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

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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.

Salespeople

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 info@xkzero.com or call 847-416-2009.  Visit the xkzero website to learn more about our winning solutions.

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Mobile B2B Sales: A Practical Guide for Executives

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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.

Executives

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 info@xkzero.com or call 847-416-2009.

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

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Former Sage Mobile Sales Specialist Joins xkzero

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reposted for original publication via PR Web

 

Mobile sales app developer xkzero today announced the addition of Karen Foreman as mobile sales specialist. Foreman comes to xkzero from Sage where she served in a similar capacity selling Sage Mobile Solutions and CRM.  Karen Foreman

“We are very fortunate to have Karen join our team,” xkzero co-founder, Paul Ziliak said. “Her knowledge of the Sage channel and understanding of the unique needs of Sage customers alone brings us great value, but what really sets Karen apart is her passion for mobile as the next generation technology for business. xkzero continues to invest in its products to help small and mid-sized distributors and manufacturers grow. Adding Karen to our team will only accelerate the number of companies benefiting from the larger orders, new revenue streams and reduced administrative burden delivered through mobile.”

Regarding her decision to join xkzero, Foreman expressed enthusiasm about the company’s offerings. She said, “xkzero continues to make major investments in the evolution of its products. iSales 100 provides advanced mobile selling capabilities that can not only satisfy very unique requirements, but it is also incredibly easy to set up and use. xkzero Mobile Commerce (XMC) offers enterprise caliber functionality out-of-the box for companies using Direct Store Delivery (DSD), and Route Selling as a business growth strategy. Food and beverage producers and distributors are a natural fit for XMC, and its pre-built integrations to Sage 100 and Sage X3 create significant business advantages for growing companies.”

About xkzero:

xkzero specializes in mobile sales, route sales and direct store delivery automation for small and mid-sized manufacturers and wholesale distribution companies.  xkzero is also a certified developer for Sage X3, Sage 100 and Sage 500, creating integrated and embedded mobile solutions into some of North America’s most popular and powerful ERP and accounting systems for the mid-market.

For more information about xkzero or to contact Karen, please visit our website, email us at info@xkzero.com, or call 847-416-2009.
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Why you should have a mobile sales app for your business

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Not a fax machine, price sheet or product catalog in site.

No fax machine, price sheet or product catalog in sight.

 

Does your current sales process include a fax machine, pre-printed forms (multi-part forms!), printed product catalogues, or price sheets? If you can get past the competition and land a sale using with such antiquated tools, do you have to pass along the order to a customer service rep to re-enter the data into your order management system?

The above scenario almost sounds silly these days. The simple reason you should have a mobile sales app for your business is because it makes the whole process more convenient. Every step of the way.

Using a mobile sales app, your company ends up with a better-informed workforce that is more confidently equipped to do business with whomever, whenever—whereever. Mobile sales apps not only accelerate your supply chain, which gets you paid faster, but they also reduce administrative costs.

You may ask, “If I spend money on a mobile app, how can I be sure it’s more convenient than current tools?” Valid question. Think about it for a minute. Consider the role of the smart phone in your personal life. Why do we rely so much on our mobile devices? We use a smart phone because it is the most convenient way to access information these days.

Using a mobile device from any location sure beats waiting until you’re hunkered down at the office, at a designated desk, on a computer.

In our personal lives we turn to our smart phones for content and data like music, Facebook, Instagram, photos, email, Draft Kings, YouTube, Twitter, and texting. We look up maps and restaurant menus, order tickets for sporting events and concerts, compare prices at local and online merchants, register for personal enrichment classes and college courses—and even access children’s grades and homework assignments.

It’s about content and data. Real, live business data that you can access and on which you can take action on immediately. Interact with customers and the back office, about really important stuff—like closing new business or serving a customer. Do all of this right from the phone in your pocket or purse.

So, when you ask the question about the convenience of a mobile device, really think about it. Consider how much more efficient your sales and customer service team can be when they are empowered with rich information about your customers right in their pockets, too.

