iPads and other tablet computers are rapidly changing the sales game and helping sales reps achieve their goals faster and smarter. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, 94 percent of the Fortune 500 and 75 percent of the Global 500 are either testing or deploying the iPad.
And why not? The tablet’s screen is just big enough to see the fine print and product details, but just small enough to carry with you wherever you are. Add a keyboard if you’d like, and you have yourself a powerful yet compact laptop that simplifies the order-taking process.
B2B sales reps know a thing or two about availability and access. They need to be in touch with customers whenever they are needed, and much like B2C, the B2B industry is growing its online presence with more online sale platforms, integrated ERP systems and apps, so there’s no doubt a tablet will be a B2B rep’s best friend.
Let’s review the business benefits you get when using a tablet:
• Comprehensive mobile office – Tablet computers offer many features that make them the ultimate mobile office for any sales rep. You can Skype clients, access your email anywhere and respond quickly, take notes and manage your meetings on the go. Access to your company’s e-commerce platform is a finger swipe away so the office is essentially always with you.
• Technology working for you – For new clients, a tablet computer is a great tool to help them get acquainted with your e-commerce software; you can walk clients through the purchase process, offer tutorials and familiarize them with the system, cutting your order-taking workload and freeing you to offer better customer support.
• Enhance customer interactions – A sales rep using a tablet will spend less time on administrative tasks, filing lengthy forms by hand and totaling orders. With all the information they need at hand, they will be able to shorten sales cycles and provide their customers a better customer experience with more free time to attend to their specific needs, and customers will be impressed when you use a tablet effectively.
• Real time access to inventory – There is nothing more stressful than placing an order when you’re pressed for time and realizing you won’t receive the merchandise in time due to stock shortages. Equipped with a tablet, sales reps can avoid costly back-end orders and delayed delivery time by quickly accessing inventory information and taking orders based on the most up-to-date data.
• Introduce new products – Use the tablet to offer customers the latest products. Push more promotions and discounts and grow your company’s sales by encouraging them to consider new products while placing an order. Review product features and pictures on the tablet’s vivid display to produce a better sales experience.
• Your customers expect it – If your customers have started using paperless invoices and receipts and eliminated fax or phone orders with online platforms, they won’t want to go back in time and realize you have yet to catch up with them when you show up to a meeting carrying a briefcase full of papers. A brand that sends its sales reps into the field armed with tablets reflects positively on its image and its ability to adapt to current technological trends. And ultimately, understanding customers and their expectations is key for the success of any business.
B2B sales reps need all the help they can get out in the field, and when integrated properly with an e-commerce system, they can become more productive and engaged in customers’ conversations. Making the step up doesn’t just give sales reps the technological edge they need to succeed, it helps them create better relationships with their customers.
Oren Ezra is the CMO of Pepperi, the mobile commerce platform for brands and wholesalers. Oren has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of B2B marketing, and has held marketing and product leadership positions at various well-established software giants. Oren is a thought leader in the areas of B2B e-commerce, mobile CRM and order management software and a frequent speaker and writer on these topics.