Those of us who have been around the sales block are familiar with the lingo. Sales slang has remained constant over the past couple of decades, even though sales techniques and technologies have changed dramatically. But I predict that some common phrases are about to undergo some serious changes in the next year. Some may become as obsolete as the rolodex (remember those?), while others may simply change in meaning.
The phrase “carried a bag,” for example, dates back to door-to-door salespeople who carried their products in a bag while they pounded pavement looking for their next deal. But with the increased adoption of mobile technology in sales, the bag of sales materials is a burden to carry and an unnecessary expense. Imagine being the salesperson still carrying a bag full of brochures, while the rep that spoke to your prospect before you used a sleek tablet for their presentation. That bag has now become the professional equivalent of a fanny pack - sure, they used to be acceptable, but now they just look weird.
As my fellow Minnesotan Bob Dylan is famous for saying, “the times they are a changin’!” More and more sales reps are leveraging the power and portability of a mobile tablet. And with the arrival of mobile sales apps, a rep can have everything they could possibly need right in the palm of their hand. Whether that’s on their iPad or their Android or Windows tablet.
After all, 90% of sales organizations report plans to increase investments in mobile solutions. And with 40% of salespeople already using a mobile solution, that number is sure to become the majority in the next year.
While some sales slang will be rendered obsolete, other phrases may have greater significance in the new sales environment. The first example that comes to mind is the term KPIs, which stands for Key Performance Indicators. Mobile sales apps with integrated analytics allow organizations to track the performance of their sales teams much more easily. They no longer have to rely on SWAGs (Scientific Wild-Ass Guess), or anecdotal evidence to determine what is and what is not working in the field. Apps can track and report back which sales materials, and salespeople, are performing well and what needs work.
Mobile technology in sales will reveal redundancies and unnecessary complexities as it becomes a more integral part of an organization. It may actually help us follow one of the oldest sales slang: KISS or Keep It Simple Stupid. After all, what could be more simple than having all of your information available in an easy to access app? And instead of leaving that brochure behind, you email the materials directly from the app. This creates an opportunity for follow-up and continued conversation. Mobile also streamlines the communication between marketing departments and sales teams, accelerating the delivery of current materials and information.
The 1992 film, Glengarry Glen Ross, made famous the phrase, “coffee’s for closers”, but the new mantra should be, “mobile apps are for rainmakers”. Mobile sales apps work. They solve problems that were previously thought unsolvable. For example, marketers and salespeople have long dealt with frustrations of outdated materials. A mobile sales app makes it easy to access and use the most current information, and eliminates access to old and outdated information.
There’s no debating that mobile brings efficiency, organization, follow-up and performance tracking to a new level in the sales field. After all, at the end of the day if you aren’t hitting your KPIs, are you really doing it right? I will allow debate on whether our slang as sales pros will change. But I for one will never stop saying “coffee’s for closers.” Because it is!