How important is it to support and enable our field-based sales people and account managers with mobile technologies, applications and access to their data?

When Aberdeen recently examined 250 sales forces to understand how they are applying the best practices, technologies and processes associated with sales mobility to their remote sellers and account managers, the answer is crystal clear: extremely.

In fact, companies embracing a fully mobilized sales organization average an annual team sales quota attainment of 76%, compared with only 53% among non-adopters. They also report 30% higher customer retention and a 39% higher sales forecast accuracy rate. Which result would you, as a senior sales leader, prefer to accomplish?

Sales Mobility has become a great deal more than just handing a smart phone or an iPad to your reps, and assuming that their existing skills at a consumer level would allow them to self-educate and aggressively adopt every sales-related app and functionality. The fact is, today’s professional B2B sales “road warriors” benefit far more measurably in an “any time, any place, any device” environment when their corporate sponsors make an effort to support them with both technology and process best practices.

Indeed, if time itself is the most important currency in a field sales environment, then maximizing every minute of productivity as well as of sales rep downtime is crucial. Aberdeen’s research shows that the leading goal among all survey respondents regarding sales mobility is to “deploy mobile applications that support key sales processes and workflow,” closely followed by “enable sales reps to input/access customer data when on-site” with their accounts.

Making sure that our hard-earned knowledge of how each of our sales methodologies or processes work is seamlessly supported when our front-line staff are remote is therefore crucial. This includes providing them with access to everything from real-time inventory and fully functional CRM data, to on-the-fly web demos and even customized, in-person product configurations.

Those of us who can remember having to call into the office for our messages, and carrying a book of maps in our car, are positively giddy and certainly more productive given today’s high tech sales mobility options. Yet our quotas are comparably much higher, and our competitors similarly enabled – so there is, as always, no rest for the sales-weary. The advantage continues to accrue to those enterprises who can successfully identify and leverage the cutting edge of overall sales effectiveness.

About Peter

Peter Ostrow is the Vice President & Research Group Director for the Customer Management research practice, and Principal Analyst, Sales Effectiveness, at the Aberdeen Group, a leading provider of fact-based research focused on the global technology-driven value chain.

At Aberdeen, Peter oversees research consumed by end-users in Marketing, Sales, Service Management and Contact Center leadership roles. He also leads the Sales Effectiveness practice, covering the technology, service and consulting enablers that enterprise sales forces deploy to become best-in-class organizations. His research is widely publicized and covers topics such as sales training, sales intelligence, CRM/SFA, sales performance management and integrating technologies around customer acquisition and retention.