I am an evangelist for mobile technology, because I encounter its power in my life every day.
Case in point: As a recent quarter rolled to an end, I thought all of the deals I supported as a solutions engineer were on track to close.
But as I boarded a plane for vacation, one of my account executives called—they needed crucial information to close a deal. I had to respond quickly, since there were only a few business hours left in the day. I leveraged mobile apps via airline Wi-Fi to address the client’s question, and sent supporting documentation within minutes. The email traveled from 30,000 feet in the air to the client’s screen—how’s that for a quarter-end fire drill?
Customers no longer live attached to desktops—and neither can sellers, or the businesses they serve. Our mobile age demands the ability to make immediate updates, have visibility into the activity of their teams, and respond in real time to crises. Especially for SaaS companies, failing to fully leverage mobile could cost millions of dollars. Here’s what’s at stake.
Mobile access means business
Supporting mobile users is critical for organizations that don’t just want to meet the growing demands of customers, but want to exceed their expectations through a positive mobile experience.
Failing to invest in mobile today means missing opportunities tomorrow. The majority of adults in the U.S. use their mobile device when they go online, and when they are online, they spend 88% of their time on mobile apps, according to Insider Intelligence. Clearly, mobile is where customers seek answers. That means businesses need to meet their users on mobile with the solutions their client-base seeks.
But launching a mobile app is not enough. Retention depends on how well users can navigate your app, how intuitive it feels, and if it satisfies their needs. The Boston Consulting Group reports that 90% of buyers will buy again from the same vendor if they experience a superior mobile experience.
For businesses, that means they need to take the time to create an app that forges a deeper connection with customers. That requires eliminating errors, making the app fast and easy to navigate, and ideally, designing features that bring users delight, so they have a positive and memorable experience, and will return again and again.
Reach future B2B buyers, now
Millennials, many now in their late 30s, are the first mobile generation. They turn to mobile devices to solve problems, locate information, and establish their identity. They also represent 60% of today’s B2B tech buyers, says TrustRadius, and 51% of lead buyers and financial approvers for B2B purchases, TrustRadius also writes. Their roles will likely expand in coming years as older generations exit the workforce.
On the heels of Millennials in mobile use is Generation Z, which includes children, teenagers, and young adults born between 1997 and 2012. A Snapchat report showed that nearly all of them (97%) own a smartphone and more than two-thirds (78%) use that device to get online. In total, Generation Z will spend more hours on their mobile devices per day than any previous generation.
Because the oldest of their generation are early adults, the current B2B buyer footprint for Generation Z is small — right now, they represent only 2% of B2B buyers. But because of their loyalty to mobile, companies that meet the needs of this generation now will engender loyalty and goodwill as this cohort rises through the professional ranks. Remember, this is the first generation in history that has no memory of a world without smartphones. As generations shift, their place in the B2B world will become more prominent.
Bettering your future bottom line
As a sales engineer who interacts with scores of Clari deals and clients, I can say from experience that the greatest pain points for our customers are data quality and adoption by frontline managers and sales reps. Mobile solutions that support sales managers and reps help serve both of these issues—they’re more likely to use, engage with, and support a platform that meets them where they live, on their devices.
Mobile may be standard for B2B buyers, but that doesn’t mean it’s done well. If it is, though, a quality mobile platform yields not just greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, but company growth. Mobile can speed up the sales cycle by 20% compared to B2B purchases that do not involve mobile, notes BCG. The payoff could be worth $30 million to $60 million in growth, or 1.5% to 3% of added revenue, BCG finds.
The future differentiator will not be among organizations that have a mobile app or not, but among those that provide the most effortless user experience: Which apps improve workflows, provide greater accuracy, data quality, make user adoption easiest, and more? These are questions that will rise in significance among users that need access to workflows wherever and whenever they are.
Even from 30,000 feet in the sky.
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