• September 7, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Sales Mobility Really Works

It should be no surprise that mobility has been an influence on sales behavior for many years, but continued demand at all levels for mobile sales tools has changed the state of business to one where mobility is the rule. Aberdeen Group's "Mobile Sales Solutions Benchmark Report" reveals that more than half of all respondents, representing more than 150 companies across multiple industries, already have some degree of mobile access to customer data, and that most are planning to implement or expand their mobile sales solution within the next year. According to the study, the best in class, identified as the top 20 percent of companies in terms of business performance, provide their sales professionals with vital customer information at the point of contact. This includes key accounts (82 percent), order status (47 percent), and inventory availability (35 percent). Best in class respondents state these benefits have led to revenue growth (83 percent), increased sales productivity (78 percent), and enhanced customer loyalty and retention (72 percent). These results are not lost on the rest of the pack; 79 percent of all respondents are in a decision cycle concerning a mobile sales initiative, planning to implement the result within 12 months. The top factors driving mobile investments among the bulk of businesses are access to real time content (59 percent), improvement of support and customer satisfaction (39 percent), and reduced sales cycles and sales professional downtime (both 27 percent). The report describes early adopters of mobility as being in "pilot and education mode," increasing their own capabilities while leading their industries from the front. Best in class companies have the proper metrics in place to measure sales productivity KPIs--and do so at more than twice the rate of other groups, according to Aberdeen--so it is easy and natural for them to see the benefits of mobility initiatives. "Now more than ever, organizations need to provide sales professionals with real time mobile access to vital customer and partner data residing in front end systems," says Leslie Ament, director of the customer intelligence research practice at Aberdeen. "Selling within a '24x7' global environment breeds demand for more timely, pertinent customer information which can mean the difference between a multimillion dollar sale and a 'no decision.'" Related articles: Wireless: Hot or Not?
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