Sales and marketing is one of the few profit centers in any organization. That is, these two departments are responsible for bringing in money that is necessary to keep your organization going.
Interestingly enough, sales teams also tend to be the most disjointed and disorganized in most businesses. This happens because unlike most other teams, a sales force is distributed across multiple zones and offices. Keeping every member of your sales team aligned with the overall business goals can be challenging when they do not work from under the same roof.
Sales reps are also always on the move. This makes it difficult for members of the sales force to stay cohesive even as a team. A mobile app that helps your sales force coordinate and collaborate is thus very important to the overall success of your business.
The sales process can differ across various businesses. The first step in the requirement gathering stage is to understand how sales teams function within your organization.
In some organizations, SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) are in charge of identifying prospects and making the first pitch. In other cases, businesses may source a list of prospects from third party databases like DiscoverOrg and move straight to the prospecting stage. Furthermore, some businesses rely on cold email outreach in the first step while others rely on cold calls.
In general though, the average sales team deploys a hybrid approach and uses each of these techniques for prospecting. The same is true for each of the other steps in the sales process.
One point to note here - the objective of a Sales mobile app is to complement the existing processes with a solution that will enhance productivity. It is not to disrupt existing processes and create a new one.
Keeping this in mind, underline every step of the existing process to identify ways your app can automate or hasten the process.
For example, let us assume that sales reps share their outreach email scripts with each other over email. The app could have a repository where these templates could be shared for quick access. You may go a step further and make use of tracking scripts for each of the template and have a live report on the best performing templates.
Find complementary integration
A sales management app is just one of the many tools that are used in a business to collaborate.Consequently, it is important to identify what other tools are indispensable and work towards integrating them with your sales app. From a sales team perspective, there are two main integration points that are absolutely essential - this includes your CRM and your email server. CRM integration ensures that you do not have to rebuild your sales app from scratch to meet objectives that are already fulfilled by your CRM app. Integration with email allows you to quickly integrate your system with the communication channel used by the rest of your business team.
The objective of a sales management app is to bring all your communications under one dashboard. If you use specific apps to communicate with any segment of the users or colleagues, it is important to integrate them into your app as well. For instance, if you operate in a market like India where WhatsApp is insanely popular, there is a high chance that your sales team communicates with their prospects over WhatsApp. Integrating this communication to your sales app is thus high priority.
Finalize the technology
While we have this listed as the third step in the process of building a sales management app, it is a vital step nevertheless. Many organizations provide smartphone devices to their sales force in order for them to be able to do their job. Unfortunately, this is becoming less and less prevalent. In most organizations today, mobile devices are part of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy where sales team members are free to choose the device they want to communicate with.
As a result, there is no one device to build you app upon. iOS and Android are equally popular smartphone platforms while there are also others like Windows that are still used by many people. It is important to identify which of these devices you want to support. The organization may then be required to provide devices to the rest of the sales force who do not use the platform you have developed your sales app for.
You may also consider building Progressive apps that can work on any smartphone or desktop device.
Find the right agency to outsource
Picking the right agency can make or break your app. The ideal agency will have significant experience with building all sorts of mobile and web apps. Such an agency will rely on your industry experience and consult you on the technical aspects of building this app. This can include advise on the ideal platform to build the app on, how to achieve certain objectives of your app, and how to ensure you get the maximum bang for your buck as far as app development goes.
Having said that, it is also important to have your stakeholders take part in your conversation with the agency. This ensures that the app you build is done taking into account the needs and expectations of its users.
Lastly, test test test. No matter how organized your app development process is, it is still highly likely that there are elements that do not work as intended. Test the app extensively among your sales team and gather feedback from them about things that need to be fixed before you can mark your project as complete. Without testing, you may end up building a product that is great from a theoretic perspective but does not add any practical value to your sales force.
Does your organization have a sales app? Share your thoughts and experiences about building the app in the comments below.