Sales Productivity – Evolve with Mobile

Sales is a business discipline that is really a life skill as much as it drives revenue for businesses. Becoming effective at sales is crucial to both a business and in our role citizens. The art of selling evolves over time and is often supplemented with technology. Increased quotas and a fixed time to achieve them say you’ve got evolve to survive. Productivity is a key to sales success, especially when you are mobile. Technology has long contributed to effective marketing and sales via the web. It’s difficult to argue that now mobile sales and marketing prowess are a large part of that evolution and a contributing factor of sales success. Some would say that grasping mobile technology is paramount to becoming productive and therefore more effective as a salesperson. It’s also not just about the hardware like iPhones, Android smartphones or tablets like the iPad. The mobile apps available to you in sales can help to leverage the devices that you have invested in and sell more effectively.

Don’t just take it from me. In no particular order, here are a few experts in sales and marketing that I spend time following who have opinions on this topic of mobile sales and marketing.

Donal Daly, Dealmaker365 (@dealmaker365)

“Unless mobile is a core element of the strategic plan of any business, the business will face severe challenges over the next few short years. For business strategists, marketers, sellers and buyers alike, mobile is becoming the hub around which business revolves.”

Donal Daly’s blog is a wonderful collection of deeply insightful content that goes into the heart of developing global trends that could have a profound impact on how sales are done. The blog also focuses in on changes that can be made to the traditional sales model.

http://sales20network.com/blog/

Anthony Iannarino, The Sales Blog (@iannarino)

“A great salesperson won’t need your best leads; they’ll produce them. If you give them the best laptop, smartphone, sales force automation, mobile hotspot, and sales collateral, they’ll put it to good use, but these external accoutrements won’t be nearly as important to their results as to what is inside them.”

The Sales Blog is run by Anthony Iannarino, the President and Chief Sales Officer of SOLUTIONS Staffing, as well as Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy. The blog is Anthony’s tool to provide readers with advice and insight on the many different aspects of sales, such as cold calling and sales fundamentals.

http://thesalesblog.com/blog

Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter (@TheSalesHunter)

“Just as we rely on technology to make things run smoother, we also rely on our sales processes to keep our profits coming in. When we run into a glitch in those processes, our natural tendency is to let our attitude tank. In every difficulty, though, there usually is an opportunity to learn and get better.”

Aptly nicknamed the Sales Hunter, Mark Hunter (along with occasional guest writers) provides keen tips and motivational words of wisdom on his blog. With over 18 years of experience in sales and 14 years as a sales consultant, Mark has plenty to offer for sales people of all levels.

http://thesaleshunter.com/category/blog/

Tibor Shanto, The Pipeline (@TiborShanto)

“One impact of technology on selling, are the increased number of ways of organizations and individual sellers can “connect with their clients”, even when they don’t have to.”

Tibor Shanto is the founder and President of Renbor Sales Solutions, Inc., as well as the main writer for The Pipeline sales blog. Through his blog, he offers great tips for sales people, drawn from his own longtime experience in sales.

http://www.sellbetter.ca/blog/

Ivana Taylor, DIY Marketers (@DIYMarketers)

“Technology of the 21st century has led most business owners to use only electronic means to market their products and services. Though these types of campaigns can be successful for your bottom line, direct mail is still an incredibly effective marketing tool.”

Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIY Marketers, a blog with a great mix of innovative ways to utilize technology tools (did you know you can use a 404 error page for marketing purposes?) and fundamental sales advice.

http://diymarketers.com/blog/

Nancy Nardin, Smart Selling Tools (@sellingtools)

“In the dynamic and high-demand world of selling, the evolution of tools has had a significant impact on our ability to perform our jobs, present our ever-expanding array of solutions, service our customers, and generate revenue—the life-blood of our companies.”

One of our favorite features on author and sales consultant Nancy Nardin’s blog is the Sales ToolSkool, where she introduces technology tools that can help increase revenue and efficiency. The blog also has some great insight on sales tools, as well as sales tips in general.

http://www.smartsellingtools.com/blog/

Miles Austin, Fill the Funnel (@milesaustin)

“As a sales technologist, I am always looking for the next new thing…As a student of change, I look at it from the other side of the table. As a sales person, I see opportunities.”

A well known expert on using Web Tools for sales, speaker and trainer Miles Austin uses his blog to share his favorite Web Tools, as well as how to use them effectively for sales.

http://www.fillthefunnel.com

Alen Mayer, The Science and Art of Selling (@mayeralen)

“Technology is developing at a pace that rarely anyone can catch up, and especially the last two decades many trained sales people are not in the position to utilize the advantages of the technology. In this regard, the technology can be your friend or foe.”

