Field Rep Using an iPad Sales App: Part 3 – Juggling 18,000 SKUs

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Part 3 – Juggling 18,000 products with an iPad app

We are always getting questions from prospects wanting to talk to an actual person that is a field sales rep using an iPad to sell.  Enter Mark Herb.  Mark worked in field sales for a large multi-national corporation using FatStax for the past few years.  He’s launched his own marketing consultancy recently, so we offered him the chance to tell his stories and experiences using FatStax in the field to sell products.  Mark gave us so much great information, we decided to give him the soapbox and free reign for this unique blog series. We hope it will be a glimpse into a what sales rep really thinks when you hand him an iPad. 

Mark’s first 2 posts in this series

Part 1- Here’s Your iPad

Part 2- Go Sell! 
smiling sales guy

Return of Mark Herb, former FatStax User

Juggling 18,000 SKUs on-the-go is daunting.

Check that…damn near impossible.

Memorizing product information – size, color, volume, price, tech specs, part number, blah, blah, blah – was a drag and cost me valuable selling time.

Having a tool that streamlined managing inquiries and the sales process for this many products was easy.  Rapid access to product information for either a complex or transactional sale was the difference between getting paid or playing second fiddle.

For this post, Rusty asked me to recount the sale of a specific product or service attributable to the FatStax app.  I’ll go against the grain slightly on this one (I’m sure Rusty’s thrilled to hear that) and share with you how FatStax actually helped me close sales and simplify the delivery of information to impact buying decisions in two very distinct selling situations.

Spoiler alert…FatStax is nimble and equally useful in the large, consultative selling scenario AND transactional sales.  The secret’s out!  Who knew?

Selling Situation #1

I recall situations where customers had technical questions relating to a high dollar product, comprised of numerous components.  In the current funding environment, I can assure you that customers are NOT parting with money unless they are certain the solution is the right one for their specific needs.  Using FatStax (and some well-timed questioning) I could engage my customer in a deeper discussion to sort out the following factors that impacted the sale and stretched their dollars at the same time:

  • Sizes/volumes
  • Number of reactions
  • Pricing
  • Price per reaction
  • Components
  • Data to support product claims
  • Did this item address the customer need!!!

(To see how product pages appear in FatStax, check out this page.)

All of which could be shared by tapping the power of my iPad sales app in real time.  Search the product, read the specs, answer questions, email a PDF with additional information and presto…you’re tee’d up to land the business – simple.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts, including your customer in this process of finding the right solution together can build trust and stack the deck in your favor.  Consultative selling or a complex sale is a snap with this app (did I really just bust a rhyme? – Look out, Jay-Z).

Selling Situation #2

On the flip side, using the FatStax app for the “not-so-glamorous” look-up/hook-up of customers with basic information was just as effective.  In the vast majority of cases, pulling up a product group, assessing the various formats and configs available and showing the customer “what ya’ got” won me the business, too!  I had many inquiries for product specs that were simple, one word responses that won the day just by having instant information available on-the-go using FatStax.  In my experience, this was probably one of the single biggest contributors to landing fast and steady business on a daily basis.

From my experience, here’s what I’ve found:

  1. FatStax is well suited to winning big business when used in a consultative approach during the sales process.  The ability to drill down on product specs and technical information with your customer builds a partnership and trust that can carry you a long way toward building future business.
  2. Additionally, like the famous saying from Dragnet, “just the facts, ma’am”, FatStax provides simple answers for transactional sales quickly – that makes all the difference.

I’ve tested both methods with great success and I’m here to tell you, no matter how you plan to use FatStax in the sales process – the simple transaction vs. the complex sale – it’ll make you successful and deliver the right solutions for your customers.

Field Rep Using an iPad to Sell: Part 1

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Sales Productivity

Part 1 – Here’s Your iPad, Now Go Sell Some Products

Introduction to Mark Herb.  We are always getting questions from prospects wanting to talk to an actual person that is a field sales rep using an iPad to sell.  Enter Mark Herb.  Mark worked in field sales for a large multi-national corporation using FatStax for the past few years.  He’s launched his own marketing consultancy recently, so we offered him the chance to tell his stories and experiences using FatStax in the field to sell products.  Mark gave us so much great information, we decided to give him the soapbox and free reign for this unique blog series. We hope it will be a glimpse into a what sales rep really thinks when you hand him an iPad. 

Enter Mark Herb, former FatStax User

When I started work at my new company a few years back, I was in for a rude awakening. Surprise, I was the proud owner of an iPad loaded with countless apps and VPN clients and email servers… you get the picture.

I thought to myself,

Wow that’s great, junior. Now how the hell do I use it?

 

The first sales app I was introduced to was Fatstax, I figured we were going to an all-you-can-eat pancake joint! Much to my surprise, we were not going to breakfast. Turns out, Fatstax was a sales tool for the iPad that contained, in our case, a catalog of close 18,000 individual product pages.

Yes, that was 18,000 individual SKUs!

Each one containing details, specs, prices, descriptions, and links to the products on our website.  Talk about a shock to the system.

Here’s your iPad, now go sell some products!

During my tenure as a field rep, Fatstax provided me significant time savings, streamlined delivering customer solutions, and enabled me to adopt a consultative sales approach to become a trusted resource to drive the sales process. So, I jumped at the chance to tell my story when the FatStax team gave me the chance.  I just hope they don’t regret giving me free reign to talk openly about my experiences.

What FatStax Did For Me? Two things sales pros crave

As a rep, Fatstax did two critical things that all sales pros crave…

  1. Delivered quick solutions to my customers
  2. Gave me back more time in my day.

More efficiency and time savings, less LUGGING AROUND A HEAVY CATALOG – just my iPad. Now that’s what I’m talking about! So let’s take a few minutes and dive into these two things.

Delivering Quick Solutions to My Customers

Sales professionals like me typically seek a consultative selling approach for customers.  Many days I had no idea what a prospect would be looking for before we started talking.  Now, I’m the first admit that pulling out the iPad wasn’t the first thing that crossed my mind when first got it.  But then one day it absolutely saved by butt.  I mean the customer asked and it all clicked.

-Pull out the iPad

-Open FatStax

-Tap on Search

-Show her the product

-Send her the link to order it

-She smiles

-I smile.

-The PO came through that afternoon.

That was the turning point. This app actually works.  Quick answers to customer questions, solution delivered. Taking care of business right in front of your customers (and snagging their contact info for follow-ups too…).  These were our “go-to” benefits from the Fatstax iPad App.

Gave Me Back More Time in My Day

Sooooo… The days of having to head home after a long day in front of customers to gather pdfs and literature to send late at night, were over. Adding more time back in my day and providing on-the-spot solutions for your customers was a reality using Fatstax.

(In case you didn’t already know this, everyone of your sales people is looking for ways to stop logging crap in your systems at night when they want to be hitting the gym or watching the Penn State game. Save them time and, they will love you for it.)

Did it happen overnight? No.

Did I eventually come to get it? Hell yes I did.

In this economy, saving time and potentially accelerating a customer’s decision to buy sounded good to me. Emailing product information or specs instantly or reviewing material together via the Fatstax app helped that process significantly. Thus more time back in my day.

The cool factor

One other thing I want to mention is embracing the “cool factor” that came with whipping out the iPad to use Fatstax and sharing the experience with customers. Tech savvy customers appreciated the application and commented on how it contributed to discussion. I know “cool” doesn’t sell products or hit your numbers but it does differentiate you from the competition – I’ll take any edge I can get, wouldn’t you?

Please join me next time when I tell you the two things that are critical to getting success out of FatStax from a user’s perspective.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? The comments box is right below.