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Just how important is sales tool adoption?

It is not as easy as it sounds, and there is no magic wand.

But the end of the day it could cost you your job.

We hear from big time companies that they are still struggling to get their entire team to use their sales tool.

I’m sure you have some stragglers too.

You know, the ones who have never unwrapped the iPad you gave them at your national sales meeting.

Or the ones who complain about what a pain is to use. (Seriously?)

I was at dinner recently with a Director of Sales and four of his Area Managers.

The topic of iPad adoption came up and led to a lively discussion amongst the managers.

     “My team is just not there yet.”

     “It’s a cool tool, but my guys still use their printed brochures.”

     “We are at 60% adoption and I think that’s about as good as I can get.”

The VP of Sales stunned the group and me by saying,

     “If you’re not using these tools, you will not be working for this company much longer. I came here to build a modern sales team and that’s what I intend to do.”

Yeah, and he meant it too.

A few weeks later a few users were removed from their mobile sales tool within our backend management system.

One of the Area Managers let me know privately that their failure to adopt technology had played a role in their TERMINATION.

As managers we’ve all been there.

It mesmerizes you when you see the same direct reports struggling to accomplish a task the old fashioned way, ignoring the tool you deployed a year ago to solve the problem in minutes.

iPad sales apps are even more frustrating because delinquent users can actually hurt your bottom line as they continue to…

…waste money on printing

…waste time emailing to ask for files that should be on their device

…and bog down sales cycles by not answering customer questions in a timely manner.

So you have to know who your delinquent users are and get them on board fast.

With business apps for iPad, we see three kinds of delinquent users:

  • Slow adopters of new tools – These are the ones that will eventually be successful. They just need coaching and to see others having success before they get on board. Let your champion users spend some time with them and the sales tool.
  • Technophobes – Most likely they will never adopt unless mobile metrics are a KPI they are measured against to accomplish their job and get paid. Setting key metrics that utilize the sales tool should help drive adoption.
  • Entrenched and successful – These are the hardest to get on board. Lone Wolf sale reps who always hit their number.  Wildly popular FAS reps that “just know” how to fix issues.  Appeal to their ego and they will get on board, too.

Managers at all levels need to know who the delinquent users are so they can be targeted individually for improvement.

By the way, ‘delinquent users’ includes us managers, too. We can sometimes be the worst adopters of technology like mobile tools even if we are writing the checks.

Does sales tool adoption really matter? That is an emphatic yes.