Ninety (90!) percent of the mobile sales automation projects we’ve done at xkzero are for companies replacing processes that have historically been manual and paper-based. Yes, many (most) small and mid-sized B2B manufacturers and distributors still rely on what are basically 1980s era sales tools – pre-printed order forms, product catalogs, fax machines, and a lot of phone calls back to customer service.
What that means is the return on investment (ROI) is virtually immediate for those who take the plunge. But the challenge can be getting companies like yours to take the initiative in the first place. We’re all creatures of habit, and sales people are no exception to that.
Companies choosing to equip their sales teams with mobile technology run all have something in common. They tend to have a vision – and a desire – to win against the competition – and to be A-1 players in their market space.
How does mobile sale automation help them with that?
1. Modernizes your workforce
Many of our clients have come straight out and told us that with a new generation workforce emerging (millennials) they can’t possibly give them the tools of yesteryear. Remember, the millennial generation grew up wired to the internet. Many of them went to school without textbooks in their backpacks because everything became digitized.
Consider your sales tools. Are you handing them the 1980s era sales tools, or are you having them download a company app packed with all things vital to serve your customers, including order status, inventory info (customer pricing, ability to promise, images, etc.). And if it lends itself to your business, the ability to take orders and accept payments.
Without modern tools, can you be certain you’ll have the talented sales force you’ll need for tomorrow?
2. Creates new revenue streams
How can a mobile sales app create new revenue streams? Glad you asked. Who takes an order in your company today? Likely a sales person or customer service rep (CSR), and when they get that order, they, or someone, needs to enter that into your accounting or ERP system. Usually processes that involve phone calls, faxing, writing out order forms, etc. (see ‘Modernizing’ above).
But with an easily deployed mobile sales app you can greatly expand your sales force.
How? Why not have your own customers download your sales app and enter their own orders whenever and wherever they are. A B2B mobile sales app can be a lot easier and cheaper to roll out to end user customers – and for many they will reward you for being able to enter their own orders from a smart phone.
How about CSRs or senior management? Anyone who interacts with customers on a regular basis is someone who you could or should provide a mobile sales app too. Why stay beholden to the rules of yesterday’s way of doing business when you can make everyone in your organization – and your own customers – salespeople for you?
3. Reduces administrative costs
By eliminating redundant data entry into your accounting/ERP system you not only reduce labor costs, but you also ensure a higher degree of accuracy. The money you can save here can be reallocated to higher value add activities geared to winning new customers and satisfying the existing ones.
4. Speeds up your entire supply chain
This should be music to your ears as a B2B wholesaler. This is what happens with mobile sales automation:
Orders make it into your back office system faster – sometimes eliminating delays of 1-2 days. Because the orders arrive sooner, deliveries are made faster. The result is you get paid sooner too. Make sense?
Compound that over and over again and that’s what an accelerated supply chain looks like.
5. Improves customer service
A by product of all of this is your customer service gets even better. By having better informed sales reps, by eliminating unproductive admin tasks and by speeding up your supply chain your customer service reps become more proactive helping the customers solve problems, and building on to your customer loyalty.
6. Results in more confident sales reps
Maybe the most underestimated benefit of all from mobilizing your workforce is that your sales force will behave with more confidence. And a confident sales person is a productive sales person.
xkzero specializes in ERP-integrated mobile sales, route sales and delivery automation software for iPhones and iPads. Our distinction as certified programmers and developers for Acumatica, Sage 100 and Sage X3 ensures our clients the deepest, most flexible integrations into your backend systems.
xkzero’s customers process thousands of transactions daily, and billions of dollars worth per year. Our clients now perform better at trade shows, on showroom floors, at special events, and simply when on site with the customer. They also have high-performance, industry leading solutions for route sales people and direct store delivery needs. The result is extremely powerful and flexible ERP integrations that are easy to deploy and powerful to use. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.