Productivity Tips for Sales Teams with iPads and Tablets

By Lori Richardson, The Customer Collective

Did your team receive iPads or other tablet PCs and you find them under-utilized? As a long time PowerPoint user myself, I have felt guilty about my iPad being my glorified Evernote platform and e-mail source on the road.

Ashley Furness, CRM Market Analyst at Software Advice recently wrote about this very issue – teams of salespeople have received or will received tablets but do not have clear deployment plans. One company we know bought them to appear to be on the “cutting edge” over their competition, but they don’t do anything unique or amazing with them.

While 78% of businesses plan to deploy tablets by the end of 2013, more than half lack an articulate deployment plan. Ms. Furness asked 7 sales and technology experts what advice they would give to business leaders in this situation. Some top recommendations include:

1.    Monitor & set goals for usage

2.    Create dynamic content that goes beyond PowerPoint

3.    Invest in custom apps that address the team’s unique needs

I echo her point about thinking big when it comes to rolling out any new technology. The classic mistake is where you choose one app and in very short order, the sales team will want and need something to integrate with that. Instead of throwing together your plan as you go, create a deployment strategy. Read the insightful article here.

Marketo also has a helpful article written by Silicon Valley veteran Phil Fernandez on how sales teams need to adapt to the new ways of selling and using a tool like a tablet to do that.

Has your company invested in tablets throughout the sales force? If yes, what applications are you running, and how do they work for you and your sales team in general? Do you have a plan?

Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management”. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for tips and strategies in selling.