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Smartphones: computing on the move for sales professionals

Smartphones: computing on the move for sales professionals
January 12, 2012in Technology2012-01-122013-03-18technologyen
Smartphones are becoming an invaluable tool for sales professionals. In this article, Kenneth Ho, explains how they can help sales staff get closer to customers and work more effectively.In competitive markets, smartphones can give sales professionals the edge over the competition. The...
smartphones: computing on the move for sales professionals
Smartphones are becoming an invaluable tool for sales professionals. In this article, Kenneth Ho, explains how they can help sales staff get closer to customers and work more effectively.
In competitive markets, smartphones can give sales professionals the edge over the competition. The following are four features that can help them get the most out of their smartphone. 
1. cameras: share market information on the move
The camera in the smartphone can help sales professionals share useful market information. For example, they can inspect competitors products on the shelf and capture how they are being presented. Or they could look for their own products. If they find a defect, they could shoot a video and send this valuable information directly back to the office. Cameras can also help them collaborate more effectively. For example they can videoconference with the office to discuss more complex requirements and make orders on the move. 
Cameras are common to most smartphones. The main requirement for business is that they can perform clear video conferencing and capture detailed images. Look for smartphones that offer higher resolution with adjustable settings.
2. better connectivity: improve presentations and keep up to date with customers
Sales staff frequently need to visit their clients' office to present products or services. Smartphones offer many features that can provide them with better connectivity during crucial presentations. This includes the ability to stream videos and photos over wireless during a presentation. 
Some smartphones come with a connection to HDTV, which will help sales professionals display any application on a big screen. With a reliable handset, they can now make presentations directly from the smartphone. Their clients will have better view of websites, videos, pictures, PDFs, and any other sales collateral in order to help illustrate products and services in a negotiating and selling situation.
Better connectivity also means that the smartphone can be an integral part of sales and marketing. It allows sales staff to chat with customers in real time and maintain proximity to their most valuable clients. For example, they can update customers with recent releases of products directly from the smartphone. 
Crucially employees are also able use smartphones to anticipate any negative buzz spread via social media. If connected, they can prepare a proper counter in a matter of seconds. Reputation is the biggest asset of an enterprise and a smartphone can help protect it.
3. document management: use smartphones to manage documents on the move
Recent releases of almost all smartphones allow sales professionals to open most document formats, including Word, Excel and Google Docs. So if sales support sends them a sales contract while they are away from their computer, they can open the document and check its validity. However, editing documents is an entirely different matter. The small dimension of smartphones makes it difficult to type any significant quantity of text. It is possible to make minor edits, but they should be aware of formatting issues as well. 
Also, sales staff can share documents in an online server via the smartphone, so that colleagues can view, download, and work in the same area - while on the move. This can help them save valuable time and resources and collaborate more effectively.
4. data security: keep enterprise data safe from hackers
In today's business, data burglary is common practice. Enterprises must be prepared to prevent any theft that targets confidential corporate information. This task is becoming more difficult with increased mobility and collaboration. 
When sales professionals visit clients, they will need to have a proper mobile security box for confidential data. The smartphone is an option for this. If they keep the data in the smartphone, they have reduced the risks of data leak. Importantly, they will need to use a secure password and encrypt data to prevent others from accessing it, and should keep a frequent back up to prevent any risk of data loss. 
Finally, sales staff need to be aware of the danger of malicious spyware that is increasingly targeting smartphones. They should check the source of all downloaded applications, because spyware and malware can frequently look safe. Turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi while they are not using them is a also good approach to help keep data secure from phishing. 
Kenneth Ho is the Security Practice Head, Asia Pacific, for Orange Business Services. If you would like further details on how smartphones can help your business, then please contact You can read a longer version of this article on Kenneth's blog.

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