UPDATED MAY 24, 2017

What is a cross reference app and why would my sales people need one?

We hear this question often from organizations looking at mobile sales tools.

To put it simply, a cross reference app gives sales people the ability to instantly find the right products in their portfolio when they need to compare them directly with a competitor’s product.  Simple and effective!

Sales people often find themselves in situations where they are forced to talk about the competition when meeting with customers.

It happens all the time no matter whether you are selling products, services, or anything for that matter.

A typical situation might be an up sell opportunity when a current customer tells a trusted rep they are currently using product X from Competitor B and asks the rep, “Do you have something similar to offer?”

The reps then scrambles and fumbles through PDFs or catalogs or their website to find the competitive product for the customer.

Often times competitive information is kept on a spreadsheet on somebody’s computer (I bet your company has this right now).

Leaving the rep to have to call or email the holder of this critical piece of information to find out what she has that is comparable, killing the chances of the up sell.

The cost is amazing when you consider the time it takes to track down the information by the rep, the time to send and email, the keeper of the knowledge’s time to look it up and answer, and the time to get back to the customer with a coherent answer.

Over dinner last night, a product marketer and I did a back of the envelope calculation that the dollar amount was in the $100s to $1000s  per interaction depending on whether you believe in the lost opportunity cost in not responding quickly enough.

Another reason your organization may look at a cross reference app is because you have a constantly evolving product line.

A couple weeks ago, one of our account executives was talking with a prospect about sales rep turnover at their organization.

Our product line changes so frequently, our own reps can’t keep up to speed on what they’re selling and how it compares to our competition. It’s making our own employees jump ship!”

This is a perfect use case for a cross reference app.

With properly coded cross reference app can give sales people and tech support people an easy way to find the right product and how it competes. A really good one will separate the information so that your product info can be sent while keeping the competitor info secret!

Cross reference apps are easy to create and deploy if you have the data. They can easily pay for themselves in weeks not years.

Don’t believe me?

Ask your sales team how much time they spend researching competitors products?

Learn more about Cross Reference Apps here.