iCentera unveiled iCentera Mobile at the SiriusDecisions 2011 Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., last week. The new platform is a native version of iCentera Sales Adviser optimized for mobile devices, giving sales professionals access from Internet-enabled mobile devices.
"It's an interesting release for us," says Craig Nelson, CEO of iCentera. "We have been doing sales enablement for a number of years, promoting this idea that sales reps tend to learn on the way to the sales call, during the sales call, and just after the sales call. It wasn't really until the mobile device became available that this could truly become a reality."
Nelson believes consumers are "smarter than ever" now because of the Internet. "That means that the reps need to be smarter when coming into the opportunity, and they have to also learn while they are in the field," he explains. "Our solution will go out and find the knowledge and the concept that they can use in that sales call at that point of sale."
While sales professionals will continue to "progressively move to the mobile device," putting the entire application on the smartphone is most likely unnecessary. "You really want to put the parts of the application that people are going to be using as they're selling," Nelson advises.
iCentera Mobile took about four to six months to develop and clients were involved in the process. "Our clients have anywhere between 50 sales reps to 40,000 sales reps," Nelson says. "If you can spend some time getting a sense for the makeup of the organizations, the way in which those very large sales organizations work, you're much more apt to build the application that is more targeted."
According to Richard Eldh, managing director and co-founder of SiriusDecisions, new sales enablement developments including iCentera Mobile, was a "hot discussion" at this year's Summit. "We appreciate the continued sponsorship support of sales enablement vendors like iCentera, and we look forward to learning more about their recent technological innovations and advancements," he said at the Summit.
Nelson says iCentera will most likely introduce a new iteration of this solution every quarter during the next year to keep up with the growing popularity and innovation of the mobile device. "We think the mobile device is absolutely critical," he says. "If you find reps bringing laptops with them on sales calls in five years, I would be surprised. I think it's going to be a complete mobile conversation at that point."
The first version of iCentera Mobile is now available free of charge for current customers and between $20 to $60 for new customers per month.