Mobile B2B Sales: A Practical Guide for Sales Reps

Mobile automation is the new standard for B2B sales

Mobile automation is the new standard for B2B sales


The mobile sales app for B2B represents the new standard for growing small and mid-sized businesses. It may be the greatest thing to happen for manufacturing and wholesale distribution sales reps since the invention of the printing press. Few technologies for business have the far-reaching impact on the quality of your work and your company’s bottom line of a mobile sales app.

If your company has outside sales reps, or sells at trade shows, on a showroom floor, from special events or on-site with a customer, for you, the era of the printed product catalog, the paper order form, and the fax machine is over. The integrated smart phone and tablet era is now. xkzero has summarized some important considerations for you here.


The impact of having everything you need in your pocket

Off you go to your prospect meeting. Off you go to the trade show. Off you go for another day on the showroom floor. Off you go, back to your hotel room. Off you go, equipped with a product catalog printed 9 months ago, a price list printed 6 weeks ago. Hoping the fax machine doesn’t get jammed when you send in your order. Hoping that a customer service rep is ready when you call to find out the status of the inventory you’d like to sell.

The new standard for B2B selling is the smart phone. It’s replaced the fax, the printed materials, and antiquated processes that hold back a business today.

How you will benefit from a mobile sales app as a salesperson:

  • You’ll be better prepared with fingertip access to up-to-the-moment customer and inventory data.
  • Customers and prospects will sense your increased confidence.
  • You’ll have the chance to close larger deals.
  • You’ll be able to complete high transaction volume sales more quickly.
  • You might not ever be late for a meeting again.

The price of not doing anything

Over 90 percent of the mobile sales automation projects xkzero has implemented over the past several years have been for companies that previously relied on the tools and processes of yesterday—printed product catalogs, paper order forms, and fax machines. For many of these businesses, sales reps had to call customer service for the status of anything customer or inventory related. Representing the entire spectrum of manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries, they have one thing in common. Once they switch from paper and manual processes to an automated mobile solution—they don’t change back.

More practical guides – Mobile B2B Sales: A Practical Guide for Executives

Ready to talk about charting a mobile sales strategy for your business? Contact us at or call 847-416-2009.  Visit the xkzero website to learn more about our winning solutions.


Mobile B2B Sales: A Practical Guide for Executives



Mobile sales apps for B2B represent the new standard for growing small and mid-sized businesses. In fact, mobile B2B sales may be the greatest thing to happen for manufacturing and wholesale distributor sales reps since the invention of the printing press. There are very few technologies you can add to your business today that will have as far reaching effect on the quality of your work, and the bottom line of your business as a mobile sales app.

The new standard for B2B sales is mobile

The new standard for B2B sales is mobile

If your company has outside sales reps, or sells at trade shows, on a showroom floor, from special events or on-site with a customer –for you, the era of the printed product catalog, the paper order form, and the fax machine – is over.

The integrated smart phone and tablet era is now. xkzero has summarized some important considerations for you here.

All stakeholders in your company—Executives, Salespeople, Operations Managers, Accounting and Finance and IT professionals—look at your business from a different angle. The great news is mobile can and will benefit all of them. But you need to avoid several pitfalls that can cost you money and headache.

If you have not yet mobilized your sales team, here are some important things for executives to consider.


From sales enablement to new revenue streams

Making or producing a great product is never enough to ensure business success, and relying on antiquated methods of selling can leave you vulnerable to new competitors that enter your market, hoping to disrupt.

More practical guides – Mobile B2B Sales: A Practical Guide for Sales Reps | Mobile B2B Sales: A Practical Guide for Operations Managers


A mobile sales app can do more than simply replace the fax machine with a smart phone as a means to get orders in your system. (Think about that for a minute.) It can turn you into a disruptor yourself.