Your team will be able to quickly access content like how much a customer owes. They’ll have access to data about shipments-in-transit, and orders you owe customers. They can smartly respond to opportunities to quote a prospect. Or respond to a customer who wants to know if such and so product is in stock. They’ll be able to provide customer pricing. They can show off a product photo, or provide specs on the fly.

On a more exciting level, would it be great to be ready to accept a customer payment from any location?

Our smart phones provide all kinds of ways to interact with our friends, family and conduct personal business. But when it comes to your business, shouldn’t your smart phone be doing more for you and your customers?

Smart phone. Smart sales team.

 

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Why Creating a Great User Experience Matters Most

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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

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How to Download a Free Trial of iSales 100

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Ready to kick the printed catalog / order form / fax machine habit?  xkzero is here to help - you can download a free trial of iSales 100 directly from your iPhone or iPad and try it for yourself.

It’s true. And in less than 3 minutes you can download iSales 100 to evaluate the features and benefits of one of the most flexible and adaptable mobile sales apps you’ll find for B2B wholesale distribution.

Here’s a less than 2-minute video showing you the steps to download your free trial of iSales 100 for Sage 100.  

 

How to Download a Free Trial of iSales 100:

Step 1: Search for iSales 100 on the Apple App store and launch the app

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Step 2 – Login (User ID – xkzero Password – easy)

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Step 3: Synchronize the data (tap on the circular button on the bottom and choose ‘Sync All’)

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Step 5: Start Using the Free Demo of iSales 100!

The best way to learn how iSales 100 can benefit your business is to contact us for a personalized demonstration, including a demonstration of how iSales 100 can be personalized to meet your needs.

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or call 847-416-2009.

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The single biggest mistake in sales?

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Meet the fax machine

“Four pages total. That should only take me about 20 minutes to enter into our sales order system!”

What makes a great sales process?  

Processes paired with the right business tools in order to drive maximum revenue at the lowest sales administration cost possible.   If you can do that while providing excellent customer service and a rewarding experience for your employees then you’re really on to something.

Which makes me wonder – can you have a great sales process when the tool in the middle of it all is…a fax machine?

At a recent technology conference, I presented a session entitled, “Why mobile, why now: a decision maker’s guide to success.” I asked the audience, “How many of you use a fax machine in your sales process?” Out of the approximately 110 people in attendance, half of them raised a hand.

Mobile app developers salivate at the sound of this kind of news.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the fax machine had its heyday, but it no longer serves us well. Today, using the fax machine as a tool for sales and purchasing processes can have a negative effect on your business. Here are some reasons:

  • It’s wholly inefficient.
  • It’s unnecessarily time consuming.
  • It creates potential for inaccuracies.
  • It terrifies younger workers.

In a world of integrated systems—ERP, CRM, e-commerce, mobile commerce—the fax machine should be at (or near) the top of your hit-list of antiquated tools to replace.

When a transaction is faxed, literally twice as much labor is required to complete the transaction than with an integrated mobile sales app—or even an online solution. A faxed order is first created on one system by the person generating the order, then it must be received, reviewed, and entered againthis time in the system of the receiver.

Benefits of an integrated mobile sales app include:

  • eliminate the redundant entry on the other end of the transaction
  • speed up the supply chain
  • reduce of errors
  • better experience for the sender and the receiver

As your company grows and the volume and size of the orders increasesthe more costly the fax machine becomes for you.

Whether you realize it or not, you are inevitably hiring workers in the new generation of so-called digital natives (those who were born using digital technology). Will your sales training include processes built around the fax machine, or will you embrace modern technological processes that will make your team more productive—and help you attract and retain an efficient and staff?

Finding Your Perfect Match

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Did you end up getting married to the first person you ever dated?

Not very likely. Most of us married folk dated lots of people before we found that just-right person with whom to settle down and make a life. Why do we do this? Because finding out what we really want first requires life experience to give ourselves the chance to discover what we really value.

