Field Rep Using an iPad to Sell: Part 1

Selling with iPad

Part 1 – Here’s Your iPad, Now Go Sell Some Products

Introduction to Mark Herb.  We are always getting questions from prospects wanting to talk to an actual person that is a field sales rep using an iPad to sell.  Enter Mark Herb.  Mark worked in field sales for a large multi-national corporation using FatStax for the past few years.  He’s launched his own marketing consultancy recently, so we offered him the chance to tell his stories and experiences using FatStax in the field to sell products.  Mark gave us so much great information, we decided to give him the soapbox and free reign for this unique blog series. We hope it will be a glimpse into a what sales rep really thinks when you hand him an iPad. 

Enter Mark Herb, former FatStax User

When I started work at my new company a few years back, I was in for a rude awakening. Surprise, I was the proud owner of an iPad loaded with countless apps and VPN clients and email servers… you get the picture.

I thought to myself,

Wow that’s great, junior. Now how the hell do I use it?

 

The first sales app I was introduced to was Fatstax, I figured we were going to an all-you-can-eat pancake joint! Much to my surprise, we were not going to breakfast. Turns out, Fatstax was a sales tool for the iPad that contained, in our case, a catalog of close 18,000 individual product pages.

Yes, that was 18,000 individual SKUs!

Each one containing details, specs, prices, descriptions, and links to the products on our website.  Talk about a shock to the system.

Here’s your iPad, now go sell some products!

During my tenure as a field rep, Fatstax provided me significant time savings, streamlined delivering customer solutions, and enabled me to adopt a consultative sales approach to become a trusted resource to drive the sales process. So, I jumped at the chance to tell my story when the FatStax team gave me the chance.  I just hope they don’t regret giving me free reign to talk openly about my experiences.

What FatStax Did For Me? Two things sales pros crave

As a rep, Fatstax did two critical things that all sales pros crave…

  1. Delivered quick solutions to my customers
  2. Gave me back more time in my day.

More efficiency and time savings, less LUGGING AROUND A HEAVY CATALOG – just my iPad. Now that’s what I’m talking about! So let’s take a few minutes and dive into these two things.

Delivering Quick Solutions to My Customers

Sales professionals like me typically seek a consultative selling approach for customers.  Many days I had no idea what a prospect would be looking for before we started talking.  Now, I’m the first admit that pulling out the iPad wasn’t the first thing that crossed my mind when first got it.  But then one day it absolutely saved by butt.  I mean the customer asked and it all clicked.

-Pull out the iPad

-Open FatStax

-Tap on Search

-Show her the product

-Send her the link to order it

-She smiles

-I smile.

-The PO came through that afternoon.

That was the turning point. This app actually works.  Quick answers to customer questions, solution delivered. Taking care of business right in front of your customers (and snagging their contact info for follow-ups too…).  These were our “go-to” benefits from the Fatstax iPad App.

Gave Me Back More Time in My Day

Sooooo… The days of having to head home after a long day in front of customers to gather pdfs and literature to send late at night, were over. Adding more time back in my day and providing on-the-spot solutions for your customers was a reality using Fatstax.

(In case you didn’t already know this, everyone of your sales people is looking for ways to stop logging crap in your systems at night when they want to be hitting the gym or watching the Penn State game. Save them time and, they will love you for it.)

Did it happen overnight? No.

Did I eventually come to get it? Hell yes I did.

In this economy, saving time and potentially accelerating a customer’s decision to buy sounded good to me. Emailing product information or specs instantly or reviewing material together via the Fatstax app helped that process significantly. Thus more time back in my day.

The cool factor

One other thing I want to mention is embracing the “cool factor” that came with whipping out the iPad to use Fatstax and sharing the experience with customers. Tech savvy customers appreciated the application and commented on how it contributed to discussion. I know “cool” doesn’t sell products or hit your numbers but it does differentiate you from the competition – I’ll take any edge I can get, wouldn’t you?

Please join me next time when I tell you the two things that are critical to getting success out of FatStax from a user’s perspective.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? The comments box is right below.

About Mark Herb

Mark is an agile marketing and sales advisor with nearly 20 years of experience in both biomedical research and life science commercial roles, including sales, marketing, customer engagement, and business development.