I’m fully convinced. Empowering a sales rep can quickly change the dynamics of a relationship. I know because last month, a sales rep from a large technology company was trying to make a deeper connection with a university, but he was struggling to stay relevant in front of its IT department that interacts with numerous vendors over the course of a month, and many more over the course of a year.
The rep was getting nervous that he wasn’t a priority. And he began dreading the next “How are you?” conversation. Then one afternoon, when he was waiting at the airport for a flight, the rep went to his mobile sales app. When he searched for the customer’s number, he found breaking news linked to that customer name. In another part of the state, the university system had experienced storm damage and major outages. The rep quickly dialed his phone to share his concern with the customer and offer any assistance. That personal conversation changed the way the customer saw that rep, and helped build a more solid relationship with that customer. Although there was no mention of technology or business on the call that afternoon, the customer appreciated the rep’s concern… and the relationship was forever altered.
Four Successful Use Cases
I’ve been at Clari about ten months now. Because I support customer implementations, I’ve gotten to hear a number of success stories like this one. It seems to me that the sales ops teams that start with a core group of reps and emphasize the value of small mobile wins are really on to something. They highlight team-level success to reinforce that small wins can lead to big rewards.
Over the last few months, I’ve seen four use cases where a mobile sales app truly helps reps save time:
1. PRE-MEETING REMINDER
During this last minute check in — from the office, in the car, or even in the lobby — sales reps have the opportunity to use their mobile device to get up to speed on any late-breaking news (like that storm) that might affect the meeting they are just about to enter. Did the management team change? Did the company roll out a new product or service or just announce earnings?
They can also use their smartphone to review the tailored presentation they expect to present to the customer during the meeting. With an integrated sales app, reps can review notes and presentations, as well as check news feeds and past email exchanges with the customer, even past calendar appointments and notes to make sure they are as prepared as possible.
2. ATTENDEE CHECK
Knowing the audience can make or break a deal. Reps can quickly and easily check on the positions and qualifications of everyone in the meeting room—they can even match individuals to pictures available on sites such as LinkedIn. And if someone is added to the agenda at the last minute, using a mobile sales app can also help reps to quickly identify that person and their level of influence… and how to make a good impression or bond with them more quickly.
3. POST-MEETING DEBRIEF
Lots of team members — from sales management to the inside sales rep who booked the initial call — need to know how a particular customer deal is progressing. A mobile sales app can prompt reps with a few questions that enable them to provide quick updates without having to wait until the end of the week to log into a CRM system from their computer. From their fingertips, sales reps can finally deliver deal information proactively and in real time… often before they reach their car and leave the parking lot.
4. MANAGER ONE-ON-ONES
Meetings with management can improve deal progress, so it’s important for managers to be able to do their jobs from the road. Using a mobile sales productivity tool, managers can log in to see deal progress, make recommendations, and conduct regular one-on-one meetings with their entire teams from the road. They can leave their desktop PCs at home and travel with confidence, knowing they can support any rep deal, anywhere, at a moment’s notice.
The large enterprises I’ve talked with seem to be struggling with how to use mobility to their advantage — to help their reps and at the same time improve visibility into the entire sales process. I know small mobile victories enable interactions that transform sales processes for the better. The right mobile app (like Clari) can be deployed in days to smaller teams. And the feedback those reps provide can then drive more sales process improvement to larger teams. How do I know? I’m hearing it everyday.