By Ashley Furness, Guest Blogger and Market Analyst for Software Advice, a research site.
Dimensional Research recently reported an impressive 78 percent of employers planning to deploy tablets across their organization in the next year (83 percent of which chose the iPad). But oddly more than half have yet to define a clear implementation strategy.
“We talk to companies all the time where they literally purchased iPads for their team with no idea of what they were going to be doing with them,” said Matthew Suggs, vice president of enterprise sales at Mediafly Inc., a company that develops iPad sales tools.
With all the hype around using iPads for sales, it’s easy to imagine the device as some sort of silver bullet for increasing productivity. But unfortunately, an iPad alone won’t be a game changer for your team. Like most technology investments, a clear rollout strategy is needed to ensure management gets the most bang for their buck. So this week, I set out to find experts top tips for getting the most from their Apple upgrade.
1. Monitor and Adjust Usage
SAVO Group Senior Marketing Director Dan Schleifer said sales management should articulate clear usage goals for their iPad-equipped team and use the results to measure effectiveness. This “governance plan” should monitor such sales activities as deals closed, training materials opened and competitive analyses viewed. In the case of a new product launch, this information will ensure the team is correctly focusing their outside sales efforts. These events are often company’s biggest revenue growth initiative of the year, but also frequently fail in the field due to low adoption.
2. Go Beyond PowerPoint
The iPad’s vivid display is one of its most powerful assets. But UpSync Sales Vice President Gary Galush said just using the device to run standard PowerPoint presentations is a “missed opportunity.” His company– and solutions from MediaFly and Showpad– provide easy-to-use and deploy apps for making and sharing sales presentations in the field. These can draw on images, videos, PDFs, HTML 5 and other digital assets that are most relevant to client.
“It’s all about delivering the your brand’s message based on that specific customers’ needs,” said Meghan Lopresto, vice president of multichannel marketing and sales force analytics for The Cement Bloc.
3. Invest in a Custom Solution
Ease of use is one of the biggest drivers in ensuring your team will use their iPad for more than reading the newspaper. Many companies make the mistake of launching an app that handles one business problem, while other functions are still performed with varying tools.
“Companies that build a bunch of disparate apps find it’s not sustainable, then have to rebuild one platform and end up spending way more then they should,” Excellis Interactive Marketing Director Molly Maple said.Tags: management of user adoption, marketing, sales leadership, sales management, selling tools, software user adoption, user adoption