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Mobile sales apps that are affordable, fast and good — yes, you can get all 3.

VentureBeat staff
Jan 13th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 4 min read
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    1Sales apps feature interactive elements like swiping. 2Flexible iPad apps make great sales presentations. 3Tablets are a compelling medium to answer questions.
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Sales Tools

Tablet, man in background.

Third-party mobile app platforms offer an appealing proposition: They have a significant cost advantage over in-house custom builds and they’re fast. Generally speaking, cheap and quick don’t go together with good. But judging by the choice many brands are now making, these options aren’t just a quick and dirty alternative — they’re better.

Leading third-party app platforms offer slick-looking, well-designed, and highly customizable mobile apps that can be produced in weeks, not months. Their low cost to build and maintain allows brands and organizations to respond quickly to change: changes in technology, internal and product changes, or shifts in the marketplace.

A great use case is tablet or smartphone apps for internal sales teams. Mag+ is one of the early players in the mobile content platform space, and alongside the hundreds of B2C apps its clients have created, it helps corporations equip sales divisions with materials that are highly appealing to prospects, and makes PowerPoint presentations seem from another age (which some would argue they are).

Consider some of the examples below. These brands worked with Mag+ to develop app solutions that provide sales teams with the current mobile technology presentations that both consumers and employees now expect.

The Volvo FH is being marketed by the auto manufacturer as the truck of the future. In this case, we’re talking big transport truck — and the company needed a mobile product guide to convey that it really was the future of transport. Using a beautiful interface and seamless interactive features, Volvo was able to leverage existing and fresh InDesign collateral for its app, using Mag+’s InDesign plug-in — creating huge efficiencies for the Volvo team.

Now every Volvo sales person is armed for the challenge of selling large, complex trucks. Packed with relevant information that puts the driver first, the app integrates interactive elements, video, 360-degree interiors, complex product diagrams displayed simply and intuitively, all allowing the sales force and customers to easily understand a wide range of product features. And the app is easy to update, enabling Volvo to keep up with the future.

Of course, technical details, options and configurations are all included. And by using a tablet app, sales personnel are able to answer any customer question via powerful show and sell.

EMC Corporation
With a complex offering across many products, simple, intuitive design is essential. EMC’s business technology solutions include big data, cloud computing, infrastructure management, desktop visualization, and much more.

Together with Mag+, EMC developed the mobile iPad sales app, “EMC Interactive” which offers rich graphical design and interactive functionality to earn strong customer attention. Included are videos and custom HTML, all incorporated with the easy–to-use Mag+ interface.

To create an engaging experience, the app uses many touch-friendly interactive elements like swipeable image sequences. These encourage users to drag a finger across the screen, watching an animation unfold as they control it. Features like this make it easy to demonstrate complex concepts, like comparing new EMC cloud technology and processes with competing or obsolete approaches.

First deployed in 2013, EMC Interactive is in use by hundreds of salespeople. In turn, they’ve shared it with thousands worldwide. Anecdotal feedback confirms that the app makes initial sales meetings hugely engaging and gives reps confidence and a competitive edge.

With this kind of reception, the app is part of a shift to modernize the EMC sales tools. EMC rolled out a new resource website that trains sales staff on products and solutions in great detail. Paired with this, the EMC Interactive iPad app has become “shorthand” for the organization, a highly interactive tool that aids storytelling without the need for notes.

Content is going more mobile every day; sales is following suit. Both require a premium, scalable app solution. Fortunately, third-party platforms make that entirely possible.

Merchant Warehouse
Payment technologies and merchant services leader Merchant Warehouse needed a flexible sales presentation iPad app to support their breakthrough, industry-first e-commerce platform ‘Genius.’ Of course, the sales app that accompanied it needed to match the strength of the product it showcased.

The app includes interactive dynamic features as well as the nearly instant ability to add or modify components. In sales, this is critical, as teams often want to customize presentations for specific clients, and of course, product updates and enhancements need to be easily made. This has given the app valuable shelf life, and the originally planned single year of use is now headed into three.

As popularity within the sales department grew quickly, the app was adapted for other internal uses. The company’s marketing and human resource staffs are now using Genius to train new employees as well as demystify product complexities. The app maintains consistent company messaging, speaking with a single voice.

Jenn Reichenbacher, senior director of corporate marketing for Merchant Warehouse, puts it this way, “No tool has performed as well as the Genius app to train, sell and educate our sales and marketing teams, and new employees. We were blown away by the speed and low cost of development and deployment.”

This sponsored post is produced in association with Mag+ and published on VentureBeat.

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