Optimize Your Sales Team with Mobile BI Apps

Koustubh LaghateOctober 7, 2014

Mobile business intelligence (BI) apps are cropping up everywhere in the business world, providing countless improvements to the way we do our jobs, make decisions, and deliver information to clients and customers.

One area, in particular, that stands to benefit from mobile BI apps is sales. For sales representatives and executives, mobile BI apps can mean fewer worries on the road, increased efficiency, and the ability to deliver what prospects need with the sweep of a hand. All of this makes a real difference in how sales teams come across.

How, exactly, do mobile BI apps help sales teams? First, a look at some of the challenges today’s sales professionals face, followed by insight on why mobile BI is an effective solution.

 

Sales in the 21st century: a state of constant motion

Today’s sales executives are pressed for time, whether they’re on the road meeting clients or making pitches in front of a screen. Increasingly, they’re relying on mobile apps to coordinate their schedules and place at their fingertips the data and information they need to come across as highly knowledgeable and prepared. With the right app, sales professionals can optimize an entire day over their morning coffee by pulling up appointments and lining up presentations and collateral needs for each appointment.

Sales reps who travel frequently face multiple appointments across a geographic region in a given day. They need to make every minute count — and can’t afford to get stuck in traffic or delayed with technical difficulties. Downtime is filled with conference calls using collaboration tools to update documents or work on campaigns, while time after appointments is consumed by follow up emails and information — and doing what it takes to push prospects further down the sales funnel.

On the prospect side of the deal, time is equally precious, as few modern-day decision-makers can make room in their schedule for leisurely sales lunches. “When meeting with a prospect, a salesperson no longer wants to waste time firing up his or her laptop and fiddling with the projector to give a canned PowerPoint presentation,” explains Adam Caplan, the CEO of Model Metrics, in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “Instead, the salesperson might pull out an iPad and, using cloud-based technology, present a pitch using an interactive sales aid that is loaded with product information, demos, images, and videos.”

 

Professionalism and knowledge are key

The fast-paced lives of today’s sales executives make it challenging to perform at the top of their game. Yet studies reveal that this is exactly what it takes to close deals. In an article for Harvard Business Review, business scholar Steve W. Martin says that “winners” in the highly competitive world of sales show up 100-percent knowledgeable and prepared, meaning they understand what the prospect needs and tailor their pitch accordingly. “Losers,” on the other hand, turn up with poor resources, run into technical difficulties, and lack the knowledge to guide prospects through the decision-making process.

 

How mobile BI apps can help

Martin’s findings reinforce what many of us already know: when sales execs are armed with the right information, and when they can access, distill, and deliver that information in a timely, accurate manner, they have a powerful advantage. Mobile BI apps can be designed strategically to improve many aspects of a sale professional’s job. Apps enable them to:

  • Break down complex data and transform black-and-white Excel data sets into effective, colorful visuals that tell a story
  • Educate and impress prospects with interactive content and captivating multimedia presentations that can be tailored and customized to each client
  • Streamline travel, scheduling, and other logistics
  • Improve time and workflow management
  • Facilitate communications with key team members
  • Access essential data and information in real time

What kind of data and information can mobile BI apps provide? It depends on what a company needs. Apps can provide up-to-date sales trends and marketing content, order status and history, and sales reports, plus enhanced analytics that sales teams can use to demonstrate long-term trends or granular short-term data sets.

Sales teams that can back up their claims with data and use it to guide prospects to the right choice are a real advantage in today’s marketplace, where companies are searching for solutions to complex problems — and value sales professionals who can educate and inform.

Are you considering a mobile BI app for your sales team? InfoCepts works with companies every day to figure out the right BI solution. Contact us to start the conversation.