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The 8 Step Strategy to Adding the iPad to your Sales Arsenal – Step 4: Setting a Realistic Budget

Sales Budget

Setting a realistic budget when choosing new sales tools can be challenging, especially when that device is transforming the way we work. Today we are going to address step 4 of our 8 step series written for Marketers and Business Opps to help with adding the iPad to your sales and marketing arsenal. You can download the white paper now which includes all 8 steps.

Let’s do a quick recap of what we have covered so far. In Step 1 we discussed how important it is to define what success is for your company and what it would look like with the iPad roll-out.

In Step 2 we covered how important getting C Level Executive support is. It is a game changer.

Step 3 covers Legacy systems, where you assess the software and processes that you currently have and see how the iPad can be integrated and complement. We also talked about how important it is to construct a cross-functional team from the beginning of the project.

Today is all about the budget. This is where making sure your team is together is very beneficial. If the iPad is going to be used throughout the company for various purposes, this can cause additional expenses outside of what was initially planned when looking at it from a sales tool.

In our experience with customers, we have encountered a few expense items that weren’t considered closely enough (aside from the cost of an iPad itself). Hopefully, these will be helpful to those formulating budgets right now.

Costs to consider 

  • iPad Cases – an easy to hold case that keeps the screen clean is a must.
  • Data Plans – talk to your current provider and shop around for best rates
  • Developers – both internal and external software developers are expensive. They can be utilized to create custom apps or assist with the iPad integration.
  • Security – if an iPad is lost you want to be able to “wipe” it or at least have the files encrypted.
  • Distribution – the cost of shipping iPads to the all of the team members or holding a meeting to bring the sales team together for distribution
  • VPN – check to see if VPN access is included in current services
  • Integrators – Do you need CRM and ERP integration to make this implementation a success?
  • Apps – the budget should include both business and some apps for downtime.
  • Training – Ensure that you develop the training materials and opportunities appropriate for your sales team. Don’t expect the majority of your sales force to have a fast adoption. It may be intuitive but its still different than what they are currently doing.
  • Support – What is your plan to field those user questions and deal with potential bugs after deployment? Who has responsibility for what?
  • Pilot program – identify what subset of the budget is ideal for a potential pilot program.

While each step of the 8 step process is important to the success of your implementation, not supporting the development and deployment of a new sales tool like the iPad and the apps with proper resources may end up being a painful failed experiment.

In our next article, we’ll cover how to find the apps that your company needs or creating those apps.

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.