10 Mobile Sales Tool Etiquette Tips to Maximize Sales Meeting Success

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

Nowadays every field sale person uses some kind of mobile sales tool to do their job.  More companies then ever are rolling out mobile devices for their sales teams to use during sales meetings.

In fact IDC predicts that by 2020, mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.

Those in-person conversations are critical for closing opportunities and using a mobile sales tool is proven to be an incredibly effective way to increase your odds of closing that important deal.

Great – right?

Absolutely, but there is one major problem I need to point out. Read More

Fix 5 Common Mobile Device Mistakes at Trade Shows and Boost Your ROI

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Mobile devices, included iPads, Android tablets, phones and iPhones are being used more and more at trade shows these days.

Whether it’s as a mobile sales tool in a sales reps hands, a tablet on a stand showing videos, or even just a mobile tool for scanning badges, Trade Show Managers need to prepare their sales teams appropriately. Read More

ipad sales app

#1 Reason Reps Only Use 35% of Digital Sales Collateral Marketers Create

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Marketers spend a ton of time, money, and effort creating digital sales collateral for our sales teams.

In fact, I would argue it has never been easier or more cost effective to generate videos, images, PDF brochures, mini-apps, etc.


Yet, despite all the systems and repositories…time and time again salespeople ask us if we have a brochure for X or case study that is an example of Y.

Are you kidding me?  Yes, we gave you that 6 months ago.  Why are you emailing me? Read More

Most Effective Way to Launch a Distributor Mobile Sales App

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

We’d just gotten the biggest opportunity in our career – the chance to deliver a distributor mobile sales app to 1000s of plumbing dealers across the US and Canada for the top manufacturer in the industry.

For our fledgling company, this represented the largest single purchase of seats in our history.  A great distributor mobile sales app meant huge long-term value to us and our shareholders since 1000s of people would be benefiting from its use.  Failure to create the right tool Read More

How to create a PowerPoint presentation that looks great on an iPhone (free template)

By | Mobile Productivity Tools
One surprising downside to using a mobile sales tool on your iPhone is PowerPoint presentations look like utter crap.

I get it, presentations with PowerPoint on iPhones are made to be projected onto a big screen in boardroom, but these days sales presentations can happen anywhere, anytime.  Coffee shops, bars, airplanes, you name it. Read More

What is a mobile sales tool?

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

What the heck is a mobile sales tool any way?  The reality is most people including Google seem to have very different opinions.  So we set out to fix that.

We asked our design team to spend some time creating an engaging and humorous presentation that demonstrates exactly what a mobile sales tool is?

The presentation is fully available on SlideShare and has been downloaded close to 60 times since we published it.

Hope you find these sales tips and tricks useful!



Here’s my notes from a recent talk I gave using this slide deck. Maybe they’ll give you further guidance.

What is mobile sales tool?

1. WHAT IS A MOBILE SALES TOOL? Heck, maybe you have been tasked with building one. You own a smart phone You’ve heard about mobile sales tools



4. a variety of apps that can be useful to sales people on their smart devices.

5. Google thinks it’s a mobile tool salesman.

6. If Google can’t figure out what a mobile sales tool is, how can a Marketer be expected to do any better?


8. n/a


10. DEFINITION OF A MOBILE SALES TOOL An application that is used to enable or accelerate the sales process conveniently from a tablet or smartphone wherever or whenever the timing is right.






16. Or they may use ALL THE ABOVE to sell to prospects.



19. HERE ARE 10 WAYS Marketers and Sales Managers can hit revenue-generating targets with mobile sales tools. 1 Focus on the middle 60%. 2 Profitable products first. 3 Train new reps faster. 4 Reduce your print spend.5 New product training is key. 6 Build for your top dealers and distributors. 7Make pricing easy to find. 8Focus on HOT new products. 9 Get the jump on competitors by cross-referencing data. 10 Stop emailing sales collateral.

