For a sales representative to become acclimated with an app, they should download and experience its features. Sales representatives should also be prepared to show their clients how to download the application themselves, says Corr.

It’s important for sales representatives to acknowledge whether a client feels comfortable with the technology, or whether they would rather have hard copies of literature to keep after presentations, Browne says. 

“You have to be comfortable, because if you are not comfortable, then it leads you into the possibility of making mistakes,” Browne says. “You have to be able to flip back and forth just in case.”

Browne says distributors must consider the investment that comes with buying and maintaining mobile devices. That includes managing the operating system and downloading app updates. If app updates are not made on a regular basis, the applications may not work properly — or at all — during a sales presentation, defeating their purpose.

“Not that the technology is the end all, but it gives you one extra arrow in your quiver,” Browne says. “Not everyone takes advantage of it, but more and more people do. You are still going to have your holdouts.”

Although there may be a range of how members of a janitorial supply sales staff use technology in the field, eventually they will all need to embrace it, according to Corr. 

“Clearly, this is the way our industry is going to go and the way the world is going. It’s only a matter of time before everyone is equipped with a smartphone or (tablet) and are able pull up the information they want to present to the customer,” Corr says. “It’s clearly the most efficient and frankly the most effective way to show a customer what they want to sell.” 

Manufacturer apps should be considered a tool in a salesperson’s toolbox — not a replacement for the sales representative.

“People like to buy from people and, if it is strictly an electronic relationship, it’s easy to break,” Corr says. “The technology should be used to enhance the relationship more than anything else.”  

Brendan O’Brien is a freelance writer based in Greenfield, Wis. He is a frequent contributor to Sanitary Maintenance.

previous page of this article:
Product Demos Are Painless With Mobile Sales Apps