There are a few major areas of focus for sales leaders in 2013, and mobile is at the top of the list. It's no surprise that 75% of sales organizations are either using tablet technology or plan to do so in the next 12 months (Sales Executive Council). The single largest hindrance to sales productivity is a lack of access to answers to customer questions, selling materials, and most importantly, the people required to close deals. Even if you have 5 years selling with a company and work 9-5 down the hall from experts at headquarters, this is still a huge problem. However, the reality is that over 60% of sellers are working remote and 100% of field sellers are road warriors. Although most of us have given sellers access to email and CRM data via mobile, most companies still have not deployed tools to help sellers achieve quota faster, grow deal sizes, or increase win rates. As one CIO put it, "we began by essentially given our sellers very expensive toys, much like when I give my 4 year old my iPad as a distraction at dinner". So, how do we turn toys into cutting edge sales applications to achieve a demonstrable return?
Aberdeen wrote a report in 2012 on sales mobility, in which the first required action stated that companies must, "Enhance sales performance with ready access to marketing collateral and reinforced training content," and also stressed use of social media and collaboration tools. This is completely different from giving a seller access to a contact's email to recreate the wheel on a deliverable requested after a meeting. The big shift in 2013 is that companies are focused on impacting the quality, effectiveness, and turnaround time on the interactions happening both internally and with customers; regardless of location, connectivity, or device.
There are a few best practices learned from Fortune 500 companies we partner with who take a simple, thoughtful, and scalable approach. Their approach mimics the most highly addictive apps their sellers already download in their personal lives, which drives enormous adoption. However their strategy becomes the catalyst for sales transformation initiatives that drive revenue. Key steps our clients take are:
The first step is to focus on a few high priority use cases. The question to answer is what is the killer sales app for your team? If you're in Healthcare it may be sharing compliant content with a doctor in a 15 minute conversation. For Financial Services it may be presenting a pitch book with an investor. In almost every industry it's just getting answers to questions or finding experts and not waiting weeks. Pick key areas and roll out first and gain adoption. A few we scenarios to think about could be:
- A seller is in a cab going to a first meeting and listening to the "Sales Top Gun" podcast station and previous recordings of sales calls.
- The VP of sales posts an announcement getting out of a cab on the 3 reasons he is excited to sell a new product launch.
- The seller @ mention the product manager with a question regarding this new launch.
- That afternoon they thumb through a presentation on an iPad with a C-level buyer engaged in an interactive dialogue.
Too many companies today spend millions on custom development permutating every selling scenario and piece of data sellers need and try to condense that down to a 4 inch screen. But, the beauty of mobile apps is that they have a simple and elegant experience with a swipe of a finger. Make sure the experience:
- Is segmented with relevant content per type of seller and language. Also, many clients provide a new hire training to watch videos in their off time.
- Ensure that sellers can access this online, but also offline for tablets that don't have cell plans.
- Brand their experience and ensure it can be shared with clients in meetings, to change the conversation.
3) Roll out and Refocus
You will learn far more after a deployment about user experience, new use cases, and content required in the sales process than you could imagine. By starting simple and understanding the highest priorities from your users you can follow a more agile deployment model. Key things to focus on here are:
- Be able to monitor and report on the overall usage but also most popular content.
- Gain feedback through the application however also with a core power user group.
- Continuously add teams, content, and capability to add value.
So, what can you expect for outcomes? Aberdeen found that companies supporting best in class sales mobility have a 13% higher sales quota attainment. Also, a top tier global consulting firm found that Jive customers deploying just a few of these use cases increases sales / rep by 13%, with a 12% higher win rate. Don't wait to arm your sellers with a new way to learn, drive customer conversation and meetings, and win deals faster as your competitors may already be on their way down this path.
For more information, download this free resource kit. How are you enabling your sales team on the go? Comment below.