Nowadays, it seems everyone has a tablet computer. But they’re for far more than just browsing the Web and checking Facebook: tablets are becoming the go-to device for sales professionals.

Just ask Delfim Alves, the MD of technology company EOH, who says providing tablet devices to his company’s roving team of sales consultants and managers has made “the world of difference” to the effectiveness of its sales process.

Earlier this year, Alves invested in top-end HP ElitePad 900 tablets for his entire sales force – and within two months, productivity has soared. The tablets are enabling his sales and service teams to sell more efficiently, replacing more expensive laptops, and providing instant connectivity to all the information they need to seal the deal with clients.

“The sales team is in a position to offer customers a better and updated service, while our management team has been able to oversee the sales process with instant online access to what is happening in the field. Decisions – in fact, the entire process – now move a lot faster,” says Alves.

Forrester Research predicts that consumers will buy 375 million tablets in 2016, a massive increase from the 56 million purchased in 2011. By then, it estimates that 760 million tablet devices could be in use worldwide.

EOH sales consultant Jason Lundberg is a convert to the tablet way of life. He talks of frustrating days going out on sales appointments, but having to go back to the office to send through the required information, resulting in further appointments.

“Or if the customer was ready to sign up, I needed to get online at home or at the office to process the deal. All of this meant longer working hours for the same outcome.”

The new tablets have linked the sales force with EOH’s internal systems, and come loaded with all the necessary software the sales team needs.

“I can now sit in my car while working on spread sheets and presentations ahead of meetings, and my manager can approve the sale on the spot as I complete the online form in front of the customer,” says Lundberg.
“The clients love the instant results we are now able to provide on the spot. In a few short months, I’ve realised that my work flow is just so much smoother and I get a lot more done in a lot less time.”

This is music to the ears of HP’s GM for PCs and Printers in South Africa, Thibault Dousson, who says the HP ElitePad 900 tablet is ideal for corporates.

“While it certainly has a strong consumer appeal, it is a serious device that allows for creation of content as well as consumption. It has the potential to overhaul business as we know it. By allowing employees to work smarter, not harder, the device can deliver true return on investment,” he says.

He ticks off the further benefits of tablets: they can be used by anyone on any level of the organisation – from C-level management to sales representatives in the field to the warehouse tracking goods. They have been built specifically with typical enterprise needs in mind – such as the ability to open the machine, modify specifications such as memory and to service the device on-site by a qualified technician.

Alves doesn’t need any further convincing. “The transition was seamless, profitability and productivity have increased, customer interaction is instantaneous, and it was that simple! What is there not to like about a touch of a button?”