How your team will benefit:

  • Increased revenue
  • New revenue streams
  • Reduced administrative costs
  • Better served customers
  • New and improved customer intelligence
  • Attraction of a new generation of sales reps and customers
  • More profits

Risk factors to consider:

  • Choice between a packaged solution and a solution that is custom designed specifically for your business
  • Adaptation by your team and overall usability
  • Ability to integrate with your existing systems
  • Achieving a justifiable ROI

The Cost of Inaction

Over 90 percent of the mobile sales automation projects xkzero has implemented over the past several years have been for companies previously relying on the tools and processes of yesterday – printed product catalogs, paper order forms, phone calls to customer service for the status of anything customer or inventory related.  Fax machines…

These companies represent the entire spectrum of manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries.

One thing all of the companies have in common is that once they switch from paper and manual processes to an automated mobile solution, they don’t change back.

Ready to talk about charting a mobile sales strategy for your business?  Contact us at or call 847-416-2009.

Visit the xkzero website to learn more about our winning solutions.



Why Creating a Great User Experience Matters Most



Take a guess at the #1 criteria for having a great mobile sales app for your business? If you guessed creating a great experience for the user then you are correct.

The reason is simple. It’s because most (if not all) of your business goals for mobile are linked to user adaptation.

When you invest in a mobile sales app, naturally, you expect certain measurable results, such as these:

  1. Larger orders
  2. New revenue streams
  3. Higher close rates
  4. Reduced admin costs
  5. Better equipped and informed sales reps
  6. New intelligence

When you invest in a mobile app—whether you build one customized for your company’s needs, or choose an out-of-the-box option directly from an app storeit should improve the experience of doing business with you. This should be true all up and down the supply chain, but especially for the user of the app.

What, then, does it mean to create a great user experience?

Your new mobile sales app should be intuitive. If it seems like there may be a lot of training involved, keep shopping. It should be dependable. The app can’t be crashing on you every other time you use it.

Your mobile app needs to introduce something new—something memorable. Your app should reward the user and keep them coming back to the app again and again. Think maps to customer locations. Think item images, spec sheets or even instructional videos to improve the understanding of your products. Think geo-awareness, signature capture and other measures that improve accountability. Think alerts and push notifications. Think photos. Think new intelligence gathering and a means to understand customer behavior in ways you never imagined.

Creating a Great User Experience Matters.

Focus on creating a great user experience for everyone involved, and your mobile sales app initiative will be on a sure track to success.

Taking photos at the customer location, whether it be a display case - or even a proof of delivery, enhances your understanding of your customer and helps to create a great user experience

Taking photos at the customer location, whether it be a display case – or even a proof of delivery, enhances your understanding of your customer and helps to create a great user experience



Choosing the right mobile sales app for your business

Empowering sales and customer service teams with mobile-ability straight from your ERP/accounting system can have a powerful impact on your business. Not only can it increase revenue, but benefit the bottom line in other ways, too–like reducing labor costs and eliminating redundant data entry.  Distributor sales rep

Mobile selling also can provide a new means of intelligence gathering, making your people more confident, and more engaging.

But because everyone’s needs are not the same, choosing the right solution for your business is really important, but luckily, not complicated.

Whatever your needs are, these are some important things to keep in mind:

  • A great mobile solution starts with a vision. Get the mobile conversation started with your most free thinking people.  And be open to ideas come from anyone in your organization.  Everyone and anyone on your team might be sitting on a billion dollar idea.
  • Identify the business processes that require change.  Mobilizing your workforce is good old fashioned business process reengineering.
  • Articulate expected benefits. What financial and behavioral impacts do you seek from mobile?  If you don’t have a profit motive, why would you do it?
  • Evaluate customized and pre-existing packaged solutions to determine which will work best.  Then ask yourself if what you really need is a custom app, because you want to separate your company from any competitor, and a packaged app could be done by anyone.
  • Determine the optimal level of integration with your accounting/ERP/CRM system. Don’t overlook the fact that security is an important matter here, and that can vary user-by-user, role-by-role within your company.
  • Select a mobile platform after choosing a solution. The real value is not a matter of Android versus Apple. Remember that the real value is in the experience you create for salespeople and customers, and the processes you transform.  The phone itself is usually the commodity – if not – what you created has not much value beyond the price of the device.

Consider the greater impact of mobile. Mobile allows for a significant number of changes that can have a transformative effect on your business.  It will even change the way your customers look at you.

