Triple-A Sales Enablement: Accessibility - How to Drive Adoption of Mobile Sales Enablement Tools


mobile sales enablement accessability.jpgIn my last post, I briefly discussed why mobility systems yield very low adoption rates: apathy, aggravation and antipathy. I also introduced the three design choices that will deliver high (80%+) adoption rates: Accessibility, Availability and Adaptability. In this post, we will focus on Accessibility.

The overarching design theme that determines adoption rates is the vantage point for design – by focusing ON the user and designing FOR the user one can begin to address the adoption issue and begin making progress. ALL aspects of the applications will be designed from the user’s perspective and while it may sound subtle, the design dimension are dramatically different. For example: rather than saying: “What content will be made available to the rep? How will the content be controlled, managed and organized.” (HQ-centered design) one asks: “How will I find the content I need in less than 30 seconds when I am at a scrub sink? How many clicks will that take?” (Rep-centric design).


First, we need to think about where a Life Sciences rep will be accessing content. Here is a (non-comprehensive) list:

  • Home
  • Car (stationary)
  • Coffee shop / Restaurant
  • Shared office space
  • Healthcare facility waiting room / vendor area
  • Healthcare facility clinical area – radio friendly
  • Healthcare facility clinical area – radio hostile 
  • Healthcare facility conference room
  • Hotel common areas (including meeting areas)
  • Hotel sleeping room areas
  • Congress / trade show / conference exhibit area
  • Congress / trade show / conference meeting/classroom space
  • Other.

When one thinks about all of these possibilities, it is easy to understand how fluid the rep’s workday and workspace(s) are, and why it is critical to support them in these environments. When thinking through these criteria, the applications must:

  1. Work on-line
    1. Cellular radio connection
    2. WiFi radio connection
  2. Work off-line (without a radio connection).

Each of the devices will need to have wireless connectivity, and the less configuration needed, the better. 

Second, we need to think about the devices a rep will be using. Current use-case requirements suggest reps will use:

    • Smartphone
    • PC
    • Tablet.

The tablet entered the scene about six years ago with the introduction of the iPad lead to the explosion of “show & sell” applications, with some brave companies embarking on efforts to eliminate PCs with the iPad. A great design in theory, but stymied by legacy Windows based applications. And with the continued growth in size of smartphone screens, the trend is for a two-device environment, what is known as: Phone+1. And the +1 is often a PC/Tablet convertible such as the Windows Surface or the Macbook Pro or the iPad Pro (in this battle Microsoft has the stronger hand with its convertible PCs that run legacy applications). This often means that reps are dealing with a heterogeneous operating system environment: iOS for the phones and Windows (usually 10) for their PC computing devices. Rep-facing applications need to:

  • Work across operating systems
  • Work across differing screen-sizes and form-factors
  • Provide a consistent, intuitive user experience
  • Provide portability across devices (more on this in the next blog post; Availability).

And third, if we learned anything from 2016, we need to think long and hard about security; specifically identify and authentication management for the devices and applications. Admittedly, this is a balancing act with reps in the field – one needs to make it “rep-proof” (translation: stupid-simple) in order for them to use it but at the same time, secure enough to entrust and protect confidential information and maintain compliance. 

And, the identity management should be linked into the full corporate IT security infrastructure. There are multiple ways of accomplishing Single-sign-on identify and authorize credentialing within the enterprise, often using existing systems. But, the applications need to be designed to integrate with these systems to maintain corporate integrity.

If one is contemplating or is deploying sales enablement applications, a key performance indicator (KPI) is adoption rate. In order to drive adoption, one needs to think through and solve for Accessibility – where, when and how will reps be using the application(s). Today’s question: How accessible are your applications?

Next up: Availability. 

Minding the Gaps of CRM in Life Sciences


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