21. So, now you know how your team sells and you have a target. Let’s dive into the tools to get your app built.

22. Mobile sales tool platforms on the market may be composed of 3 layers.

FILE MANAGEMENT LAYER – Where marketers organize, upload, and manage product assets.

PRESENTATION LAYER – Where sales reps interact and present product data to prospects.

AUTOMATION LAYER – Where prospect information is seamlessly integrated into your CRM.

23. These 3 layers make it easy to: Manage and easily find information Deliver information (files, product specs, branding) Capture information (customer data and usage data) Integrate into other systems (CRM, Marketing Automation, ERP)

24. A great File Management Layer makes it easy on the Marketer and engages them to use it!

25. The Presentation Layer is an App on a Smart Device or “System of Engagement.” Presents information to reps and prospects Captures information via rep input Sends sales collateral


27. The app is the system of engagement for your sales people, not your customers. Sales people use the tool to engage prospects and accelerate their sales cycle.

28. Thus, a mobile sales tool enables your reps to sell more of your products & services via the Presentation Layer.

29. The Automation Layer logs the activity or triggers the appropriate actions within a third-party platform such as a CRM or Marketing Automation system.

Simple plan to solve Yosemite’s $1M print issue and yours too

By | Mobile Productivity Tools


Simple plan to solve Yosemite’s $1M print issue and yours too

I recently saw this article which describes how changing the name of the concession stand and a hotel in Yosemite National Park will cost the tax payers “$1 million” for reprinting the signs, garbage cans, and brochures.

With annual operating budget of $30M, $1M represents a significant share (1/30th) of the much-needed budget Yosemite requires to not only operate a park, but to attract more visitors in the future.

If you went to your boss or CFO tomorrow and told them you were going to spend 1/30th of the entire operating budget of your company to fix the words in your brochures or printed catalogs, what do you think the reaction would be?

Nes too good pas!

Yet, thousands of Marketers dedicate huge budget to print brochures, catalogs, and one-pagers every year.

Prices and spec changes? Reprint.

Rebranding after a merger or strategic change? Reprint. The costs can be astronomical, and the process takes years.

In this article, I’ll show you how your company and Yosemite can:

  1. Maintain a reasonable level of printed materials (50% of current spend)
  2. Replace print with digital versions on devices that people use already (30% of current spend)
  3. Deliver critical content digitally so that it can be accessed offline in the backwoods
  4. Re-allocate savings from your print budget to your lead generation marketing budget (20% of current spend)

As we enter the mobile age and Moore’s law continues its predicted rapid climb, Marketers (and National Parks) will have to deal with more and more rapid shifts in the way people consume and use information.

And the shifts are seismic. Like California-falls-into-the-sea seismic.

Yosemite’s print budget is just like yours.

Like most people, I get really upset when I see public dollars being wasted on printed materials in the digital age.

And the idea that our beloved National Park could possibly be spending 1/30th of it’s operating budget to fix some marketing brochures is especially maddening, given the need to improve roads and staff such a massive enterprise.

Many companies operate with the benchmark of 10% of revenue is spent on marketing to attract more buyers.  Let’s assume the National Parks operate on the same idea.

And like most companies selling products and services, I get that Yosemite has to “sell” its offerings (hotels, concessions, nature walks, new trails).

But why does Yosemite need to print that many brochures to accomplish this?

What happens to printed materials?

My hypothesis is 90% of Yosemite’s brochures are tossed into the newly stenciled garbage cans soon after people pick them up at the gate or, they get used to start camp fires.

Do you have a brochure drawer at home? Unlikely.

Will you look at the brochure again in a few months? Nope.


How many brochures are in those bags?

This perfectly parallels what I see attending major industry trade shows with our clients. Shows where companies spend thousands to have a booth and rely on that rented space to generate a huge portion of their qualified leads.

I bet you’ve had a similar experience where every time you go into a booth the staff keep trying to hand you printed materials.

