The move to an information sharing approach is most effective when salespeople have access to information sharing features when they need it most. Mobile technologies, such as wireless internet (WiFi) and cellular Internet access, allow salespeople to retrieve needed information at any time. For example, if a salesperson takes a customer to lunch, the salesperson can quickly access company material to respond to questions such as how long it may take to receive product if an order is placed.
Additionally, there is a growing trend to make key business applications available through a browser rather than having programs loaded on a salesperson’s computer. This allows for the application to be accessed from anywhere at anytime. For example, many companies have moved to web-based CRM systems where simply having Internet access allows salespeople to enter and retrieve information. Also, many new office productivity applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, are now becoming web-accessible.
New generation cellphones or smartphones along with other handheld devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDA), lighten the burden of carrying laptop computers. But because these handheld devices are web-enabled they provide access to much of the same information as a standard computer. While the computing power of handheld devices is still underpowered compared to conventional computers, the move to web-based computing may some day make the handheld the main instrument for inputting and outputting information.