Sales people are mobile
Sales people meet with lots of prospects and customers. And they have quotas. But they also have lives. They have kids and football and soccer games. They live life. Most travel a lot, and spend lots of time alone with their phones. What they need is technology that gives them the flexibility to do their jobs whenever and wherever it’s required. That’s why the future of sales technology is in the smartphone.
Mobile is everything in sales
Think about it. The smartphone has the potential to be the sales rep’s intelligent sales assistant. Always there, always helpful. Fast access to any information quickly—contact information, opportunity status, pipeline, you name it. But also helpful insight: follow-up reminders, buyer activity alerts, and suggestions on what to do next with opportunities and buyers.
Before going any further, I want to get one thing straight—how we view the smartphone. In my view, the smartphone is more of a computer that lets you make calls than a phone that does computing. It’s an incredibly powerful computer with “instant on” that you can carry around.
Laptops aren’t going away anytime soon, but the percentage of time sales reps need to stop, sit down and fire up their laptops is dramatically shrinking. Smartphones enable reps to do most of the things they used to have to do on their computer—only much more conveniently. And smartphones fill the unproductive void when reps are on the go. No longer does out of the office, or your kid’s baseball game mean you can’t get things done. Smartphones give reps the freedom to be places they need to be and still remain productive.
Mobile = the future of sales technology
Let’s quickly look toward the future of sales technology. Smartphones, obviously serve as the critical communication device—letting reps call, email and text their buyers from anywhere. But it goes way beyond that. Smartphones give reps the power to operate flexibly and do things that, just a few years ago, had to be done in the office.
Let’s walk through a few examples.
As a rep, I am heading across town on the subway to a meeting. I haven’t had time to put together a tailored pitch for my buyer, so I whip out my iPhone, access my cloud-based sales resource library, choose a few slides and build a custom deck and download. Now, I’m prepared to present—you guessed it—from my smartphone.
As a rep, I need to follow-up on a key opportunity I’ve been pursuing. It’s been a week and I want review where we left it. I open my sales assistant app, and view the visual timeline of recent activities for the opportunity. I switch to the buying room—a visual of all the key buyers. I click on one of my champions, Mary Allers, the head of marketing. The app lists case studies and other content appropriate for her at this point in the buying cycle. I pick a case study from similar technology firm we closed earlier this year. I click share, voice-dictate a quick note suggesting a call and send. Done in 47 seconds—from my daughter’s birthday party.
OK, one more example.
Have you heard of the voice first revolution? If not, you will soon. And it’s going to change the way we interact with devices… for the better. The surge in natural language processing (NLP) and the smartphone (the best voice-dictation device ever created) is an incredibly powerful combination.
So, as a sales rep, I just left a first meeting with a big manufacturing firm. The meeting went well and they asked me to send the Siemen’s case study I mentioned. I’m still in the lobby waiting for Uber.
So, I start a discussion with my sales assistant app.
Me: “Find the Siemens case study document.”
Assistant: “Okay, found it.”
Me: “Personalize it for ABC Manufacturing.”
Assistant: “Personalizing for ABC Manufacturing. Done. Would you like me to send it to you?”
Me: “No, send it to Dan Newman from ABC Manufacturing.”
Assistant: “Okay sending to Dan Newman.”
Pretty incredible right? Think how much more efficient and effective sales reps can be with a smart sales assistant with them at all times. An assistant that can actually understand and do things for you. All right from your smartphone. Sounds like an exciting future for sales.