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Three Tips to Enable a More Effective Mobile Salesforce

By Jul 01, 2014

sales and marketingBy Brian Cleary

Sales teams are the lifeblood of every organization, tasked with acquiring market share and growing revenues and profits.

Over the last decade, sales organizations have invested millions of dollars in technology, training and content  to drive profitable growth and lower selling costs. Despite this significant investment and effort, sales effectiveness is still ranked as the top priority of chief sales officers around the globe. Research from IDC states that 41% of sales reps say that they don’t know what content to use, how to use it effectively or when to use it, so, B2B salespeople spend about 40% of their jobs preparing content for customer and prospect communications (according to the CMO Council). At the same time, 80% of content created by B2B marketing teams is never utilized.

How can organizations tackle this issue? Here are three tips for enabling a more effective mobile salesforce.

1. Eliminate Sales Time Wasters
Two timeless problems for sales professionals are wasted time and lack of organization—both of which have a direct impact on the revenues for a company.

On average, companies spent 16% of their annual marketing budget creating and distributing marketing content; however, the numerous content repositories that sales reps are required to navigate make it very difficult to find the latest version of sales content and selling tools.  It’s not just enterprise file shares and portals (such as Microsoft SharePoint) where sales content is typically housed; it’s also across applications such as Salesforce.com, Seibel, ERP systems or content management systems.  Consider the financial impact that is being created by the time it takes to find content across fragmented content silos and the replication of work that is going on across an organization because content can’t be easily found when it’s needed.

The navigational paradigm must change from pulling mobile device users to content repositories to one where marketing departments and sales enablement teams can push the right content to the right sales rep at the right time and location—directly to their device.  

2. Lost and Not Asking for Directions
Beyond those two timeless problems, the single largest hindrance to sales productivity is a lack of access to answers for customer questions, selling materials and expertise to help close the deal.  With the majority of sales professionals working remotely, most organizations have given sales professionals access only to e-mail and CRM data on their mobile device. Only 10% of organizations are able to acquire, aggregate, curate and deliver real-time customer insight from CRM systems and account-related news, social insights and customer-related developments to their mobile sales organization. It’s clear that this is insufficient.

Deploying tablets in the field is not the solution alone as many sales leaders use them as mobile entertainment centers rather than cutting edge mobile sales tools. Sales professionals need real-time access to the latest content and updated information, such as product information, inventory availability and demos.  The integration of mobile devices with various content repositories, content feeds and applications makes it easier for sales teams to collaborate with colleagues and communicate with customers.

Ensuring that mobile sales teams have the productivity tools that enable them to engage with the customer is more important that the mobile device itself.  If sales reps can’t properly render all content types on their mobile device, they can’t properly view what they need to do their job.  If they aren’t able to create, edit and annotate across various content types, they can’t interact with and customize the content.  If they can’t leverage social techniques, they won’t be able to create expert networks where they can learn from one another.

In addition, with visibility into how a sales organization utilizes and values the content, sales team members can learn from the top performers in their organization, and the marketing department can determine what content is working in the field and needs to be optimized and what content isn’t being leveraged.

3. Unlock Sales Tribal Knowledge Through Expert Networks & Collaboration
Another element of fully enabling the sales organization is to identify and share tribal knowledge and best practices across the team. Identify the exact content that top sales performers use and pass their expertise on to the rest of the sales team to improve the perform of the collective group. Organizations can now transform individual success into repeatable behavior across the entire sales department.

For example, identifying which pieces of content were shared throughout a successful sales engagement could help other sales people have more compelling engagements with prospects. But this knowledge transfer must be accomplished in a passive manner so that it doesn’t burden sales team experts with a mentoring role or the task of posting/tweeting on an internal social network.

Mobile sales enablement is about providing dynamic, on-demand content that they can be accessed during a selling situation to make the salesforce as successful as possible.  By implementing these tips, organizations of any size will improve execution, reduce cost and increase revenue.

Brian Cleary is Chief Strategy Officer of bigtincan.

 

  • Joe

    Prism Visual Software – Increased Mobile Field Force Efficiency