Brusse said that you can get really creative once you put a tablet computer in the hands of your sales team. He cited the example that one of the sales staff had used the basic camera on an iPad to take a photo of a loading dock with the door open on a bright sunny day. It was the perfect photo to explain to the customer the difference between a standard security camera and wide dynamic range (WDR) camera. It helped sell the value of upgrading to WDR, he said. Other tablet benefits include GPS tracking for managing a sales force, and having access to a contact management app that allows the sales team to enter the info right there and then, rather than jotting it in a notebook.
In terms of the future, our panelists and audience members also see the tablets/iPads as being used for the actual contract process. While none in attendance said they were using it yet to sign sales contracts with clients in the field, all agreed that this is right around the corner. Brusse and other sales managers at the ESX seminar agreed that legal teams would probably have to approve the audit trails of contracts signed on a tablet device, especially since these contracts have to hold serious legal weight. In terms of the logistic process, digital delivery of contracts could allow for automated routing to ensure that once a contract is signed, the project is instantly delivered to the installation team, to the accounting team and to the monitoring operations team for all the follow-ups that are needed.
One thing’s for sure, if you’re not taking advantage of tablets and iPads for your sales force, you need to at least start testing how it can help you. Put a unit in the hands of some of your top performers. What I’m hearing is that the cost of the iPads usually pays itself back in 1 or 2 months because it helps deliver extra sales and higher efficiencies.