Mobility is the greatest sales tool in the world today.

It’s no secret that mobility pays off in sales today.  Otherwise, why would some of the world’s largest companies be investing so many millions of dollars in arming their field teams with sales mobility tools.  I’ve yet to see a Gartner release report about how companies are abandoning the iPad.

And why would Mark Benioff, CEO, get on stage at Dreamforce and spend a whole hour talking about  sales apps for the iPad?  I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t think it’s a waste of his time.

If planned and implemented the right way, mobile sales tools can shorten sales cycles, keep reps up to date with newest collateral, and ultimately drive top line revenue.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that mobilizing information for your sales team did absolutely nothing for top line revenue that you could measure with analytics and dashboards.  Let’s say it never resulted in a single dollar you could measure with reports.  Would still be worth it?  You bet it would.

We speak with marketers and leaders every day about how the power of mobile and the iPad can drive sales for companies across the world.  However, very rarely do we speak with someone that truly understands the impact that mobility can have on their company and sales team as whole.  If companies don’t truly understand this, how can that ever trickle down to their sales teams? The answer: it doesn’t .

For example, I was on a visit with a prospect and her immediate boss, the decision maker, a few weeks back.  We had met about six months earlier and they had decided that mobility was not for them.  I was determined not to let them get away this time.

For about 45 minutes, I discussed with the pair what they were trying to achieve with their project. Since our last meeting they had been asking their sales and marketing teams how they were using mobility in the field, despite the fact that their IT department and CEO had “forbidden” the use of iPads.

It turned out that better than 80% of their sales team were already using iPads!

What were they using iPads for? Everything!

  • Email
  • Presentations
  • Sharing brochures
  • Accessing their website
  • Showing Videos
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Then we had a conversation that went like this:

Boss: I like your company and, I know we need this.  But I need to convince my CEO that this is a good idea.

Me: Why?

Boss: To be honest, we just bought them laptops two years ago and he doesn’t think iPads are worth it.

Me: Why?

Boss: Because we already spent money on the laptops.

Me: Really? Well let me ask you this.  Of your top 3 competitors, are any of them are using iPads?

Boss: Two that I know of. In fact, our new VP of Product Management came over from a competitor last month and keeps talking about their iPad program for sales.

Me: And which iPad sales app are those competitors using?

Boss: Well, that’s the reason you got the second meeting. (Starting to get uncomfortable.)

Me: So you polled your sales team and they are all using their own iPads despite the CEO’s opinion and two of your biggest three competitors are using iPads. What can I do to help you convince your CEO this is a good idea?

Boss: (laughing) You just did.

The truth of the matter is the company knew that an investment in mobility is the future of sales and, I’m happy to say they took the plunge. But, in my mind, there was one reason we were able to have the above conversation and subsequent partnership:

Mobility leads to more effective employees.

So if your company is on the fence debating whether to get on the iPad train not, think about how many times in a given day, week, or month that instant access to the right information could save time money and increase the output of your employees both in the office and out in the field.  If you do this, chances are you will decide that mobility is the greatest sales tool in the world today.