations. Browser-based CRM is universal, but there are benefits to working with a specific tool designed for a specific device.

It depends on the software

When it comes down to it, choosing a CRM app or a browser-based CRM will really depend on the unique features and integrations of each software. A native app integration may be a critical business tool for you, making it an ultimate selling point.

Here is how a few different CRM software options handle the native app vs browser-based issue:


NetSuite skips the CRM app option and instead offers desktop-caliber functionality through mobile browsers. You can perform important NetSuite tasks including managing leads, creating expense reports, checking forecasts, and generating quotes and orders.

The questions you need to answer:

  • Are there any key native app integrations other options offer that NetSuite’s browser-based CRM doesn’t?
  • Are these integrations pivotal for my business success?

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce has native CRM apps designed for both iOS and Android. These offer “nearly full system functionality,” optimum for field sales and business opportunities away from the computer.

Your question:

  • Will the mobile app’s limitations create insurmountable challenges for my sales team?

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics allows users to access the full web application from select supported mobile browsers. Users who access the CRM from ordinary phone browsers will be redirected to the mobile express version, which is much more limited in functionality.

Your question:

  • Will my business devices have access to the full web application?

The decision to use a native app CRM or a browser-based CRM really lies in your unique business needs. Do your research and you can make an informed decision for success.

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Courtney Danyel

About the author…

Courtney is a business writer, content marketing expert, Twitter addict (@danyeltravels) and recovering academic. These days she works with marketing agencies and SaaS companies to create content that engages audiences, generates buzz, builds relationships, and drives sales.

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Courtney Danyel

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