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As consumer behaviors and preferences dictate enterprise technology trends in unprecedented fashion, companies of all shapes and sizes are struggling with how to enable their sales teams effectively with mobile solutions.
The challenges that must be overcome by sales leaders and CIOs alike are threefold: defining a proactive strategy before it is defined by sales representative behavior, continuously innovating by exploiting the newest capabilities of mobile technology, and committing to developing a distinctive sales representative and customer experience. The key to addressing these challenges lies in taking a disciplined approach to mobility. The upside for capitalizing on this opportunity is significant.
The explosion of mobile devices, the increasingly improving wireless network capabilities, and the adoption of cloud technologies in the enterprise have resulted in easy-to-provision and easy-to-use mobile sales tools. In organizations everywhere, sales professionals are writing the mobile strategy by self-selecting sales tools onto their company-owned and personal mobile devices. While well intentioned, these sales representatives are often making decisions based on personal preference, without regard for company security, data rights, process consistency and total cost of ownership. High performing organizations will need to move quickly in defining a strategy that keeps pace with these trends.
Fueling the behavior is the rate at which mobile and cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) technologies are evolving. With smart phones getting smarter, tablets becoming ubiquitous and CRM vendors releasing quarterly enhancements, there is an insatiable demand for new and improved capabilities.
Recognizing employee preference for mobile devices, organizations are exploring initiatives using smart phones, and increasingly tablets, to achieve core objectives such as improving productivity or making sales representatives mobile.
Mobile devices will be a part of a long-term sales-enablement strategy. To create effective mobile solutions, sales leaders and their technology partners have their work cut out for them. They must define a proactive strategy to meet the opportunity, and equally the challenge, of quick user adoption.
The rate at which tablet devices, cloud computing and social media are evolving represents a new paradigm. In response, high-performance businesses are committing to an agenda of continuous improvement, opting for speed and agility over completeness and perfection. To help enable this new approach to sales, these companies are maintaining a relentless focus on what is new about mobility for today, and by staying ahead of the curve.
To help improve sales effectiveness through mobility, sales organizations need to focus on creating a unique and productive experience for sales representatives while also adding value to the customer.
To achieve this will require action from both sales executives and the IT organizations that support them.
Sales executives must ensure sales tools provide clear value directly to the sales representative and enrich the customer experience. IT organizations must focus on the following success factors to plan and implement a mobile strategy that delivers a distinctive experience with tangible business value:
Enable process with technology to help achieve strategic objectives. Determining where mobility fits into the overall sales execution approach is a critical component for achieving measurable results.
Integrate with current customer relationship management tools. If new mobile tools are deployed to the sales force without investing in integration with current CRM tools, the sales representative experience will fail to meet expectations.
June 4, 2012
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