It looks like a wave of tablets could be hitting the workforce sometime soon. If Forrester’s predictions are on target, tablet sales will climb to 381 million annually by 2017 — up from from 122 million in 2012. And enterprises will account for 68 million — or one-fifth — of those yearly sales.

But just because “everyone else” seems to be using tablets doesn’t mean your sales team should have them. It’s hardly the argument you want to present to your CEO or CFO about taking the plunge to put a tablet in each of your sales reps’ hands.

Following are 5 solid reasons on how the use of tablets, and their accompanying apps, could drive productivity and boost sales at your company. Because, after all, those are the types of results that will make the investment in these mobile devices worth it. Check out how they can work for your sales team during trade shows and other presentations.

  1. Tablets are highly portable. Tablets are less cumbersome than laptops, allowing your sales reps to easily transport the devices while they’re out in the field. Also, because of the digital nature of these devices, they’re not weighed down by print materials. Also, unlike a laptop, sales reps will have no problem carrying it around all day during calls or at a trade show.
  1. Tablets streamline your processes. With the addition of apps, tablets enable your team to significantly cut down on the amount of time devoted to completing steps in the sales process — from presentations and gathering sales collateral to accessing documents that require signatures.
  1. They’re ideal show-and-tell tools. One thing that remains constant in the ever-changing sales and marketing industry is that, at some point, you will need to make a presentation to prospects or current clients. You can fool around with trying to hook up a presentation to a monitor — or you could prop up a tablet on a stand and quickly start the presentation during your meetings. You also can let a prospect feel in control by handing off the presentation for them to review from your tablet.
  1. Tablets are user-friendly. The adoption rate for using tablets as sales tools, based on our experiences, is typically shorter. They are designed to be intuitive. By simply tapping buttons, sales reps and their marketing colleagues can easily access the information they need to make pitches and presentations. With simple-to-use features, the overall cost of training and support are significantly reduced.
  1. Tablets save on print costs. Companies that have adopted tablets have realized significant cost savings on printing and shipping costs. United Airlines demonstrated the potential cost savings with its adoption of the iPad to replace flight manuals. Joe Burns, Managing Director of Technology and Flight Test for United, said, “With iPad we’re able to save 16 million sheets of paper a year. Just removing the weight of that paper works out to 326,000 gallons of fuel saved per year.” While the impact may not be as great in other industries, it’s not hard to see how you can save on printing costs associated with paper catalogs, sales brochures, and flyers that way too often end up in the trash at a conference.

Here’s the bottom line

These are just among 5 of the reasons that companies are switching to tablets as power sales tools — and, as a result, realizing gains in productivity and sales and a reduction in overall expenses.

Over the years, we have seen firsthand how putting information and selling tools at sales reps’ fingertips can increase the speed, quality and, at the end of the day, the overall success of the sales process.

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.