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Last Updated Dec 09, 2013 — App Management expert

Steve Diorio of Profitable Channels on Mobile Sales Enablement

App Management

Leaders in Enterprise Mobility

Steve Diorio of Profitable Channels discusses the benefits of mobile sales enablement.

Steve Diorio of Profitable Channels

 Video Transcript : And so I guess I'd say for about the last 25 years, I've been working with large sales organizations to improve sales effectiveness and reduce selling costs at the same time. You know, as organizations look to increase sales effectiveness, they increasingly look to technology. First it was database marketing. Then was call centers. E-commerce. CRM. Email marketing automation. Eventually, I wrote a book called "Beyond e: 12 Ways Technology is Transforming Sales and Marketing Strategy." Because what I learned was, to take advantage of technology, the problem isn't technology. It's changing your sales processes, the way you go to market, and the way you're organized.

So why am I excited about mobile? Well, mobile devices offer the potential to solve some very persistent sales problems. I call them the C's. Consistency of execution of the sales process. Cross selling without product pushing. Challenger selling, meaning thought leadership. Changing the mindset of the customer. Cost to sell. Mobile devices can rip out a ton of cost in terms of paper, PowerPoint, and pitch books. And confidence. They enable sales people to be confident in the product they're selling and pull in subject matter experts and thought leadership from inside their organization. Another benefit of mobile is that it's there for you at the customer moment of truth. When you're face to face with a customer operating without a net and you don't have a coach, and you forget your sales training. Probably the greatest potential of mobile devices to transform sales is their ability to completely redefine the sales experience by making things simpler. By offering consumer grade graphics in B to B selling situations. By offering visual configuration tools that allow you to work collaboratively with your client to build something together. By offering solution selling tools that help you do financial scenarios, total cost of ownership, ROI models in real time. And by simply the ability to access the right information at the right time when the client wants it.

Companies like Audi, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay are completely reinventing how they sell their products with tablets. For example, Audi is opening show rooms that don't have cars, because 100% of the selling process is actually happening on am iPad. When they did have cars in the dealership, all they were using them for was to put the tablet on the hood so they could demonstrate features, do a test drive, deliver financing, and close the deal. Another important consideration is accountability. Sales executives don't know what happened in sales calls unless they do a ride along. Ride alongs happen less than 1% of the time. A tablet let's you conduct a virtual ride along, and actually let you be a fly on the wall in that sales meeting, so you can tell what your sales person did, what they showed the client, what the follow up was. In addition, training executives are excited, because they have a higher degree of accountability. They can see whether retail sales associates, business partners or sales people actually took the training, how long, and what score they got.

Marketing executives can figure out which content worked and which content didn't work. This is important in an environment where 70% of sales people don't think marketing gives them content that they need. I get asked all the time, what are best practices in mobile sales enablement? Well, the firms that are getting the highest return, the greatest growth, and the most improvements in sales effectiveness aren't necessarily focused on the technology. That tends to sort itself out. The hard stuff and the good stuff are three things. Reengineering the sales process to take advantage of the unique benefits of tablets. Repackaging their content so that it can be displayed, assembled, configured and customized on a tablet. And last, and probably most importantly, is having a vision for how you're going to redefine the client experience in your industry the way that Audi and Estee Lauder have.

My advice to organizations that are trying to get the most out of tablets is to identify the use case. That is, the sales situation or circumstance where a tablet can make the biggest impact on the client experience and the sales outcome. In the insurance industry, that's at the policy renewal, where we're trying to add value, education and insight. In some industries, it's an event trigger that suggests that there's a cross-sale opportunity that could be taken advantage of. In other industries, it's a 360-degree account review, where we can pull together a bunch of different information to paint a bigger and broader picture for the client. In some industries, its configuration, making sure that we get the right information and the right specifications into our proposals and our orders so mistakes don't happen and money isn't wasted.

In other industries, it's challenger selling, reducing the amount of time it takes to prepare for a sales call and think up great ideas, relevant insights, and solutions for clients. So what's the future hold? Admittedly, we're in the early stages of adoption of tablets in sales. However, there are few things you can anticipate. One, you need to embrace complexity, complexity in devices. Use cases, applications, operating systems.

Your mobile operation has to accommodate a vast amount of complexity, because there's only going to be more applications, more versions of mobile operating systems, more different deployment models, and more different use cases out there. And it's important to be mindful of changing customer expectations. 98% of sales executives believe that in the next 24 months, tablets will be essential to selling. Already in the medical devices industry, in the pharmaceutical industry, in the automotive industry, in the software industry, tablets are accepted as a standard sales practice. Customers expect them.

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