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.

Evernote_Premium

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

Making Case Studies a Part of Your Sales Strategy

Making the Case for Using Case Studies in Your Sales Strategy

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

What’s behind every great sales team?

That’s the million-dollar question for sales managers who are comparing their performance with that of their competitors.

More than likely, it’s not as complicated as it seems.

It could be a combination of supportive managers, ongoing training, and substantial bonuses. But don’t forget your sales collateral. It could give your team the competitive edge they need to bring in more sales.

And nothing seems to do the job as well as case studies. They give you credibility simply by showing that you can actually deliver the results you claim you can.

Consider them your top sales collateral for turning sales prospects into clients. But don’t just settle for the same old case studies you’ve been relying on. If you haven’t changed them recently, it could be time for a complete overhaul.

Here are 6 ways you can transform your case studies into powerful pieces of collateral.

1. Tighten them up.

Back in the day, marketing and sales teams sort of went with “more is better.” That doesn’t work anymore.

You can count on the fact that your prospects are bombarded with tons of content in all sorts of forms. Try to keep your sales collateral as simple and condensed as possible while getting the point across effectively.

There’s no need for a 5 to 10-page case study. Get all that information into 1 to 2 well-designed and engaging pages.

2. Tell a story.

Every single case study should tell a story, from beginning to end.

The beginning should clearly explain the challenge a client was facing and how your company was able to resolve it.

The middle should provide more information about the solution that was implemented and how it impacted the organization.

And the end should demonstrate the results of implementing this solution, providing the reader with a clear picture of your customer’s experience.

Case Studies as a Sales Strategy3. Add customer testimonials.

Customer testimonials don’t have to be super long, but they certainly need to be powerful.

Ask your current and previous clients for feedback on what their experiences were in working with you as well as how your solution made a difference for their company.

Use their feedback to incorporate some personal feedback into your case studies, which will help “humanize” the content.

4. Try different mediums.

Think outside the box when building case studies.

One-sheets are great, but a two-minute video or a slide presentation could be even better. Getting a previous client to agree to a video interview not only can provide you with a great case study, it can give you the extra leverage of a solid customer testimonial.

Bonus tip: Make sure the most updated versions are easily accessible at all times. Include them in your digital catalogs or asset management system.

5. Develop numerous versions.

Step back and consider the different types of clients you’re serving.

Do you have a mix of medium to large businesses? B2B as well as B2C?

When developing your case studies, go for a good mix of different scenarios and challenges as well as client profiles. You want an assortment so that your team can choose those that are most similar to their prospects.

6. Get creative.

Whether you’re developing print collateral, video or slide decks, don’t be afraid to show off some of your company’s personality.

Dare to be different in design, format and tone.

Likewise, ask your clients to be extremely candid about any steps in the process — from any doubts they had beforehand to any hiccups along the way. It can go a long way in coming across authentic and hardworking in exceeding expectations.

Case studies can be powerful tools in your sales arsenal, and you should give your case studies a close look. Investing the time to upgrade them could give your team what it needs to show that your company can deliver what it promises.

Updating Digital File Management Platforms for Sales People [Videos]

By | Business Mobility

From the Customer Success Team at FatStax

This is one of the more common, but important, sales training topics. One of the questions we get about managing digital assets or digital file management systems is how best to update or add multiple files at with a single action.

This is especially key when migrating from an legacy system, say an internal server, to a system designed for mobile like Fatstax or maybe a CRM-based system like Microsoft Dynamics.

For example, you might want to:

Upload a large number of files and create custom display screens or “Pages” for them in your mobile sales tool as a presentation layer for your field sales team.

or

Modify your existing files with new tags for easier discovery or add expiration dates to files with time-sensitive information like a special promotional price. 

Here at FatStax, our Customer Success Team gets requests from Marketers to make it easy to update files all at once in CloudStax, our cloud-based digital file management system.(learn more here).

To help with this, we just released 2 new features this month to enable mass changes and migrations of digital files even easier when using our digital file management system.

Bulk creation of customized screens and “Pages” for files uploaded to CloudStax.

Within the FatStax system, we call files (PDFs, Videos, PPTs, Images, etc.) “Resources” because, in essence, we consider them more than files. They truly are digital Resources used by mobile users for their daily tasks.

