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Is Your Mobile Guru Costing You Money?

He seems to be in every office I go to when I start a consulting session with a client. In some cases he is the only one in the sales force who really understands how to use his mobile device [i.e. PDA, Cell phone, and Blackberry] and applications he needs to be more effective salesman. Sometimes I would end up talking to him about how mobility can help the company become more profitable if only he had that “killer app” that can help him beat the competition.

But he is not part of the management, IT, or development team, he’s just the company’s “go to guy” or guru when it comes to mobility. I am sure you have one of them in your office. He knows how to use any mobile device with ease and in some cases he is your ad hoc trainer for everyone else who just can’t seem to get the hang of their mobile device.

You begin to think your saving a ton of money because he is training your staff on their mobile device for FREE right? Wrong, in fact your mobile guru is costing you money. But how you say he’s training my staff for free? Let’s take a real look at you mobile guru. If he is not part of your IT staff or application development team he is costing you money as I mentioned before your mobile guru is usually part of your sales staff now what is the primary job of your sales staff it’s to sale your products or services to your existing clients and to get new customers for your business right? Anything that takes away from that means you are losing sales and existing customers are not getting their full attention. It also means that your mobile application you spent time and money on is not being effectively used by your sales staff since only one or two people really “gets” how the application is supposed to be used.

Tell me if this is what’s happening in your office your guru is on the phone with a client then someone comes over to him because they can’t understand how to get email or write messages on their mobile device. So he cuts his call short to help his co-worker. “So what’s wrong with that” You say. Well here is what’s wrong by cutting his sales call short your guru may have lost a client that’s revenue down the drain. Then there is the co-worker he is not only calling sales leads or clients he is proving that your mobile solution is not making him more productive but less. So now you have three loses in revenue all because your mobile solutions was not properly integrated into you company culture.

So what’s the solution it’s seems rather simple but you would be surprised how many companies over look it when comes to mobility. That’s training, training, training most companies maybe yours thinks becoming mobile means giving their staff a mobile device setting up a mobile network from a provider and presto we are mobile. Thinking like this is what cause most mobile projects to fail or never really live up to the expectations of the company’s that deploy them.

A recent Gartner Group report say’s that 12% of your company’s budget should go for training both your IT and end user staff on what your mobile strategy is for your company and on the effective use of your mobile application and the mobile devices that will be deployed by your end users. The report goes on to say that a fully trained worker can produce $2000.00 more dollars in revenue than an untrained worker. Think about that for a moment when your sales staff stops and have to go to your guru. He is not making sales calls to your clients. Your salesman is also taking time from his client to call on your guru now you have two people not working losing money for every moment he spends helping others. While it maybe great team work it is not the team work you need to keep your business growing. Remember their job is to sell your product or service anything that stops that is a drain on your business.

Mobile devices can be a great way to make your sales staff more productive. But only if they a are fully trained on the device and your application. So if you truly want mobility to work for your business fire your guru and give all of your staff the training they need to make mobility a truly profitable part of your business.

This article was originally published in Enterprise Management Quarterly 2009:
Is Your Mobile Guru Costing You Money

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About the Author

Howard Lee, Wirehead Technology
1207 W. Leland ave
Chicago, IL 60640

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