One of the most common situations we encounter at Maestro is a company that just purchased a fleet of iPads for its sales team. Great, right? I mean, aren’t sales reps with iPads a sure sign of an innovative company? Yes, but only if those iPads are part of a greater performance support strategy.
It’s not uncommon for a company to equip its sales force with great mobile technology, such as iPads, other tablet PCs, or maybe smartphones, only to take a step back after the fact and say, “OK, now what?” If this sounds like your company, never fear. The following tips should help you get on track to using that technology as optimal sales performance support tools.
1. Don’t go at it alone. There’s a reason that there are books, blog posts, websites and entire conferences dedicated to “Going Mobile”. It’s a big undertaking. There are a lot of moving parts involved in implementing mobile technology as part of your sales strategy. Don’t try to take it on alone. Whether it’s building a dynamic internal team or partnering with an outside agency to help you, this is one project where two (or three or 10) heads are better than one.
2. Start with the end in mind. It can be tempting to dive right in to all the bells and whistles you want to incorporate into the apps and programs you’ll make available on your sales team’s apps. But succumbing to that temptation is likely to give you a rather confusing app that doesn’t drive real results for your company.
Take a step back. Think first about what you hope to accomplish. What do you want your sales team to be able to do? Be more effective in sales meetings? Gain a better understanding of your products and services? Be more consistent in how they speak about and represent your brand?
When you begin with these big picture goals, you can work backwards to identify your true needs and craft solutions that will drive measurable results.
3. Do it your way. Sure, your competitor may have a really cool sales app or maybe you have read some articles about the latest ways to use iPads with your sales team. But none of it may be the answer to increasing the performance of your sales force. Examples, case studies and industry trends are great, but in the end, you need to do what’s right for your company.
Only when you think first about your unique business challenges and specific objectives for your sales team will you be on track to creating a mobile app or performance support program that will provide real value for your company.
Besides, who wants a cookie cutter copy of what someone else has already done, anyway?
4. Measure the results. After working so hard to build a mobile strategy for your sales force, make sure you measure the results! All too often, the impact of going mobile goes untracked. The positive effects can be felt through feedback from sales reps, but wouldn’t it be great to have hard numbers to show your boss?
Here are a few things to incorporate into your mobile performance support apps and mobile strategy in order to measure their impact:
- Usage statistics: How many sales people are using the app or program and how frequently do they use it?
- Knowledge checks: Are your sales people increasing their understanding of your products, messaging, brand, etc?
- Cost comparisons: How are your sales team’s iPads reducing costs? Are they decreasing the amount of print material needed?
5. Continuously improve. Remember those measureable results? Don’t forget to use them to continuously improve the content and delivery of your information. Take a look at the information used most often by your sales people and what items aren’t being accessed at all. See what areas of information are being absorbed best and what areas are still lacking. Take note of the improvements or remaining gaps in the consistency and strength of your brand. And don’t forget to obtain feedback directly from the end users: your sales force.
This information is critical in ensuring your mobile performance support program is as effective as possible. Use it to continuously improve your strategy and tweak both your training materials and marketing resources.
With these tips, you will be well on your way to realizing a great return on your company’s iPad investment!