This new feature allows Admins and web designers to quickly create customized screens in their mobile app and to display and interact with the files by using a simple spreadsheet in bulk.

I know, these sales training topics are stuffed with information! We’ll break it down. Here’s a short video that walks you through the process.

 

Basic idea is – These 5 simple steps enable creation of custom Pages at large-scale quantity.

  1. After your Resources have been uploaded – hover over “Export” and select “Create Resource Pages”
  2. After your spreadsheet has been generated – only keep the Resources that need a Page created and add your Categories
  3. Go to Pages, hover over “Import”, and select “New Import”
  4. Follow the import steps
  5. Publish the catalog so your team gets the updated information

Mass update existing files in the CMS with tags and file names

The concept here is pretty simple, but adds a lot of value when you have to manage 100’s of files.

Let’s imagine a scenario where you need to make changes to a large group of PDFs.

For example, you might be a Marketer that needs to tag PDFs to help users find them.

In our digital file system, this is pretty straight-forward. Just open the file, click edit, and then add your tags.

This image shows the basic concept in our digital file management system.

meta tag PDF in CMS

 

When adding tags to an individual PDF, this process is simple, but what if you need to amend 1000’s of files?

Here we’ve added the capability to append files in bulk via a simple spreadsheet import process.

Fields you can modify are:

  1. Folder file is located in your app
  2. Display Name in the app
  3. Secure status – send or no send
  4. Priority – download it now!
  5. Keywords – critical for search

Click below to watch the training video on bulk editing files in a digital CMS.

 

Combine these two new features and your team will always have the newest information and you will save a ton of time performing mass updates to the digital file management system. Don’t just read about our sales training topics, contact us today and get started with our sales enablement tools!

 

 

How Do You Measure Up? 5 Essential Qualities of a Great Sales Leader

How Do You Measure Up? 5 Essential Qualities of a Great Sales Leader

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

While you constantly measure the performance of your sales team — checking their ability to hit goals and manage their pipelines, you often take the time to measure your own performance as a sales leader.

Of course you do.

Well, OK, maybe you don’t.

One of the most essential traits of a great sales leader is actually taking the time to assess his or her own performance.

That would be the No. 1 quality of a great sales leader. Looking within.

Let’s take a look at five more.

1. You’re constantly aware.

Mobile Sales StrategyGreat sales leaders are not only looking at and stressing over numbers; they’re in tune with where each of their sales reps are with their individual performances. Are they struggling in one particular area? Is there a mental roadblock? Are they overwhelmed? Stressed? A great sales leader can pick up on those cues and take measures to help their sales reps overcome obstacles to move on to better performance.

Are they struggling in one particular area? Is there a mental roadblock? Are they overwhelmed? Stressed? A great sales leader can pick up on those cues and take measures to help their sales reps overcome obstacles to move on to better performance.

A great sales leader can pick up on those cues and take measures to help their sales reps overcome obstacles to move on to better performance.

2. You invite feedback.

“What do you need?” “How can we make this better?” “What challenges do you face?”Are all good questions to ask your sales reps. A great sales leader is willing to get input from their team without feeling attacked. This is also a great way to build trust

Are all good questions to ask your sales reps. A great sales leader is willing to get input from their team without feeling attacked. This is also a great way to build trust

A great sales leader is willing to get input from their team without feeling attacked. This is also a great way to build trust with your team.

3. You motivate.

While you hold everyone accountable for reaching their goals, you still find ways to recognize milestones — both large and small.

Just pointing out the top performers based on sales numbers can get repetitive. Find creative ways to recognize people on your team who also are discovering new approaches to the same old challenges.

Also, it’s a good idea to find ways that will help build the core 60% of your sales team. A small percentage in their percentage could be a big driver in top-line revenue.

4. You’re honest.

If things are not going well, your team can count on you to be direct and honest. You openly talk about challenges — avoiding the need to put a positive spin on any discouraging updates.

When you get to this point, your team will be more likely to help you solve any problems.

5. You remove roadblocks.

PD4_3629Along with assessing their employees for cues that could indicate stressors or frustrations, a great sales leader is analyzing ways to remove roadblocks that get in the way of the team’s performance.

