Some industries are just perfect for enterprise mobility, and field sales is a great example of this. After all, these companies rely on a mobile workforce day in and day out. While some sales professionals travel in local communities, others must traverse borders. Regardless of either situation, these individuals need to remain in contact with headquarters, and in the modern era, phone calls aren’t the only form of interaction. Nowadays, sales professionals need access to customer relationship management software and enterprise resource planning systems, as well as timesheets, task lists and invoicing platforms.
The good news is that organizations with field sales teams have been using smartphones for years. However, these companies merely adopted mobility due to employee demand, when they should be tackling mobility as a challenge to increase sales, revenue and the success of the business as a whole.
Now is a better time than ever to start deploying new and improved mobile workflow apps. So, here are some do’s and don’ts of enterprise mobility in field sales.
DON’T waste time and money developing mobile apps in-house.
Building mobile workflow apps with internal tech teams is not only a time-consuming process, but it is incredibly costly, especially when many apps are required. Wired reported that 50 to 80 percent of the cost of creating a mobile app in-house goes to development.
Instead, companies should opt for cloud-based development solutions. With a platform as a service such as Mobilengine, organizations don’t need to hire professional app developers, implement cutting-edge hardware or spend months creating a single mobile app. Mobilengine even provides existing workflows for leads and order management, invoice preparation, mileage recording and timesheets, among many others. Developing all of those individual mobile app solutions natively is out of the question for many field sales departments.
DO integrate your mobile workflow apps with existing software and platforms such as Salesforce.
Field sales teams are already familiar with existing CRMs and ERPs, and those systems act as compendiums of data. So, why not integrate those platforms with your mobile workflow apps?
This will make employees more productive, as well as grant them insight into the exact details regarding their clients. Sales professionals will never enter a meeting unprepared ever again with a lead overview and management app connected to their Salesforce system.
DON’T force employees to use one specific mobile device.
While bring-your-own-device policies are very popular, many organizations choose to provide their field sales professionals with smartphones and tablets. This ensures that supporting those mobile devices is simpler, and mitigates any security concerns. However, by forcing employees to use a specific smartphone or tablet, you are effectively handcuffing your field sales team.
To prevent this problem, businesses can allow their employees to choose from a small selection of approved mobile devices.
DO create tourplans and record mileage with a mileage recording app.
In field sales, professionals need to know exactly where and when to visit clients. So, give those employees tourplans and mileage recording apps to ensure that they are productive at every moment of the day. In fact, Mobilengine data shows that field sales teams from the consumer packaged goods and fast-moving consumer goods industries equipped with mobile workflow apps increased the number of client visits by up to 30 percent.
DON’T forget the administration team at headquarters.
Just because you are in the field sales industry and the focus is on empowering the employees who are out and about, that doesn’t mean that your administrators back at headquarters can’t benefit from mobile devices and apps.
McKinsey reported that some organizations use tablets and order management apps to track shelf space daily. By collecting that data, these companies can double the amount of available shelf space. This helps them price products more accurately and better comply with retailers’ and brands’ promotional campaigns.
Furthermore, Mobilengine data found that mobile workflow apps can reduce between 50 to 80 percent of back-office administration.
DO work with Mobilengine
The Mobilengine platform-as-a-service solution is one of a kind, offering companies with field sales teams the ability to empower those teams while taking the burden off of IT departments. The benefits of Mobilengine could go on forever, so let’s leave it at this: Our solutions have reduced the total cost of field sales operations by up to 50 percent. From order management apps to worksheet and timesheet tools, Mobilengine stands out from other mobile app development platforms.
Marketer Leah Kinthaert has over ten years of expertise in bringing both overseas-based and early-stage start-up companies to the next level.