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
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.
CRM systems like Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, and all of the others are an essential tool for reps in the field. But can their CRM instance in app form really be called a mobile sales app? We often hear this confusion between mobile sales platforms and CRM systems, so Corey decided explaining the differences between the two would help clear the air.
And for reference, here’s Corey’s whiteboard
Hey guys! This is Corey from FatStax, and I’m here today to talk to you about a common question we hear all the time: What’s the difference between a CRM app and a mobile sales app?
Well it’s pretty easy to get the two confused because… well, they’re both apps! But really, there’s a lot that makes each one unique and two key differences between the two. That’s what I’m going to go over with you today.
What is a CRM app?
First, let’s go over the CRM app. There are four big things that make a CRM app unique:
- Access customer data – Obviously for a rep in the field, a CRM app is going to allow them to access all of their customer data.
- Access opportunities – It will allow reps to access any open opportunities they might have.
- Internal communication – For Salesforce users, that’s like Chatter or message boards within your CRM.
- Log customer data – And of course, any interaction you have with a customer in the field you’re going to be able to log that customer data.
What is a mobile sales app?
Now, let’s go back over to the mobile sales app, and go over some things that make them unique as well:
- Store digital collateral – You’re able to take all of your digital collateral, your PDFs, videos, images, all of that kind of stuff, and store it within the app.
- Send and share collateral – You’re then also able to send and share that collateral either by email or just turn your tablet around and show your prospect right in front of you.
- Display key product data – You’re also able to show some of those key data points like specs, SKUs, etc.
- Pricing and soft quoting capabilities – Last but not least you can perform pricing, quoting and ordering. A lot of times with mobile sales apps, you’re able to show and perform all of these tasks from the app itself.
So, what are the two key differences between a CRM app and a mobile sales app?
First let’s start with access, and that obviously comes from the Internet. When you’re talking about a CRM app, the CRM needs constant access to the Internet through your CRM database. So anytime a rep is opening and using that CRM app, they need constant connection to the Internet to access that information as well as make changes or add new information.
On the flip side with a mobile sales app, all of that information is synced at one time and only needs Internet connection at that one time when you’re syncing the app. Think of it like I make a change by adding new collateral, my rep will only need Internet access only one time to sync that new information and won’t need it again. It is then stored in the mobile sales app.
Last but not least, let’s think about Joe Prospect for a second. Do you want something, like a CRM app, where it’s not so much branded or customized, just a lot of clunky data that really only important to the sales rep and not the prospect? You’re not going to show your or use your CRM in front of your prospect. That’s something you’re probably going to use before the call or after the call when you’re making notes.
With the mobile sales app, you have all of your collateral, you’re able to share and send it to them after the sales call, all your product information, pricing information, maybe even show them a quote, and you’re doing all of that in front of the prospect showing them the tablet itself.
Those are some of the key differences that makes each one unique. I hope this video was informational for you, and thanks for watching!
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?
- Plan ahead. Before rolling out the iPad and have a long-term reinforcement plan ready.
- Follow up on iPad implementation. Don’t talk a big game and then drop the ball.
- Provide support. Frustrations could lead to abandonment of a new sales tool. Make sure support is available for technical issues or other concerns.
- Empower (and train) sales managers as coaches who help salespeople achieve their goals.
- Take it to the field. Different issues may arise in real-life situations versus iPad sales tool training in a classroom.
- Set performance goals that can be measured or achieved with the iPad.
- Make follow-up training available. Everyone learns differently and at his/her own pace.
- Talk about best practices during your sales team meetings.
- Supplement coaching with self-directed learning.
- 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.
My first car was a Ford Bronco. I still remember that incredible feeling of freedom I had when I first hit the 405 by myself. I merged onto the 5 and realized nothing could stop me. I could go anywhere. I could do anything. In a sense, my first car helped get me where I am today.
Where is that? Today I am privileged to help thousands of enterprise sales and marketing professionals experience that same feeling of freedom. Together, we are traveling the open road of an expanding movement: business mobility.
Mobility means different things to different people. In fitness, it’s about flexibility and range of motion. For disabled people mobility requires a wheelchair or accessible van. In business, mobility generally refers to the adoption of mobile technologies to improve business processes. But for everyone, mobility, as defined by Merriam-Webster is:
1. the ability or tendency to move from one position or situation to another usually a better one 2. ability to move quickly and easily
Who in sales and marketing wouldn’t want to move from “one situation to another usually a better one”? That is the promise business mobility holds. We haven’t even begun to tap the power of business mobility to advance our careers and boost bottom lines.
Pagers and cell phones first brought business mobility to enterprise workplaces. You had the freedom to step away from your desk without missing an important call. Then you got a laptop. It was great for taking notes or working on documents in a coffee shop, but it was largely useless before widespread Internet access and enterprise support.
Today the smart phone has become the ubiquitous, personal business mobility tool. You can get calls and make calls. You can use 3G, 4G, LTE or WiFi. It holds your calendar. It’s your primary email tool. You text your spouse, you show off pictures of the kids and dogs, and you play games. You think it’s pretty cool.
Whether you got your first cell phone in 1985 or 2005, did you ever think it would be all that? It’s time to stretch our imaginations and envision the next key to business mobility:
Where will the iPad take us? Whatever your job and wherever you do it, the iPad has the potential to solve business problems. It can save money, improve resource management, generate sales leads, gather marketing data, enhance your customers’ experiences, and so much more.
