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Do not strand your sales force – mobilize themBy a MCD columnist
By Sam Gaddis
It is sink or swim in the world of mobile sales, and one misguided strategic decision can leave an organization gasping for air.
Consider the 2012 presidential election — arguably the biggest enterprise-level marketing event of this decade. Political issues aside, the contest largely came down to whose sales force was best equipped to mobilize its candidate’s base in real time.
Banking on it
Mitt Romney’s mobile application (code name: Orca) crashed repeatedly, rendering his entire fundraising staff ineffective at critical times throughout the campaign. While it is tough to say whether one hastily built and poorly managed app derailed Mr. Romney altogether, it certainly did not do him any favors.
President Obama’s Narwhal — a much-touted CRM initiative — succeeded where Orca failed thanks to the talented team of mobile experts that created, maintained and optimized the app.
By empowering volunteers to tap data and raise funds on demand, Narwhal did more than help win the election: it provided a compelling argument for every enterprise to mobilize its sales force.
The potential for smartphones and tablets to transform the selling process is enormous. In fact, the transformation is already underway.
In Britain, Barclays Bank recently invested in 8,500 iPads for its staff to improve service levels.
To quote UX authority Karen McGrane, “User behavior evolves more quickly than businesses realize.”
Companies that embrace mobile technology in intelligent ways, such as Barclays, are going to earn more than loyalty from their customers.
Not surprisingly, the Sales Management Association recently found that 70 percent of sales organizations using tablets are already seeing significant ROI.
These forward-thinking businesses are getting ahead of the curve by building mobile solutions that are tailored to meet their unique needs.
As a result, they are optimizing their operations and winning the confidence of their teams as well as their customers.
Sales force be with you
Mobilization will indeed supercharge your sales force, from the top down, putting your organization in the position to improve nearly every aspect of their productivity on a daily basis.
While everyone from you to your customers benefit from this situation, let us focus on the impact that mobile will have on the sales executive, sales operation and marketing director.
Usage of mobile devices will ensure revenue goals are met, customers are interacted with daily and pipeline opportunities grow.
In fact, Aberdeen Research cites 23 percent more firms meet team sales quotas when employing a sales mobility strategy.
With improved data capture, your sales operation will have more insight into the sales process, making for a more effective sales organization.
According to IDG research, 73 percent of firms who built mobile enterprise applications realized a gain in productivity.
Thanks to a network of connected devices, the marketing lead can push collateral and gain real-time data on its effectiveness. This is critical as Aberdeen Research reports 53 percent of marketing executives do not have a strong relationship with sales when developing and releasing collateral.
As you can see, your sales force will learn how to sell smarter and increase productivity on an ongoing basis — all while marketing gets more control of brand messaging.
Tablet-based sales tools not only simplify and streamline the sales process, but they differentiate the buying experience for customers, unlock the power of analytics for marketing departments and positively impact the entire organization.
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