Tablet Computers are Transforming the Sales Call

| October 1, 2012

Tablet computers, already transforming the customer’s experience in stores and restaurants, are now on the fast track to becoming invaluable to business-to-business sales organizations. As the technology progresses contiguous to the development of new and improved business-related apps, so are the many uses for the tablet on the professional level.

When asked to discuss his approach to equipping his employees with the most appropriate tools in a recent interview with eWeek,’s Marc Benioff described an iPad overhaul on the sales front and how new hires out of college these days typically expect mobile devices upon arrival. The new normal is tech-friendly and connected where employees, old and new, get to know each other and collaborate on projects through internal social networks accessed through their tablets and smartphones.

Beyond in-house uses are the increasingly diverse applications for tablets in the field during the sales call. Sales pitches can be much more engaging and dynamic using both custom-made and off-the-shelf apps, also allowing for customers to participate by handling the devices themselves. Field access to real time information like inventory, prices, schedules, CRM data and purchasing history can make face time with customers much more efficient leaving room for more accounts to be served. With the most current facts and figures readily available, contracts can be signed and sales can be made on the spot by use of digital signatures. From a manager’s perspective, rep performance figures in the field can be monitored in real time and video calling can even make it possible to micromanage. is certainly not alone in their move toward increased digital mobility as indicated by research from The Sales Management Association. They found that 59 percent of the companies they tracked already had initiatives in place to provide tablets to their sales teams, 31 percent were seriously considering the idea and only 10 percent of them had no interest. Of the firms that had already incorporated tablet usage into their business models, 70 percent of them believed tablets had proved their worth through increased productivity and 90 percent of the sales managers at these firms were looking to invest more in tablet computers.

When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPad in 2010, he presented a portable interface with an emphasis on media consumption. A year later with the debut of the iPad 2, he referred to Apple’s latest tablet as a “post PC” device. Looking forward, while some have voiced concerns that tablets face an uncertain future in the workplace due to a preference for the ultra-portability of the smartphone, others envision something more in line with what Steve Jobs saw, the age of tablet computing at home, at work and in the field.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: News, Video