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

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.

Field Sales Rep Using an iPad to Sell: Go Sell!

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

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 has worked as a field sales rep 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.
smiling sales guy

Return of Mark Herb, former FatStax User

Let’s review…I got an iPad…and the FatStax catalog locked and loaded with 1,000s of products.

Now what?

How do I use this thing?

Will I look dumb fumbling around with customers?

Will that cost me the sale?

I’ve got to figure this out fast.  Believe me, all this was swirling around in my head at first.

I am a Type A sales professional, and most of us like being in control (nod your head yes).  But with crazy days in the field and office work to follow, control was fleeting at times.  In my initial post [Part 1], I explained how I got thrown into the field with an iPad sales app called FatStax and what that was like in my first weeks through the AHA! moment.  Getting there with an iPad only required two things!

Practice and patience… here’s how I did it.

Practice Using Your iPad Before You Use It

If you don’t read another word in this article, read those again.

Practice using your iPad before you use it.

Rather than learn on the fly in front of my customers at my new job, while beads of sweat rolled, I swallowed my pride and practiced with the app BEFORE ever using it with customers.  To be honest, this is not typical for sales Type A sales people. But my manager and I scheduled short blocks of time to familiarize me with both the iPad and the sales app for my company.

I know, I know…you’re saying that’s a no brainer.  But confess. If you were told, sales apps for iPads can help you to engage customers in a new way and give you time back in your busy day (not to mention make you look pretty cool in the process)…You’d dive right in too.

Don’t lie dude.

Jokes aside, I eventually found comfort in practicing with my iPad app, using the search function, finding products and resources, and just thinking through sales scenarios to learn how best to use this tool.  Hell, I even emailed myself product literature using the app as a test before actually emailing it to my customers. (Please do this twice before talking to a customer, trust me).

Taking that initial time to role play with the app allowed me to focus that power and build functionality the way I would during my day, under specific conditions that I might encounter.  Eventually, I streamlined my sales process and you will too.  If you practice!

Be Patient When You First Start Selling with an iPad

After a few sessions becoming more agile in navigating the interface, I felt…yep…you guessed it…”in control” of the app.  But there was one big piece missing.  Something us sales folk are not usually known for – Patience…uggg.

That’s right, I said it.

Patience.

If you’re not yet a well-oiled machine using FatStax, fear not.  Been there, done that.

My advice…blame the app…just kidding.

Actually, honesty, a sense of humor, and patience can help.  Sales apps for iPads can be easy to use. If you’re still uneasy trying the app with customers, relax and joke a bit while you share the experience.  It’s a great ice breaker and it relieves the tension.  I would sometimes even poke a little fun at myself and my technology prowess (or lack thereof) until I got my bearings.  Remember it’s a new app and you’re learning too.  Patience, and a little self-deprecating humor, got me through it. Plus, it showed customers my human side.

Did this come easy?  Nope. But does it drive sales? Yep!

Here’s Why You Need to Make Sales Tool Training Habitual

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

iPad Sales Training is huge part of our job here with FatStax. I’ve trained sales people on 4 continents, in huge auditoriums, and over GoToMeeting. This means I talk to a lot of sales executives—VP types, decision makers, bottom-line thinkers. In general, This is the person who says “yes” or “no” to whatever sales tools your company employs like the iPad and FatStax.

There’s little doubt that iPads and iPad Apps are sales tools that require a learning curve. iPad training is a no-brainer for our customers, so we include it. Plus, it’s fun too. We weave in team building, get them to fawn over the new sales tool and learn exactly how to use FatStax and the iPad to engage customers and sell stuff.

And then, sadly for a few companies the training ends.

It doesn’t matter if it was a one-hour training or a one-week training. It doesn’t matter if it was onsite or off site. It doesn’t matter if the trainer was uber dynamic or flat as a pancake. One-and-done sales training for an everyday sales tool like the iPad won’t stick.

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy

Sales tools have the potential to catapult our success, if we use them. Face it: a new sales tool basically requires forming new habits.

New, successful habits.

Would you even dream of making sales calls without a car? Your car is a sales tool and you are in the habit of using it every day. What else is in your sales toolbox? Are they successful habits?

“Participants in sales training forget half of what is taught within 5 weeks.” – Sales Performance International

Like habits that get reinforced day after day, training on the iPad must be reinforced—week after week. You don’t have the time to sit in more training classes, so how else can you turn sales tools into new, successful habits? In other words: what does a comprehensive iPad sales tool training plan look like?

