iOS sightings: the iPad as PowerPoint killer

Not to get repetitive, but if I don’t monitor these things I won’t be able to tell if I just think I’m seeing more of them because I wrote about them (like that thing where you buy a car and then all you see is that model – and colour – on the road,) or if it’s an actual trend (which I suspect it is, because duh, Apple is so cool.)

Medical device firms are giving iPads to their reps, claiming it’s a more engaging way to pull out sales data for prospects that beats out sheets of paper or waiting for a laptop to start up to run a deck.

It’s not clear in the article how many sales presentations are custom apps and how many are simply Keynote presentations.  It’s possible that some are using special sections of the company website, which would allow for quick distribution but then you’ve got latency and possible network outages. I know I’ve seen a few sales presentation apps in the store (not tools to make presentations, actual presentations,) but one would think that these things would be best distributed internally to avoid competition.  But hey, what do I know.

I’m also curious what the going rates are for custom-built sales presentations for companies going the app route.  We’re at a weird nexus point in time here, where development costs are still high (for good development, anyway,) but you could literally (badly) photograph a pile of poop and show that on the iPad and prospects would still oooh and aaah over the device, and probably buy whatever the poop’s covering (or the poop itself.  Note to self, contact fertilizer companies for sales pitch.)

The other angle would be the divide between good salespeople and good sales tools.  I’d wager that good salespeople could compete against poor salespeople with an iPad, but as a retention policy, companies would be well off to equip their people with every tool they want.  Closing rates might not justify the deployment and maintenance costs in themselves, but the HR savings might make it work.


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