One of the immediate associations that most people have when they think about the iPad in business is the iPad as a sales tool. Not surprising given its form factor and the ease with which it can display presentations, offer up a portfolio, and generate quotes on the fly.
Do those abilities really add up to increased sales over binders of information, colorful brochures, and canned presentations on DVD? For home security giant ADT, the answer is an emphatic yes.
ADT still makes pitches to consumers in their homes, though the company generally arranges visits after a customer inquiry. Five months ago, ADT began dumping printed information materials and equipping its 4,000 sales consultants with iPads instead. Since the program got started, half of the company’s sales force has switched.
Training its staff in how to use the iPad during sales presentations took about eight hours Joe O’Connell, vice-president for residential direct sales at ADT, told ZDNet.
The iPad allows ADT sales specialists to demonstrate the company’s ADT Pulse mobile app that offers security monitoring and home automation features. The company also equipped each iPad with the Salesforce.com mobile CRM app for managing customer contact and an instant messaging app to allow salespeople to check-in with each other throughout the day. ADT also uses the iPad camera to send photos devices that potential customers might want to control remotely (along with by notes about them made using Dragon Dictation) back to the office. The iPad’s also enable sales staff to quickly pull up stats on neighborhood crime as part of the sales pitch.
How effective is the iPad? ADT claims that it’s cut the time it takes to deliver a sales presentation by 30%. That’s a significant number because it allows salespeople to deliver more presentations in a given day or week. In some key markets, the iPad has actually doubled ADT’s sales revenue by delivering a more appealing presentation, enabling more presentations per day, and in convincing customers to take on contracts with additional services.
Those are pretty impressive figures that definitely show the iPad has a lot of potential as a sales tool – and ADT hasn’t even implemented the device as a way to generate service quotes. That feature and the ability to go completely paperless by letting users sign contracts on the iPad itself are next on ADT’s agenda.
Despite those gains, the company will be sticking the iPad 2 for now, noting that for its purposes, it doesn’t see a specific advantage to the new iPad.