THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE: SHIFTING FROM PC PRESENTATIONS TO TABLET CONVERSATIONS
BuzzBoard has been working with a number of customers – especially in well-established categories like media and publishing – that are questioning whether to equip their sales reps with iPads and how to make it work. A few reasons we’re fans of tablets in B2B sales are below, but the TLDR answer is: the medium is the message.
1. TABLETS FOSTER CONVERSATIONS.
Providing information on a tablet simply feels more like a conversation, while the same approach on a laptop screams presentation. A tablet loaded with engaging media has become the modern conversation starter – and unlike presentations, conversations don’t require scheduled meetings. Part of the conversational feel comes from sharing the device, while our experience with PowerPoint slideshows primes us for a one-way message (at least until the Q&A). Yes, you could show boring slides on a tablet, but we’ve found the act of presenting on a mobile device encourages sales and marketing to develop fewer slides and more graphics, videos and live demos. Finally, standing side-by-side to view the same screen invites transparency that reps can’t provide across a table. Unlike a presentation, the prospect’s ability to see the same information as the seller subtly increases trust. Once again, it’s not a functionality issue, it’s simply the medium.
2. TABLETS ARE FOR NETFLIX. PCs ARE FOR SPREADSHEETS.
The iPad began as a consumer device for media consumption, and that perception stays with us. As much as Apple would like us to believe it’s evolved into an enterprise tool, we won’t associate iPads with work anytime soon. Many enterprise apps do however share the design quality and UX of their consumer counterparts. Instead of providing raw data to be reassembled in a presentation, these apps are built for viewing. While “mobile-first” apps like BuzzBoard and Radius are the most share-worthy, all sorts of enterprise tools are increasingly focused on the user’s experience.
3. TABLETS ARE HIGH-TECH. JUST LIKE YOUR BRAND.
“The issue isn’t whether the same functionality can be achieved on tablets – it’s the experience you want to deliver to your prospective buyer. That’s especially important for well established companies that need to shed a legacy image.”
Regardless of the business you’re in, you’ve almost certainly embraced technology to give your product a competitive advantage. Conversations over tablets simply do a better job of reflecting your company’s forward-thinking than laptops. Arming your sales force with tablets require some trade-offs, however. It’s a big expense for starters, and you’ll probably need to give new hires a tablet AND a laptop (but that’s a discussion for another day). More importantly, it requires sales reps willing to trade the comfort of a well-rehearsed slideshow for an engaging, but unpredictable conversation. As you consider the pros and cons, be sure to keep these questions in mind:
- What are your competitors doing?
- If you were a busy prospect, which format would you prefer?
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