SAMPS was previously Association of Commercial Professionals for Life Sciences (ACP-LS)

Mobile Success in Life Science Sales Starts and Stops with VP Sales and Marketing

July 23, 2013

wireless internetThis is the second article in a 4-part series to cover the "whys," "hows," and "whats" that are driving the adoption of mobility in the life science industry.

Author disclosure: My company builds and sells iPad-based applications to many of the largest health science providers.

I can already hear the excuses rolling in. "Our VP Sales doesn't have time to work on the iPad project. "Our VP Marketing is focused on a new product rollout and can't give her time to mobility." In fact, I've heard more excuses than you can make up. Let me be the first tell you: If your company management team does not fully embrace mobility, your efforts to find massive success with iPads and have a cultural transformation will very likely fail.

Of course, there are going to be some outliers. And, yes, some amazingly talented directors will create a successful iPad app here and there.

But the more time we spend helping companies drive sales with iPads, the more I realize that nothing great happens without total buy-in from the big dogs at the top.

Why? Because business success requires deep knowledge about what drives sustained growth.

  • Enterprise/bottom-line growth
  • Enterprise cost savings
  • Increasing customer acquisition and retention
  • Improving IT infrastructure and communication
  • Hiring and motivating great employees

As I pointed out in the first article in this series, mobile technology applied properly can drive sustainable sales growth.

Doing iPads and mobility right

I've spent some serious deep-dive time with companies deploying iPads while training thousands of salespeople on how to use iPads to sell.

Some companies are doing it right and they are seeing large company-wide impacts on costs, sales, and retention—the kind of worries your CEO has.

Others, quite frankly, struggle. There always seems to be a roadblock when it comes to mobility.

  • Our website stinks
  • IT can't pull product information
  • We can't get time to train iPads at our national sales meeting
  • And on and on and on

The funny thing is, the companies where the VP Sales or VP Marketing is driving iPad deployment never seem to have these roadblocks.

When I say driving, I don't mean a VP that thinks iPads are cool and is generally aware that the team is using them.

I mean that the VP is directly involved on a weekly basis.

  • Calling the app developer to task when deadlines aren't met
  • Demanding that IT get the project done
  • Assigning the right team to drive the project
  • Pushing Legal to get the contracts signed

A real-world example
Very recenlty I launched an iPad program for a company that sells tissue-processing machinery with a seriously determined VP Sales. How important was mobility to his plan for driving sales? Here are just a few things he did to set the stage for a massively successful iPad deployment.

  1. He brought in 4 iPad sales app companies to compete and called EVERY reference personally.
  2. He had his IT team ensure that all their sales collateral was stored in one place and collated by his Solution Sales Methodology group prior to building their app.
  3. He attended "ride-along" meetings with his best salespeople, so he could understand exactly what they needed to sell effectively with the iPad.
  4. He stood up on stage at the national sales meeting and told the massed sales teams why mobility was going to be a requirement to be successful in their company.

In short, there were no roadblocks. No excuses. No budget problems.

And again, it all comes down from the top. That's where it starts and where the mobile magic lies.

Rusty Bishop

Rusty Bishop, PhD, co-founded FatStax in 2010 and has served as Chief Sales Officer since that time. Rusty brings a scientist's focus to the sales process and has a deep understanding of what sales representatives need to succeed in the field. He's been delivering iPad-based solutions that succeed at the enterprise level ever since the tablet launched, and regularly speaks with companies about strategies to effectiely apply iPads.
SAMPS, Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research, is the first and only organization dedicated to sales and marketing professionals within the life sciences.

The association’s goal is to serve its members who work in commercial roles for life science products and services companies and associated businesses, globally.
SAMPS was previously named ACP-LS. We feel that SAMPS more clearly describes the membership, and will form a better foundation from which to expand this membership globally. 
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