Are inbound sales materials inadequate? Do they have the information they need at any given time?

A great sales leaders will be able to provide all of these to their team so they can focus on what they do best: selling.

Want to take that one step further?

Provide teams with the right tools they need to streamline the process.

A good sales team can go out and sell, but they can only do so much if they have to do everything manually.

A minimal increase in sales from the core 60% of your sales team could be a HUGE driver in top-line revenue.

Imagine what a mobile sales tool, specifically designed for them, could do for your numbers.

Frankly, it’s a no-brainer.

Give teams the tools they need and they’ll be able to make themselves and you look better.

So… where do you start?

View our article, “What Kind of Mobile Sales App is Best for Your Team?”, to learn more:

What Kind of Mobile Sales App is Best for Your Team?

 

4 Sales Tips to Equip You For a New Era and Win More Sales

4 Sales Tips to Equip You For a New Era and Win More Sales

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

Long gone are the days of “wining and dining” to win over a sales prospect.

That’s a luxury that seems quaint and antiquated now that your prospects have already gone on with the business of doing their own research — virtually to the point of reaching their own conclusions.

But you already knew that.

The question is what are you doing to adapt to a sales landscape that’s increasingly shifting to an inbound model?

Navigating this new territory appears to require a combination of old-school approaches to make sure you’re still connecting with prospects, along with new technology that keeps you efficient.

If you handle it effectively, you could be in a win-win situation that has you standing out from the competition.

Here are four ways you can win more sales with today’s more informed prospects:

1. Get in the game of inbound marketing.

Onboard new sales repsBy now, your team already has developed an inbound marketing model — providing potential prospects with plenty of online content to help them find answers to their challenges at different stages of their customer journey.

But if you’re not constantly updating and building out a robust content strategy, you could be losing to the competition.

Constantly study analytics to find out which areas are underperforming — or where prospects seem to be dropping off, to make sure you’re filling in those gaps.

Also, make sure you’re surpassing the competition. Always have the mindset to outperform everyone else out there with well-written engaging content, videos, webinars, and other online material.

2. Pick up the phone more quickly.

The sooner you call a warm lead, the better.

Did they show an interest in your product and services? Left their contact info? Get on the phone and call.

According to a study by Lead Response Management, “the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.”

Another study by InsideSales.com revealed that 35 to 50 percent of sales were awarded to the vendor who responded first.

Don’t delay. Follow up immediately.

3. Don’t neglect your networking.

Sure, times have changed. The steak dinners may be a thing of the past. But networking is an essential component of the sales business. Actively reach out to people on social platforms like LinkedIn, and ask customers and friends for referrals. Having someone vouch for you can turn a cold lead into a warm lead.

Actively reach out to people on social platforms like LinkedIn, and ask customers and friends for referrals. Having someone vouch for you can turn a cold lead into a warm lead.

Having someone vouch for you can turn a cold lead into a warm lead.

4. Use technology to become more efficient in selling.

While sales have changed, one challenge remains the same: there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to handle all your responsibilities as a sales rep.

Sales enablement tools that boost efficiency from the front-end to the back-end of the sales process can help you and your team better manage presentations to handle calls.

Explore them to see how you can reduce the amount of time it takes to make a connection and close a deal.

How Mobile Sales Apps Can Help You Win More Sales

Imagine that you’re going to a sales call with a busy executive.

win more sales with mobile sales toolsLet’s say they give you less than 10 minutes to present your case, and you have to use every minute effectively.

Do you really want to be spending three minutes of that getting your computer up and running, another two trying to get the right password for the WiFi, and another two to load your PowerPoint presentation?

Let’s be honest: no one likes when they have to wait. And the scenario above is probably not that uncommon.

But there is a better way: mobile sales apps.

Mobile sales tools are no longer a remnant of the future; they’re here to stay.

Sales reps need to be able to pull out their phone, tablet, or desktop at any time — without needing to connect to the Internet.

Why? Because if you can do that, then you can support the notion of “right message, right time, right place”.

And your reps will be equipped to sell more in real-time. What marketing manager doesn’t want that?

