- 3-Tier Sales
- Trade Marketing
- Advanced Analytics
With many GreatVines customers rolling out tablet computers across most or all of their sales team, this topic has generated a lot of discussion internally. This week Apple will debut the new iPad 2 while the Motorola Xoom and HTC Flyer come closer to the promise of 4G connectivity. We thought it was time to share our thoughts on tablet architecture, performance and overall applicability within the universe of beverage alcohol sales.
The core of the GreatVines sales methodology is relationship development. The tablet encourages and enforces a few key principles: customer engagement, activity tracking, photo capture and one-click reporting. Today’s tablets offer the easiest way for supplier and distributor sales reps to spend time in front of the customer, capturing details of their needs and wants, documenting displays and menus, while being only a click away from key reports and metrics on that customer. Anyone who has tried to capture off-premise survey data with a laptop and air card knows how convenient a tablet with integrated access can be. Whether at a bar or in a warehouse, a sales rep can show brand presentations and capture orders quickly and conveniently.
Under the hood, the first and most important differentiator is the operating system. Although the Apple iPad brings the same user-friendly (read simple) interface that Mac lovers worldwide have come to enjoy, the Android platform is a more business-friendly environment for mobile computing. For those who don’t know Android is an open-source mobile operating system from Google which has gained significant market share in recent years versus Apple and Blackberry, with no end to the momentum in sight.
The iPad ships with the standard Safari browser and GreatVines has run flawlessly with it since the first model shipped in April 2010. However Android users can now surf the web with Opera, Firefox, Dolphin and other sleek browser systems allowing for optimization around certain business use cases (streaming, caching, privacy). Since GreatVines is a browser-based application, these newer browsers combined with faster LTE (4G) speeds should be extremely promising for data intensive applications. IT departments will also be encouraged by the security and enterprise administration that is possible with Android.
My current favorite is the Motorola Xoom tablet available on Verizon, although models and capabilities are changing quarterly. The Xoom is Android based, has a larger widescreen display perfect for GreatVines order entry and CRM. The next logical upgrade will be dual-core processors which will give tablets an incredible boost in computing and browsing speed. If you are attending WSWA 2011, please come by the GreatVines booth and take one of these new slick devices for a spin.