Driving Sales Success with Tablets and Sales Engagement Platforms
By Jim Lundy
(Aragon Research) – In 2017, Apple launched its long awaited iPad Pro 10.5 device, a smaller version of the iPad Pro 12″ inch unit it launched in 2016. We reviewed the launch last June in our WWDC Recap blog, “The Return of the Apple iPad.” Sales for Apple in the quarter following the iPad Pro launch were up 15% year over year.
Our take is that many sales organizations are missing an opportunity with either the Apple iPad or the alternative Google-based tablets or Microsoft Surface Pros. One of the reasons for this is the rise of mobile-friendly Sales Engagement Platform tools. This blog discusses some of the advantages of using both to drive sales productivity.
Why Tablets for Sales?
Tablets for sales organizations make sense for customer-facing sales executives. They offer the advantage of nearly zero setup time for presentations and detailing, which is why they are ideal for sales calls that have a short duration. They also have much longer battery life, allowing a sales professional to work all day without connecting to power. Finally, the quality of the display means that a high quality interactive presentation can be delivered to a prospect. These things combined, speed, battery life, and display quality, are just some of the reasons to leverage for tablets for sales.
One of the key aspects sometimes overlooked in a tablet is the need for a cellular modem for immediate Cloud connectivity. Real tablets have these as options—whereas the Microsoft-based PC hybrids (2 in 1s) often do not. This puts Apple and Samsung into prime consideration for sales teams, assuming that connectivity is a must-have option.
Sales Engagement Platforms for Increased Prospect Engagement
Aragon has been covering the sales tech stack for several years. In 2016, we identified a new market, Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs), and it has been steadily attracting new entrants; today, many are finding success in this growing market segment of what we call Digital Work Hubs. One of the reasons for the growing popularity of SEPs is their advanced content and communication analytics.
Mobility and Sales Engagement Platforms: BigTinCan, Pitcher, ShowPad, and vablet
Aragon published its second annual Globe for Sales Engagement Platforms last October. Any provider who was referenced in the report is worth evaluating, but from a tablet perspective, a few, such as BigTinCan, Pitcher, ShowPad, and vablet, stand out because of their mobile-first approach. We have seen a number of these players winning deals with tablet-focused sales organizations.
The key thing for 2018 for sales is to evaluate and then conduct a pilot to see if tablets will work for you and your sales organization. As a datapoint, Aragon did a sales tablet pilot in 2017 and it went very well.