Are Tablets Ready for Business?

iPadAir Are tablets ready for business? This is a question asked more each day. Here is how I answer that question. While businesses are asking the question, sales people are carrying their own tablets on sales calls.

I first witnessed this almost four years ago when a salesman I was working with left his big heavy laptop at the office when we left for a day’s work in the field. He did, however, carry his iPad under his arm, which I thought nothing of at the time.

At our first stop, he jumped out of the car, iPad in hand and I watched closely. As we talked with the customer about different products he needed, the salesman recorded each item on the tablet. When asked about a particular item, he brought up a picture from the web, showed the customer, and recorded another sold item on the order for he used.

Did the company issue the iPad? No, it was his own device and was not formally vetted for use in the field by anyone from IT. It was light, fast, easy to carry into an office and it instantly caused a reaction from the people in each office. I was hooked.

Normally between calls, my conversation with the sales person is about the previous call. What went well, what could improve … but not this day. I was asking questions about how he used the tablet in his work day. How did customers and prospects react to it when he was by himself? (It’s always different when two people go in together) Had he witnessed an increase in business by actively engaging the customers with this technology?

That was when I knew the tablet would come into business. It was a natural tool to use in front of customers. It was instantly on, it was easy to hand to the customer to look at a picture or watch a video, and customers were talking and asking questions. This is a customer engaged … a huge plus for any sales person.

I have begun using my Nexus 7 in my daily workflow at the office. I’ll write about the details in another article.

How does your company look at tablets? Has there been any discussion? Are people using their own equipment like they do with their cell phones?

I’d really like to know how this is playing in other industries. Talk to me …

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3 Responses to Are Tablets Ready for Business?

  1. Dave J. says:

    A couple years ago my mind started spinning at a trade show when several of our sales reps (contracted, not employed) pulled out iPads to take care of their business. But even today I haven’t figured how to make their tablets into sales tools. Much of what I have for them is online already, but I’m sure that isn’t enough.

    I had one of our direct staff test going paperless, but said it was too distracting to be fumbling thru a device to find answers for the client. And that has been very helpful feedback that I think addresses where you are going with these posts. Maybe you can help me come up with answers.

  2. Larry says:

    Hey, Dave. It’s great to hear from you.
    I understand the dilemma. My research has shown a lot of uses where tablets can replace laptops. There are certain problems, of course, but that happens with every tech shift.
    That is what I want to cover here. What works, what doesn’t, and how to overcome some of the issues.
    In fact, I’m writing this response on my Nexus 7 and it works fairly well.

  3. Dominik says:

    I don’t use tablet, but in the future maybe. Oppurtunity are high. My best friend use tablet and he said “It is good for work, but if you want to count – U have to use excel on your computer or laptop”.

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