2015 Update: The Era of Mobile Solutions in Business
As summer approaches and the weather starts to warm up, we are reminded of how nice it is to spend the days outside, rather than be tied to an office. I thought this would be a good time to repost a previous blogs from April 2014, on mobile solutions for business. Why not take advantage of that good weather and go outside! With these mobile offerings, you can bring along the work as well.
I’ve been involved in the consultative sales profession for almost a decade. About 8 years ago, I was living out of a suitcase and traveling 50% of the time for business. While being out or in the office, I managed to track client information using everything from white boards, to planners, to post-its, to Excel spreadsheets, and CRM systems. The challenge was finding an effective system while being away from the office.
Struggling to find a Wi-Fi connection for my laptop, I often had the disadvantage of being unable to login to my CRM system to review my weekly sales activity reports. If I could access phone or email to request a quote, there was a 2-10 day lag time from headquarters to receive the quote. This lengthy process didn’t allow me to provide on-site sales quotes to the clients. As a result, I was unable to close some of these important opportunities. The invention of the smartphone would have been by far the most efficient resource for me to use when visiting clients. Having a mobile sales device at that time would have given me the capability to provide accurate quotes in real time.
I was using a popular smartphone of the time, called the Palm phone. Smartphones began around 2002, when PDAs took on the ability to make phone calls. Nowadays, according to Nielsen reports, about 40% of the U.S. population use smart phones. It is predicted that by 2016, 1.6 billion mobile devices will be purchased globally and 40% of the global workforce will be mobile (source: Gartner).
By 2016, 20% of sales organizations will use tablets. By 2018, that number will increase to 70% (source: Gartner). It is predicted that tablets may actually gain popularity even faster than mobile phones.
Today, streamlining the sales process is easier than ever with mobile sales applications. Many mobile sales devices have features such as, online catalogs and building quotes. This enables Sales Representatives to show their clients which items are in stock.
Furthermore, companies save money by no longer printing costly catalogs. Quotes edited on a mobile device can now be automatically synced with Accounting and ERP systems.
With the evolution of smarter, easier to use mobile sales devices, the possibilities are endless with you now being in the driver’s seat. Having these capabilities 8 years would’ve made me more effective in closing more opportunities.
Written by Adrian Lopez, Account Executive for DSD Business Systems.