September 13, 2016
Sales teams nowadays can use mobile applications to access deal data from their smartphones and tablets. As a recent survey of 200 senior business leaders showed, companies that empower these representatives with accurate and timely insight into price and margin tend to outperform their competitors and market expectations. Deal profitability increases when the sales force “uses gut feel, experience and intuition after consulting the facts, not before or instead.”
Following this trend, I have seen numerous global companies recognize the importance of providing instantaneous analytical context and pricing guidance for commercial discussions straight to the sales rep’s mobile device.
But how can you get your global sales team willing to make good use of such a sales efficiency tool? How can you assure adoption despite variable regional infrastructures and local readiness to accept and use a “sales app on the go”?
To ensure the sales force is ready for adoption, the app must be: Fast, Integrated, Responsive, Easy to Use.
A sales rep will trust an app that is proven to provide timely and profitable assistance to push that deal across the line. One that gets you the right data quickly, regardless of a meeting’s physical location.
A customer of mine started by creating a reputation of good performance for the app. As a result, the team avoided the risk of spending precious time resolving bottlenecks late in a project.
This particular project asked sales to assist with early testing. And sales, not IT, defined an acceptable benchmark. Selected sales reps were asked to assist in short early tests, using early versions from remote, sometimes unusual locations around the globe. This spread the news that the app is fast anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
Integrated and Responsive
A sales rep will confidently negotiate when the app has pre-approved guidelines and allows for on-the-spot, last minute impact simulation with responsive changes to deal pricing. So an app must give more than access to CRM data, show the deal data you had before leaving the office, and trigger integration of deal approval with the back office ERP.
My customer put some effort to agree and implement a new process and guard rails for such real mobile deal guidance. Their version of the app uses its pre-configured features to give instant response with re-calculated target prices, up-sell/cross-sell guidance, and/or substitution of items. The app has since proven helpful in closing deals quicker and attaining a higher percentage of sales quota. As an added bonus, even the sales teams in countries expected to have more conservative and traditional sales tactics wanted to become early adopters of a mobile sales approach.
Easy to Use
At first the sales team expected the app to show the same details on deal and pricing available on the large screens of their back office deal desk solution. Yet an efficient mobile app works best with a more concise display of data. Not every little detail will be needed for an efficient last leg of negotiation.
So my customer set up early demonstrations on screen design. Opinion leaders were given touch and feel sessions to show how the app’s screen automatically adjust to the device display capability when scrolling or flicking. Sales provided their experience to help define the required data they would receive.
These were then placed efficiently in the available space using the app’s UI design features. This up-front effort designed an easy-to-use and efficient best practice interface. It was so intuitive that its roll-out didn’t require a single day of training or induction—and not a single support call on usability.
Fire It Up!
When you plan to mobilize your sales team, fire up rapid adoption with a fast, integrated, responsive, and easy-to-use app. This should certainly help to create a sales team that will want to consult facts to support their gut feel, experience, and intuition at the moment of truth.