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I recently spent the last few days talking with V.P.’s of Sales and V.P.’s of Marketing from within our customer ranks, I thought it was important to share one of the findings while it was fresh on my mind.

Specifically, I wanted to examine the laggards within a sales team that has deployed iPads and iPad sales apps. You know, the ones that have still not opened the box you gave it to them in.  Every sales team has them.  Lone wolves that despise your fancy new touch screen toy.

I’ve arrived at a simple conclusion.  The biggest stumbling block to selling with iPads is sales people that are not comfortable using the mobile tablet in front of customers. Simple. They just don’t want to blow a chance with a customer because they are afraid to look dumb in front of them.

How to Prove it

If you want to prove it to yourself, here are three ways you can quickly assess how pervasive this problem is within your sales team:

1. Ask them about using the iPad or iPad sales app in front of customers during a weekly sales meeting.

Specifically, call on each individual to tell you about an moment the iPad or sales app was used.  I can almost guarantee you the laggards will not have answer.  Then ask them why they haven’t used it.  The excuses will fly.

2. During a ride along, ask them about using the iPad to engage a customer.

Again specifically ask an individual after a call with a customer.  I just witnessed a laggard iPad adopter refuse to pull her iPad in 4 obvious situations where she could have directly addressed a customer’s questions.  Afterwards, I asked her why she hadn’t used the iPad sales app that her company bought her to answer those questions.

“I don’t know. I just didn’t think about it.”

Then I asked her to show me (a friendly face) the answers on her iPad, and she could not do it.

3. Observe your staff in your trade show booth with their iPads.

The avoidance measures here can be almost comical. Despite a non-stressful environment with visitors they may never see again,  Sales reps that are uncomfortable with iPads will default to flipping through and handing out brochures instinctively.  I get it.  It’s like a security blanket that won’t die.  But old habits won’t track delivered collateral and capture a touch point with a hot lead.  After observing, again ask them why they aren’t using it.  Excuses will rain.

Top 7 Excuses Your Sales Team Laggards Will Give You for Not Using Their iPad

  1. I didn’t think about it
  2. The customer didn’t have time
  3. The customer didn’t want an email from me
  4. You didn’t provide me with the right content, i.e. presentation or updated PDF or latest manual
  5. It’s not charged
  6. It’s no different than what I’ve always done
  7. Why should I use the iPad, I remember what we talked about

In the end, all these excuses point to one thing as the biggest hurdle to iPad selling adoption within a sales team.  Laggards are not comfortable with the device or the app.

When they are not comfortable, that investment will turn into a nice paperweight.

About J. Rusty Bishop, PhD

I've spent the last 5 years helping great brands create amazing experiences for their sales teams during one on one sales interactions. Helping sales people do their job is my passion. When I'm not working, I am on the ocean fishing in San Diego, Ca.