The mobile market is more competitive than ever and some might say, saturated. It seems like every day there’s a new announcement from Samsung, Apple, Microsoft announcing a new, “must-have” mobile gadget.
A lot of these new devices will find their way into the enterprise – Forbes put the compound annual growth rate of shipments to business at 49% over the next four years, many of which will end up in the hands of sales organizations. The surprising thing is that most will only use them for note taking and email (Angry Birds aside). So if you have one of these new tablets, what more should you do with it?
Three areas that we see as delivering immediate value to the mobile salesperson are Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tools, Learning and Field Coaching.
Picture a typical scenario, a sales executive on a call with a prospect, with their manager attending to provide guidance and coaching. The customer needs a solution to a critical business problem fast. Imagine two alternative paths from that meeting.
The first – Using the familiar paper-based or manual approach, the rep returns to the office the next day with the notes scribbled on a notepad. After wasting 60 minutes looking through the ambiguous filing system on the laptop, the sales person finds a 2 year old copy of a pricing spread sheet with out of date products, pricing and incorrect margins. After spending a whole day copying, pasting, replacing text from an old proposal, before deciding to apply an unsanctioned discount, the sales person emails the prospect a word document full of unprofessional mistakes. The deal is either lost or at best severely detrimental to a positive outcome.
The second – With mobile technology, the sales person opens CPQ app on their mobile tablet during the meeting, follows a guided selling process based on company rules, with controlled pricing, suggested up-selling and cross-selling and sends an electronic proposal before leaving the meeting. The electronic proposal is full of relevant case studies and the most up to date product information to present a compelling case for the products and services on offer. The initial proposal maximises the revenue, and is free from errors. The prospect impressed by the rapid, accurate response to their needs, decides to move ahead quickly. The workflow and margin approval rules in CPQ ensure swift progress throughout the negotiations and the deal comes to a swift positive conclusion. Of course, it is never that simple, but since businesses can live or die on the business they bid for, surely a professional, guided and controlled process that maximises revenue and accelerates the sales cycle is one business process that is worthy of strategic review.
At CallidusCloud, a supplier in this field, proposal automation is a particularly hot topic with their customer base. Proposal automation can provide a tactical quick fix but done strategically, makes a compelling business case. I recently hosted a session with one of our CPQ customers – Xirrus – who have realised many of the benefits they were expecting as well as a few they weren’t! Their CPQ case study delves deeper into the business case, but one of the key findings was that by simply prompting the salesperson to include an additional service in the quote, Xirrus saw a near 100% attach rate for the service and a significant revenue increase!
A huge benefit, realised by a simple prompt, accessible on a device you can take anywhere. On a recent Configure Price Quote webinar we covered many more of the benefits of arming your sales teams with a mobile app like CPQ.
Article kindly provided by guest author Giles House of CallidusCloud for our March 2013 newsletter.