The video below is a recording of a recent webinar we presented.  It is geared for small and mid-sized distribution and manufacturing companies who use Sage 100 software to run their businesses.  It also contains nuggets that are useful regardless of your back-end system of choice.

It includes descriptions of some key differences between Sage Mobile Sales and these two packaged solutions published by xkzero:

Also, there is a feature comparison beginning at 23:38.

[51 min 58 sec]

Would you like to talk mobile strategy for your distribution business?  At xkzero we’d love to hear from you. or 847-416-2009.



Apple vs. Android is not the question



One of the worst things you can do for your business is you limit your mobile business choices to either Apple or Android-based apps - simply because you, or members of your team, currently own those certain devices.  If your intent is to make a major impact on your business with mobile, you should be thinking more expansively than that.

Sure, the cost of acquiring smart phones or tablets is an important part of the ROI calculation to measure the success of your mobile initiative, but leading with pre-selected hardware is a mistake, especially for small and mid-sized businesses who may be entering the mobile business world for the first time.

Regardless of your specific goals (and you’ll need to get really specific), if the driving factor for your mobile automation project is increasing revenue, elimination of redundant labor, or improved customer and salesperson engagement, the real value will come from new or transformed processes that you design to make that happen.  If you can succeed with that the bottom line impact on your business could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for your business – millions or billions for the truly creative, resourceful and, yes, lucky.

The development platforms for Android phones and iPhones both are powerful and capable, and while there are certainly situations when you might choose one or the other, when it comes to having a booming impact on the future of your company, it’s changing the experience of buying from you, changing the experience shared by your sales team and your customers – and not the maker of the smart phone – that will determine your success.

Is one better than the other when it comes to business?

Is one better than the other when it comes to business?

Are you ready to start the mobile conversation in your business?  We can help –, or 847-416-2009

Meet Me at Sage Summit in New Orleans, July 27-30, 2015

A Mt. Rushmore for Sage

A Mt. Rushmore for Sage

Colin Powell. Deepak Chopra. Stephen Kelly. Sage Life indeed! And this is what you get before before 10 am. All of these talks will take place at Sage Summit, July 27-30, 2015 in New Orleans. Meet me there?

Sage Summit is the event to learn, network, and connect. Hundreds of sessions and more than 70 speakers are all focused on helping you grow your business.

If you’d like to be inspired by businesses just like yours who’ve experienced unbelievable success driven by innovative and accessible mobile ERP solutions, then please join me for either of these two talks in the Thought Leadership series:


Hear stories about how a seventeen-year-old beverage distributor increased sales over 20% in year one after going mobile—with zero increase in warehouse and admin personnel.

Find out how a food distributor increased sales and eliminated 100 hours of clerical work each week by providing their top customers an app to order product right from their smart phones.

And learn about something called Sage Life, a re-imagination of business management brought to you by Sage and Salesforce.

All that and much, much more.

Meet me at Sage Summit in New Orleans, July 27-30!
Register Now!
Remember to also register for the sessions! 


The Experience of Doing Business With You: A Sage Summit 2015 Preview

We all have our judgments when doing business with others. Whether over the phone, in person, or online—you’ll come away from a business interaction having decided if the seller was too slow, uninformed, not there when we needed them, or failed to warn us about one thing or another.

Creating a positive experience of doing business together is vitally important to revenue production, customer retention and profitability. With the continued emergence of mobile apps for business, now more than ever it’s critical to evaluate how you can differentiate and win against the competition. One crucial offering that can keep you on top—create a better experience of doing business with you.

Join me at Sage Summit 2015 in New Orleans from July 27-30 to network, connect, and learn how Sage can grow your business.

As part of the Sage Summit Thought Leader series, I will share insights during an all-new session designed to help you learn how to change the experience of doing business with you by leveraging mobile technology:

  • TL-139: Disrupt your industry: making your mobile dream a reality
    Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    4:30 to 5:15 pm

In this session you’ll learn how companies in B2B industries went from zero to mobile virtually overnight by creating a vision, strategy and action plan to harness new opportunities for sales, operational efficiency and profits.

