Study: In the Enterprise, Tablets Without Training Can Mean Anything But Sales
As an increasing number of tablets make their way into the enterprise, and as companies scramble to establish BYOD policies, there remains an important question:  is anyone making an effort to train the users about the proper use of their devices? The folks at the SAVO Group were also curious about this.

Tablets - Training = Angry Birds (and Bosses)

SAVO Group cites a study conducted by the Sales Management Association (SMA), "Mobility: Where Your Sales Force is Heading (With or Without You)". The study found that among the 26 percent of participants who reported their organizations are providing tablets for sales representatives and the 43 percent who said their organization supported the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, an overwhelming 67 percent are not being trained on best practices for utilizing the tablet during customer interaction.

The study also revealed that respondents were using tablets for communication, web access and social media applications rather than customer presentations or CRM applications. In the absence of formal training and policies, tablets are quickly becoming a costly investment in email, social networking -- and no doubt, Angry Bird tournaments -- for sales representatives.

Adopt an Effective Tablet Strategy

What can you do to ensure that some enterprise tablet users don’t disrupt your organization? SAVO Group recommends having a clear adoption strategy, prior to deployment, noting that it should include training those who will using tablets for specific purposes related to sales, inventory or customer service. Not only will this serve to increase adoption, but ultimately, it can also help to drive revenue growth.

Organizations should also consider aligning their applications with a sales process and distributing well-defined usage goals. This is particularly important as 77 percent of those surveyed mentioned their desire to include sales process integration with their iPad adoption. Participants also weighed in on the types of tablet applications that would make them valuable for sales representatives. Most often mentioned were apps that included:

  • Access to approved corporate materials (74 percent)
  • Virtual white boarding (74 percent)
  • Multimedia applications (69 percent)
  • Webcast hosting (63 percent)

While there is a strong feeling in the industry that tablets won't be replacing laptops anytime soon, it's clear that they can play a role in the enterprise -- provided they don’t compromise your security or complicate tasks. But like any emerging technology, it’s important to educate and promote awareness about how to use it so that it becomes an empowering tool -- not a disruptive one.