The tablet is arguably one of the most transformative technologies from the past few decades. Bridging the gap between laptops and mobile phones, the tablet has mobilized technology in an unprecedented way. According to Pew Research, 34% of all American adults owned a tablet in 2013, up from just 3% in 2010. And as tablet use becomes a more integral part of our everyday lives, it’s no surprise that they would infiltrate our work days as well. While some industries are adopting BYOD policies faster than others, it’s no fluke that tablet popularity among sales organizations is taking off. Take a look at tablet trends by the numbers:
- Tablet sales to businesses is projected to grow by 52% in 2014. Businesses will buy 36.5 million units in 2014 vs. 24 million units in 2013, a growth of over 50%.
This may be due to a number of factors: increased security concerns over home computers/mobile devices being used for business, pressures to be more “innovative,” or increased mobility/hour flexibility of sales reps. However you look at it, it’s clear that businesses are making the push towards tablets.
- In fact, 59% of sales organizations have begun a company-sponsored initiative to purchase and implement tablets for their sales forces. Another 31% are considering one.
So only 10% of sales organizations don’t have a plan to deploy tablet use in the near future. This is a strong indicator of the future of the tablet in sales organizations, and those who have implemented them have seen results.
- Out of the sales organizations that have executed tablet use, 70% believe tablets “already represent a productive use of company resources.” 90% of these companies’ managers believe their organizations should invest more in tablets.
This is proof that the demand for tablets is there, and it’s high. As sales reps become more tech-savvy in their personal lives, they expect technology to adapt along with them in their work lives. It is important for sales organizations to recognize and respond to this.
- But before buying iPads in bulk, executives should know this: In 2013, the market share of Windows tablets was around 3.2%, and is expected to rise to 5.7% this year. By 2017, they are expected to account for 10.2% of the tablet market.
Traditionally, enterprise businesses have operated on Windows machines. This may explain the original reluctance to make the jump from PC to tablet, but now that Windows and Microsoft programs are available on Windows tablets there has been a noticeable shift in the market share. It is more feasible for businesses to implement tablets equipped with programs that they are used to using.
- And it’s a good thing they are making the switch. In 2015, more tablets will be shipped than desktop computers and laptops combined. Companies still enforcing a PC-only policy are quickly going to be outdated and unable to keep up with technologies. Some may say they are already far behind the curve.
What this means for sales organizations
While overall tablet sales are sinking, the tablet market is thriving in the business sector with no signs of slowing down. This creates great opportunities for enterprise app development and enhanced security to protect these apps. Salespeople can GSD (get *stuff* done) on tablets in environments where working on a PC or laptops would be awkward or impossible. Tablets foster teamwork and sharing, whether it’s on an internal or external level. This makes your salespeople more productive, collaborative and creative. And this leads to more closed deals in a shorter amount of time.
So where is your organization in its tablet implementation process? While it’s important for companies to consider executing widespread tablet use or at least a BYOD policy, it’s crucial to ensure your company is ready for a tablet rollout. If sales reps are not ready to implement tablets, they will serve no purpose in the field. Old habits may die hard, but if properly implemented tablets will make your sales reps more versatile, mobile and technologically competent.