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The 8 Step Strategy to Adding the iPad to Your Sales Arsenal – Step 6: Test Assumptions in a Pilot

Selling with iPad

Welcome to Step 6 in our 8 Step series written for Marketers and Business Opps to help with Adding the iPad to Your Sales Arsenal. Today we are going to talk about assumptions and why doing a pilot is always recommended. (If you prefer, you can get the entire white paper here.)

Let’s do a quick recap on how we got here:

Step 1: Defining Success – what is success for your company

Step 2: C Level Support – it is a must have

Step 3: Legacy systems – take what you have and make them better, create a cross functional team

Step 4: Budget – create a comprehensive budget that encompasses all aspects of iPad implementation and use. Having that cross functional team will help here.

Step 5: Apps – How external developers save you money

The best way to test whether or not the iPad is going to work the way you want it to… or thought it would for your team is to do a pilot. Get a small group of the most enthusiastic users. Ideally they are already going to own an iPad for personal use, but that doesn’t need be a requirement. What you want is a group of people that are gung-ho about getting the iPad and using it to improve what they are doing. 

Plan

Now there is the right way and a wrong way to do a pilot. Our goal here is help you do it the right way.

  • Goals – clearly define the point of the pilot to the participants
  • Time – think about and plan for the amount of time it will take participants to play with the iPad enough to give adequate feedback
  • Compensation – you should consider a way to compensate participants for the time they are spending on the pilot and the missed opportunities due to weekly meetings or log experience that they will need to complete.
  • Discovery – don’t limit the participants. Let them “play” with the iPad enough to figure out how they can make it an effective tool for them

Once you have the parameters set it is time to consider the number of apps you are going to unleash on them. Remember that your sales team primary objective is to close sales. This means that realistically 3 apps is the most you should want them to try, 4 would be the extreme.

Apps

The apps you want them to use should be a mix consisting of everyday apps and one custom app. You are probably asking yourself what types of apps are most ideal. Think about job responsibilities. Sales people in general are going to look for app based solutions that help with:

  • Email manageability
  • Access and organization of marketing material and product info
  • Training
  • Expense logs
  • VPN connection
  • Catalog navigation
  • CRM system updates
  • Compensation tracking

Highlight

Your goal with your pilot is to pinpoint the apps that best suit the processes and work flow of the company as well as allow for easy technical support.

This is where you will want to draw in your C Level team players, such as the VP of Sales as our pilot champion. Having someone at that level embrace and be enthusiastic about the pilot program will help get the “nay-sayers” and technophobes on board with the iPad lovers you currently have.

FUN

Oh yes, fun… you want and need your employees to embrace the iPad. They need to see how implementing the iPad into their everyday work and life activities will help improve those activities. Yes you want them to use it for work, but letting them play with it as well will be incredible beneficial. Using the iPad to play games will actually help new iPad users learn how to manipulate the iPad effectively.

With celebrating our nation’s independence this week we are going to put off our next step until Monday. Wait, don’t worry… you can download the entire white paper on Adding the iPad to Your Sales Arsenal right now.

Have fun with the fireworks, family and friends and stay safe!

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.