When it comes to B2B mobile products, there’s been “an app for that” longer than there have been smartphones or tablets. Back in the 1990s, services like Nextel’s push-to-talk — used extensively by companies for logistics — began to emerge, paving the way for businesses to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency.
Of course, technology has advanced greatly since the 1990s. Smartphones and tablets have kicked the mobile world into high gear, and countless SaaS companies across all industries are now developing native apps to enhance and extend their ecosystems.
Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a B2B digital product that does not have a mobile component. We’re seeing apps enhance everything from corporate travel booking to inventory management. Although the option exists, far too many businesses are failing to take advantage of this key opportunity.
Room to Grow
Contrary to popular belief, B2B mobile apps aren’t just beneficial for traditional office workers who stare at computer screens all day. This is a misconception that prevents business leaders from making life easier for their employees, enhancing their clients’ experience, and strengthening their companies.
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Modern humans are digital consumers — it doesn’t matter if they work at a desk, in the field, or on a farm. For example, a bar manager may spend most of his day pouring drinks, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t know how to use an app that allows him to easily order more inventory.
He most likely owns a smartphone and already uses apps to browse social media, check sports scores, read news, and pay his bills — why wouldn’t he enjoy using one that makes his professional life easier? In fact, it would probably make him happier than whatever desktop (or, even worse, paper-based) service he’s currently using to order inventory.
Mobile has actually exceeded PC in terms of individual usage and time spent. More people now have mobile devices than they do personal computers, and this includes a large collection of small business owners and decision makers. Search engines like Google favor mobile-optimized sites, and businesspeople are following suit as they start to favor tools that are available as native apps.
Boost Your Business
There’s a reason why B2B juggernauts like Microsoft, Salesforce, Evernote, and Amazon Business are all on mobile. They’re creating beautiful, intuitive experiences on par with some of the most widely used consumer apps in order to gain a competitive edge. If your company isn’t actively exploring the realm of B2B apps, then you’re already playing catch-up.
Here are three specific ways a B2B mobile app can help your business grow:
- Streamlining the ordering process: Expanding on the bar manager example, B2B apps exist to help make repeat ordering a breeze. Many leverage best practices from B2C mobile commerce, such as allowing users to favorite certain products, engage in one-tap reordering for frequent purchases, and receive meaningful product recommendations.
Pepperi is an Israeli-based app that streamlines the ordering process for both businesses involved in the transaction, making it easy for buyers to quickly place orders and for sellers to manage them.
- Empowering the sales team: Even in a digital world, face-to-face interactions between salespeople and customers are still critical. This is especially true for businesses engaged in large deals. Empower your sales team members by giving them an app that grants easy access to CRM information and marketing and sales materials and offers the ability to send messages and perform demos.
Salesforce’s app does this very thing, providing sales teams with a wealth of information, regardless of where they are. They’re able to look up contacts, dial into meetings with just one touch, log calls, and track CRM activity even if they don’t have access to a computer.
- Optimizing your user experience: Any company that offers a digital product — or, really, any company that has a website — can use a B2B mobile app to improve its user experience. Through powerful analytics tools, businesses can illuminate deep customer insights that allow them to optimize messaging, offers, and design to maximize engagement and conversion.
Optimizely is one such app that gives companies the ability to conduct A/B and multivariate tests that lead to data-driven UX decisions.
B2C mobile products get the lion’s share of attention, but B2B apps have been helping companies grow for decades. If you’re not currently exploring this wide world of opportunity, you’re missing out on a key chance to strengthen — and possibly revolutionize — your business.
3 Ways B2B Mobile Apps Can Help Your Company Grow