Looking for a mobile sales platform to help your team win more sales? Request a live demo of FatStax today:

Request a Demo of FatStax Now!

What Kind of Mobile Sales App is Best for Your Team?

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips, Video Tips

Making the decision to invest in a mobile sales app is easy.

Figuring out which type of tool is the best for your sales organization? That’s a bit tougher.

The reality is determining which type of sales enablement app is best for your sales teams depends on a couple of factors:

For your team – it depends on how they sell and your offering mix.

For you – it depends on how much bandwidth you have to manage the tool.

The decision can be a little daunting and overwhelming. So how do you get an app for sales teams right the first time?

The Three Different Types of Sales Enablement Apps (And The Hybrid)

First, you need to learn about the different types of mobile sales tools that are available.

The most common mobile sales apps include:

1. File Sharing App

As the name indicates, these mobile sales apps are designed to share static files like PDFs, PowerPoints, videos, Word documents, etc.

This app for sales teams typically highlights files that have been created by the marketing team or the advertising agency that can be easily shared via the app, which can then be shown to a customer or prospect in the field.

2. Catalog App

The next type is a catalog app, which, as you can imagine, is similar to a catalog. Think of them like those giant paper catalogs you’d print up and ship out to your customers so they can buy something.

A catalog app for sales teams contain SKU-based information, like pricing, product specs, and general information. Some even allow you to create a soft quote or may even talk to your ERP system so you can actually create an order.

3. Presentation App

It’s important to differentiate this type from the file sharing app because this type of app facilitates long-form presentations, like PowerPoint or Prezi.

The presentation app allows you to give a pitch in front of an audience by presenting various slides or information.

4. The Hybrid App

Many times, companies need something that is not “one-size-fits-all”.

Your teams may sell with a combination of static files, catalog information, and by giving long-form presentations. You may have some divisions that need a static file and some divisions that need a customer-facing app. It all just depends on what’s right for them.

In short, your teams may need a hybrid of the three main types of mobile sales apps available.

Having a hybrid app provides flexibility to your team based on their needs. Plus, it doesn’t box you into one solution, limiting scalability and growth.

Regardless of how your team sells, it’s important to figure out which tools can help them the most. To learn more about the different types of apps for sales teams available, request a demo of our mobile sales app solution:

Request a Demo

3 Effective Ways to Onboard New Sales Reps in Less Time

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity

Over the past 3 years we’ve had the pleasure of working closely with some of the most talented VPs of Sales in the world as well as great coaches like Craig Elias – the million dollar quota smasher.

One thing that we’ve spent a great deal of time talking about is getting new sales reps up to speed faster. Since I manage a few talented sales people myself these days, this hits even more close to home!

onboard new sales repsHere’s why. According to a report by Accenture and CSO Insights, nearly 50 percent of new sales reps took ten months or longer before they were able to contribute to company goals. By some estimates, that can translate into missed opportunities at an average rate of $50,000 to $200,000 a month.

As the manager, you can actually visualize the dollars passing you by — sort of like a bad version of sheep hopping over a fence keeping you up at night.

But, as the leader you’ve got it to take ownership – Extreme Ownership.

Put that monkey on your back and get to work.

Here are three tips to help you get sales reps onboarded — in a lot less time.

1. Use mobile sales tools. You know I had to go there. We build these things for just this reason all the time.

Why you should care – You’ll be able to get new reps up to speed much quicker with mobile sales tools that are configured to address the challenges they typically face.

By using a mobile sales tool that allows reps to easily access documents with the tap of a button — no matter where they are — you’re eliminating the barriers that can make sales transactions more cumbersome. Not only that, with mobile access to training materials as well as company sales sheets, presentations and collateral, they will be able to study your products and services during downtime or off hours.

2. Train with visuals. Studies show that 65 percent of us are visual learners. They also say most of us retain more information when it’s presented visually. Make liberal use of videos and highly visual learning materials to get your new team up and running sooner. It’s also a great idea to pair tips #1 and #2 by integrating those visual sales materials in a mobile app.

By making the training materials easy to digest — through visuals — as well as easily accessible, you’re providing new sales reps the ability to use them as quick references in between and during appointments.

