How Mobile Access Drives Sales Performance
It shouldn’t be surprising that as the mobile workforce grows, the office as “home base” is now becoming less commonplace. According to Forrester’s 2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends study, “Today, we characterize 29% of the global workforce as anytime, anywhere information workers—those who use three or more devices, work from multiple locations, and use many apps.” While the perks of a mobile sales force are many, including savings on office space and more complicated issues like reduced absenteeism and turnover, it can be difficult for a sales manager to deliver relevant content to their team if communication channels aren’t well established.
Research from Global Workplace Analytics shows, “Two-thirds of people want to work from home.” And “95% of employers say telework has a high impact on employee retention.” So people who are able to work remotely are obviously enjoying the advantages it brings, and it’s paying off in productivity and employee retention. If your team wants to work remotely, it’s your job to make sure they’re still receiving the training and support they need in order to be successful.
As reps spend less time in the office (or none at all), we must start looking to training methods that match the mobility of our workforce. Spontaneous water cooler conversations between salespeople are important. This is where reps often share information about recent closes or new techniques. But if reps are working remotely, we need to replicate the water cooler phenomenon using the mobile devices our teams are using on a daily basis. Plain old emails and memos won’t do the trick. Salespeople still want the interactive feeling of a conversation with a co-worker or manager, which is something much better achieved through video and other interactive training methods.
According to a recent report from Salesforce, “high performers are nearly four times as likely as under-performers to use a mobile sales app.” And those sales apps are also what makes it possible for mobile reps to do their jobs successfully away from the office. Here are a few features of mobile sales apps that greatly benefit sales reps on the go:
- Learning from top performers: A mobile sales app enables highly interactive collaboration between reps. They can ask each other questions, get advice, and request resources such as pitch decks. (Salesforce) A mobile app with video features closely mimics face-to-face interactions and stores content for later reference.
- Getting feedback from managers: Reps can record their sales presentations and submit them to managers for timely feedback. Managers can provide asynchronous feedback via text or voice comments. This continuous coaching can be performed wherever and whenever, without requiring manager and rep to physically be in the same place — or even the same time zone.
- Updates on product and company: An especially useful feature of a mobile app is that it gives reps access to crucial information precisely when they need it. Reps can get all the latest product and pricing info right before—or even during—a meeting. They can also access files and pitch decks on the go, enabling them to tweak presentations while in the field. (Salesforce)
- Inspiration: A mobile app can deliver not only feedback from managers but also coaching. “Coaching provides ongoing learning, tips on how to stay focused and personal accountability for development. It is the #1 way for executives to stay focused and inspired.” (University of San Francisco)
The good news is your mobile sales team is already carrying the devices they need for this kind of training, but you need to set them up with the right applications in order to really harness the power of their devices. Forrester says, “Mobile devices are powered by applications of every ilk: productivity, collaboration, business, and specialty. Having apps on tablets and smartphones means that employees can carry their work in their pockets or on their shoulders and work from any location: Meeting rooms, coffee shops, and homes are just the most obvious new offices. Really, office space is now anywhere.”
Since people tend to retain information better when it is most relevant to them, the ability to deliver content directly to your sales team whenever they need it most will help them to perform better. Allego helps you deliver the right message in the right format for reaching your always-on, mobile sales team through the devices they always have at hand. It’s easy for them to stop between meetings and watch a quick video or access other relevant content on the go. If they need specific knowledge for an upcoming meeting, they can simply access it on their tablet within seconds and be on their way to a better, more informed sales pitch. The devices and platforms available today will ensure that your team is getting the training they need and will allow you to test them on it as well, by monitoring their success in the field. It’s time to embrace the productivity of the mobile workforce and enable them to do their best work yet.