Part 1: 21st Century Selling: Unlocking the Power of Mobile Devices to Improve Performance & Grow Sales

This post is by Mark IppolitoMark is a Sr. Manager with Lenati and leads Lenati’s Sales Optimization Practice. Lenati’s solutions for sales strategy and design, segmentation, account planning, field enablement, partner channel  development and sales measurement have been deployed at leading technology, software, and  telecomm companies including Adobe, Google, T-Mobile, WebTrends and many more.

Executive Summary:  Given the unique—and rapidly expanding--  capabilities of mobile devices to monitor location data, record sales activities and capture real-time transactions, leading edge sales organizations are leveraging mobile devices to drive improved field sales productivity and performance.  Forward thinking sales leaders are investing resources in tools and technologies with the specific intent to leverage the ubiquitous mobile device to improve key performance metrics, close rates and grow revenue.  

Notably, our findings reveal that the benefits of mobile device enablement are not constrained to any one sector. Sales productivity and effectiveness gains are being reported across multiple industry sectors including Aerospace, Distribution, Engineering, Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Media, Services and Software.

[Note: this is Part One of a three-part series on best practices in Mobile Device Field Enablement. Subscribe to Lenati’s RSS blog feed to receive updates as they are published.]

Scenarios: Lenati identified and evaluated 27 mobile device enablement deployment scenarios and conducted interviews with operations, sales executives and thought leaders from 15 enterprise and mid-market organizations.

Our Sales Optimization Practice team then distilled the key ingredients these organizations have used for designing, developing and successfully implementing mobile device field enablement. Moreover, our key findings include obstacles and impediments to success.

Evidence: Going way beyond email connectivity and data consumption, here are just a few of the innovative field enablement scenarios 21st century sales organizations have deployed to take advantage of attributes unique to mobile devices:

Implications for Field Enablement and Sales Leadership:

Driving Behavioral Change through Device Capabilities

Drawing bees to honey: Conventional territory route plans get turbocharged by integrating location data from a mobile device with prospect-profile data that includes the prospects’ purchase history of competitors’ products.  

By increasing the number of pre-qualified prospect meeting reps were able to perform in a day, a medical supplies distributor with more than 700 reps in the field significantly increased per rep productivity and exceeded quarterly sales targets. A software sales company focuses reps on securing seven-figure licensing renewal deals among large enterprise customers.

Given the complexity and long cycle time of the renewals, reps are provided exhaustive training on the multiple sales motions to be executed throughout the duration of the renewal period. By integrating the sales motions into the company’s renewal management tool and making it available through a secure mobile app, reps are able to retrieve in real-time the specific sales motion required for each renewal opportunity as they prepare in advance for client meetings.

Prompting reps with a timely and relevant refresher on the most effective sales motion they should apply to the specific renewal opportunity, early results demonstrate increased sale velocity and improved renewal performance.

Relevant, Real Time Data Rules

Mass customization: Traditional commercial insurance agents go onsite to evaluate a client’s requirements and return to the office to work up a quote—allowing time/opportunity for competitors to submit a competing bid. 

Leveraging the capabilities of their existing CRM, a large insurer monitors agents’ client appointment calendars and proactively pushes to the individual agent’s mobile device a customized set of products and price bids based on the pre-existing profile that the agent can present in real time to the customer while still on site. An industrial supplies distributor previously published a (i.e. static) price sheet and emailed it quarterly to reps in the field.

Seeing an opportunity to increase sales volume while also improving margin, the sales operations team published a mobile pricing app that enabled the company to dynamically manage price changes as frequently as desired. The result: A 20% margin improvement in the first quarter after the app was released.

Unleash your Demo Demon!

Equipping reps with the “right demo” containing specific information relevant to target prospects needs is a perpetual problem of field marketing and enablement managers everywhere.

Leveraging the content management engine previously developed for publishing content to their website, a regional cable broadcaster equipped reps with mobile devices to which they dynamically push customized video samples to reps. Reps previously would have producers create custom reels at the studios and email them as links as a post call follow-up.

By engaging customers in real-time at the point of sale, reps shortened cycle times and revenue per account increased.  [ (Side bar) And adoption rate?  With reps making more sales and more commissions, there was no challenge in getting the reps to adopt the new presentation format. Enhanced video and interactive capabilities ensure continuity and effectiveness of messaging:  A software developer developed a comprehensive video demo, that while impressive upon viewing, did not have the desired impact of closing more sales.

After identifying best practices of a “top field seller” ---including key messages, investigation techniques and closing strategies – the company modified the delivery of the demo via mobile device adding personalization and custom information to each rep to help mimic the performance of the top seller throughout the region. 

The more personalized pitch not only delivered better results in the form of close rates, but adoption of the new tool was 100% as sellers clearly saw they were able to sell more by following the sales guidance provided. In Part Two, we’ll identify specific benchmarks and KPIs organizations have developed for mobile device field enablement to deliver measureable results and impact.

Published on February 08, 2013

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