I’m still amazed by the efforts of American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza, accomplishing the feat of ending a 37-year gap since the last Triple Crown winning horse, Affirmed, in 1978. After the excitement subsided, I was catching up with some colleagues and we joked that the competition for new project funding is so tight it seems like winning the Triple Crown.
Thankfully projects get funded every year, so how do you make sure your employee productivity mobile project is at the front of the pack instead of cleaning dirt off its goggles?
The Run for the Roses is the first phase of project evaluations.
The first step in your journey is getting to the winners circle of the first phase. In this initiation phase, your project idea will be evaluated against many others. It will be a tough and competitive race. You need to make sure your project proposal is set up for success and outpaces the others. You will develop a charter that describes the challenge are you solving with mobile employee productivity. Your charter should include a description of the challenge, how mobility improves the process, who (worker population) is impacted, and propose end result (metrics) connected to corporate initiatives.
For example, let’s pick “sales efficiency” – What is the value of getting the right information into the hands of the right seller at the right time and place, and in the right format, to move a sales opportunity forward?
The Current Situation
Industry statistics show that salespeople spend less than 30% of their time engaging the customer in sales calls. Other sales activities such as researching, preparing for, and following up on sales calls take a significant amount of time and are still very labor intensive. Currently, planning a customer meeting requires pulling information from multiple systems – a CRM for customer information like current opportunities and open customer support tickets; financial system of record, e.g., SAP, for past orders and open invoices; news channels for industry topics or specific customer events; and internal knowledge systems like SharePoint for the latest product information and collateral.
Your Proposed Solution
Your mobile productivity project goal is to improve the process for sales meeting prep and follow-up. Here is where you describe your vision of the improved process – which goes far beyond just shrinking the apps for viewing on a mobile phone or tablet.
For example, here is an ideal process:
- A meeting reminder is sent to rep four days (variable) ahead of meeting to confirm meeting and attendees. The rep can click to call or email each attendee for confirmation. Rep confirms meeting and chooses topic of interest (e.g., product/solution). This data is obtained from rep calendar and CRM solution.
- One day prior or morning of meeting, information is sent to rep with relevant customer information: address (mapping capabilities using native function of mobile device including estimated travel time); past orders and outstanding invoices (if any) from SAP; new project proposals or product collateral from SharePoint; and industry news and company information from online news feeds.
- Just prior to meeting, rep is automatically checked-in to meeting and updates CRM system.
- Post Meeting –
- A reminder is sent to update the CRM system with meeting notes where a rep can quickly type in or use voice memo to capture meeting notes immediately after meeting, keeping CRM up-to date for better visibility into forecasting.
- A follow-up reminder is sent so rep can share key meeting notes, action items, and recommended documents with prospect.
- The rep has access to a social collaboration channel to provide feedback and/or ask questions to marketing and product management to address new market initiatives or follow-up on questions that came up in the meeting.
Better enabling your salesforce via their mobile devices creates tremendous benefits and aligns with your corporate initiatives. For example:
- Increase field selling time vs. operational research and meeting planning
- Improve accuracy of sales forecasts
- Reduce costs (by reducing the operational cost of selling)
- Increase revenue (based on more field selling time)
- Increase customer and employee satisfaction
- Better attract and retain sales talent
There are many more use cases you could build for operational efficiency and mobile employee productivity; for example, HR operations and employee self-services, internal communications, manager approvals (purchase orders, time sheets, expenses, etc.), actionable alerts (inventory, production cycles, severe weather alerts, etc.). Each of these use cases can be supported with process efficiency metrics and can be aligned with corporate initiatives.
So now you’ve broken through the pack into the “winners” circle. Enjoy the moment, but get ready for more work. Check back later this week for Part Two where the stakes get higher at the Preakness and Belmont.