In a recent conversation I had with Mark Wayland, he mentioned that in his 30 years of sales coaching, the best meetings are always the ones where the client is sitting next to you and you’re both sketching on a piece of paper together. That is what the iPad and other tablets can do, but aren’t doing, for sales reps in the field.
In-field iPad use is increasing among sales reps. But it is for increasingly technical purposes like generating proposals and contracts, or entering data into a CRM. You may also see the occasional “digital brochure.” But these things are not revolutionizing the sales process. You are sadly mistaken if you think the limiting factor in sales meetings is how fast can you get them a contract or enter the data into your CRM.
The true power of the iPad lies in creating a human connection, in breaking down the wall between buyer and seller. Have you ever been pitched by a sales rep who leaves you feeling enlightened and empowered, ready to take action? I’ll bet you forgot the facts and figures, but remember the way you felt. The iPad has an ability to create an experience much closer to this type of magic than the logical uses that we are seeing today.
The reason we are stuck in a world of tactical, sub-par marketing implementations is a lack of buyer insight, and a lack of respect for strategy. We can keep on pumping out facts, figures and features in our marketing efforts; we’ll keep getting head-nodding, logical agreement from customers, and we’ll keep failing to incite meaningful customer action.