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Andy Paul is a leading expert on the speed of selling and the author of the award-winning book, “Zero-Time Selling, 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales.” He is also the founder of Zero-Time Selling, Inc. a sales strategy, consulting and training firm based in New York and San Diego.
The Right iPad App: High-Octane Fuel for Your Sales Engine
By Andy Paul
A client recently asked me: “Andy, what is the value of an iPad in sales?”
My answer was that the iPad itself had absolutely no value in selling. But, if they had the right app on their iPad then it could become an extremely important and valuable tool for their sales team.
I wasn’t trying to be snarky with my client but the truth is that an iPad, in and of itself, has no value in selling. It is just a nice looking, cool piece of hardware. The BMW in my neighbor’s driveway is also a cool piece of hardware. But without gas in its tank it is just an expensive lawn ornament. Similarly, to have any value to a salesperson the iPad needs some gas in its tank, meaning it has to be combined with a high-octane app that can transform and accelerate their personal sales productivity.
What is the right sales app for the iPad?
To answer that question you have to ask yourself this question: What is the meaning of Selling?
Unlike the big existential question about the Meaning of Life, this question is fairly simple to answer. If you strip away all the intellectual clutter and unnecessary complexity that surrounds selling, what you will find is that selling is about nothing more than questions and answers.
Your prospect has questions.
They need information in order to make an informed purchase decision in the shortest time possible.
How you, as a seller, provide the answers to those questions will be decisive in your ability to win the order.
Let’s ask that question again: what is the right sales app for the iPad?
The specific answer to that question may vary from industry to industry but the overall requirement is the same across all lines of business. The right iPad sales app is the one that gives your salesperson in the field the information he or she needs to rapidly supply their prospect with complete answers to their questions in the least time. If your iPad app doesn’t support the prospect’s need to make an informed purchase decision in the shortest time possible, what is the point?
Take a moment and think about the requirements of your prospect as they move through their buying cycle.
What questions do they need answered at each step in order to move to the next stage of their buying process?
• Do they need detailed product or service information?
Your presentation app should provide product data sheets, white papers, technical specifications and system diagrams. And maybe support some type of FaceTime/video chat with a sales engineer to answer a tough question that is standing in the way of progress.
• Do they need pricing information?
Then your sales app should have easy access to pricing information; both list price and customer specific. It should also let you generate a quote or budgetary estimate in real-time.
• Do they need to see how other customers use your products?
Your app should have case studies, slideshares or customer video clips at hand that clearly and concisely tell the story of why other customers decided to purchase your product. These need to be available immediately, offline at all times.
• Do they want to give you an order?
Then your sales app should support real-time order processing and delivery confirmation with integration to an ERP or ordering system.
The goal is for Your iPad sales app to enable your salespeople to completely satisfy their prospect’s information requirements at each step along the way.
Conclusion – iPads and Sales Enablement
Sale enablement is the big buzzword of the moment. iPad sales apps or catalog apps usually fall in the category of a sales enablement tool. But to be effective you should consider if the app you are evaluating for use in your sales team is an “order enablement” tool.
Will the iPad sales tool you provide to your sales team enable them to quickly and completely fulfill the information requirements of their prospects?
If it does then you will have taken a giant step forward in compressing your prospect’s buying cycle and winning more orders in less time. Which is a good thing.
Speaker, Trainer, Coach & Advisor. Andy Paul is a leading expert on the speed of selling and the author of the award-winning book, “Zero-Time Selling, 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales.” He is also the founder of Zero-Time Selling, Inc. a sales strategy, consulting and training firm based in New York and San Diego. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his website at www.zerotimeselling.com.
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