Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the tablet industry – both with general consumers and enterprise users alike. In fact, with the iPad being deployed or tested by 94% of the Fortune 500s and 75% of the Global 500s, it’s clear that there’s a compelling business use case for iPads.
The sales department is a common landing spot for enterprise tablets, with more reps ditching their laptops for more mobile-friendly options. It’s easy to see why; the iPad’s lightweight design is ideal for travel, instant-on capabilities allow for faster access to information, and of course, its steady stream of business apps provide busy professionals with tons of control and flexibility.
So which apps make the most sense for salespeople? According to our sales reps, here are the top must-haves:
Salesforce – A free app for all Salesfore.com customers, users can gain immediate access to Salesforce to create and update information. For example, Brainshark’s Tim King uses the app on his iPad while on the road to verify information prior to going into a call. “I can update information in SFDC following a call. While I have the app on my iPhone [as well], having the app on my iPad makes it much easier to both see and update information,” he says.
LinkedIn – A simple way for salespeople to stay connected and share content with their networks no matter where they are. The LinkedIn app allows you to sync your calendar to acquire profile information about those you intend on meeting with, and of course, stay up-to-date with members in your network and the groups you’re part of. As Brainshark’s Gavin Blackmore explains, “LinkedIn assists in giving me insight to my accounts, the people I’m working with, and the people I need to work with.”
Sandler Training – A guide that teaches salespeople how to be more consultative, maintain the flow of conversation, and keep the prospect both talking and listening. In other words, how to sell the Sandler way! “Sandler provides me with ‘The Sales Playbook,’ a step-by-step way of going through the sales process [that covers] objection handling, building rapport, understanding the pain/gain funnel – it even has a tip of the day tab,” explains Brainshark’s Mike Lentz. “This app teaches you how to have confidence and conviction in what you say. [The app] also contains visual diagrams for the folks who prefer visuals to retain info.”
Trip Advisor – Obviously, pretty much anyone who travels for a living is already familiar with Trip Advisor. But having the app on your iPad gives salespeople on the road even more flexibility in how they book flights, hotels, attractions, and more. As Brainshark’s Beth Cail explains, “It’s helpful with giving recommendations when you are in a specific area with a client and want to take them out somewhere for dinner -- or anything really.”
GoToMeeting – In case you didn’t know, the popular screen sharing service works for the iPad too. Once downloaded, mobile salespeople can attend meetings online from their tablets, view presentations and reports, ask questions, share the screen with others, view attendees, and so on. “I use this app to participate in meetings when I am on the road,” explains Beth. “It’s really convenient because you don’t have to rely on booting up your laptop and can just click on a link from your iPad.”
TechCrunch – A great app for reps in the (or selling to) technology and SaaS industries, allowing you to stay updated on all the latest news and trends in an easy-to-read layout. Gavin uses TechCrunch on his iPad and says, “It’s great because it provides me with news on tech companies and all the important things going on in the industry.”
Box – when you’re on the run, you need a place that you can always turn to in order to access any and all of your files. Box is a secure and reliable service that lets you keep them organized in the Cloud. The app makes it easy to share your content, both internally with team members and externally with clients or vendors, all while giving managers or administrators the ability to manage content accessibility. As a rep, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your files are always safe and reachable - that’s a win!
SlideShark – PowerPoint presentations have long been a key tenet of sales meetings and demonstrations. The only problem, of course, is that PowerPoint is not supported on the iPad. Fortunately, the SlideShark app converts all PowerPoint slides into iPad-ready presentations, complete with animations, font colors, slide notes, and other features salespeople have come to expect. Users can upload presentations through the SlideShark website and download them to view on their iPads – simple as that. The app itself is free, but companies can also purchase SlideShark Team Edition to take advantage of features like multi-user portal access, account administration, additional storage and valuable viewing analytics. (Note: SlideShark also supports DropBox, GoodReader, and Box.)
What about you? Which iPad business apps can you not live without? Sound off in the comments and share your favorites!