08/06/2012 10:41 am ET Updated Oct 06, 2012

3 Tips to Increase Time Spent Selling

Most businesses today are evaluating integrating social and mobile solutions into their core processes. Mobile in particular is fast becoming a necessary area of expertise for software pundits. The best strategies that leverage social and mobile do so to ultimately increase a sales team's time spent selling so that, without adding headcount, a company can grow lead generation and drive revenues.

In order to increase selling time other tasks must be streamlined and simplified. Today, IT leaders are looking for ways to derive new value from and increase productivity via tools that are commonly viewed as solely for reporting (think Salesforce and SAP). Steering these mega-systems in fresh directions takes time but as the proliferation of social channels and mobile apps illustrate, there exists an innovative, iterative start-up ecosystem today that can benefit the enterprise in the following ways:

Nimble Wins

Companies exist today that are nimble enough to be experimental. Their time scales are shorter to execute on pieces of an enterprise's overall strategy. Going outside your organization allows you to tap into the energy that these startups embody. If your product team doesn't jump as high as you'd like anymore, there's a team out there that has domain expertise and can respond to your needs likely even bringing in better ideas in the process. Tap into the nimble, be quicker to execute on your strategy and be the first mover in your industry to see the benefits of social and mobile business processes. Speed and fluidity are deal-breakers.

The Integrated Stream is Not Enough

Even the biggest acquirers on the block these days recognize that they still have gaps around various aspects of their offerings -- be it mobile or otherwise. You can staff up, onboard new people and get them working on plugging that hole internally, however, time is money and if an "acquihire" isn't in your budget you're fortunate that there are people who, in many cases, have left large organizations to start companies aimed at tackling repeatable processes with innovative new approaches. Don't just stick to mobile and social 1.0 and put social streams into workflow applications -- it's not enough and that approach is viewed as pedestrian by your top performing "prosumers." Rather, add mobile and social into core product functionality that intrinsically changes how tasks are completed from the top to the bottom of your stack. If your team can gather (or, better yet, receive) information to prepare for a meeting more efficiently on the go, their effectiveness in closing deals will increase.

People are Primed

Administrative reporting, time lost due to travel, and communicating back with the "mothership" are all time sucks for road warriors. The integration of social and mobile tactics into business processes, content creation, dissemination and data management will impact each sales person's results. As I've mentioned before, a virtue of this trend is that, in the case of many employees, the training has been done for you by years of consumer phone use, social networking, information gathering through search, chatting online, app buying/use, even gaming etc. Your employees are primed and ready to intuitively navigate your social business to the benefit of the company.

Every minute your sales team spends doing something that doesn't help them network more effectively, stay in touch with existing contacts, and better understand their contacts through real-time, up to date information is a minute lost in their sales cycle. Help them help you by baking smart, intuitive, and even fun mobile and social capabilities into their everyday workflows.