All sales apps promise to increase sales. Measuring their effectiveness after you’ve purchased one is relatively straight-forward, those that deliver lead to more and bigger sales orders. So, how to make sure that you pick a winning sales app? Here are the basic features to look for:
1. Offline mode
This is primordial. The customer experience – and sales − can take a serious nosedive when a 3G or Wi-Fi connection is poor or unavailable. The app needs to be able to run offline, so that product presentation can continue, and orders saved regardless of Internet access conditions. We’ve seen first-hand many companies who were losing sales at trade shows because their app did not have an offline mode. Reps should also have the ability to print sales orders, quotes, invoices, product descriptions, etc. offline.
2. Top-notch display
A product which is presented appealingly in an e-catalog from different angles and in various colors and settings has a much higher chance of being sold. High-res images and zooming in on details can make all the difference in closing a deal. In this regard, the iPad’s retina display is a big plus since it has the best capabilities on the market. The app should also let reps show high-quality videos of promotional material, instructions, how-to demos, etc. and any other collateral that helps them to sell more
3. Smart filters
If you deal with items that have different variants, such as style, color and size, make sure your sales rep software has smart filters to carry out quick searches. This enables reps to easily display and order products according to different characteristics and any specified category and sub-category, so they can zero in on the item they’re looking for and spend a lot less time browsing.
4. Productivity enhancers
A two-dimension order matrix view, mix and match options, and ordering by pre packs and units of measurement are all features that can all come in handy, depending on your industry. Other productivity enhancers include the ability to handle multiple price lists, currencies and transaction types (i.e. orders, quotes, returns); splitting an order by delivery date; and picture-taking of merchandise displays with automatic filing by category and sub-category.
For sales reps, knowledge is power. Customers’ contact details, sales and payment histories, which product(s) they bought previously, what they complained about or were happy with in the past, all represent a goldmine of information. CRM features built into the app can manage and centralize this type of valuable data and present it in dashboards and graph format, on the rep’s tablet.
Since business needs typically change over time, it should be easy to adjust settings, formats and processes. Look for a wide range of options across the board − from customizable product and customers fields and eCatalog display options to implementing different business workflows. The app should also offer features that are appropriate for your particular industry.
If you have an ERP system, sales reps should be able to access pertinent, updated information concerning customers, products, payments, price lists, inventory and other important entities while with the client, and have their sales orders automatically uploaded from their tablets to the back office. The app should therefore allow for easy, out-of-the box, two-way integration with any ERP, CRM and accounting system.
8. Sales management
The strategy of setting and tracking goals (e.g. weekly, quarterly, annually) for products, customers and the reps themselves, has been proven to increase sales and should obviously be part of any sales solution. Other important management features are activities tracking, location-based GPS with color-coded mapped views of accounts and accounts, customizable activities, and scheduling calls, meetings, emails and reminders.
The range of sales apps running on tablets is growing rapidly and choosing the right sales app is not always easy. To ensure the app that you deploy is a winner, find one with all the above features.