3. Look beyond the sales department. Of course, you likely have a process in place that provides new sales reps the opportunity to join senior reps on sales calls. You more than likely will give them plenty of your own time.

However, it can be even more effective to talk to employees in other departments, including Customer Success and Product Development, to gain further insights into opportunities, case studies and product details. The sooner they can understand your products and services, the more quickly sales reps can confidently explain them to prospects.

We first wrote about this topic in our in-depth series on mobile hacks used by marketers to ACTUALLY drive revenue with a mobile sales tool.  You can access the first part of the article here.

win more sales with mobile sales tools

How to Build a Mobile Sales App that Increases Profit Margins

By | Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

In the age of instant gratification and smart devices, sales reps expect to have the information they need at their fingertips to be effective during sales meetings with customers.

Heck, they expect this even if they’re out having coffee and strike up a conversation with another person from the business across the street.

We write a lot of content about how companies are using mobile sales apps to allow sales reps to focus on what they do best: selling your products and serviceassaaaaaaas

What’s the best way to do this?

There isn’t any one size fits all solution for companies, because you all sell so differently ;).

However, not one single sales team in the world is tasked to decrease profits.

Without even firing up your ERP, close your eyes and think of the 20% of your product lines and services that generate 80% of your profits.  I bet that was easy.

Oddly enough, many marketers don’t approach mobile sales tools with profit at the top of their minds.

Why not?

Wouldn’t your higher-ups be even happier with performance if you could directly point to your efforts as a profit-driver via the mobile sales tool you created?

Here are two easy ways best-in-class marketers are modifying their teams’ sales tools to sell more profitable items first:

1. Create quick “hot spots” for your top profit-driving products. 

Just like a website, people’s eyes are attracted to colors, words, and patterns in mobile apps.  A good sales tool on a smart phone will give you an easy way to configure “hot spots” that lead to information on profitable products with a few taps.

One idea we’ve seen gain a lot of traction is to utilize the “home screen” of the app to create these eye-catching hot spots.  Think of the home screen like the home page in your website. The first thing your team sees when they open the tool.

However, there is no reason you couldn’t just make the top folder in your DropBox account the goto “hotspot” for information on profitable products in the same way.

Finally, a hot spot takes away all the “I couldn’t find it” excuses, because it is right in your teams’ face when they open the app on their iPhone.

Can you think of an easy way to accomplish this in your app? We’d love to hear your take on it.

2. Simplify your mobile sales tool to focus on your top 20% of profitable products only. 

For some mobile app admins, this one is tough.  The promise of mobile is after all “everything at your fingertips.” While the approach in #1 keeps all your marketing collateral in one place, this one focuses down to the essentials.

We’ve seen a good number of companies in their third and fourth year of managing mobile sales tools that take this approach.  They simply remove everything that doesn’t directly lead to selling more profitable items.

No matter your approach, promoting the products with the highest profit margins is always a winning method to get measurable value out of your team’s mobile sales app and smart devices.

[tweetthis hashtag=”sales”]Drive revenue by making it easy to share your most profitable products on your mobile device in front of your customers[/tweetthis]

Enterprises Still List Mobility as a Priority But Struggle With Implementation

By | Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools

With mobile devices giving employees the ability to take their work with them — quite effectively, in fact, enterprises are stepping up their efforts to see how these tools can work to their advantage.

More than half of companies surveyed in a recent study by Constellation Research reported that tablets and other mobile tools pave the way to better collaboration, improved communication and increased productivity. They also said that leveraging mobile as a tool will be a top priority in the coming years.

“Mobile has given us incredible freedom to work anywhere, anytime, anyplace across the boundaries that used to be restricted,” said Alan Lepofsky of Constellation Research. However, as Lepofsky pointed out, not as many companies are doing an effective job at making the shift to transform their workplace with mobile devices. “A large gap exists between what companies know they should be doing and what they have currently accomplished” he said.

So, where to start?

If you’re still struggling to figure out ways to use tablets to your advantage in the sales arena, consider starting with CRM (customer relationship management). It could be one of the most effective ways to see results from a sales perspective. According to Nucleus Research, providing your sales reps with mobile device access to CRM drove a 14.6 percent productivity increase.

