Match Mobility with Mobility

Author: 
Lynly Schambers Lenox, Group Product Marketing Manager, Adobe Inc.

Recently, I answered my door to find a salesperson standing on my porch. While leery about being pitched, I was instantly captivated when he pulled out an iPad and proceeded to show me product information from the device. Wow. Door-to-door selling, one of the oldest selling techniques, the precursor of cold calling, has been catapulted into the mobile era. This speaks volumes as to the impact mobile devices have had on the selling and customer experience in a relatively short time frame. A salesperson filling her car trunk with brochures, catalogs and other sales tools is a thing of the past. Sales professionals are writing a company’s mobile strategy by selecting digital sales tools and mobile devices that they think will help them be more productive and effective in the field.

Enterprise sales teams are finding themselves equally challenged in how business customers are using mobile to better educate themselves on buying options. Buyers are using mobile devices to do their own product and services explorations ahead of time. Last year, research from Google and CEB entitled “The Digital Evolutionin B2B Marketingreported that many buyers now complete 60 percent or more of their buying process independently before even contacting a sales rep. They are comparing options, researching information and gathering quotes, all from their phones and tablets. They surf corporate websites, consume digital content and qualify vendors themselves. No longer is the sales team the only source of information on a product or company. Salespeople need to enter the customer conversation as an “insight provider,” as opposed to a “product describer.” They need high-performing mobile sales applications and tools to help them do this with competency and proficiency.

According to a recent survey by Adobe of more than 1,000 sales managers, 86 percent believe digital tools help improve job performance and 43 percent cite the need for better sales enablement. And as Accenture stated in a recent whitepaper, “Selling More with Mobile Solutions[LS1] ,” high-performing organizations will use mobility to increase deal size, decrease sales cycle timelines and profitably improve sales activity.

Here are some ideas on how to bring your sales teams into the mobile age and drive higher performance through effective sales enablement.

Create a mobile customer experience that is tailored and informative and has a place for the sales rep to enter the process. Reps often want to customize mobile content to develop a pitch that most resonates with the customer.

Target the right content to the right sales rep. Funnel only the most relevant sales content to your sales team for increased productivity. Select a mobile publishing platform that allows you to integrate sales enablement apps with LDAP or directory services. Use login credentials to identify the rep and serve mobile content based on her location, product responsibility or other criteria.

Measure mobile sales content effectiveness. Make use of data and analytics tied to mobile sales applications to measure sales effectiveness and performance. Make adjustments to your sales tools and content strategy based on engagement and frequency metrics correlated to sales efficacy.

Use mobile app capabilities to help close deals faster. Build a sales enablement app that lets your sales teams send follow up materials or proposals directly from the app, during or right after the sales call.  

Train and educate your sales team using mobile devices. Integrate assessment and compliance into mobile sales applications and ensure that your reps have access to sales training and courseware wherever they are.

Use mobile applications to keep track of customers and identify sales opportunities. Customer Relations Management (CRM) solutions are being deployed broadly. Tie your mobile sales enablement applications to your CRM solution so that your sales team can look up an opportunity on their mobile device, pitch directly from the device and record and track what is shown back in the CRM opportunity.

Encourage your sales team to think engagement rather than product offers. Create engaging content with slide shows, audio, video, scrolling, 360-degree rotation, panoramas, pan and zoom, hyperlinks and HTML5 animations.

Enable your marketing team to update content themselves and be more responsive to sales.

Keep content current. You can build in push notifications that get noticed and ensure that new or updated sales content is seen by sales reps.

Mobile In Action
Sotheby's International Realty, the leading luxury real estate brokerage, transformed its print sales tools into mobile content. Instead of using expensive brochures that were frequently out of date by the time they arrived in offices around the world, it rolled out an iPad app called Anthology to its 12,800 sales associates. Now, in place of costly print updates and mailing fees, Sotheby’s has saved over $1 million by moving to a digital, mobile sales model. The app is engaging and intuitive, offers data visualization and nonlinear navigation, which helps a sales associate find and present specific properties based on the client's lifestyle and promote recent sales and listings, driving brand awareness and generating direct leads.

Marketers from many vertical channels are using sales enablement apps to enhance their sales process. A great example is how the Pacific Life Insurance Company brought hundreds of confusing and old-style marketing products into the digital age. Inspired by the iPad, they created mobile apps that made their marketing products easier to access, easy on the eyes and took advantage of the powerful display capabilities of these devices. The app has dramatically improved its sales and marketing process and increased the sales volume of hundreds of independent insurance providers who interact with potential customers.

With the thoughtful use of sales enablement tools, you can tackle challenges associated with training sales staff, ensuring engaging communications about products and services, measuring sales effectiveness and serving customers in the way they demand. Today's enterprise sales rep needs an efficient, mobile sales process mirrored to a highly educated and increasingly mobile population that expects a personalized sales process that instills insights and learnings into the buying process and final decision.