Want to know a secret? The business world is changing – sales, decisions and how buyers buy. According to a recent blog post from Jeffrey Gitomer, a well-known sales strategist and trainer, sales has undergone a dramatic change in the past five years. These changes are eerily close to what’s happening in how business decisions are made.
Additionally, Boris Evelson (@bevelson), Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst, recently wrote that the research firm has tracked continuously increasing levels of adoption and maturity for mobile business applications, except Business Intelligence apps. One of the main reasons this area has failed to take off is the technology to use the apps is just now maturing. That is no longer true with the introduction of tablets and BI platforms for tablets such as the iPad2.
Gitomer’s list of changes below is an excellent starting point for how mobile BI will change the way we make decisions and sales in the next ten years. As you examine this list, take a look at how well these changes match up with Evelson’s mobile BI predictions.
Differentiation from competition. Sales is no longer about which price is better; it’s about who provides the most value. Where do you find that value? With sophisticated data analytics such as a data visualization on a salesperson’s iPad 2 of how much your company can save the prospect over time. Hmm…sounds a little like what Evelson says in his list of what you can do with mobile BI – “Improve ‘elevator pitch’ effectiveness.”
Value-driven sales presentations. Sales no longer take the tone of “we do this.” It’s about proving the value after the sale. Data visualizations and real numbers derived from sophisticated data should be the focus of today’s sales presentations, not what Gitomer calls the “boring we-we slide decks from marketing.” More from Evelson – “Deliver BI in the right place, at the right time.”
Profit from purchase. Decision makers could care less if you are going to save them money on your product. If your product makes them money, then they want to talk to you. You can’t show them the money without digging through the data.
Using social media to make connections. Gitomer says you have to be Facebooking, Tweeting and Linking In instead of cold calling to be a competitive salesperson. Evelson makes a charge for choosing a mobile BI vendor that relates to social media with his recommendation that your application should “leverage GPS signals for geolocation and geospatial analytics.” As much of social media is going on location, this is an important factor.
Customers expect INSTANT information. While Gitomer says every customer wants and expects a live, friendly person ready to help them when they call you, it’s not enough to just have a voice. You need data and the benefit of mobile BI is getting relevant information to the end-user wherever they are is no longer a problem.
Collaboration with customers. The companies that will get ahead in sales are those that build relationships with their customers and act as a partner or trusted advisor. By presenting the customer the value in easy-to-digest formats, you are not pushing – just showing them value. That’s a key skill in value-based selling.
Spotfire Blogging Team