Technology continues to move forward apace. And nowadays we are comfortable with mobile device technology that allows us the speed of a flash drive yet also offers the processing power and full graphical capabilities of a full blown PC or laptop.
No longer just an expensive toy, the iPad has morphed the hand-held market into something that is comparable to a full PC solution. Initially the iPad with its screen keyboard and cute features seemed nothing more than a glorified Kindle book reader.
The iPad was far too big to be a ‘phone and Apple didn’t even give it a camera! However, when Samsung delivered the Galaxy Tab and Dell came out with the Streak 7 it seems to very firmly vindicate the Apple iPad’s existence. Both the Dell and Samsung Tablets run Android the operating system that Google showed amazing insight to be in 2005. Gene Muster, Piper Jaffray’s top market analyst has been quoted as saying he expects mobile advertising to hit $1.3 billion by 2012.
This real question is this, excluding operating system the only real visual difference is the size of the screen with the Tab and Streak opting for 7″ against the 10″ (9.7″) screen of the iPad.
In this instance it really is a case that the length changes everything. While the Tab and the Streak functionally can probably match the iPad their appearance is that of oversized phones, big enough for personal use but not capable of providing the viewing experience that a 10″ screen is capable of. In a mobile world size really does matter.
It’s that single factor that moves the iPad into a different league.
Ideally companies are looking to provide customer facing employees with a simple intuitive interface requiring minimal training, which allows the servicing of clients. The mobile device App format fits that specification.
A simple piece of software that is role specific providing the employees with ALL the required information to “close the deal”. Examples of this are account managers with customer information, a medical rep who provides a promotional video to play and records the details of the call or a door to door representative who is able to get the contract signed with a finger and the then using 3G, mail the contract immediately.
Now, an application can be designed to become a user friendly graphical interface. Both your staff and your customer can easily view information in a common and recognisable format. The app offers a business process via a series of logical and intuitive screen steps that “lead” the business process and take it through to its natural conclusion, for example a new sale or contract signing. This is why you need that extra screen size!
At this hurdle all but the iPad fall, and when linked to improvements in the due to be released iPad2 such as back and front cameras and an SD slot, a device of that magnitude will be able to provide bar code scanning and product recognition, providing the right app is added.
So, you’re the Sales Director looking for efficiencies and to maximise sales. You have got your sales team sorted out with iPads and a Sales Force Automation app (SFA app). What are the benefits? Simply this. You sales force can now sit down with your clients and see their entire history. What they bought last time, what quantities and how much they paid. They can run new product demos while they sit with the client and answer questions, they can show new company promo videos. They can scan in barcodes and re-order with instant customer sign off for quicker delivery. How much time would this save your sales force and how much would it increase your sales?
To sign a contract you customer simply has to run their finger across the screen and it’s done. An email copy is automatically sent to the client and, better still the transaction is sent immediately to your order system both time and location stamped.
More efficient transactions from a device that does not need to be booted up, real time linking to a live system with 3G communication and, where the connection is absent, a cache system to allow work to continue, plus email, Skype and all the other communication norms.
Your sales staff are finally Mobile…and not Remote.
Nomadic Software produces a Sales Force Automation App, for all mobile devices. For more information visit Nomadic Software’s site on how to automate your sales force with Mobile Apps