Activ8 is designed to help these teams generate increased sales - despite the current economic downturn - through improved operational efficiency; greater access, via mobile communications, to information that is vital to successful sales - and all at lower cost than that of existing communications technology.

Users receive a BlackBerry smartphone which includes Activ8 software – the technical content of which is the subject of a ‘pending patent’ application. The Activ8 software allows employers to send each member of their sales team such things as instant product updates; comparative data between their firm’s and their competitors’ products/services, and details of sales incentives that are specific to the recipient’s job role.

In addition, Activ8 enables the sales team to record important customer information, including the sales made. In addition, the system collects information for management reporting – including the sales made and the customer profile – all of which makes Activ8 a state-of-the-art communications tool as well as a highly effective sales aid.

Peter Hookham-Miller, Managing Director and founder of PHM Group explained: “Activ8 provides a new and innovative way of doing more business.

“It is a unique sales aid which acts as a performance support tool and offers sales teams a significant competitive advantage. It can be used as a sales tool, motivation tool and training tool – and, thanks to mobile communications technology – can be accessed and used almost anywhere in the world.

“This makes it not only applicable, but attractive, to multinational organisations, which can use it for all their sales staff around the world. This ensures not only a ‘homogeneity’ of communications with their sales staff in various countries but also enables sales information to be gathered from each salesperson in real time.

“It allows senior managers to communicate directly with sales executives – and so removes the possibility of potentially damaging ‘Chinese whispers’ within organisations. In addition, it not only provides up-to-the-minute product information and comparisons with competitors’ products but can also be used for other developmental activities, such as delivering e-learning materials to a remote workforce.

“This use of smartphone technology not only makes the sales teams more efficient and effective, but it also saves money – for example, enabling the sales teams to remain ‘in the field’ rather than bringing them to a central location to receive more formal training in product updates, regulatory and compliance issues and so on.”

PHM is currently running an extensive pilot exercise using Activ8 and has already received interest in the application from a number of Europe-wide motor manufacturers.

PHM’s Tom Carr commented: “Activ8 is primarily intended for use in industry sectors which have widely dispersed and often mobile sales forces. This includes not only the retail motor industry, where manufacturers’ dealerships are widespread throughout the country, but also the pharmaceutical and, perhaps, financial services sectors among others.”

PHM manages the Activ8 application on behalf of clients, using its experience and expertise to present the information on the system in a creative and appealing way that makes the system’s content effective and motivating. Carr explained: “Activ8 is not just about sending text to people.

“Moreover, while we ‘push’ information to the users, Activ8 also collects key performance data and produces management reports on the system’s usage.”

The cost of using Activ8 will vary, depending on the number of users but should be in the region of £35 per handset per month which includes the cost of the handset, bandwidth and the ACTIV8 application software.

According to Hookham-Miller: “Activ8 should easily justify its costs and produce a highly positive return on investment because it provides fast, up-to-the-minute, effective communications to the people who most directly affect your organisation’s sales performance. This new sales aid, which addresses the needs of today’s rapidly developing marketplace, should bring users significant competitive advantages.”

About The BlackBerry
The smartphone Blackberry, which supports push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services was released in 2002. It is an example of a convergent device.

Developed by the Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM), it delivers information over the wireless data networks of mobile phone service companies.

Modern BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7 or 9 processor, while older BlackBerry 950 and 957 handhelds used Intel 80386 processors. The latest GSM BlackBerry models (8100, 8300 and 8700 series) have an Intel PXA901 312 MHz processor, 64 MB flash memory and 16 MB SDRAM. CDMA BlackBerry smartphones are based on Qualcomm MSM6x00 chipsets which also include the ARM 9-based processor and GSM 900/1800 roaming (as the case with the 8830). The devices are popular with some businesses, where they are primarily used to provide -mail access to roaming employees. To fully integrate the BlackBerry into a company's systems, the installation of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) is required.