What you need to know to choose the right sales force automation app for your business

Truly mobile B2B sales apps are designed to provide exactly the same features and functionality that you get from your desktop software. But not all of them can do that.

When you’re looking for a sales force automation tool, how will you know which one will provide what your business needs?

Answer these questions to help you navigate through the many options.

1) Is it really a mobile app? Or just a web app running in a browser?

Using web pages from your website on a mobile device could be perfectly acceptable when used for simple tasks, but it can offer an unwieldy experience limiting your sales reps productivity.

When looking at a mobile sales app, it’s important that it will be just as functional on your mobile device as it is on your desktop or laptop – and for that you will need a native app.

A native mobile commerce app is designed with the mobile experience in mind, displaying content in the most intuitive way possible for mobile users––even offline. The preference for native mobile applications is widespread, particularly as it uses the device’s ‘native’ look-and-feel and adjusts to different screen sizes, so it’s easy to use.

2) Is your app available on all mobile devices?

Is your business committed to using just one type of device? Do your employees use their own personal devices for work (BYOD)?

Which would be more cost – effective for your business?

If you need to be adaptable and use your mobile sales app on a variety of devices, then you need an app for iOS and Android that will continuously support new releases.

3) Is your app functional when offline?

Sales reps are on the road and need to work anytime, anywhere, even where Wifi or cellular connectivity is missing, poor or unstable, so using native apps and storing app data on the device are necessary, but insufficient measures.

Your app needs to enable reps to work even when they’re disconnected from the network. It needs local, device-side logic, to enable reps to work “cloud free” when network connectivity is unavailable.

4) Can you seamlessly synchronize your data?

Following on from the above point, any data or processes that take place whilst your sales reps are disconnected will need to be reconciled once connectivity is back.

Synchronization should occur seamlessly in the background, once connection is re-established. It’s vital there are minimal business interruptions during the process, prompting for user intervention only when needed.

5) What happens with new data?

There are many changes taking place constantly in dynamic business environments. The number of SKU’s may change, discount policies change per customer, approval workflows need updating – the list is endless.

It’s imperative your sales force automation app can respond to these changes without heavy coding or constant calls to your IT department.

Updating pricing, promotions, business workflows and more should be seamless and transparent, minimizing down-time and IT support overhead.

Additionally, make sure the updating process is omnichannel-friendly, pushing them all at once to your relevant channels.

6) Is it secure?

Your app contains sensitive business information – pricing, discounts, customer information from your CRM, inventory data from your ERP and much more.

Make sure you secure your sales force automation app properly, so all sensitive data is safeguarded in case the device gets lost or stolen.


Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.