PowerPoint for Tablets: Where’s the Value for Companies?

June 05, 2012 | Brendan Cournoyer
PowerPoint for Tablets: Where’s the Value for Companies?

As you may have heard, smartphones outsold PCs for the first time ever in 2011, and tablets are projected to follow suit very soon. But while there’s no denying the popularity of iPad and Android tablets among consumers, the latest generation of mobile device has also made its way into enterprise business communications.

Sure, tablet deployment is still in the very early stages for most companies, but as a recent study by the Sales Management Association (SMA) states, an overwhelmingly majority of businesses are at least planning a tablet deployment in the near future.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest drivers for tablet adoption within companies is sales enablement. In fact, SMA research shows that “slide presentations” tops the list of expected use cases for mobile sales reps. Obviously, apps like SlideShark make PowerPoint for the iPad a breeze these days. But the question is, why are companies – and salespeople in particular – so interested in leveraging PowerPoint presentations on tablets rather than traditional laptops and PCs? Here are a few reasons to consider:

#1. Portability and convenience. Whereas laptops are heavy and a general pain to travel with (as anyone who’s passed through airport security can attest), tablets are a piece of cake. Sure, this might seem like kind of an obvious benefit. But believe me when I tell you know I’ve talked with more than a few salespeople who are plenty excited to ditch their bulky laptops when it’s time to hit the road.

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#2. Tablets are “always on.” OK, so not technically. But while iPad tablets can start up in a matter of seconds, laptops generally require at least a few minutes of boot time before they are ready to roll. A minor benefit? Sure. But more salespeople than you might expect have cited this reduced lag time as a huge advantage when it comes to getting their sales presentations off the ground quickly (and avoiding the awkward chit-chat while your laptop/presentation loads never hurts either).

#3. Strong first impressions. Face it; you’d be much more impressed with the rep who walks into a meeting with an iPad than the one who slaps a laptop on the table like everyone else. This is another example that might seem silly at first, but impressions are very important in sales and customer communications. Many companies feel that arming their sales force with tablets to project their PowerPoint presentations will make them appear forward-thinking – or at least more so than competitors who are still using older technology.

#4. Super-flexibility. While tablets can be used just like laptops for PowerPoint presentations in a large conference room, they also provide a more intimate scenario for one-on-one meetings. And of course, you can also use tablets to present while standing up – a major boon for reps working the floor at conferences and events. (After all, whipping out your iPad on the spot for a quick product breakdown is a lot easier than dragging attendees to your booth for a demo, right?)

These are just a few simple reasons why PowerPoint for tablets makes sense in the world of sales, and why more companies in turn are planning tablet deployments as we speak. Of course, whether businesses are ready for them or not, tablet devices are already invading the corporate world. The SMA study notes that nearly 50% of tablets for business use are BYOD (i.e. not provided by the company). Read between the lines, and it’s clear that salespeople have already bought into the value of tablets when it comes to doing their jobs.

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