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Salespeople and the Mobile Phone: Frenemies?


Salespeople and the Mobile Phone: Frenemies?

Camelia Gendreau August 1, 2014

A survey released last month by mobile data app Roambi and Box revealed that a mere five percent of salespeople keep work tools on their mobile device and almost half of them (47 percent) still rely on pen and paper to close their deals. This is despite the fact that the vast majority bring a smartphone to customer meetings! Also, almost a third of salespeople still hand out physical binders or paper pamphlets with sales information…

So what exactly is happening in the sales department? The enterprise sales department is clearly lagging behind marketing and even operations when it comes to adopting technology that should make their lives easier and their pitches more convincing. After all, who would rather stare at a printed spreadsheet than a dynamic visualization on an iPad screen?

One answer can be found in the demographics of the survey: more than 60 percent of respondents were over 45, and a third of them were over 60. That’s reinforced by another set of findings in the same survey: among the new wave of sales professionals under 30, almost 80 percent reported an increase in use of mobile data for closing deals. Not surprisingly, the younger generation is adopting mobile tools at a faster rate than their elders. Another clue comes from the OS of choice: the overwhelming perception was that Android, compared to the iPhone, didn’t offer enough productivity apps or didn’t do a great job raising awareness of the apps it was offering.


Ultimately, salespeople love their phones as much as anyone else, but use it less for work, especially if their phones happen to run on the Android platform. Some argue that sales are more of a relationships game anyway, but others beg to differ. One thing is for sure: phones aren’t going anywhere, so whether you’re in sales or not, check out our tips for being a more effective mobile professional.