It’s like a conditioned response.  Look, a prospect, here’s a brochure on our coolest product. Let me scan your badge. Sweet,  I got another lead.

However, it’s shockingly wasteful and represents wasted opportunity in the digital age.

The Marketing team spent money to design and print that product literature.  They also shipped it to the show and likely paid to deliver the box to the booth.

To take it one more step, many times the undistributed brochures get boxed up and shipped back home or worse simply dumped in the trash.

One marketing consultant I spoke with described another potential black hole for these printed brochures,

“Believe it or not, when these get shipped, they don’t always get received or found and then they have to be given out.  Remote offices don’t usually get the same love as headquarters.  Tons of boxes go untouched under a table or desk.” – Josh Krasnegor,  Consultant.

Josh said it well, tons of boxes of untouched marketing budget.

Simple plan to solve Yosemite’s $1M print issue

The biggest mistake for companies with out-of-control print budgets is that they don’t know how to best compare and contrast the cost of mobile content delivery systems to their status quo (e.g., printing catalogs, brochures, etc.).

And neither does Yosemite.

Let’s imagine the good folks at Yosemite took a look around the Park at what people are doing.  What do you think they would see?

yosemite_selfie_-_Google_SearchPeople using smart phones to take pictures, navigate roads, chat with friends, look up information on animals, or just ignore nature and stare into them.

Noticing this, Yosemite might create a mobile app that:

  1. Delivers key information offline (cellular is not always available in the park)
  2. Updates automatically when visitors phones hit WiFi hotspots in the park (entirely possible with background sync)
  3. Reaches visitors on the tool that 99.9% are carrying their pockets (yep, their phone)

What would Yosemite put in the app?

Everything!  Maps, brochures, videos, history, daily schedules, alerts to road closures. You name it.

Would they still need to print stuff?

Sure, I get that some people are just going to demand printed maps, etc.

So why not print, 20% of last year’s volume to start and direct people to their app for the other 80%? This might cut their print cost in half or more for the year.

One might imagine that an app like that would cost millions to produce however I suspect that the true cost deploy and maintain that type of app is in the $300k range in year one with roughly 20-40% annual maintenance in subsequent years.

$300,000/4 million visitors = $0.33 per visitor.

I’ll pay the 33 cents with my insanely under-priced entrance fee thank you very much.

Keep in mind that the park is spending $1m to simply FIX their outdated print materials.

The number one mistake made by marketers with out-of-control print budgets

The biggest mistake for Marketers with out of control print budgets is they, like Yosemite, are not comparing and contrasting the cost of mobile content delivery systems to status quo (e.g., spend on printing catalogs, brochures, etc.).

So using our Yosemite example, here’s a possible end result:

$1m annual print budget for Yosemite

x 50% CY = $500,000 print spend to fix their brochures

and $500,000 left over to spend:

$300,000 to deploy a mobile content app that everyone can use on their smart phones


$200,000 to spend on other items for growth.

Keep in mind that Yosemite’s $300,000 hypothetical app is based on 4 million people potentially using it.

Most mobile sales apps on the market cost between $100-300 per sales person per year. So your cost and savings might be massive compared to Yosemite’s $200,000 depending on your print spend currently.

So what do marketers share with Yosemite?

Although, I think the parallel is obvious let’s break it down.

  • Overspending on outdated technology with no measurable ROI = print
  • Refusing to see that people want to access information in a new way = mobile phones
  • Equals throwing away much needed budget

In a world where marketers and National Parks are continually asked to do more with less budget, delivering critical information to the devices people already own and want to interact with is the new norm, not the exception.

The reality is reliance on antiquated methods (print) will only widen the gap between the successful and those left behind.




5 Apps That Are Always On My Home Screen for Sales Calls

By | Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools

Joseph_Bishop’s_iPhoneI have always been a hacker and maybe that’s what I really love about the ‘mobile revolution’ and its apps in all flavors and colors.

