September 22, 2014

Today’s sales representatives are armed with an arsenal of sales and marketing tools. They’re using online social networks to prospect leads and nurture relationships, as well as mobile technologies with an ever-expanding array of free and paid business apps. The latter is akin to having an army of assistants on call, making the sales rep’s work more efficient, productive, and effective. As for smiles and shoe shine approaches of the past to close a deal, they’ve been replaced with cinematic sales presentations focused on solving client problems with compelling products and services. The profession has never been more sophisticated, productive, or fun.

The days of carting demonstration sales kits the size of a kitchen cabinet to pitch a customer are over for today’s uber-sales reps. Quick on the heels of the iPhone’s debut seven years ago, the first personal apps were made available for download; most of them fun games, doodle pads, and camera enhancements like a zoom lens. Then along came game changing business apps, a vast array of productivity tools that continues to expand. The business grapevine soon buzzed with positive word of mouth about the value of many free and paid apps.

Virtually overnight, sales reps and other businesspeople began downloading the apps, often unbeknownst to corporate IT departments. Concerns quickly arose that the tacit use of apps could expose proprietary company information to competitors, or result in the theft of personally identifiable customer and employee data like Social Security Numbers and credit card information. These security concerns were understandable and reasonable, but the apps’ benefits soon outweighed the potential detractions. What was nicknamed “rogue technology” soon became routine technology.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of business apps are available today, many crowding the small screens of smartphones and tablets. Sales consultants cite mobile devices and business apps as having profoundly altered the sales model. “Every process from leads to the close is made more efficient and effective,” says George Robertson, president of Robertson Consulting in Eden, North Carolina.

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*Excerpts above taken from The Uber Sales Rep guide