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Jun 04, 2013

Enterprise Mobile Apps: Gain a Competitive Edge in Sales & Marketing

In a previous post, we talked about the benefits of mobilizing a field sales team with enterprise mobile apps. We’re not the only ones advocating this; according to Mutual Mobile’s research, 90% of organizations consider mobile sales enablement an investment priority. However, mobilizing the sales team can be harder than it sounds. In this post, we’ll talk about the challenges that companies face when deploying apps to their sales force. Salespeople need quick access to enterprise mobile apps, which is hard to achieve if the only place to find your corporate app is in a public app store with many similar ones. Salespeople also often need to customize collateral for specific clients or products, which creates version control problems. In fact, according to a study done by Aberdeen Group, salespeople spend at least 30 hours per month searching for and creating their own selling materials -- that’s almost 25% of their time that could be better spent pitching and closing deals! Moreover, marketing teams place a priority on distributing current sales tools to the field, but without a content distribution system in place, many organizations are limited to emailing and opening attachments. This method can also cause version control problems, and is hard for salespeople to deal with while in the field.

Some companies develop their own content distribution apps, but this can be expensive and time-consuming. Mobile security control that considers both WHO can access content and WHEN they can access it is also important, both internally and externally. For example, a company could have a pricing list containing different tiers of pricing, with the most highly discounted levels only visible to VP level sales personnel. If the sales representatives have access to the higher levels, they may discount the product too much and leave revenue on the table. In addition, companies may prefer that non-salespeople do not have access to product and pricing information, and it goes without saying that this information should not be available for customers to share with competitors. However, in a public app store (in contrast to an enterprise app store), the typical way of securing an app, app wrapping, is not allowed, leaving apps open to unauthorized access. To top it all off, IT departments are typically quite busy; enterprise mobile apps for sales and marketing teams are often not at the top of their radar screen, yet there are requirements for security and monitoring that need to be met. This leaves the lines of business to struggle on their own to get their independently developed enterprise apps out to their teams.

Fortunately, with Apperian’s EASE platform, companies can securely distribute any number of apps to their teams, presented in a catalog with a consumer-friendly interface that employees are accustomed to -- including both custom-developed enterprise mobile apps and recommended publicly available apps. Companies can also distribute content to whomever needs it in a secure manner, even giving update alerts when there is a new version, which makes life easier for salespeople and gives the marketing team assurance that their most updated marketing collateral is being distributed effectively. What’s more, with this mobile management software, IT doesn’t need to be involved, but IT requirements can be supported. In summary, companies that are able to deploy enterprise mobile apps and content to their sales teams efficiently and effectively will do well. According to Aberdeen, companies with a distributed marketing platform that provides their service and sales partners with access to compelling content and assets are 86% more likely to achieve superior results compared to those without. Are you ready to mobilize your sales force?


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