Lately, I’ve been extremely curious about what apps sales people use on the road to make their jobs and lives easier.

I’m not talking about custom, corporate apps or email here. But the ones they use to get from A to B or get themselves out of a jam.

Sales on the road is tough, so I figured those gals and guys might teach us a thing or two about apps and how to hack them.

So my team and I just started asking sales people questions like, “What’s apps are on the first screen on your phone?” and…

…”What apps have saved your butt in a pinch?”

And we followed it up with, “How do you use it?”

Of course it’s a subjective question. But that’s the fun of it.

Because the best app for sales reps depends on the job a sales person needs to do at that exact moment.

Some reps travel constantly. Others stay close to home.

This is by no means a comprehensive list or a “best of” list regarding sales call tips.

Just some great home screen apps that we uncovered to make your life on the road a little easier.  Where possible, I’ve done my best to capture the use case with images and short videos, so you can visualize the hack.


Click Here to Grab a One-Page PDF with all Five Apps and Download Links

We present these home screen apps and sales call tips in no certain order and fully expect you to come back to us and say “but, you forgot…”

1. iAnnotate let’s you sign and send PDF documents in 5 minutes or less (Price: $3.99)

As a founder, I am constantly signing NDAs, CDAs, reseller agreements, and other documents.

I own a scanner, but I hate using it. I hate how big the files are once scan them and, figuring out how to get the signed image from the scanner to my computer to send it.

Thankfully, I found the iAnnotate App.

I no longer have to scan wonky looking documents or email gigantic files with my signature on them.

iAnnotate does all the work for me via my iPad or iPhone (just bought my first droid, too!).

Here’s my exact work flow (that will save you endless frustration with signing docs).

Step 1 – On your smart device 0pen the document you need in Mail, Dropbox, or Google Docs or whatever you’re comfortable with opening files.

Step 2 – Open the file and send it to iAnnotate using the action button. When it opens in iAnnotate, it’ll look like this

Signing files on iPad

Step 3 – Use the Pen tool located in the right side bar to sign.  You just need to tap on the feather, then tap the line you ned to sign to do this. It’ll look like this…

Signing docs on iPad

Step 4 – Sometimes you have to fill in a bunch of other annoying blanks like “Printed Name” or “Credit Card Number” when you sign documents.  No problem.  Just tap on the T (stands for typewriter) on the right side bar and then tap in the document where you need to type in information.

Signing PDFs on ipads

Step 5 – Next you want to flatten the file, which will save your signature and any thing you typed in to single PDF. Then you send the flattened signed document back to yourself (I use Mail on my iPad and iPhone synced to Gmail). I don’t recommend sending it directly from iAnnotate, because they put some self-promotion stuff in the emails.  I get it, but don’t want to send that to a business contact with a contract. Looks like this…

sending signed pdfs from Ipad

Step 6 – Finally, just forward the email you sent yourself to the person that needs your signature.  I typically remove all the iAnnotate self-promotion at the bottom in my email interface and personalize the email.  You can do this from your phone, tablet, or laptop.

That’s it, done. 5 minutes and no more scanning, faxing non-sense.

Note – I can’t speak to other uses of iAnnotate.  I only use it to sign documents and, it is totally worth the time it saves me.  Looking in iTunes there seems to be a good deal of negative reviews from power user types.  If you are one of those, I’m sure Acrobat or other apps may be better for the job.

2. Waze helps reps beat traffic in unknown cities

Waze continually amazes me.  Built on top of Google Maps this app has an uncanny knack for getting reps (and me) to their destination in the fastest way possible.

Imagine you fly into Milwaukee, rent a car, and take off to your first sales call that starts in an hour. With Google Maps or Apple Maps, you can easily route to your destination. But what do you do when you hit a huge traffic snarl on Interstate 94?

Answer: You scramble around start trying to find an alternate route, but it’s too late.  Your stuck and you have to call your prospect to tell them you’ll be late. Yes, that happened to me.