Hear how companies who sell everything from beverages, restaurant supplies, grocery products, dirt, landscaping material and services, computer peripherals, medical instruments, and industrial equipment are rising above the competition and creating real value through mobile technologies for their ERP systems.

If you haven’t already done so, register for Sage Summit 2015 now! Use my promo code BEMYGUEST for a rate of $99 USD. The regular price is $799.

I’m also revisiting and updating a very popular session from Sage Summit 2014:

  • TL-134: Why Mobile, Why Now? A Decision Maker’s Guide to Business Success
    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    4:30 to 5:15 pm

Once you are registered for the conference, visit the Sage Summit site to secure your spot to attend both presentations. Don’t wait until you get to New Orleans to register for sessions. They fill up fast!

Sage Summit 2015 celebrity speakers include General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Deepak Chopra, Tony Hawk, Jane Seymour, and Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men.

Don’t miss it! We look forward to seeing you there! Also, be sure to visit us at booth 522 and make xkzero a part of your Sage Summit story.

Sage Summit Booth 522: xkzero


Your Mobile ERP Strategy – Focus On Business Goals First



Everyone is telling you that your business should be going mobile. But should it? And if so, where do you start?

Last month we began a series exploring ways to develop mobile strategies to leverage your ERP system. Let’s look at how you can move forward to get started.

When making a decision about introducing any new tool that hooks into your ERP system, you should be reasonably sure of a few things first: Will the solution being automated be reliable? Will it be flexible? Will it be useable?

Because no one can afford to be in a customer facing situation and not have their application perform as designed. If that happens to you, you might as well hand them the phone numbers of your competitors.

Because not every company has the same needs; not every user in a company has the same needs; and needs change over time.

Because ERP automation needs to be intuitive and inviting to the user for a successful roll-out.

Reliable, flexible, usable. Keep these characteristics in mind as requirements for any ERP app–especially when moving to mobile processing.


With this trio of key characteristics in mind, your first big step is to establish your business goals.

I recommend starting by asking the big questions first, such as these:

  • How can we accelerate growth?
  • How can we create a competitive advantage?
  • What are all of the processes that lend themselves to mobile?
  • What is unique to our industry that can allow us to stand out?
  • Are there new ways to sell and market our offerings?

Engage with the more creative members of your team to brainstorm with these kinds of questions as a jumping point to produce ideas. Garnering feedback from those with various viewpoints can likely generate solutions worthy of further exploration and discovery.


Next, do your best to articulate measurable goals, such as these:

  • Drive revenue growth.
  • Eliminate redundant tasks.
  • Accelerate the entire sales process.
  • Improve accuracy.
  • Streamline processes.
  • Improve customer service.
  • Improve decision making.

Drive revenue growth. Consider how you might be perceived by your customers and prospects if you could offer a mobile app to allow customers to check order or inventory status, or even place an order with you directly on their smart phone or tablet.

Eliminate redundant tasks. We’ve all dealt with handwritten orders faxed or hand-delivered to the office only to be manually keyed in by a person. Do away with unnecessary work.

Accelerate sales process. If you can place an order faster it only holds that you may be able to pick, deliver and collect on those orders too.

Improve accuracy. No one is as familiar with the deal details as you and the customer. If you can book the order when you are in front of them, especially if you can provide an email or print confirmation, you are likely one step ahead in terms of accuracy.

Streamline processes. This means fewer hands in the kitchen. ‘Nuff said.

Improve customer service. Why not consider a mobile app for all of your customer facing staff that provides them any time, anywhere access to critical customer information? If you can answer a customer’s question now as opposed to the next time you’re in the office, you probably just made that customer happy.

Improve decision making. Imagine you’re closing a deal and you are able to show the customer what the product looks like and when you can deliver it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

We’re just scratching the surface here and could go on about payment acceptance, automating sales at trade shows or special events and so on. For today, though, our hope is that we’ve sparked your imagination with ways to define business goals to ignite a mobile ERP process.

Look for our next post in our mobile ERP apps strategy series focusing on functional needs by user.

