When it comes to embracing new technology, sales reps often are the last to get on board. Attempts to introduce new technology often fail, as reps go back to their tried and tested ways of selling.
It’s no wonder, then, that reps’ recent interest in using iPads has caught most sales organizations by surprise. In fact, many companies are reporting that reps are proactively purchasing personal iPads to use in the field. Encouraged by the positive feedback from early adopters, a number of companies are in various stages of launching more pilots and arming their broader sales force with iPads, and some are even creating dedicated applications.
But, what makes the iPad such a powerful sales tool and why are reps so drawn to it?
3 Things Reps Love About iPads:
- Superior Sales Experience: Not only does the iPad eliminate the need for reps to rote-learn sales pitches, it also makes the entire experience more interactive and engaging for the customer. Features such as instant on and long battery life also add to the iPad’s appeal as an effective tool.
- Real-Time Follow Up: The ability to access live information and internal sales resources using iPads means reps can address customer queries instantly, including connecting customers with subject matter experts via web chat, rather than holding them off till they’re back in the office.
- Lighter Travel Bag: Gone are the days when reps had to lug sales and marketing collateral from one customer visit to another. With the iPad, travelling light becomes a reality for reps. At a mere 1.34 pounds, the iPad beats the lightest laptops in the market today hands down.
All that being said, like any other technology, the iPad has its drawbacks too, and there are several reasons reps are hesitant to use them.
3 Things Reps Hate About iPads:
- No Adobe Flash Support: Irrespective of where you stand on the Flash versus HTML5 debate, most reps cite the lack of Flash as a major drawback of the iPad. With most companies’ sales collateral still running Flash, reps are pressed to find workarounds or alternatives to the iPad.
- Compatibility with Existing Sales Tools: Companies and third-party developers have been slow to create iPad-compatible sales tools. This means reps often need to continue carrying their laptops along with their iPads to access their CRM system and complete other administrative tasks.
- Another New Technology to Learn: This is a common complaint from sales veterans who’ve clocked in hundreds of customer visits before the iPad was even born. Despite its friendly user interface, the iPad does require getting used to before you place your next big bet on it.
What’s your experience been with iPads? Do you consider them an effective sales tool?
SEC Members, click here to see a peer discussion on the Sales Ops Forum about other sales organizations’ experiences deploying iPads in the field and its impact on business results. Also, visit our Sales Tools Topic Center to learn more on how to drive rep tool adoption in your sales organization.