So I started using Waze to get where I’m going in strange cities on the road.

Waze uses the traffic data coming into Google Maps from the all of the cell phones on the road, it can accurately route you to the fastest route. Massive data = you get there faster.

Plus, there’s a really nice tranquil female voice that my wife likes to call “Wanda the Waze Lady.”

WAZE_ON_THE_TURNPIKEHere’s an example from a recent trip to New Jersey:

I was driving from Newark to Philadelphia to meet with clients for the day. I’m listening to Wanda’s instructions and driving down the turnpike… (I am from California, what the heck is a turnpike?)

All of a sudden she tells me to exit into a service island! I was like, “What?!” But, I did it anyway.

I arrived at the gas pumps off the exit and immediately noticed a massive wreck that must of just happened on the turnpike. Because the app re-routed me, I was then able to drive around the wreck through the island’s on-ramp.

From that day forward, I just do what the Waze lady tells me. Set Waze as one of your go-to home screen apps if you are in field sales, or just want to get places faster. It is invaluable for navigating unknown areas.

3. Evernote and 4. Skitch – Note taking and annotating images | Price – Free (upgrades at a cost)

We are featuring these two together because they are both Evernote “owned” apps that reps use for two distinct purposes:

  1. Taking notes
  2. Annotating images

Why it matters? Valuable sales call tips are all about efficient communication. If you are the kind of person that loves to improve things or share ideas you see in images, websites, or sales collateral, this is combination will “make your day” saving you hours of fiddling with images on the fly and transferring them to be sent in emails.

Plus it saves a copy to all your devices for future reference with tagging capability. This alone is worth it. Trust me.

For non-sales users, this combination is great for remembering the cool things you want to buy, read, watch, or share.

Let me walk you through how I used Skitch and Evernote while sitting in Starbucks this week.

My marketing team produced a new sales flier and sent it to the team.

Being the type A business owner I am, I noticed that the image of our Annual Pricing was too small for prospects to see when I showed my prospect the file on my iPhone.

As soon as the prospect left, I took a screen shot, pointed out the error, and emailed to Marketing in less than a minute.

Here’s a short video I made to walk you through it.

Super simple right?

Here’s the steps written out for you.

Step 1- Open the PDF on your phone.

Step 2 – Take a screen shot

Step 3 – Open Skitch

Step 4 – Open the image in Skitch

Step 5 – Mark it up

Step 6 – Save and Send


Now here’s the best part…

Because Skitch and Evernote are synced, your altered image or file is automatically synced to Evernote forever. Boom!

Watch this short video to see this in action.

Here, Im opening the image in Evernote, giving it a name, and them tagging it for future use.

Even though I did this on my iPhone it automatically syncs to ALL MY DEVICES.

Here’s a screenshot of the file I altered in video above on my MacBook Air in Evernote.


The sky is the limit and, you don’t have to do anything to make your image sync to your devices.  It just happens.

That is the kind of user experience (UX) I love.

5. LinkedIn App

Having the LinkedIn app as one of your home screen apps seems like a no-brainer, right?

But let me tell you how reps are using it for pre-call planning to set themselves up for success.

Imagine this scenario.

You’re own your way to an in-person meeting and get an email that 3 other people will be joining the meeting.

You are now at a disadvantage because you only did your homework on the prospect that agreed to the meeting.

No problem.  Here’s my cheat using the LinkedIn App and Photos on your phone or tablet.

Open the LinkedIn App on your phone and quickly find the new people in the meeting by searching (***requires Internet access, so stop at Starbucks or do this in advance).

Take a screenshot each person’s profile page.

Why take a screenshot?

Because you are going to be sitting in your car or the lobby of a building with crappy cellular signal when you need to scan/flip through profiles quickly to remind yourself of the relevant details for each person.

You can’t do this with the LinkedIn App, because it is a web-app and web-apps suck when your cellular or wi-fi signal is poor. Why take that chance?