See you out there.

By Paul Ziliak, co-founder, xkzero


If you would like to learn more about xkzero Mobility, Sage Mobile Sales, or would like to share your mobile ideas with us, please contact us at

4 Things Distributors Can Do with Mobile Sales Apps

Distributors benefit from mobile sales automation

Great value awaits for distributors with mobile sales apps

Here are some things to look for in your mobile apps along with some practical ways a wholesale distributor might use them.

How Can Distributors Use Mobile Sales Apps?

  • Address book. You need to start somewhere. Think about the amount of time one single sales person spends adding customer contacts to their smart phone. With a mobile sales app, accessing a complete–and accurate–address book is just a login and password away. Let your competitors have their sales reps tediously entering account address, phone and email information, spending dozens, perhaps hundreds of hours manually keying the stuff in. Your mobile app should automatically work with the device’s calendar, email and phone–and because it’s integrated with your ERP system, sales reps will never have to worry about keeping the data current.
  • Price catalog. Better yet, an illustrated price catalog. If your ERP system already contains an image associated with an item then your mobile app should be able to display that along with pricing – and even warehouse quantities available. Historically distributors published a catalog once, maybe twice per year. With your new ERP-driven price and product catalog your sales reps will be able to keep themselves and your customers up-to-the-minute current.
  • Order and history inquiry. Now we’re getting into the good stuff. If you are an outside sales rep or executive, how cool would it be to prepare for your next meeting by looking at all of the open activity and past history for a customer right before you meet with them? Knowledge is power, and the informed sales rep is a confident sales rep. A confident sales rep closes deals.
  • Place Orders. Or at least produce price quotes. The well equipped mobile salesperson can enter all of the details of a quote or an order and close the deal right on the spot. You may even wish to capture the signature of the customer or accept their payment. Why is this important? By getting the order now you can 1) accelerate delivery 2) establish yourself as a modern company that others want to do business with 3) ensure accuracy 4) beat the competition to the punch.

At xkzero, we believe that people perform best when they are confident, informed, and have a high level of trust in the tools they use. Maybe it’s time for your wholesale distribution business to start gearing up with mobile apps. If your ERP data tells the story of your customers and your inventory, shouldn’t you equip your team to have that information in their pockets?

Resources to learn more about the most powerful, flexible, easy to use mobile sales app for distributors with growing needs- iSales 100.

Contact us at or 847-416-2009, we can help you create a mobile plan that works for you.


Introducing xkzero Digest



Today, we launch the xkzero Digest, a periodic electronic publication designed to keep you informed of industry topics, technical updates and product and event announcements related to mobile technology for Sage ERP systems. In addition, we’ll write about custom development-related subjects, and provide information that helps inspire you to apply the best technology, at the right time, for you and your clients.

Focus: What You Want to Know

While we already have many topics and articles we’re excited to share with you, we also invite you to let us know about subjects of interest to ensure that we continue to focus on things that matter most to you.

We’re at a Technology Crossroads

As we embark on 2015, the world of ERP and accounting software systems is without a doubt at a crossroads. The world of business management systems into which many of us

Team xkzero is focused and ready!

Team xkzero is focused and ready!

entered 20 or 30 years ago—where a single consultant would sell and install the system, perhaps even set up the server as well as conduct the set-up and training—becomes more of a faint memory with each passing year.

Conversely, in today’s specialized business world, those who create the most value concentrate on a particular specialty. At xkzero, we have that kind of clear focus—it’s all about mobile ERP—and it’s our wish that this dedication benefits each and every one of you.

Pushing Boundaries and Yielding Rewards

These days, the businesses that push boundaries with technology reap the greatest rewards. Whether your clients use Sage ERP X3, Sage 100 ERP and/or Sage 500 ERP, we think xkzero can help you create new revenue streams, not to mention customer satisfaction and loyalty.

xkzero Digest Content

Our first issue of xkzero Digest introduces our new director of technical services, Alnoor Cassim, and also includes a guide to help you install and set up GetX Search so you can win more new customers and delight existing ones.

All the best for a great 2015!