As mobile technologies become ubiquitous, organizations face unprecedented opportunities to better equip their sales teams with powerful new solutions.
By taking advantage of today's mobile revolution, companies can improve sales representatives' effectiveness, reach higher levels of flexibility, locate nearby opportunities, and create richer customer dialogues.
The explosion of mobile devices, improved wireless networks, and cloud technologies has resulted in relatively affordable, easy-to-use mobile sales tools. Companies that want to outpace their competition—while still maintaining security—need to move quickly to define a strategy that keeps pace with these trends.
Those that wisely incorporate a mobile sales function stand to enjoy many benefits, including increased deal sizes, decreased sales cycles, and improved sales activity. What's more, companies that move quickly can expect improved sales representative satisfaction and reduced attrition, improved customer experience, and unprecedented transparency, traceability, and predictability for company executives.
With so many mobile options readily available, it would seem to be fairly easy to arm sales teams with mobile solutions. Getting there, however, poses big challenges for sales leaders and information executives, beginning with defining a proactive mobile sales strategy. Additionally, sales leaders must focus on continuous innovation—taking advantage of the newest mobile technology capabilities, and just as important, making the commitment to develop a distinctive experience for both sales representatives and customers.
With smartphones getting smarter, tablets becoming more common, and CRM vendors releasing quarterly enhancements, there is an insatiable demand for new and improved capabilities. This "shiny object syndrome" is not going to change. To stay on top of their game, organizations must demonstrate to their sales reps that they are committed to making mobility improvements as part of a deliberate approach toward incorporating the newest innovations. Doing so will put them far ahead of the competition.
The first step in developing increased sales force mobility is laying out a proactive strategy to meet the opportunity—and the challenge—of quick user adoption.
Companies trying to balance strategy with speed by deploying new, application-centric technologies to the sales team typically face mediocre user adoption. The unique, user-friendly nature of tablets, however, is helping to increase the use of technology by the sales force, promoting the adoption of once-scorned CRM software and dramatically shifting how sales representatives divide their work time.
This preference for tablets allows companies to drive higher sales process and methodology adoption rates, which means more consistent sales processes, increased sales productivity, and improved predictability and management insights.
Investing in tablet technology can also result in convenience, connectedness, and portability for the sales force and customers alike. Additionally, mobility technology offers such cutting-edge capabilities as location-based services, 24/7 connectivity, richer and more interactive media, and emerging technologies such as QR codes and near-field communications. These technologies can increase the communication of real-time, hot leads that can be sent immediately to the nearest sales representative based on location.
Savvy companies also understand that tablet technology, cloud computing, and social media are evolving, which means these companies commit to continuous improvement and opt for speed and agility over completeness and perfection. They recognize that technology is stale almost from the moment it launches, and that their sales representatives' behaviors are changing at an unstoppable pace. These organizations embrace the challenge and focus on the promise of ongoing, rapid innovation.
Clearly, mobile solutions offer dramatic benefits for a sales organization. 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 drive success.
Yusuf Tayob is a managing director in the Accenture Sales and Customer Services practice, where he works with clients to transform their sales functions. Ray Pressburger leads that practice's sales mobility client offerings.