It’s not a bold prediction to say that most in-person sales presentations will be tablet-based in a few short years. After all, we are already in the midst of an enterprise tablet invasion.
In its tablet forecast report, Forrester predicts the installed base of tablets will reach 905 million units by 2017, a staggering 80% year-over-year growth rate since 2010, when 15 million (mostly iPads) sprung onto the market.
And whether employee-owned tablets force their way into the enterprise (known as the BYOD trend) or enterprises purchase tablets for their employees to use, tablet-based sales presentations will become as common as paper-based presentations once were (sorry, Kinkos).
What are the advantages of tablet-based sales presentations? Here are seven of them:
- Rich content delivery. A sales interaction is now a multimedia experience. A sales rep can bring audio or video files into a meeting and deliver them at the right moment during the customer conversation. A video of the CEO or an industry analyst can help establish credibility.
- A savvy first impression. Any direct sales rep or client manager will tell you that you only get one chance to make a first impression. A clean-cut appearance coupled with a sleek tablet says something to a customer about that company’s brand. Of course by 2023, no sales rep will be caught dead delivering paper sales presentations, so the first impression won’t get a boost by tablets. But today, it’s very much a differentiator.
- Whether you are in a one-on-one meeting, standing in front of a group or plugged into a projector, a tablet device is much more adaptive than even the lightest laptops. Laptops aren’t handled very easily.
- Sales reps that previously were lugging around 25 pounds of paper sales presentations are now carrying a 1.5 pound tablet. My shoulder hurts less just thinking about this.
- It’s green…probably. I’m not an expert on carbon offsets and energy consumption, but when a school aimed to reduce paper usage by 10% by using tablets and they actually used 40% less paper, my guess is tree huggers might be buying Apple and Microsoft stock.
- In slide:ology, Nancy Duarte beautifully articulates the importance of building a presentation that speaks to your audience. If your sales reps are delivering the same message to different audiences, your company isn’t putting its best foot forward. If reps have a tablet (and the right presentation software), the elusive goal of always telling the right story can be achieved.
- Design consistency. Customer-facing sales reps do most of the presenting, but how many of them really know how to build a slide deck? Tablet-based sales presentations remove the burden of delivering a consistent brand message from sales reps and put it where it belongs: in the hands of the marketing team.
Tablets are here, many more of them are coming, and the enterprises that figure out how to get reps to use them for sales presentations will be at a competitive advantage.