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Author's profile photo Dietmar Bohn

Your Sales Managers Are Playing MLB & FIFA 13 on Their iPHONEs: Get a Mobile Strategy & Get Over It!

BMLB Red Sox.pngWhat’s in a Mobile strategy for sales organizations?  You might not include Major League Baseball or European League Football apps as strategic essential – but – read on.   If I ask a customer what they expect in a mobile strategy for their sales team, they’ll inevitably tell me:


“Our mobile strategy is simple: it has to provide everything I need on my mobile device.”


What does that mean exactly? It means that data coming from a sales system (pipeline management, scenario planning, forecasting, etc.) isn’t enough.  Why not include in your mobile strategy access to all relevant information – including supply chain information, complaint management, and yes, there will be some spare moments when having a game on your phone can provide downtime between meetings.


So when preparing to mobile-equip your sales organization you begin with a few questions:

  • Who are your mobile sales users?  Showroom floor sales?  Pharmaceutical sales?  Other industries?
  • What roles do they hold? Executive? Manager?
  • What can mobile do to make them become more productive?
  • What are the typical use cases?


Here’s an example:  my sales rep in pharmaceutical sales, Elena, needs quick preparation time prior to a client meeting and quickly reviews her client status from her mobile.  In the meeting, Elena’s client raises a complaint re: delivery timing or quantity.  Elena will need mobile access to back office information about suppliers.  If there is new information from a recent meeting or perhaps they’ve just replaced their CFO; she’ll also need those details in order to be of strategic use to her client.


Next up: Elena is driving to meet with another client.  This client may have questions on deliveries, shipments, orders, prices, and Elena also wants the opportunity to cross-sell and up sell based on those inquiries.  They close the meeting by organizing when they’ll meet again and agree upon a next contact path based on key data and information at Elena’s fingertips.


As Elena returns to her car, she wraps up by accessing which collateral to send the client; and she has enough time and checks to see which clients she may visit on her route.  She checks her last call report and then scans some social media intelligence to be sure that she’s prepared for how the client is perceived via the social web.  She checks her mobile GPS and gauges how long it will take; calls to inform the client that she’ll be on her way shortly.


Now let’s review: without a laptop, our sales rep has been able to drill down and see all the customers she can reach in a given time span; provide clients with realistic estimates on delivery times; work on scenario planning with the client; share documents; schedule appointments; provide real-time  feedback to marketing about campaigns they are running; generate professional collateral with better language for the customer in mind.


In that example, with a cohesive mobile strategy for a pharmaceutical sales organization, Elena can in confidence tell a client what quantity and when an influenza vaccine will be delivered. This means that her sales org’s mobile strategy needs to include warehouse supply chain, stock information access, and more.  If her client white boards a new logistics process, she can take a quick photo and attach it to her client profile and get immediate feedback.


So the next time you question whether your sales organization can do the job with one device – question your own mobile strategy and be sure to review the above four questions. Given that you have  included what’s relevant to provide sales reps with everything they need on their mobile device – you’ll be in good stead.  And with some of your pharmaceutical reps visiting upwards of 10 clients per day, you might think twice about how they chose to spend their spare time.  [What little they have!]


For more on how you can put Mobile Sales to work for you, see for yourself at SapphireNOW 2013 in Orlando May 14-16, 2013.  Register here today!

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