Editors note: This is guest post by Joshua Hays, Marketing Director of Car People Marketing. He wanted to share his thoughts on how dramatically the iPad has changed the job of traveling salespeople and we thought you’d want to hear about it.
Imagine for one second that you spend 8 months of the year on the road as a salesperson crammed into your car. Then, imagine the appointments you’ll have and the hundreds of people you’ll meet, the leads you’ll work and the deals you’re closing. Now, imagine trying to keep all of that organized with just a tiny smart phone, legal pad and some file folders.Painful right?
In recent weeks we feel there’s now a solid solution, the Apple iPad, or for that matter any decent tablet, but Apple happens to be the company that has stepped up to the plate to produce something usable, portable, slick and well, useful.
As Marketing Director of a sales company, I work daily to supply our growing sales team with the tools they need to succeed and advise them on the latest and greatest technology. A few years ago, it was iPhone’s and Blackberry’s and before that, paper and a pen. I’ve recently adapted the iPad to our sales process as ‘the one device every salesperson must have’. A colleague of mine was hesitant when I first spoke with him about the iPad. Like most seasoned salespeople who have been selling all their lives, technology is sometimes difficult to embrace. It was however the dynamic email capability the iPad would offer and the 10-hour battery life that eventually sold it. Being able to showcase our entire product gallery from the iPad and have full access to our CRM tool was the deal clincher.
Traveling sales teams will find the iPad a universal solution. Log leads on the fly at tradeshows, manage new and existing contacts, and access their web-based CRM tools via Safari (or app). Take note: the iPad is going to open the door to a huge application market geared for sales.
Showcasing our product gallery online without having to tug in a heavy bag full of samples is of enormous benefit. In the past I’d been constantly concerned about the speed of a clients internet connection or whether the client even had a computer in the office I was presenting in. Fortunately our gallery is still fully functional without an Internet connection but with the iPad 3G this should be of nil concern. Lets not forget the image you portray when you use the iPad to present, it’s not ideal without a built in stand or way to hold it in one hand but with the larger screen and crisp visuals it is indeed an excellent presentation.
We’re currently planning a series of tools that will enhance our sales team’s ability to present a consistent product message including video and interactive brochures, potentially wrapped up in an iPad app. I can only imagine how many possibilities this will present and how quickly marketing and sales will be able to compliment one another with such a tool. If it will improve their productivity and make their jobs easier, this is the one tool we have needed in our toolbox for years.