5 Must-Haves for a Marvelous Mobile Sales App

by Adam Luckeroth, on Jan 13, 2015, 3:32:20 PM

You should consider multiple factors when making the decision to create or purchase a mobile sales app.  Among all the metaphorical spinning plates, it’s easy to forget some necessary components. For example, if an organization buys a mobile sales app for their team but it doesn’t address their pain points or provide immediate benefits, it’s unlikely they’ll use it. No matter how easy it is to use or how fast you get it into their hands, if there is no perceived value by the people who will be using the app, it will be a big (and expensive) waste of time.

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If you want to do it right the first time and ensure your mobile sales app will be successfully adopted throughout your organization, consider these five things first:

1. Is it easy to use?
2. Does it improve sales performance?
3. Can it provide analytics on usage and follow-up?
4. Is it affordable in both creation and maintenance?
5. How quickly can you get it into the hands of your team?

The answers to these questions may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often one of these five questions is overlooked. Here’s why each is important, and how you can avoid making a potentially terminal mistake when rolling out your mobile sales app.

Question one: Is it easy to use? 

Ease of use is question number one for a reason. If the app is confusing or complicated, it’s not going to catch on with your sales team, regardless of whether the other four conditions are met.  The sales team’s primary focus is selling-- and trying to figure out a complicated new platform isn’t exactly high on their wish list. With that in mind, it’s a given that any technology needs to be easy to use and just work.

A good benchmark for determining the simplicity of a mobile sales app is whether or not you’re able to explain what it does in simple terms to someone who doesn’t have prior knowledge of the concept. The biggest mistake you can make when choosing your app is to assume that the salespeople in your organization have existing knowledge and exposure to mobile sales tools. They might not be aware that there are ways to show a presentation, play a video, review a product sell-sheet without bouncing between programs and platforms.

Question two: Does it improve sales performance?

In my experience, there are two kinds of problems in the sales industry-- actual problems, and invented problems. Many sales leaders get so caught up in the allure of new technology that they want to implement it immediately. Being on the early side of technology is rarely a bad thing, in fact, that’s probably why early adopter is leaders in the first place. But implementing technology just because it exists isn’t good business. It can even create more problems than it solves if it’s not thought through and aligned with your business and sales goals. Ultimately, you need to determine roadblocks in your sales process and whether the mobile sales app you choose will eliminate these roadblocks that hinder sales performance.

To understand the roadblocks to improving sales performance, take some time to talk to your sales and marketing teams about the day-to-day obstacles they experience. Maybe they spend way too much time with back-and-forth communication. Or maybe your salespeople have a hard time finding the updated presentation or keeping track of important but seldom-used documents. Whatever the problems are, make sure your app solves the issues in a simple manner. Your team will be grateful that you took the time to understand what they need and created something that makes their jobs easier.

Question three: Can it provide analytics on usage and follow-up?

Any marketer can tell you how important it is to be able to track your efforts. This concept applies to mobile sales apps. A good app should be able to provide analytics to help you continuously evaluate and improve your sales materials. Quality analytics will allow you to see how the sales force is using specific marketing materials, evaluate the effectiveness, and gain insight into successful tactics.

Along with analytics and tracking of sales and marketing materials, a mobile sales app should allow you to follow up with your leads immediately -- while you’re still top of mind for them. That kind of follow-up conveys to your prospect that they’re important to your organization, and gives them the information they need while they’re at the peak of their interest. For this reason, it’s also important to understand how your app will integrate with your CRM platform. CRM integration allows your team to track follow-up efforts more efficiently.

Question four: Is it affordable in both creation and maintenance?

Implementing and managing a mobile sales app costs more than the initial price; meaning, there are costs to be considered post-purchase as well. For example, you’ll need to determine whether to design and develop your app or choose a third party solution. If you develop your solution you need to figure out how you’re going to update and maintain that technology. Will you have an internal team dedicated to the implementation, training, upkeep and maintenance of your app? Or will you outsource that work?

Third party solutions, like Modus, provide complete a platform for implementation, user support, updates, and maintenance.

Question five: How quickly can you get it into the hands of your team?

In sales, timing is everything. The faster you can deploy your app to your team, the faster they can start receiving the benefits that it offers--above all else, more efficient sales calls. That doesn’t mean there should be an effort to rush production. Test the app thoroughly and set it up with the materials the team needs. A well-designed app has an easy deployment process and should require a simple download onto the devices.

After you’ve considered these five questions, you should be ready to make your final decision. Are there other questions you’d like to add to the list? Let us know! Tweet your ideas to me at @OrrinBroberg or send them to the team at @modusengagement.

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Topics:SalesApps

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