What is a mobile sales tool?

The arrival of the Internet along with cell phones and tablets has changed sales fundamentally. 

Now sales content can be searched for, quickly located and shared with customers in real time. 

This means that up to date content is available to everyone on demand 24/7. 

It means you can get faster feedback on the content you create, creating a virtuous cycle making it easier to create interactive content that helps rep educate customers and close deals. 

It can even enable reps to update their CRM system through a mobile app.

Mobile sales tool, defined: an application that is used to enable the sales process 
conveniently from a tablet or smartphone any time, anywhere. 


How do mobile sales tools help front-line sellers?

Shockingly, sales reps only spend about a third of their time on selling activities. 

The rest of it is spent on other activities like administration, looking for assets, wrestling with the CRM system, internal meetings, and training. 

Mobile selling tools offer a key benefit to sales organizations – they can reduce the time spent on non-selling.


1. Update information faster

One of the benefits of mobile sales tools is they are with you all the time, right in your pocket. And that includes the ability to update the CRM when you have downtime. 

Meaning: you always have access to critical information at your fingertips, in both directions.

Sales people spend a lot of time on the road, or at least away from their workstation, so giving them the ability to update contact details or other relevant information while mobile is a critical time-saver. Multi-tasking or at least time-saving can greatly reduce the downtime that drains rep productivity.  


2. Make it easy for reps to find the things they need, when they need them 

Industry research tells us that sales people spend on average 4 hours a week just looking for information – files including marketing collateral, product info, pricing information, the latest specs on that new piece of equipment. 

Imagine how much more selling time you could create (and how much more your sales reps would love your organization) if all the info they needed to sell was in a mobile app, in their pocket.


3. Centralized, mobile-friendly resources

Easy to access resources is just part of the solution. 

In B2B, what sales often needs is a custom calculator (ROI, TCO, finance, gear axle ratio, etc.), or product comparison, or visual product navigator.

Want your people to sell more? Simple. 

Reduce the amount of time they spend not selling – by equipping them with mobile sales tools.

Mobile sales tools can’t magically turn a C-player into your top producer, but whether any given rep is a top-producer or not, you can get more production from any rep who spends more time selling. 

Key takeaway: increase selling time to increase sales production.


Getting Started with Mobile Sales Enablement

Mobile sales enablement begins with a mobile sales app designed to simplify how things are done, save time, and make selling a lot easier. 

Still, it takes time and money to roll out a new platform to a sales network, and you want to show positive ROI sooner than later.

Sales enablement platforms are not created equal. 

While nearly all seek to create new efficiencies, only some work across platforms to create truly on demand sales content. Most require an internet connection, making it hard when reps are with customers or on the road. 

So how do teams go about measuring the ROI on mobile sales tools? 

(Note: see our post on best apps for sales reps)


The ROI formula for mobile sales tools 

A sales enablement app done right creates real ROI in three ways:

  1. It eliminates wasted time, allowing sales people to spend more time closing deals and helping customers
  2. It yields greater sales effectiveness by ensuring salespeople have quick access to current information and tools, producing higher win rates and faster cycles
  3. It shortens training time for new sales reps


1. Eliminate wasted time

According to a report by Gartner, sales people spend on average in excess of four hours per week looking for digital assets. Sales enablement software with embedded digital asset management functionality can reduce that wasted time.

For example, what if you could save a salesperson just one hour a week? That translates into about fifty hours in a year. Ten sales people? Five hundred hours. A hundred sales people? Five thousand hours. You get the idea. The larger your sales organization, the more impact even a single hour per rep will make.

Value lever: saving an hour or two will give back 3-5% of a sales rep’s total working time to be re-dedicated to more fruitful activities. If a rep is spending 10 hours a week prospecting, however, an hour or two added to it could produce 10-20% more prospecting time. 

This will result in fuller opportunity pipelines and translate into more closed deals.


2. Produce Better Sales Outcomes

Ineffectiveness causes as much trouble for sales professionals as inefficiency, if not more. 

Do the current product informational materials resonate with prospects and customers? 

Are you getting the right message across, telling the right story? 

Beyond features and benefits, are you really helping to guide the customer to an informed decision that wins your organization the business?

Mobile sales tools link marketing and sales – as a digital platform, there is built-in feedback (analytics) to marketing to help optimize sales content for the sales team. 

Evidence showing what material is most helpful to selling the product provides crucial information to marketing that will inform future content development efforts. 

Value lever: mobile sales enablement software can often improve close rates by 3%.

Look at your win/loss ratio across your sales organization and calculate the difference in sales revenue if the win rate was higher by 3%.  


3. Shorten Training Time for New Sales Reps

Training is a major cost for field sales teams. While each organization is unique, it usually takes more than one year for a new sales rep to understand their customers and their products well enough to be truly effective. 

Mobile apps greatly shorten sales ramp-up time in two key ways. 

  1. The sales rep in training can explore the product line(s) and their features and benefits, videos and product manuals at his or her own speed
  2. The rep gets to see the interactive mobile app with the fresh eyes of a new prospect

Value lever: manufacturing companies see at minimum a 50% reduction in sales training time following deployment of a mobile training app. This means a well-designed mobile sales tool directly creates a faster path to productivity.


The ROI Benefits of Mobile Sales Enablement are Clear

Here is an example of the ROI calculation for a mid-sized manufacturer:

  • Number of sales reps (including dealers and distributors in channel): 100

  • Sales per rep avg. (all reps): $200,000

  • Sales rep attrition rate (annually): 20%

  • Ramp up duration new reps: six months at 50%


The benefits of deploying a mobile sales tool would include, at minimum:

  • Wasted time recovered 1 hrs. / rep / week: 5,000 hours per year

  • Additional sales with 2.5% effectiveness increase: $500,000

  • Increased sales from heightened productivity of new reps: $500,000


You Can’t Afford to NOT use Mobile Sales Tools

A manufacturer like the one in the example above stands to gain $1M in additional sales volume while recovering 5,000 hours wasted due to inefficiency.

The ROI justification for a mobile sales tool is powerful indeed when the right sales enablement technology can transform the entire organization. 

By making every single sales rep a little more efficient and effective, the sum total is a complete transformation at each level of people, process and technology.

For information about the mobile apps for independent distributors we offer, give us a call today at (800) 479-0822 or schedule a demo.