Transforming sales and service with a mobile-first strategy

Companies that adopt an agile approach to implementing a mobile-first strategy can significantly transform their sales and service.

Overview

The proliferation of digital capabilities and convergence of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies are rapidly changing how every company interacts with its customers. To remain competitive, companies must deliver an omnichannel, nonstop customer experience that blends sales and service into a seamless capability. This approach provides more value to customers and as a result, drives increased revenues to companies.

While many companies tack on mobile apps or capabilities to existing processes and tools, such an approach usually fails to deliver the desired results. The route to success requires redefining and redesigning existing sales and service processes to make them more agile using the unique capabilities of mobile in the context of a day-in-the-life of sales representatives and customer service representatives.

Accenture believes that to succeed, companies need to consider a mobile-first strategy—a holistic approach within agile selling and service that begins with defining the desired outcomes and then determining how mobile can enable them.

Background

The enterprise use of mobile solutions among sales and service forces is growing rapidly, but most companies have only begun to tap the transformational potential of mobility. An Accenture report, How Agile Sellers Play to Win—2014 CSO Insights, shows that Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) consider mobility as an important tool to grow revenues, with 81 percent indicating they believe that mobile customer relationship management (CRM) has an impact on sales team performance.

Based on our client experience, we also see mobility evolving along a continuum. Unfortunately, many companies rarely go beyond the individual app approach. They mistakenly think purchasing the latest versions of tablets and smartphones for sales representatives or extending an existing CRM tool to customer service representatives with a mobile app, is sufficient. These approaches rarely achieve the desired outcomes.

Currently, very few companies have agile sales and service capabilities that fully leverage mobility’s transformational potential.

Key Findings

Executing a mobile-first strategy can deliver impressive results, including:

  • Reducing sales cycle time frames.

  • Improving sales and customer service representatives’ preparedness and productivity.

  • Accelerating lead qualifications.

  • Promoting information exchange between sales and service.

  • Enabling the use of real-time analytics to drive highly effective sales and service force behavior.

  • Transforming customer interactions to enhance retention and growth.

Apart from optimizing mobility solutions, companies also need to keep up with next-generation sales analytics to help proactively adjust sales and service strategies when required rather than waiting until the end of the quarter. This smart use of analytics can help improve the ability to identify new opportunistic deals, connect sales and service, and increase overall deal size.

Recommendations

Accenture recommends that companies take three primary steps for a mobile-first approach:

  • Drive an innovation agenda to effectively sell and service as an organization: Companies need to figure out how they want to service and sell to customers as well as how their customers want to be sold to and serviced. This is a strategic and operational shift, requiring both CSOs and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to collaborate and determine how to be more effective, close deals faster and decrease sales cycle time, as well as how the mobile infrastructure will support the strategy.

  • Review and redesign key processes or tasks for sales and service on a mobile platform: Companies need to examine the primary daily tasks of sales and customer service representatives in the field—breaking them down into discrete work flows, ensuring each adds value and redesigning each with mobile capabilities in mind.

  • Develop apps and capabilities to improve sales and service teams’ processes and tasks: Companies need to build integrated and easy-to-use mobile apps that directly support the newly designed sales and services processes. These apps must not only support how sales and customer service representatives perform their field work, but also enable them to deliver a consistent, differentiated customer experience that aligns with the company’s brand.