  1. Plan ahead. Before rolling out the iPad and have a long-term reinforcement plan ready.
  2. Follow up on iPad implementation. Don’t talk a big game and then drop the ball.
  3. Provide support. Frustrations could lead to abandonment of a new sales tool. Make sure support is available for technical issues or other concerns.
  4. Empower (and train) sales managers as coaches who help salespeople achieve their goals.
  5. Take it to the field. Different issues may arise in real-life situations versus iPad sales tool training in a classroom.
  6. Set performance goals that can be measured or achieved with the iPad.
  7. Make follow-up training available. Everyone learns differently and at his/her own pace.
  8. Talk about best practices during your sales team meetings.
  9. Supplement coaching with self-directed learning.
  10. Reward Success!

These are just a few suggestions that I’ve seen effective organizations use when rolling out the iPad as a new sales tool.

Share in the comments about training strategies that have helped you form successful habits or get the team using their iPads.

What Your Company and Apple Have in Common

By | B2B Sales, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Agree that Apple makes great products and improves them with just about every update and with every new product release? Yes, (even grudgingly). So when Apple misses, it makes news. By now, you have probably heard about the new IOS 6.0 launched with the iPhone5.  Users are complaining about the new Apple Maps app, which replaced Google Maps, for not living up to their expectations.

Apple device users are accustomed to tapping on and opening quality apps, like Google Maps. However, Apple’s substitute doesn’t measure up right now. Mapping the Google way incorporates years of experience of integrating different data sources, as well as producing their own images. Given that complexity then, why are users and companies so surprised when apps fail to please, even for a company like Apple?

If it’s simple to use, it must be simple to create.

Read More

Tools to Keep Your iPad Charged During Your Next Trade Show

By | B2B Sales, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

On Day 1 of Dreamforce this year, we used 3 iPads in our booth. By 3 pm, 2 of them were completely dead, likely because of trying to connect to the horrible wi-fi accessibility at the trade show. We made a quick trip to Staples and we bought an iPad Battery Pack and a Targus dual iPad Charger.

For Day 2, all 3 heavily-used iPads lasted the entire day.

iPad Trade Show Charging

Thinking about using an iPad during your upcoming trade show? When most companies decide to add the iPad to their trade show booth, multi-tasking staff can get overwhelmed, focusing on how to sell with the iPad, and not thinking about the basic elements needed for a successful show.

Read More

How to Successfully Integrate the iPad into your Sales Team

By | B2B Sales, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Tablets, like the iPad, have opened new possibilities for businesses and enterprises, as expressed in our recent white paper on how businesses can launch the iPad to your sales team.

They easily and securely integrate into existing business environments while having the power to transform the way people do their work. In fact, during an April 2012 earnings conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said 94 percent of the Fortune 500 and 75 percent of the Global 500 either are testing or deploying the iPad. Whether that’s overstated or not, it’s definitely eye-popping. Companies that want to make the iPad an asset to their brand need a plan.

At FatStax, we happen to specialize in helping companies implement the iPad with our iPad sales app. The steps we outlined below can help guide a rollout of iPads and iPad software to enterprise sales teams.

Create a Cross-Functional Team

Think about existing software systems and business processes that will integrate with the iPad. The owners of those systems—on the technical, operational and business sides of the organization—should get involved early in the process. Build a cross-functional team that connects internal stakeholders with external consultants and developers.

Read More

iPad Selling Tips – Maximize Your Battery Life

By | B2B Sales, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

iPad Selling Tips – A comprehensive series to help sales and marketing professionals engage prospects with their iPads based on 2 plus years of training sales forces across the world.

At FatStax, we love using our iPads at trade shows and conferences and we understand that those long days of presenting can drain the battery life of your device. With that in mind here are a few tips to maximizing the battery life of your iPad. Read More

Arm Your Sales Force with iPads to Build Stronger Client Relationships

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

iPad Power Selling Series – We’ve recruited an all-star team of top sales experts to get you excited about selling with the amazing iPad.

Anthony Iannarino is the President and Chief Sales officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class regional staffing service based in Columbus, Ohio. He is also the Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company.

Arm Your Sales Force with iPads to Build Stronger Client Relationships

When it comes to arming the sales force with technology, most of the return on investment analysis rightly centers on productivity. There are countless apps that help to make your sales force more productive. But for my money, the most important outcome that an iPad can help to obtain is Read More

iPad Selling Tips – Turn Off Notifications Before Making Your Presentation!

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

iPad Selling Tips – A comprehensive series to help sales and marketing professionals engage prospects with their iPads based on 2 plus years of training sales forces across the world.

When a sales representative engages with a potential customer or client it is imperative that the presentation is clear, concise and without distraction. Read More