Why Enterprise Sales and Marketing Teams Are Turning to Mobile

Within the past 12 months or more, we have seen a dramatic rise in mobile development projects for large, enterprise corporations. Specifically, the need has been for these organizations to arm their sales teams with mobile tools that allow them to better engage and sell to their customers.

This trend is being driven not only by the proliferation of tablet devices, but also by the realization that if built correctly, mobile sales tools can save cost and improve efficiency.

The recent term for this is “mobile sales enablement.” Gartner, a global technology research firm, predicts that sales automation systems for customer collateral, sales presentations and ordering systems will become the #1 commercial business application category for tablet devices.

Watch Gartner’s global head of research discuss the outlook of mobile and what it means for business organizations.

Tablets make excellent selling tools, but simply distributing them to your sales force is not enough. To get the best results from mobile sales tools, you need to make strategic decisions about interactive presentations and optimize the customer experience.

With this in mind, we have prepared a new white paper entitled Mobile Sales Enablement 101. Taking an overview of industry trends and best practices, the white paper covers the following critical topics:

  • The benefits of mobile sales enablement
  • Questions you need to ask before you get started
  • Options in mobile sales app development
  • Solutions that Signal developed and delivered in three different sales organization scenarios

We hope you’ll find Mobile Sales Enablement 101 a useful resource for adopting mobile tools to improve sales performance and redefine the selling experience. Download the white paper now!

Choosing the Right Technology for Your Mobile App Strategy

You’ve identified the need to develop a mobile app for your enterprise. Now you need to decide on your mobile application strategy and make the right choices in technology. One fundamental question is, should it be a native app, a web app or a hybrid app? What’s the difference between these choices, exactly?

Native apps are standalone software installed directly onto a smartphone, like the “app store” mobile apps we’re accustomed to. These are developed for a single platform in their native programming language – Objective C (Apple iOS), Java (Android) or C# (Windows Phone).

Web apps, on the other hand, function via web browsers on mobile devices. They are developed using web standards (HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3), which means that one version will work across multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Windows Mobile, you name it.

Hybrid apps combine features of native apps and web apps in a way that might offer the best of both worlds in some cases. But first let’s take a closer look at the differences between those two primary categories. While the technology can be transparent to users, native apps and web apps each offer unique features and benefits.

Native Apps & Web Apps: Know the Difference

Mobile App Strategy: Native Apps or Web Apps

The technology selected is a fundamental choice that will determine how your app is developed and how users interact with it. Selecting the wrong technology can be a costly mistake, resulting in inaccessibility or poor performance.

With advances in smartphone browsers and HTML5, the functional gap between mobile websites and native apps continues to close, and in some instances, it’s possible to develop a similar, feature-rich user experience using either approach. The landscape is changing daily, so it will be vital to keep up with the latest developments to make the best decisions in mobile app strategy going forward.

The good news is that once you’ve defined your business objectives, target audience, and technical requirements, the correct approach between native and web apps is usually an obvious choice. For instance, if you need an app for your sales force to use exclusively on their assigned iPads, then you might want to go for a native app. If your app is going to have a general consumer audience, the wide accessibility of a web app could make more sense.

Corporations with unlimited resources can offer both web app and native app options to ensure their applications offer optimal user experience and accessibility. Of course, not all organizations can afford this luxury. But there is a more economical way to have your cake and eat it too.

This increasingly popular option, as previously mentioned, is the hybrid mobile app. This means that the majority of an app is developed in reusable HTML5 web app technology, but it’s contained within a native app wrapper. This allows the app to utilize native app functionality and distribution and also reduces the development effort when creating versions for additional platforms.

It’s predicted the majority of mobile apps will be web apps in the future – but it’s important to remember there is no clear winner that works best in all cases. Native apps and web apps are just two different solutions. As technology evolves, this topic will continue to be the focus of much discussion and debate in mobile app strategy.