How to Train Outside Sales Teams

How to Train Outside Sales With 

Mobile Apps for Sales Teams

In order to be an effective salesperson in B2B, it is important to know the products and services you are selling. It is equally valuable to understand the products of your competitors. Often months of training is not feasible for businesses.

Without proper knowledge or access to knowledge about products, salespeople are going to have a hard time doing their jobs effectively. This problem can be solved with interactive sales and digital sales enablement training tools.

A mobile app for sales teams gives you control over what gets published to your team, while adding powerful sales tools.


Apps for Sales Training

Most people purchasing products and services online do some research before making purchasing decisions. This is true even if they ultimately purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. Often, prospective buyers find out information about a product prior to speaking to a salesperson.

It is important for salespeople to bring enough product knowledge to their meetings with prospects to confidently cover product details. 

Sales training apps include interactive sales training tools that help sales personnel learn the products quickly in three ways.


I. Visual

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Video content is also extremely effective to explain concepts and information. The combination of images and video as the primary means of explaining how products work is powerful.

When preparing new sales reps for the field, it is better to have images of products than text about them. It is better to have video demonstrations of products and equipment than articles explaining how they work. And it is far more convincing to have a video testimonial from a customer than a quote.

Mobile sales apps can be an ideal way to share short, easy to understand videos and product images. 


II. Simple

It is dangerously easy to overwhelm new reps with product information. There are many products in multi-line businesses. Those products have options and configurations and attachments.

On top of that, there are use cases, mixed-use applications, and competitors to consider.

When all that’s done, there is the 7-step sales process, with guidance at each step, and potentially even playbooks one has to learn.

Yet, one of the most important aspects of sales training is to make it simple. A confused mind never buys. A confused mind also never sells, as it creates confusion in the buyer.

Above all, sales training must be simple for the mind to retain it. And few things can focus and clarify like well-applied technology solutions.


III. Interactive

A flat document such as you have with Word or in PDF is neither memorable nor effective.

The best content can be interacted with – touched, clicked, responsive.

One reason apps are so effective is that instead of sitting there passively, they respond. No one likes a one-sided conversation. Apps create a kind of conversation making it possible to learn much faster.

The benefits of an app that includes the above are several.


I. Faster Ramp-Up to Quota/Target

It takes between six and twenty-four months, on average, to get a new sales rep up to quota. That represents a LOT of investment.

Typically, that ramp-up is a fairly flat upward curve resembling a smooth progression. Still, we can make certain assumptions to estimate the performance of a new rep on the way to quota.

Consider a sales rep with a $1M annual sales quota. Over a first year of ramp up (if at quota by year’s end), the number is going to be half that number at best, probably closer to 35%. Meaning that in year one the rep is going to close $350k in new sales.

Imagine a tool that could get that rep ramped up in half that time, so six months instead of twelve. Well, if the rep still hits 35% in the ramp-up period, we’re looking at $175k in new sales at first. But, in the next six months, the at target rep will close $500k.

The end result is that in year one the rep closes $675k instead of $350k!

Now, multiply that by the number of new reps the organization trains each year and you can see this is transformation for sales training.


II. Better Presentation Tools

In B2B, particularly with higher cost products (say, north of $50k per item), sales are almost always done in person.

Unfortunately, presentation tools are often sorely lacking. Perhaps the rep has some printed materials and a powerpoint deck, but not really much in the way of showing off a product’s most impressive features and benefits.

A mobile sales app on phone or tablet can change all that with the ability to explore product categories with visual navigation.

Even better is when a sales rep can show the customer on a device like an iPad and the customer can interact with the products, too.


III. Self-Paced Training

One terribly inefficient and inconvenient aspect of sales training methods is how they are scheduled and delivered. Usually, there is a combination of classroom and written training, perhaps combined with dinner and drinks (for morale and bonding).

There is often a major lag between when the training would be ideal and when it is actually completed. This results in training being delayed. And a large amount of the information is quickly forgotten, too. 90% of information is forgotten within 30 days if not reinforced.

Mobile sales training is on demand, make it possible for the individual rep to go at his own pace. This is important because not two reps are the same. Each brings a different perspective, a unique set of experiences, starting point, and of course, an ability to acquire and process new information.


IV. Retention (of People)

In sales training, retention doesn’t just mean retention of information. Equally if not even more important is retaining your reps.

Turnover of new sales repos is an epidemic for many organizations. And one of the biggest causes of turnover among new sales reps is lack of knowledge, lack of confidence, and lack of sales success. All of which can be traced back to the quality of training.

The end result is that improved training outcomes lead to happier, more confident, and longer lasting sales reps.

Help Both New AND Seasoned Salespeople

With a modern sales enablement app, it is possible to enable both new and experienced sales reps to become more effective.

These include mobile sales calculators, resource libraries, and product comparison tools.

Mobile sales tools offer a strong foundation of knowledge to inform and train new employees. It can also effectively prepare them for a full range of sales activities.


Mobile Sales Apps increase Sales Productivity

Experienced salespeople can use our mobile app for sales team training to with exceptional results. Some B2B products can be complex and alter the cost of ownership. Even the most experienced sales personnel may not have all the various types of sales information about a product memorized.

Productivity impacts of mobile sales apps include:


I. Easier territory management

When you have sales reps spread across multiple geographies, tools and the ability to easily share files becomes more important.

Activity analytics on field sales reps creates the environment where sales enablement becomes possible.

When you have inside sales managers, regional sales managers, and territory-based reps, it becomes even more important to track and measure everything.


II. More effective lead generation

Lead generation is an important element of the sales process. Without leads, no sales organization can be effective.

Whether a small business or an enterprise, tools like email automation and programmed outreach to generate leads are essential.


III. Improved Sales Management

Management apps can save time for team members in a few important ways.

  • Having all information in one easy to access location (mobile device) shortens steps in the sales cycle, increasing deal velocity
  • Cross platform apps (iOS android) ensure high coverage through the sales network

With digital communications and identity, it is no longer necessary to collect business cards. Instead, leads can be tracked through multiple stages of a sales process with full visibility into each step. It is also possible to track the progress between each step, so that you can identify gaps in the process.

With a strong reference tool, you can use visual aids and confirm product info to demonstrate product features. This kind of app can enhance the speed of sales training and save otherwise potentially lost sales.


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