Can this selection process also apply when choosing business technology? To find the answer, ask yourself this question: Has my business been running the same ERP/accounting system since its inception? Likely not. Most companies start with a low-cost system like Quickbooks or Sage 50. The reason is smart leaders don’t wish to make too big of a commitment until there is evidence that the business is likely to endure.

In the early years, businesses go through a process of self-discovery. Most start-up businesses are primarily focused on creating new revenue streams, serving customers and attracting talent. Once they start to mature, and the full potential of the business starts to become evident, that’s when finding the perfect ERP system starts to make sense. At that point, businesses invest in a more hearty solution like Sage 100 or Sage X3.

Like decision makers at companies in almost every industry, you have another question to ask yourself. Given your particular growth stage, how can you take advantage of mobile technology? What mobile tools should you introduce to your work force–especially your sales team?

When choosing a mobile sales app–especially for companies with B2B wholesale distribution needs–here are some factors to consider:

  1. Understand the processes you wish to automate.
  2. Choose an app that provides a great user experience for everyone.
  3. Determine the level of ERP or CRM integration you desire.
  4. Select the operating system and hardware platform that is right for your company.
  5. Evaluate custom-tailored versus packaged systems.

Now, if the list above makes you feel squeamish (like the butterflies you used to get when dating), that’s okay. It means you should probably take it slow. You might not find your ideal match with your first mobile app. And that’s okay, too. By all means, though, do not let your nervousness get in the way of introducing mobile into your business.

If you’re a novice to mobile–if you don’t feel like you have a great handle on what mobile can do for your sales team–fear not. Just like you didn’t get married to the first person you ever dated–you don’t have to make a huge and long-term commitment to the first mobile software you meet, either.

There are low cost, low risk steps that you can take:

  • Find out if your ERP or CRM provider offers a mobile extension for your current system. These are often web-based apps that will provide your team access to customers, orders, opportunities, and perhaps inventory. These apps may be free or available at a low cost.
  • Try before you buy. Explore 3rd party ISV solutions and determine if they have free downloads in the app stores. If so, engage your sales personnel and elicit their feedback.
  • Consider a limited rollout of mobile built around one or a small number of sales people. Use this trial to evaluate behavior changes and tangible sales results in a more limited setting.
  • Talk with your Sage business partner, or key technology and other advisors to your business to discover stories and case studies of how similar businesses may be benefiting from mobile.

When it comes to mobile business technology systems, a match made in heaven is definitely out there. You might not find it on the first go around, but by taking action now you will gain valuable insight to set you on the path of–dare I say-mobile bliss.

perfect match

Paul Ziliak, the happily married co-founder of xkzero, did not marry the first person he ever dated, but was fortunate enough to eventually find his perfect match.  He now helps mid-sized and growing businesses mobilize sales and delivery processes.  @PaulZiliak @ERP_apps www.xkzero.com

 

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Apollo Oil Selects xkzero for New Direct Store Delivery Mobile Software

Apollo Oil

xkzero is pleased to announce that major automotive lubricant distributor, Apollo Oil, has selected xkzero Mobile Commerce software to automate its distribution processes for Direct Store Delivery and Route Sales.

Click here for full press release

Apollo Oil, headquartered in Henderson, Kentucky, sells and distributes major brands such as Valvoline, Shell and Castorl throughout the Ohio Valley to car dealerships, quick lubes and automotive service centers.  From their fleet of over 30 trucks, and from multiple warehouses, they also sell and service municipalities, trucking facilities and farming operations, as well as to industrial manufacturers.

In tandem with this project, Apollo is also implementing Sage X3, purchased from leading Sage North American business partner, WAC Consulting.

“Together with Apollo we began evaluating xkzero at Sage Summit 2015 in New Orleans, as an initiative to replace the existing custom built mobile solution”, said Steve Schaefer, Partner of WAC. “XMC will be relied upon to satisfy mission critical processes such as truck loading for both bulk and packaged orders, route selling and direct store delivery automation. Apollo also expects to create improved workflow and accounting for inventory control, route planning and payment handling.”