Getting from good to great with the iPad takes more than an iPad. It takes a commitment. In the next post, we’ll talk about how an organization-wide commitment to iPad adoption backed by ongoing training and support can deliver true business mobility.
If you asked the CEO of a major corporation what their company’s biggest priority is, you might be surprised by the answer. Instead of focusing the majority of their immediate attention on security issues, health insurance or recruiting employees, the focus is increasingly about going mobile and implementing the iPad. According to a recent survey by Forrester, 50 percent of companies admitted that supporting mobility was the number one priority they had for their employees.
In our conversations with business leaders, we see the same emphasis. If you think about the logistics, in terms of price and the evolution of technology, it makes sense that enterprises and small business are exploring mobile. In fact, compared to laptops, mobile devices, like the iPad, are less expensive. Not only that, much like smartphones, they are instant-on, making information easily accessible.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of going mobile is that sales teams become more productive. Nucleus Research found, in a recent survey, that providing sales people with mobile device access to CRM drove a 14.6 percent productivity increase. While CRM systems, like Salesforce, have always been beneficial to sales representatives, without a mobile platform, they were less inclined to update customer information once leaving the field.
The Advantage of CRM in the Field
By making CRM platforms mobile, a new world of sales productivity is open for sales reps. Now, team members can access real-time information, as well as create and track sales leads online. Furthermore, managers who want to approve business processes and manage company information can do so through their company CRM system via their mobile devices.
When CRM adoption is an important objective for your company, prior to mobile implementation, you need to set your expectations. So ask yourself: 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? Whether you choose A or B or both, it will help you outline your strategy and choose the CRM software that works best for you.
Taking CRM to the Next Level
Out in the field, sales people should be focused on selling. Reducing administrative processes and automating input from sales people into your CRM saves time and provides more accurate data. This helps other departments like marketing and operations as well. This is precisely why we created the “App to Lead” feature on the FatStax iPad Sales app, which automatically updates your CRM system with or without Internet access.
The FatStax Sales App is unique in the way that it gives sales reps the ability to send field-generated leads directly to their CRM account, reducing administrative time and enabling them to review those sales opportunities remotely.
At a tradeshow without Wi-Fi coverage? Since everything you did in FatStax is stored on the iPad, you simply find coverage after the show and the leads load into you CRM account. Even if Internet access is available, we are still helping you avoid the additional task of manually updating customer sales leads.
As technologies are evolving, the iPad is quickly becoming an essential tool for enterprise companies and small businesses alike. Not only do mobile devices provide employees with improved productivity and instant access to company data, but tablets, like the iPad, have made it possible for sales representatives to decrease administrative work and update sales leads while still in the field. After all, one of the key promises of any CRM solution is to help representatives sell better with real-time communication. Mobilizing CRM helps fulfill that promise.
We are honored to announce that our FatStax iPad Sales app received the 2012 Enterprise App Award from CRN for being one of the top mobile apps for businesses. We were one out of three companies to be selected for an “Appy Award,” from a pool of over 50 nominees.
The 2012 Enterprise App Award solidifies FatStax as the leader in developing easy to use enterprise iPad sales apps to companies of all sizes and industries.
“As more channel executives turn to tablet PCs and other mobile devices as their primary work machines, demand for information around mobile business continues to build,” said Kelley Damore, Vice President and Editorial Director for UBM Channel. “At CRN, our solution provider readership is constantly on the lookout for the highest rated enterprise apps in the industry. That’s why we created this award, to provide our audience with a short list of the most beneficial mobile applications in the channel. We congratulate this year’s winners on their success, and applaud them for developing cutting-edge products to meet the ever-growing need for creative, functional mobile solutions in the channel.”
We are proud to say that FatStax, our iPad sales app, was chosen for its ability to solve business problems through a mobile platform. Our branded and customizable sales tools enables companies and sales teams to drive successful iPad integration and fast deployment of sales catalogs and resources (PDFs and videos) from our web-based Content Management System.
The recognition gained with this award would not be possible without our amazing customers and partners who trust and value our service. Thank you all!
To learn more about the 2012 Enterprise App Award from CRN visit www.crn.com or check out the October 2012 issue of CRN Magazine. Or contact us to discuss how FatStax can help your company succeed with our iPad Sales App.
Can you believe it; we have made it to the final step in our series for Adding the iPad to Your Sales Arsenal, written for Marketing and Business Opps. If you missed a step along the way feel free to take moment and download the complete plan here.
Remember a success plan is followed step by step. Let’s go over what we have done so far.
Step 1: We defined what success meant to you and your company.
Step 2: Explained the importance of gaining C Level Support.
Step 3: We went over current systems and processes to determine where the iPad would fit in. We also talked about how important building a cross functional team is.
Step 4: The budget, one of the more important steps because you want to make sure include all costs associated with an iPad roll-out.
Step 5: The Apps – how can a company save money on branded apps. Why they are important… who can help.
Step 6: Testing Assumptions through a Pilot. A one or two phase pilot will help you determine what needs to be done before launch. Here we also talked about running a successful pilot.
At the Disruptathon Mobile Enterprise Event, FatStax was voted Most Liked and placed for Best Design, Most Disruptive, and Best Business Model.
The Selling With Your iPad videos share tips & best practices using iPad sales tools.
If you use an iPad and sales apps to help you sell, you know how easy the iPad makes it for you to increase customer engagement, share content, access products and more – especially at the point of sale at trade shows or in your daily calls.
In this video segment of Selling With Your iPad, we provide some sales training tips on how to increase customer engagement with the iPad, while still focusing on the product information you need to share.