In a recent survey conducted by Huthwaite, a sales performance improvement organization, the majority of respondents indicated that smartphones gave sales reps a competitive edge--because of response speeds. By combining the features of a mobile phone and a laptop, smartphones can help your sales team quickly respond to customer queries, provide instant access to customer data, as well as allow your mobile workforce to share presentations, check inventory, close deals and more.
Straight from the field (from road warriors and CEOs), here are 10 ways smartphones can improve productivity on the go and increase sales:
1. Remember people you meet. "Contact lists in your phone are great, but to quickly capture people's names, the place you met, their relationship with other contacts and your own personal notes, use an app like NameCatcher Biz," says Katie Meurin, senior marketing manager, Zco Corporation, an app development company. "To really make that meeting stick in your memory, add pictures, video or voice notes."
2. Respond faster to customers. "My clients are global, and I am contacted by them 24 hours a day," says John Paul Engel, CEO, Knowledge Capital Consulting, a management consulting firm. "I can't imagine doing my business without my smartphone. My clients have come to expect a quick response from me, and if I don't get back to them in a few minutes they think something is wrong." Being available, and being able to return calls quickly, is critical--for not just Engel but for mobile executives and sales reps in general. And while being available 24/7 is not always desirable, "this high level of service leads to great [customer] satisfaction, referrals and sales," he points out.
3. Hold virtual meetings with colleagues and customers. Any mobile phone can help your sales team stay in touch with the office, colleagues and customers. However, with a smartphone--and a mobile video chat app, such as Google Talk, Skype or Tango--you can hold virtual meetings and video chat with decision makers around the globe.
4. Share files--and make changes--on the go. "File sharing [apps] make it possible to send large sales presentations or relevant whitepapers without slowing down your email client," says John Golden, CEO and president, Huthwaite. "Our global teams use Dropbox to share files across continents," he notes. Another piece of advice: "Make sure your smartphone allows you to create and make changes to presentations on the go."
5. Always have a video pitch with you. "A short video can demonstrate more advantages of your product" than, say, a standard PowerPoint presentation, says Katie Meurin, senior marketing manager, Zco Corporation, an app development company. Need or want to create a mini movie from the road via your smart device? Meurin recommends Splice, which is available for iPhones (and iPads) via the AppStore.
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