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female - 49 years, Sweden
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Blog / ipad instruction video

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 at 13:52

How come companies buying iPads for their sales forces?

A week ago, we visited a large trade show coupled with a large number of discussions with companies concerning the iPad and how they are thinking about using them, especially in the field. Although this meeting was at the life science space, our contacts in other B2B markets essentially mirror what we should found.

Our (admittedly unscientific) straw poll results were that:

About 2/3 from the companies either have a current pilot project using iPads in the field, are actively developing a plan for 2011, or already purchased iPads for his or her sales forces.

Only a number of companies have already made the investment but based on our conversations, the coming year looks to be an inflection point for using the iPad as a field sales tool

Listed here are the top 5 reasons we discovered why companies see the iPad as a potentially valuable field sales tool.

1. The iPad is the best size

It's not too large and never too small. Using the iPad in the field is much like carrying another file folder or legal notepad - not a problem. The larger and heavier a sales tool is, the more often it stays both at home and in the trunk. A sales tool isn't very useful when not obtainable in the area at the sales moment of truth 2. The iPad is easy to share

Presentations, one-on-one discussions, email communications are not just possible but easier using the iPad than any tools currently in the field. Don't get me wrong, I believe there are several definite needs in these areas for better apps and gratifaction, but the iPad platform can there be to construct on.

The quality of the screen invites a side-by-side, one-on-one discussion. (Could it be just me or perhaps is it truly hard to tap in the proper place when looking at the iPad upside down:)

3. The iPad isn't too technical

In news reports, there are complaints from technophiles that you can't do all the same things around the iPad as on the computer. That is true however the simplicity of tapping to access information and not having to choose a file actually makes life a bit easier for reps and their IT support.

Information served in apps can be more intuitive. Why? Apps are usually associated with a particular set of tasks and processes which match up much better in real-time customer interactions when you're focused on searching for a product, sending some good info or locating a support link or document.

Additionally, there is less training needed, although we still recommend a basic primer for those. That simplicity reduces the total cost of training and support.

4.The iPad invites Instant Response

The sales reps we spoke with love the moment response of the iPad. Clients are impatient and sales individuals are impatient. Speed matters (search for a related post, The Competitive Advantage of Speed in Sales ).

The instant on, the only tap to open an app, the opportunity to do a task quickly matters, particularly when you are doing a lot of routine tasks. And if you are making a mistake (hit the wrong icon for instance) you don't have to wait long to fix it. You just close and tap around the correct one. Try that in your laptop!

5. The iPad is ideal for Going Green

Some companies begin to see the iPad like a quick way to accomplish another key goal, reducing paper and waste. There are countless paper catalogs, sales brochures, flyers that find themselves in the garbage. Like a testament to how quickly some businesses move these days, some printed materials actually never begin to see the light of previous day they are obsolete.

lessons for ipad

In addition, the shipping costs of paper to a widely dispersed sales team can significantly accumulate for a marketing department. Viewing and sharing PDFs and Powerpoint slide decks on the iPad is really a welcome alternative to printing and handouts. Even if it simply cuts out 10% of the company's printing costs, that can be a significant financial savings.

The Bottom Line

Companies value all these factors differently. However, those investigating the iPad begin to see the possibility of the sales force to create more sales, reduce expenses or both. We have seen first hand what the impact that having information and selling tools at sales reps fingertips does to increase the quality and speed of the sales process.



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