Sale expert Alen’s blog has many informative articles spanning various segments of sales. Carefully categorized, the blog offers gruseful content for anyone who may want to brush up on their sales knowledge and skills.

http://www.alenmajer.com/

Dan Waldschmidt, Edgy Conversations (@DanWaldo)

“Websites structured data with imagering and videos, allowing persuasive conversations to be prepared ahead of time. Then came video messaging and Skype which made peer-to-peer communication fast and free. And then it all came to the mobile phone. The conversation got supercharged.”

“Business is always looking for ways to make the conversations more effective. Stop worrying about the latest tools used to manage and create new conversations. The tools aren’t that important. It’s the conversation that matters the most.”

A CEO by the time he was 25, according to his biography, Dan’s blog is straightforward and no-nonsense in getting to the root of the problems that plague sales today.

http://danwaldschmidt.com/blog

Mobile Productivity and BYOD – 9 Experts Weigh In

 

As with any good argument there are usually at least two possible outcomes: The Good and The Bad. Such is the case with the Bring Your Own Device  (B.Y.O.D.) trend that has come to business mobile. That is, employees bringing the mobile device of their choice to use at work, such as smartphones and tablets. We won’t pass judgement or opinion in this post, but here is a list of experts we found whose opinion is well regarded on the topic of this consumerization of the enterprise. Does the increase in mobility that a corporate BYOD strategy offers increase or decrease ones personal productivity and therefore a company’s overall productivity? See what these experts have to say:

BYOD decreases productivity

  • Fabienne Faur (@fabiennefaur) of the AFP news service writes that checking email is beginning to cut into productivity: “Many employees are consumed by emails because they are driven by a need to feel part of an organization.” Many companies are finding that restricting access to email outside of work reduces stress, which in turn increases productivity.
  • Tom Kaneshige (@kaneshige) of CIO.com writes that BYOD can limit productivity when employees travel internationally. “Many BYOD smartphone-carrying knowledge workers often take international vacations” and don’t check in on work because their company won’t pay for international roaming. Before BYOD companies would automatically pay for global roaming because the phone was a corporate asset and employees would check-in on work during international vacations. He further predicts that BYOD will decline in 2013 because “support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement typically lead to a higher total cost of ownership with no discernible return on investment or productivity gains,” citing a report from Nucleus Research.
  • Ndubuisi Ekekwe - On the Harvard Business Review Blog Ndubuisi writes that 24/7 connectivity eliminates predictable time off (a key part of a work/life balance) and this jeopardizes long-term productivity. At his company, “there was a perception that if a customer or a colleague needed something and couldn’t get it immediately, the firm would not be taken seriously,” so they implemented a 24/7 availability policy. “Six months later, we noticed that customer complaints were actually up, and team morale was down.”
  • Pedro Hernandez (@pedrohernandez), for Datamation, writes that privacy fears threaten gains in productivity from BYOD. He says 82% of enterprise workers were concerned or extremely concerned that their employer can track their web browsing, and 86% were concerned or extremely concerned that their personal data (photos, music, email) would be deleted without their authorization, citing a survey by Harris Interactive.

BYOD Increases Productivity

  • Peter Silva (@psilvas) in his series on BYOD policies for SYS-CON Media writes that using their preferred device makes employees happier. He goes on to say that “80% of Americans work an extra 30 hours a month on their own time with BYOD,” citing research from Good Technology.
  • Denise Deveau (@denisejdeveau), for the Financial Post, writes that telework has had no negative impact on productivity. “Productivity increases when people know they have the freedom to fit things in when they need to.”
  • Caroline Baldwin (@cl_baldwin) - On ComputerWeekly.com Caroline writes that, “nearly 60% of employees feel work would be more enjoyable if they had a say in the technologies they used, while 60% feel they would be more productive with better IT resources,” citing a report from Evolving Workforce Research.
  • Cesare Garlati (@CesareGarlati) write on the Trend Micro Consumerization Blog that BYOD boosts productivity because, “employees want to use their mobile devices, laptops and home PCs for work, and are also likely to get more out of the technology because they’ll be more familiar with it.” Further, “although productivity gains may offset many of the costs and risks associated with BYOD,” IT leaders should carefully evaluate the role BYOD would play in their organization before making a decision.
The Mobile-Only Experiment
  • Benjamin Robbins (@paladorbenjamin) – The true mobile productivity test is underway. Can one truly be productive on a mobile device? How productive? Benjamin is contributing columnist with The Enterprise Mobility Foundation spending a whole year working solely from a single mobile device. Each week he shares his thoughts and experience with us on what it means to be mobile-only. Will he remain mobile-only after 52 weeks? Benjamin is also  regular blogger on all things mobile in the enterprise.