“Apollo was searching for a system to allow anytime, anywhere processing to better serve our customers with each and every interaction”, said Ed Dotson, Chief Financial Officer of Apollo Oil. “We discovered xkzero at Sage Summit 2015 in New Orleans and their combination of modern mobile technology along with their expertise as Sage X3 developers gives us a very high level of confidence for this project.”

For more information about xkzero Mobile Commerce and direct store delivery and route sales automation, please visit our website or contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009.

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Mobile Technology—Intimidating or Enticing?

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Mobile technology - is it right for your sales organization?

Mobile Technology: Is it right for your sales organization?

Mobile Technology.

How do those two words make you feel? A little intimidated? That’s okay. For most of us, when it comes to business and ERP systems, mobile technology is a new concept. Even if you don’t feel like an expert today, there is a great opportunity for you as a Sage partner to benefit from the mobile revolution.

As you may know, Sage is taking a new direction with Mobile Sales. However, this doesn’t mean that there is not demand and opportunity for mobile automation. To the contrary! Demand is high, and opportunities are great. Mobile automation is significant—and growing. This is especially relevant to manufacturers and distributors looking for new revenue streams, a new competitive advantage, or ways to reduce administrative costs.

So how do you benefit as a Sage partner?

I recommend you start by taking a look at your clients and prospects to identify the best opportunities for success. Because while you may feel a little hesitant about mobile, many manufacturers and distributors find the idea very enticing and they’re going to talk with someone about it. Why not you?

The key is tapping into the companies that would most likely benefit from mobile sales automation.

Any manufacturer or distributor can be a candidate, but here are some things to look for that will help you find the businesses that will benefit the most from mobile sales automation:

  1. Do they already value and understand technology and the role it can play in their organization?
  2. Do they have a remote or outside sales force?
  3. Do sales people currently phone in or fax orders?
  4. Does the company still rely on printed product catalogs or price sheets?
  5. Do they make sales onsite at tradeshows or other special events?
  6. Do they have counter sales or a customer showroom?
  7. Do customers value their ability to promise product
    availability based on actual warehouse inventory?
  8. Do they sell B2B online, and if so, would they be interested in having a B2B app allowing customers to place orders anytime, anywhere?
  9. Are they in “traditional” mobile sales industries like food or beverage?
  10. Do they deliver their own products and capture signatures or require other kinds of proof of delivery?

See—there’s nothing scary or intimidating about these questions, right? And by making these inquiries to your clients, you’ve taken perhaps the most important step of all to being perceived as a mobile influencer—you’ve shown that you care about their company’s growth. This fact alone will be enough for some people to see you as an expert.

What if they answer “yes” to any of these questions?

Congratulations, you may have found yourself a mobile prospect. No need to be intimidated. When you work with xkzero, we always have your back.

We’re here to help you evaluate each and every opportunity, and coach you at every step of the way. If you’d like, we’re happy to participate on qualifying phone calls along with you—or even conduct those calls on your behalf.

If we’re fortunate enough to work with you and your clients you can earn great commissions, knowing that we’ll take care of 100% of the implementation and technical support. We’ve worked with dozens of Sage partners on mobile sales and delivery automation projects, some requiring only a few thousand dollars investment, with others making six figure investments.  So whether you think the idea of mobile technology for business is enticing – or find it a little intimidating, know this:  the opportunities with mobile are great and we’d love to work with you, too!

Would you like to learn more today? Email us at info@xkzero.com, visit our website or call us at 847-416-2009.

p.s. With the announcement of the discontinuance of Sage Mobile Sales, some of your clients will be looking for a new solution, and xkzero is here to help. You can learn more details here:
http://erpappsblog.com/sage-mobile-sales-retirement-announcement-promotion/

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