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Where’s The Tablet: Sending Your Sales Team Into the Field Under Prepared?

by Pablo Sanchez

Are your sales teams using tablets with customers? If not, it’s never too late to start. For business-to-business (B2B) salesmen, lead nurturing can be a time consuming, difficult job. One way that B2Bs have streamlined their operations in recent years is adopting tablets and teaching their sales staffs how to use them. Tablets provide portability, ease of use, and access to real-time data for optimal connectivity and collaboration and increased productivity.

How can you use tablets for sales activities? Tablets are an ideal medium for the following tasks:

  • Providing a live walk-through or swipe-through sales presentation or solution demonstration for a customer, including customization or editing right before a meeting
  • Performing varying customer relationship management (CRM) activities
  • Logging in to a tablet-friendly portal to access and download sales collateral
  • Watching a professional sales message or presentation
  • Sending sales campaigns, collateral, and product information to customers
  • Reviewing coaching documents to prepare for sales calls
  • Sharing and finding best practice content and tips from colleagues

Many companies miss the boat with tablet use among their sales teams because they don’t educate and equip them properly. Even for tech-savvy individuals, there is a learning curve for using new equipment in the field.

Develop a standard tablet setup

All of your sales team tablets should have a standard suite or productivity and sales apps. Make sure that the tablets have apps to synchronize data so that the sales team has the resources that they need in the event of an Internet outage or lack of Internet service. Look into a CRM provider (i.e., SAP, Salesforce) client apps and PowerPoint alternatives (i.e., SlideRocket). Develop a professional aesthetic for the home screen and standardize the app groups for easy access. Look for ways to account for tablet usage in sales team productivity metrics that your management team is already tracking.

Create tablet-friendly marketing and sales content

There is an incredible amount of interactive sales and marketing content available online via websites, blogs, and microsites. Sales and marketing teams must collaborate to ensure that their corporate online presence is mobile-friendly and readily available to the sales team tablets as well as compatible with major tablets on the market today. Marketing content can include, but is not limited to, brochures, presentations, and additional sales collateral.

Test your devices before you send them into the field

Before the sales team hits the road with their new devices, run the tablets, apps, and connectivity through extensive testing. The last thing that you want is for a salesman to have a software or hardware failure in front of a potential or existing client. Minimize this risk by completing the necessary testing.

Provide proper training, resources, and documentation

Regardless of the technology experience of your sales team, you must offer training including battery management, security, and access to corporate applications. Is your sales team going to use their devices to show presentations? Run a presentation tutorial session so that employees feel comfortable with this skill set.

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