As most anyone can attest, time is a valuable asset. In business, time is often a gating factor yet getting more done faster is the standard. The undeniable trend of mobile growth in business and personal productivity is both a variable and an opportunity when it comes to managing what little time we have.

Are you more productive in business when you are mobile?

Please share your comments.

A ‘Squirrelly’ Mobile Conference Call

As a knowledge worker, you are likely to at least participate in conference calls, if not hosting them yourself. I have been doing audio conference calls in business for more that 15 years, watching the technology change and morph from scheduling calls with operators into its current form used today, which is primarily reservationless conferencing, that is, using unique combinations of toll-free numbers and pass codes and/or PINs to get into a particular call instead of using an operator.  Heck, these calls have even become free to organize and use. Simple right?  Well, the mad growth in the business use of the mobile smartphone,  and the giant wave of remote work and road work being done, has created a whole new dimension to this newer method of conferencing.  Mobile devices now account for over 25% of all the people dialing into conference calls  each day and that number is increasing.  As we transition to joining calls from our cool new mobile device, there are new nuances that make things more challenging.  Multitasking, network quality, battery life, pass codes and PINs, an app for this and app for that… it can be a challenge just to join a call.

 

Since going mobile, I have had my fair share of times where the call was a bust.  I was working from home and discovered that my dog left the screen door open while I was on a conference call.  (Yes, my dog can open doors, but cannot close them.)  A squirrel had entered the house while I was in my home office and proceeded to tear about trying to find solace from my dog, the nice canine gentlemen that let him into this fine establishment (aka my living room).  Dog chases squirrel, things get loud, I start to yell (profane) all while my mobile phone remained un-muted.  The kicker was that this call was with my whole staff.  I sounded (and acted) like a lunatic until it discovered the open screen and returned to the yard.  Needless to say, they will never forget.

 

What is your worst mobile conference call story?  Please comment below.

For the Business Executive, It’s Mobility We Need

by Brad Dupee

You can’t wait for a train, watch a major sporting event, or attend your child’s recital without seeing the image so common to us now: the soft glow of a mobile phone’s screen. The ubiquitous smartphone has made us go nuts for mobile apps. And, with over 900,000 apps in the Apple store and the list always growing, there are many cool ones to explore. But for the business professional, it’s about mobility, not mobile apps. We’re not in our living room playing games or “pinning” our favorite items. We’re running for a plane in Denver, trying to find a conference center in Chicago, or driving the infinite abyss of I-95 on the east coast during our business travel. So for us, it’s about movement  – what are the apps that will allow me to hit the road, and meet face to face with key contacts, without losing the ability to be as productive, if not more, as if I were in my office.

Seventy-five percent of the workforce is now mobile. And as an executive of a mobile app venture start-up, I am my target audience, and I’ve created my own list of essential road warrior apps that keep me moving, while enhancing my productivity.

  • TurboScan – I don’t know about you, but the paperless office never really happened in my line of work. This app turns my phone into a multipage scanner for documents, receipts, notes, whiteboards, and other text, to help me manage all that paper. (iPhone only; $1.99)
  • WiFi Finder – You may not need it in New York City, but drive an hour along the Hudson, and this app will be your best friend. It searches and scans for free WiFi hotspots, so you don’t get stuck in the proverbial boonies. (Android and iPhone; free)
  • FlightTrack – Flight details, delays, gate information, baggage claim, if only the signs at airports were this helpful. (Android and iPhone; free)
  • TripIt – This one’s a beauty. It takes all the email confirmations for hotels, flights, and rental car information, and spits out a personal itinerary. (Android and iPhone; free)
  • MobileDay – Yes, I work for the company, but conference calls suck, and this fixes that. If you are in subscriber PIN hell, burning in the flames of access codes, this is the way out. MobileDay provides one-touch access to any voice conference call in the country. (Android and iPhone; free)

What are the apps that keep you moving? I’d love to hear.

chris-g

“MobileDay…I Use It Every Day”

Name: Chris G., Denver, CO
 
Title: Vice President, Product Management
 
Company Type: Health, Wellness and Fitness industry
 
Testimonial:  MobileDay is truthfully the only 3rd party app I use for business and I use it every day.  One touch to connect to tens of proprietary  and annoying conference call systems while driving or traveling is truly indispensable and I suspect can dramatically improve road safety for commuters, much less free up our brains to do more than memorize codes between screens.