August 9, 2013

BYOD, which stands for Bring Your Own Device, is no longer a “maybe” proposition. Workers nationwide are using their own preferred mobile devices for work, even if this makes IT managers grit their teeth due to the lack of control and extra security risks inherent in such a practice. Sales managers, executives, and even company wide sales training should take this trend into consideration, as it has ramifications, both good and bad.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of BYOD for a sales organization and some ways to protect against danger to your company from external threats.

BYOD Benefits for Sales Organizations:

  • Save a fortune on equipment and IT costs. The most obvious benefit right off the bat is that even a small business will save a significant amount of money by reducing the amount of computers it has to buy.  Having fewer computers also means an IT team doesn’t have to maintain them, and can focus on business-building tasks rather than troubleshoot a bunch of desktop PCs.
  • Increase productivity: By allowing salespeople to use devices they carry with them all the time, they are likely to check emails and perform other sales work when commuting or even at home after hours. People love their mobile devices, and allowing them to use them for work can increase retention and satisfaction.
  • Upgrades take care of themselves. Again, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks for the latest devices, as people tend to upgrade their devices on their own every two years or so thanks to the agreements they sign with mobile carriers. At the end of their two-year contracts, your salespeople will be bombarded with offers to upgrade their devices, providing better performance and security to you at no extra charge.

How to stay safe

  • Establish a written, formal policy on BYOD use. Put all of your policies in written form and distribute at your next company wide sales training. This can include such items as mandatory PINS to unlock phones, prohibited websites to visit to prevent malware, forbidden apps, no “rooting” or “jailbreaking” allowed, and more. Consult with your legal team to ensure you are not overstepping your boundaries, as these devices are still the legal property of their respective owners.
  • Require an antivirus tool. Endpoint security is a hot topic, and hackers are only just beginning to create exploits to steal sensitive contact and customer data, not to mention cause havoc with financial accounts accessed via phone and iPad apps and browsers. Make employees install a mobile anti-malware app, such as Lookout (there is a free-for-life version) or Webroot’s SecureAnywhere.
  • Consider MDM (mobile device management). MDM allows you to monitor your salespeople’s devices and even remotely lock and even wipe all of the data in the event of a lost or stolen phone or tablet, all from a centralized web interface. Notable vendors include Airwatch, Profisee and Maas360.

The BYOD trend isn’t going away from healthcare and medicine to transportation and logistics. Might as well embrace it, teach responsible use at company wide sales trainings, and leverage it to make more money.  To learn more about sales training and grow your business, contact us here.