mobile sales tool lesson bob vila

Is you B2B sales app a specialized mobile sales tool or a Swiss Army knife?

What about that app catalog for sales your deployed last quarter?

Swiss Army knives are amazing with all of those mini-tools right in your pocket. As a kid I loved them and never left home without it.

But would you hammer a nail with one?

Could you get a manicure with one?

Of course not, you would use a specialized tool that is designed for the job. Specialized tools make jobs easy because they were designed to accomplish a specific task.

Think about using a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten a flat head screw. Would you do that?

Let’s ask Bob Vila.

The same can be said for sales enablement apps.

We see so many companies trying to cram a million features into their app—like a sort of digital Swiss Army mobile sales tool.

But why?

The iPad is designed for multiple apps.

“There’s an app for that” is Apple’s slogan, right?

How many do you have on your phone right now? I’m sure a bunch, and each one is designed for a specific purpose.

You’re not checking your stocks with your weather app or using a flashlight app to find directions to the nearest gas station.

Yet in their effort to simplify things for field people or in some case IT, companies create these huge, all-encompassing apps that act more like a Swiss Army knife than a specialized tool.

Does this mean your app shouldn’t have great features? Far from it.

It means you, the manager, need to concentrate on defining simple and specific actions every user should be able to perform with your sales app.

Complexity in a mobile sales tool will only bog down development and hurt adoption rates.

For example, there are a few critical daily actions an iPad sales application can help all sales people with.

These might include:

• Be up-to-date on new products and product updates

• Capture key customer data (contact info, hot buttons, touch points)

• Look up product information after a sales call

• Play videos to show how a machine works

To make your app easy to use, define the simple actions you expect from your team and make sure every user knows how to perform them.

These actions need to be reinforced constantly during your monthly, weekly, and daily management interactions with users to reinforce them.

Sure there will be champions among your sales reps using advanced features quickly, but if you can get the entire user base to at least perform the few critical expected tasks with an app…ROI is sure to follow.

Finally, the metrics you are monitoring on weekly basis will continue to guide you on who is up to speed using the app and who is not.

Take it from me, and Bob Vila, and keep your mobile sales tool specialized.

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