How to Roll Out a Mobile Sales App in Your Organization
by Robin Tinker, on Jan, 26, 2015
According to a recent study done by Salesforce, 66% of marketers plan to increase their spend on mobile applications in 2015. It’s obvious that more companies than ever have made the decision to go mobile this year. Once a company has determined it will implement a mobile sales strategy and app, they need to decide if they should develop a solution in-house or choose from and existing platform. Regardless of the choice, there is still the challenge of deploying the mobile solution across the organization. While it may seem like a daunting task, rolling out a mobile sales app across an organization can be simplified with these five proven steps.
1. Test with a small group first. Just like any other large initiative, running a pilot program can help evaluate the overall direction and validate assumptions about user experience. This test is also a good stage for representatives from marketing, sales and IT to begin to understand the level of involvement required from their respective departments. The pilot will identify any possible pain points and get them resolved before getting the rest of the users on board. It’s a good idea for those involved in the pilot program to take thorough notes of their thoughts and key takeaways. These notes will help direct the staff training later on in the deployment process.
2. Coordinate all of the necessary materials. When two or more departments are working together, effective communication is essential for success. Representatives from the various departments (likely marketing, sales and IT) need to get together to determine which materials are necessary for the success of the team using the app. You need to consider the purpose of the app -- strictly sales, customer support or a mix of different functions. Once the purpose has been determined, ensure all necessary materials are available through the app and that they’re available to the specific teams that need them. Having a small team in charge of this aspect allows for easier communication and reduces the odds that something will be missed in the initial uploading of materials.
3. Determine who will own all media and media updates. Whether it’s one person or one department, it needs to be clear who owns the responsibility for making sure all content is correct and up to date. Having an administrator will eliminate any chance of things falling through the cracks and also minimize the back-and-forth that’s required when permission is needed from multiple parties before changes can be made. The purpose of a mobile sales app is to make the sales process more efficient. Your job is to enable that efficiency by simplifying the marketing to sales content process.
4. Train the sales department to use the app. Once the app is ready to go, and the people responsible for uploading and maintaining content have been determined, it’s time to get the sales team up to speed. Doing a walk-through of how to use the app and how the content is organized is all the training most sales people need. A practice session or two will help make sure the training team is on the same page and will project confidence during the training sessions, which will ease many of the concerns the sales team will have. The good news is, this will likely be one of the simplest, easiest training sessions they’ve attended.
5. Actual implementation. After all affected parties in the organization are trained and prepared for the mobile sales app to be rolled out, you can begin to put your plan in motion. The users will need a mobile device, and they’ll need to be provided directions to download the app. Some companies have capabilities in-house to distribute the app, and will simply email a download link. Other companies choose to put their app in one of the App Marketplaces, like the Apple App Store or Google Play. There are several options based on device and internal needs.
The mobile sales app deployment process seems like an overwhelming undertaking -- especially for those who championed the initiative and were responsible for the success of the program. Following these five steps will help make the task more manageable and ensure that the app will be a success throughout the organization. Are there any other actions that you would take to roll out a sales app in your organization? Send me an email or reach out to me on Twitter, and let’s chat!