Although CRM systems, like Salesforce, have long been recognized as essential tools for sales teams, they are less likely to update customer information while in the field without a mobile platform readily available.

Using CRM in the field

Making the shift to mobile CRM platforms can lead to a significant boost in sales productivity. How so? With your sales rep gaining real-time access to data — with the ability to both review it and update it, they have the tools to create and track sales leads online while out in the field.

In addition, managers and other sales personnel who want to approve business processes and manage company information can do so through their company CRM system via their mobile devices.

When your team is stressing CRM adoption, it’s important to consider the obstacles that may get in the way of 100 percent compliance. It’s also important to see how anything less than full adoption of CRM could be reducing its impact on the company’s objectives.

Devote the time to ask other hard questions. What are your company goals? Are you looking for an extended adoption of your company’s existing CRM system with mobile access or are you looking to enable new business procedures that were not previously without new CRM software? Your answers will help you outline your strategy and choose the CRM software that works best for you.

Leveraging CRM to get to the next level

While they’re out in the field, sales reps need to stay focused on selling. By reducing administrative processes and automating input from sales people into your CRM, you can start saving time, improve productivity, increase the accuracy of your data — and, most importantly, boost your likelihood of making more sales.

win more sales with mobile sales tools

5 Reasons It’s Time to Use Tablets as Power Sales Tools

By | Business Mobility, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

It looks like a wave of tablets could be hitting the workforce sometime soon. If Forrester’s predictions are on target, tablet sales will climb to 381 million annually by 2017 — up from from 122 million in 2012. And enterprises will account for 68 million — or one-fifth — of those yearly sales.

But just because “everyone else” seems to be using tablets doesn’t mean your sales team should have them. It’s hardly the argument you want to present to your CEO or CFO about taking the plunge to put a tablet in each of your sales reps’ hands.

Following are 5 solid reasons on how the use of tablets, and their accompanying apps, could drive productivity and boost sales at your company. Because, after all, those are the types of results that will make the investment in these mobile devices worth it. Check out how they can work for your sales team during trade shows and other presentations.

  1. Tablets are highly portable. Tablets are less cumbersome than laptops, allowing your sales reps to easily transport the devices while they’re out in the field. Also, because of the digital nature of these devices, they’re not weighed down by print materials. Also, unlike a laptop, sales reps will have no problem carrying it around all day during calls or at a trade show.
  1. Tablets streamline your processes. With the addition of apps, tablets enable your team to significantly cut down on the amount of time devoted to completing steps in the sales process — from presentations and gathering sales collateral to accessing documents that require signatures.
  1. They’re ideal show-and-tell tools. One thing that remains constant in the ever-changing sales and marketing industry is that, at some point, you will need to make a presentation to prospects or current clients. You can fool around with trying to hook up a presentation to a monitor — or you could prop up a tablet on a stand and quickly start the presentation during your meetings. You also can let a prospect feel in control by handing off the presentation for them to review from your tablet.
  1. Tablets are user-friendly. The adoption rate for using tablets as sales tools, based on our experiences, is typically shorter. They are designed to be intuitive. By simply tapping buttons, sales reps and their marketing colleagues can easily access the information they need to make pitches and presentations. With simple-to-use features, the overall cost of training and support are significantly reduced.
  1. Tablets save on print costs. Companies that have adopted tablets have realized significant cost savings on printing and shipping costs. United Airlines demonstrated the potential cost savings with its adoption of the iPad to replace flight manuals. Joe Burns, Managing Director of Technology and Flight Test for United, said, “With iPad we’re able to save 16 million sheets of paper a year. Just removing the weight of that paper works out to 326,000 gallons of fuel saved per year.” While the impact may not be as great in other industries, it’s not hard to see how you can save on printing costs associated with paper catalogs, sales brochures, and flyers that way too often end up in the trash at a conference.

Here’s the bottom line

These are just among 5 of the reasons that companies are switching to tablets as power sales tools — and, as a result, realizing gains in productivity and sales and a reduction in overall expenses.

Over the years, we have seen firsthand how putting information and selling tools at sales reps’ fingertips can increase the speed, quality and, at the end of the day, the overall success of the sales process.