Back in 2012, I wrote about the proliferation of mobile devices and how this would impact on the way we work and sell. I was reminded about this when I was quoted in a recent article, The Top 10 Sales Tips for Small Businesses in 2015, by Alexa Schirtzinger on the Salesforce blog.
Three years on from my original article, recent studies show that 9 out of 10 full time employees in the US now use their personal mobile devices for work. They’re using them on the road, at sales calls, on sick leave, and to outflank the rush hour traffic. In fact, in an Acxiom Digital Impact Study, 36% of respondents claimed to check their email as soon as they wake up, and another 21% checked it before breakfast.
With work habits continually evolving and the advancement in mobile, online technologies enabling more employees to escape the physical constraints of the office, the concept of enterprise mobility continues to be a hot topic. The continuing emergence of phablets (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) means organizations may also have to rethink their mobilization approach in order to accommodate the devices. According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, worldwide phablet shipments will top 318 million units in 2015, surpassing the 233 million tablets forecast to ship this year.
As the “Smart Connected Device” market matures, with emerging markets driving new growth, the percentage of sales made up of phablets plus regular smartphones is expected to increase. The IDC forecast suggests that smartphones (encompassing phablets) currently represent about 70% of the total market. By 2018, they predict this figure will grow to 75.6%, suggesting the phablet could soon become the connected enterprise device of choice.
Although sales teams are now better technologically equipped than ever before, recent studies have highlighted a number of factors which could impact on the deployment of an effective sales mobility strategy:
- Solution integration: The largest gap between top performing companies and under-achievers (57% vs. 40%) lies in their ability to successfully integrate sales intelligence and the CRM platform.
This is an important consideration when evaluating sales enablement solutions. Organizations should ensure that the solutions they invest in are able to integrate seamlessly with existing software to make a transition as smooth as possible.
- Content accessibility: 47% of best-in-class companies report access to relevant rich media content for reps to use with prospects as being the most important capability of sales enablement solution.
This means giving reps immediate quick access to relevant and contextual content for specific sales situations. If it takes too long to find sales collateral, sales reps won’t bother using it.
- Sales coaching: 60% of best-in-class companies who provide real-time, deal specific sales coaching rely on a dynamic library of marketing and sales assets.
Sales coaching is an ongoing process. The ability to provide dynamic, intelligent coaching to sales reps based on knowledge, data, context and reasoning of the customer’s political and commercial landscape is integral to mobile sales success.
We know that true enterprise mobility isn’t just about equipping your sales team with the latest iPhone and letting them loose in the field; they also need the necessary tools to do their jobs effectively.
In a B2B selling scenario, a poorly implemented mobile strategy makes it difficult to engage essential sales support resources. Also, sales reps who don’t have easy access to the CRM often end up having to update opportunity data when back at their desks, thus increasing the administrative burden and reducing selling time. So if sales reps can’t access the critical data and applications needed to perform their roles, then those expensive iPhones and iPads are nothing but glorified email readers.
The emergence of technologies such as ‘Cloud’, Big Data/analytics and social business have raised the bar further by making it possible to overlay established sales processes, playbooks, and best practices within sales applications. This completely transforms the notion of sales mobility by giving reps seamless access to contextual content that will introduce predictability and increase their chances of closing a sale.
Many of you reading this will already be using contextual technologies on a daily basis without even thinking about it. If we consider the smart apps on our phone, they have four things in common. They all have a deep set of knowledge, they use some data, they bring context and then they apply smart reasoning to bring some value.
Take Google Maps as an example, which has considerable knowledge and helps you get from point A to point B, efficiently. Google has a ton of knowledge built into the system. Then you give it a bit of data by telling it where you want to go. And, because it has the context of where you are, it can figure that out for you. It uses some pretty smart reasoning and it figures out the different paths, the different routes that you can take to get from point A to point B, then calculates how long the journey’s going to take. It also figures out how fast other people who are using Google Maps are moving in their cars so it can help you with your estimated time of arrival. A lot of knowledge. A lot of context. You give it a simple bit of data, and it applies some reasoning.
So, if Google Maps can help a sales rep navigate to a sales call, wouldn’t it be great to have a smart app that helps you prepare for the meeting to ensure the best outcome? Something that helps figure out the twists and turns, the on & off ramps, the general terrain? And maybe it can help figure out where the people you’re meeting are positioned in the organization’s political landscape, who ultimately will make the final decision and what factors will have greatest bearing on that decision.
These are the challenges which drove us to develop our Dealmaker application suite. And, because we have the benefit of 25 years of methodology, we were able to embed this knowledge as a blueprint to create a really smart, mobile & easy application.
Effectively planning and executing a strategy focused on the sales representative and customer experience by aligning with existing processes, methodologies, and technology is pivotal to driving revenue growth. And, after all is said and done, isn’t this the only metric that matters?
Did You Enjoy Reading This Article? If So, You Might Like These Too:
We are hiring Sales Rockstars in the US and the UK. Please connect with me on LinkedIn if you are interested. It’s a fun rocketship!