Contributed by Chris Bucholtz, Content Marketing Manager at CallidusCloud
When pundits discuss the advent of mobile technology in workplace culture, they often attribute its rapid adoption to generational changes. It’s often synonymous with Generation Y: the Millenials, and ‘digital natives.’
What a cop out.
The reality is that most of these fresh, techy-happy workers are not business owners or CIOs, meaning they’re not the people who make the decisions about what applications or computing platforms a company uses. A business could decide not to support mobile and that would be that. However, the fact of the matter is that the entire world is going mobile, and, since mobility is a major business advantage to every stakeholder, businesses are pulling out the stops to become mobile-ready.
Marrying your sales organization to a truly mobile business forces you to reimagine how your business currently works and how it could work in mobile scenarios. But it also requires you to work within the constraints of what’s technically possible and what’s acceptable from a security standpoint. There’s a lot to consider – but here are five tips that apply to every business.
1.Make Your Goals Clear from the Start
Why do you want to take your sales org mobile? Ask yourself that first and foremost. Is it to accommodate new ways of working? Perhaps make employees more productive? What about mirroring your customers’ behavior or even giving your salespeople more tools in the field? If you can define why you want to go mobile, you can then build realistic goals to address those objectives. Once those goals are established, stick with them – it’s all too easy for your imagination to run wild once you’ve let mobile integration loose. Instead, address your first set of goals before moving to the next set – otherwise, users will never have a complete solution to work with.
2.Find a Mobile Champion in Your Company
Just as in any technology implementation, buy-in from an executive is hugely important. In this case, it should come from a VP or SVP of Sales. Without it, projects can lose budget or staff and stay stagnate until declared dead. Mobile is too important for such a fate, so make sure that someone senior is on board with your plans – preferably, not someone who’s fixated just on the technology but rather the business benefits tied to those digital tools.
3.Avoid Trends, but Watch Technology
Keep your eyes on the ball – in other words, on what mobile technology can do for your business. Trends in mobile technology may be fun or fashionable, but they may not suit your unique mobile integration. By the same token, keep an eye out for legitimate evolution in mobile technology. Don’t get stuck on a fading platform! Likewise, you never want to discover that your application no longer plays well with other applications. Those are both hazards best dealt with before they knock users off systems they depend upon.
4.Be Careful About BYOD
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) was inspired by salespeople who seized on the power of smart phones before their companies caught on and brought their own devices into the office. In many organizations, it was considered a fait accompli. But be careful about letting salespeople bring in their own devices – that means when they break them or lose them, they become their own IT department and have to spend time replacing or repairing them. This is time taken away from selling. Also, BYOD devices are often backed up sporadically, and any lost device should be remotely wiped for security reasons – meaning that sales people will lose personal material and maybe even their professional sales contacts. For their sake and for yours, make your sales people use company-provided phones for their jobs.
5.Give Sales What they Need to Succeed
What might that be, you ask? Customer information from the customer record from your CRM application is a good example. So is access to sales collateral and data sheets. And mobile alerts from your marketing department when leads become sales-ready. In short, the things salespeople need to sell. And don’t think that stops with content that helps when in the middle of a sale – a mobile device is a great tool for delivering training materials, too, so make sure your learning software has a mobile component.
Age has absolutely nothing to do with any of these areas that should be on our watch list. They’re all about the effectiveness of your employees and the flexibility of your mobile solution. By planning to go mobile by focusing on what you want to accomplish and what your workers’ mobile success requires, you can make the mobile jump quicker and enjoy the results of that migration faster.
DocuReaders: Do you agree with Chris? Leave your thoughts and questions for him the in the comments below.