According to the latest data from comScore, more than 110 million Americans own smartphones such as the iPhone and HTC Evo. Separate research conducted by Pew suggests approximately one in five Americans also owns a tablet device, such as the iPad. These mobile devices are becoming extremely common in the everyday lives of U.S. consumers.

As they become more commonplace in the mainstream, they are also growing to be valuable business tools. Nowadays, almost all high-ranking executives, ranging from chief financial officers to sales managers, will be equipped with these devices so they can stay productive even while on the road.

Sales in particular tends to be a mobile department. Representatives are always meeting clients in the field, while managers at larger companies frequently visit different sales units to see how they are performing. The need for mobile devices that enable on-the-road productivity has never been more pressing.

Mobile SPM and ICM

A number of sales performance management (SPM) and incentive compensation management (ICM) software vendors have noted this demand and are developing mobile features from their traditional home computer-based platforms. These will help sales managers take care of key payment tasks, regardless of whether they are in the office or on the road.

Take, for example, Xactly. Earlier this week, the company announced it would be releasing a new iPad application for current users of Xactly Incent. The app allows sales reps to easily view and manage their quota attainment and sales commission payments from wherever they are located. It's all about bolstering the utility of the software, and for many businesses, mobility is an important asset to their operations.

"Today’s mobile workforce demands real-time access to business critical information in order to stay competitive in the market and streamline collaboration and communication, regardless of location," said Christopher Cabrera, president and CEO, Xactly Corporation. "By providing sales personnel with easy access to the information they need from the cloud, the latest iPad apps for both Xactly Incent and Express will help further drive quota attainment and deliver better sales performance."

Citing a recent report from Ventana, Xactly noted that approximately half of sales organizations have either deployed tablets for business purposes, or plan on doing so soon, highlighting the size of the potential market for mobile apps.