Blog Insights About iPad Sales Apps and News from StoryDesk

September 4, 2012

The iPad Sales Playbook

The advent of mobile technologies has fundamentally altered the sales process for brands and the ability for them to connect with consumers and clients alike. Mobile devices such as the iPad enable salespeople to mobilize, centralize and present all of their sales collateral in such a way that was impossible less than a decade ago. However, the iPad is still in its infancy with respect to its use in the sales and marketing sphere. With this in mind, those of us at StoryDesk felt that it was prudent to assemble an iPad Sales Playbook to guide sales and marketing professionals in their use of the iPad as a sales tool.

Why should my brand consider developing an iPad Presentation App?

The recent, but furious adoption of mobile devices including smart-phones and tablets en masse signals the ascension of yet another marketing channel – the App. Furthermore, the iPad is the world’s most versatile content delivery system. It’s easily updatable, relatively cheap (compared to $3000+ LED Screens) and most importantly- it’s bidirectional. In just over two years Apple has sold more than 62 million iPads. In 2013, businesses and consumers will buy another 143 million iPads. The tablet will be as ubiquitous as desktop computers, but as cheap and portable as mobile phones. Mobile marketing isn’t a fad – it’s here to stay.

The iPad is the delivery apparatus; your product is the Centerpiece

Simply using the iPad as a repository for existing sales and marketing collateral of a static nature (brochures, PDFs, etc) may not necessarily wow your clients as much as you expect it to. It’s imperative that your brand take full advantage of the iPad App as a media channel. The iPad was designed with interactivity and content delivery at the forefront. Studies have shown the more engaged consumers are- the more effectively they retain information. Interactivity necessarily lends itself to increased engagement as users are meant to focus on and interact with the content at hand. This content should be reflective of your brand/product and should be arranged in such a way that your call to action is unmistakably visible and comprehensible to the end user – whether it be a client or the consumer. Furthermore, this content can be centrally controlled, edited, and disseminated to the relevant parties instantly and seamlessly. Merely deploying the iPad across your salesforce won’t suffice. Your organization must commission the development of an interactive, engaging, multimedia-laden app that clearly reflects your product(s) and its value proposition.

Effective Presentation Skills

Keep focus on YOUR message; not the iPad.

Remember, Steve Jobs sells iPads. You sell ______.

Therefore:
1) Handle the tablet like you would any other business tool (not like it’s a Fabergé egg). Pull it out of your bag thoughtfully but without losing eye contact with the customer. Place it on the conference table but very clearly inside your personal space. It’s not a toy for everyone at the table to play with.

2) Avoid pressing the Home button and exiting your presentation. Enough said.

3) If you’re presenting to just 1-2 people, position yourself alongside the prospect (not opposite). It may seem a little weird at first, but it’s a friendly and intimate way of engaging your clients. This sort of body language communicates comfort and confidence. The iPad gives you permission to get a little closer. Pop a Tic Tac and go for it.

4) If you’re presenting to more than a handful of people, connect your iPad to a projector or monitor. If you’re connecting to a monitor (TV), you’ll need a Digital AV Adapter. If it’s a projector, pick up a VGA Adapter. We recommend keeping both on hand.

5) Navigate slowly. You’ve been through your presentation or catalogue dozens of times. Your audience has probably never seen the material you’re about to show them, so be sure to give them ample time to internalize the information you’re presenting. One of the benefits of presenting off of your iPad is that the deck doesn’t need to be structured as a horizontal slide show (think PowerPoint or Keynote). The iPad lets you go up and down as well as side to side. Most people aren’t yet accustomed to being presented to this way, so, again, pay close attention to how you structure your talk and the speed at which you present.

How to Stay on Message
Think through how you’re going to smoothly transition the conversation on to the iPad — and then off it. Set up the conversation to the “solution” to the “problem” is found on the iPad. And then find a way, conversationally, to transition from the iPad to the desired next step in the sales process. The iPad enables you to maintain better control over your brand. When sales pitches are locked into an app on the iPad Management and legal can have 100% confidence that reps are staying on brand and on message. No room for improvisation—and miscommunication. What’s more, changes can be made centrally and pushed out to the entire sales force instantaneously.

How to Close the Deal

Close deals on the spot. If you’re in the type of business where you can take orders and sign deals on-site, then the iPad (with the right app) is uniquely capable of letting you take orders and get a signature on the spot. Send it directly to your sales coordinator. Try doing that on a laptop. Use an app to present, and then let the app be the “leave behind.” Include in your follow up email a link to download your company app. Use that as a communication and sales channel to strengthen ties with to your customer.

How to Manage Feedback/the Communication Loop

Standard practice is to leave behind a copy of your presentation—either in hard copy, on a USB key, or sent in an email. This practice is borne more of desire to keep the communication channel live and active than any real belief that someone will spend much time with the deck at a later date. Given this convention, we advise optimizing the “leave behind” as a communication channel. What does that mean?
Your client expects a follow up email with materials you presented. Instead of attaching a PowerPoint deck, provide a link to an app for download. That link pushes him to download to his iPad your company’s app. Within that app is your presentation, to be sure. But there’re also white papers, references, information about your company, industry data, access to your online community, and a host of other features that give you and your client a chance to engage each other on an ongoing basis. Use the app as two-way communications and content channel. Once it’s downloaded to her iPad, she’s unlikely to ever delete it.

Okay, all this is great, you’re thinking, but what if your client doesn’t have an iPad?

A few thoughts.

1) A web-based player can simulate an iPad app navigation and still let the client save and export content. It’s not an ideal scenario, but it will get the content to him without technical difficulty.
2) Depending on the stakes, consider providing your client an iPad to hold on to. It may be the best $500 you’ll ever spend.

What are your thoughts on using the iPad as a Sales Tool? What have you learned about using your iPad as a sales tool? Please reach us on Twitter.

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