Spend any amount of time in the C-suite these days and you might notice the line between sales and marketing is not as clearly defined as it once was. That’s because, more and more, today’s CMOs aren’t just focused on marketing their brand’s product or service—they’re heading up their company’s sales organization as well.
And that just makes sense, because when sales and marketing are integrated and working well together companies tend to enjoy shorter sales cycles and a reduction in costs associated with market entry and making the sale.
To ensure this integration, many are making enterprise and sales applications accessible to their teams through mobile devices—a move that not only allows both to overlay sales processes, play books, and best practices within their mobile sales applications, but also provides all representatives immediate access to content that has the biggest impact at the point of sale.
According to a 2010 study conducted by the Aberdeen Group, companies who employed this practice:
- increased quota achievement by 65%;
- increased year-over-year customer retention rate by 5.2%; and
- increased year-over-year sales lead conversion rates by 3.3%.
As the study demonstrates, the business benefits to a CMO’s efforts to intelligently equip today’s sales managers and representatives for sales mobility are noteworthy and have the potential to impact favorable outcomes on a team’s productivity, consistency, responsiveness, collaboration, access, and profitability.
Now let’s take a closer look at the impact that intelligent mobile sales performance automation has on each of these areas:
Productivity: Without question, ever-increasing connection speeds and bandwidth enable mobile sales teams to perform the same processing and computing tasks on the road as they do from their office—and in far less time. The more productive they are as a result, the more success they enjoy.
Consistency: A team’s CRM system is only effective if the team adopts the system and makes use of it throughout the sales cycle. Integrating sales process and methodology into CRM systems and ensuring that the sales force is able to access and interact with them anytime, anywhere increases both adoption and use among teams, as well as sales effectiveness.
Responsiveness: Real-time access to information not only empowers sales teams to respond quickly to their customers’ issues and questions, but also speaks volumes about how the sales team conducts itself—and how the customer service organization will conduct itself once the sale is made.
Collaboration: Key to an organization’s ability to sell smarter are tools that enable members to work together with their customers on those challenges that prevent them from achieving their business goals. Sales people that have access to the tools they need when they need them collaborate in real time with their customers—and maximize the time they spend in the process.
Access: Access equals success—and as the Aberdeen study cited shows, companies that arm teams with sales mobility devices that give them and their prospects real-time access to their products and services enjoy more success than those that don’t. That may be one reason why, according to global market research firm NPD Group, tablet shipments are set to increase from 72.7 million (the number of shipments made in 2011) to 383.3 million by 2017.
Profitability: When all of these factors are taken together, one thing becomes clear: Sales professionals who are equipped with what they need to interact with their customers anytime, from anywhere, play a significant role in the success of a company, and have a direct impact on profitability and the speed at which the company enjoys sales force ROI.
A smart investment: Intelligently enabling today’s sales managers and representatives for sales mobility
A great salesperson is a key touchpoint in a multichannel marketing strategy. For many CMOs, empowering sales teams with the technology and insights they need to achieve higher levels of performance will require rethinking how they approach sales mobility. In doing so, however, the improved productivity that can result from a team’s mobile access to company software and information may lead not only to greater ROI for those businesses that invest in mobile communications, but improved sales and communication as well.
Donal Daly is CEO and founder of The TAS Group. He is the author of four books including Account Planning in Salesforce and Select Selling Sales Fieldbook.