Once you take a screen shot you a can quickly flip through each person’s profile anywhere, no matter your how weak your signal.

I made a short video that shows you just how fast this can be once you take the screenshots.



I know great tunes.  But you get the idea.

By taking screenshots of the people’s LinkedIn profiles, I was able to flip through them like flash cards. Easy to remember details like title and where they went to college.



Hope you find these useful.

Want to know about another great app? Download the document below to get a bonus app, Hotels2Nite.


Click Here to Grab a One-Page PDF with all Five Apps and Download Links

Using video during sales calls (New Case Study)

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

mobile sales tool tipsPeople love bright, shiny tips. This isn’t one.

But it is a great sales story about using business videos during in person sales calls to win deals.

I was pretty inspired by Linda’s story and believe you will be as well.

You can download Linda’s story in her own words here.

Linda at the Gate

Linda Hardwick sells some pretty high-dollar security doors, and often needs an approved vendor partner to get her into government facilities to meet with prospects.

After working for weeks to secure a sales appointment at the Port Authority in Houston, Linda’s distributor partner was unable to join her for the sales appointment due to a last-minute conflict.

The prospect was naturally distrustful, since he’d only interacted with Linda’s partner up to that point.

To have a fighting chance of winning over this prospect without her partner, Linda had two options:

Option #1: Leave the prospect with a brochure and HOPE she got another chance to return with her partner (can you say ‘extended sales cycle’?).

Option #2: Share something unique to grab the prospect’s attention fast, and use it to trigger a deeper conversation.

Hope is not a strategy and, we all know it.

Yet how many of us have been in similar situations and taken the easy path?

I know I’m guilty of caving in and tucking my head to fear.

Making excuses like:

  • It wasn’t meant to be today.
  • He wasn’t going to buy anyway.
  • Why does this always happen to me?

Look at those excuses carefully. Which of them do you feel?

Which of them do your reps feel?

Linda on the other hand did not fall to those fears and excuses.

What happened next?

Linda sells security doors. Remember?

During the walk from the front gate to her prospect’s office, she paid attention to her surroundings to mentally gather examples of where her products could benefit the prospect.

Knowing she only had a few minutes, she actually took out her iPad during the walk and cued up a product video.

The short hi-res demonstration video showed a security system currently in place in a similar government facility.

Importantly, the video showed the conclusion she wanted him to reach—e.g., “These doors could fit right into our facility today and solve a major problem.”

The prospect had no problem visualizing this because Linda set it up perfectly with her observations of her surroundings.

The video fit what the prospect knew of his industry and peers, so he could easily picture the result past the sale.

As a matter of fact, here’s the video ~1 min long…


How did the rest of the meeting go?

As Linda tells us, the prospect ended up watching 10 minutes of videos of different doors and features on Linda’s iPad.

Ten minutes is an eternity if you ever tried to engage a prospect that doesn’t want you there in first place.

45 minutes later…

…Linda and her prospect were discussing how to solve one of his pain points: “tail-gating” (when people sneak into a building at the last moment after someone swipes their security card).

Not bad for a sales rep that should, for all purposes, have been shut out of the call in the first place.

We can’t guarantee you Linda’s results, given variables like your reps’ training, skill level, and so on.

But, at a minimum, Linda’s story should spark ideas for employing visual cues and assets in a mobile sales tool, or app on devices your team already owns.

You can download Linda’s story in her own words here.

The other half of the story

What’s not discussed in the glory of the moment is how Linda’s company set her up for success.

So let’s take a look at the work that went into the story above.

  • She had an iPad
  • She had a mobile sales app on the iPad
  • She was well-trained on when and how to use it
  • She had access to RELEVANT short product videos on her device without Internet access

This did not happen by chance.  Rather by design.

Linda’s management provided her with the tools and training to act decisively in a situation that should truly have extended her sales cycle.

That’s how you get your sales team past their excuses and fears.