Four ways tablets can help the modern sales rep

by Mike Snyder

November 20 2012

Mike Snyder is a cofounder and principal of Sonoma Partners.


Today’s sales reps need to know how to leverage tablets to better equip themselves for the rigors of the marketplace.

The effective use of mobile technology is increasingly becoming a driver of selling success. In competitive industries, sales reps need anytime, anywhere access to account information, collateral and other materials – the kind of access that can be achieved through tablet deployment.

Many sales teams have been slow to fully embrace this technology and instead rely on the sales tools with which they are inherently most comfortable. But bulky catalogs and printed marketing materials can’t deliver the speed or quality your company needs to compete in today’s marketplace.

Regardless of the size of the organization, sales teams need to either integrate technology into the sales process or risk becoming irrelevant to their customer base. Specifically, here are four ways tablets can make sales reps more effective.

1.     Information On-Demand

Tablets give sales reps instant access to a wide range of marketing and presentation materials. From full-color catalogs to fully updated product specs, technologically savvy sales reps have an exceptionally large amount of information at their fingertips. Using tablets, sales reps can access applications that allow them to place orders, monitor inventory, track shipping or provide their customers with other important insights while in the field.

2.     Geolocation

Geolocation is often underutilized by sales professionals. Custom apps that integrate mapping functions improve prospecting opportunities by allowing sales reps to search for nearby opportunities according to various criteria. Sales teams can also use geolocation to identify existing clients who are in the immediate vicinity, capitalizing on opportunities to connect with open accounts and grow business.

3.     Productivity

Tablets and smartphones make it easy for sales personnel to view, track and manipulate data on the go. Because this eliminates the need for sales reps to return to the office to update the CRM software, reevaluate sales opportunities, create presentations or perform other tasks, they are more efficient and can dedicate more time to prospect or customer interaction.

4.     The “Wow” Factor

There is no denying the fact that tablets give sales reps a certain “wow” factor – the ability to impress customers with high-quality presentations and instant access to vast amounts of product and/or market information. Consequently, sales reps benefit from a sense of professionalism and the feeling that they are more prepared for sales meetings.

Company decision-makers need to understand that the use of tablets or other devices should be part of a comprehensive technology strategy, even if the initiative is limited to a BYOD program in which sales reps are permitted to use their own devices in sales meetings.

With careful planning and a company-wide commitment to the best tablet technology, prepare to exceed your team’s sales objectives.

Mike Snyder is a cofounder and principal of Sonoma Partners.

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Comments

 
  • jackdawson
    1 year 7 months ago

    Gosh, 20 years ago we said the same thing about laptop computers. Why do people buy into all the hype about tablets? I haven't found anything that my tablet does that my laptop can't do better. When I'm with a customer I prefer the bigger screen, real keyboard and even the look and feel of my laptop over my tablet.

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