Mobile Device Myths

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Myths, misconceptions, and thoughts on the current evolution of mobile devices used in sales

Today’s sales teams need to be using a mobile device: for interactions with customers, reference, training purposes, and for commonly used functions such as form completion.

Smartphones are mobile devices, but they not have proven to be a great format for much more than email, data entry, look ups, and personal interaction. They certainly aren’t impressive in front of a customer. Personally, I think they are great for training, using educational tools that act like “flash cards,” and internal surveys.

Apple’s iPad has been the “go-to device” for larger enterprises; not only because of the user familiarity and the image the device projects, but because of its stability and security. The new iPad Pro will be a great sales aide; the larger screen size, speed, and the increased resolution will add incremental value to the sales process.

Android devices have historically been perceived as a wild card. Companies desire the low cost of ownership, but developers struggle with the variations in operating systems, the security concerns, and the lack of uniformity among devices.

Windows 8/10 devices have typically been “they will evolve” devices. Enterprises like the fact that they are essentially tablet-ized laptops, but the screen sizes and app issues have been a hindrance to adoption, especially in sales. The new Surface Pro appears to have solved the screen size issue, and that alone may increase the adoption of Windows 8/10 devices in the corporate sales cultures. Windows 10 is more familiar for Windows 7 users as well.

Initially, the device you think you want to choose for your sales team may not end up being the right device to solve your true requirements. If price is the main factor for the purchase, you may find yourself being hindered by lack of features or limited functionality and these may generate unexpected costs (such as low user adoption rates or a decrease in productivity).

If spreadsheets on a particular operating system and other administrative workflows are the decision driver, you may not want a purchase a device that is more suited for presentations, even though these devices are more familiar. Look at your sales systems and processes, determine the functions and features that are required or those that are desirable and let these factors be the determinants for your mobile device selection for sales.

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