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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development

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Tablets vs. Desktop. It's the Process that Counts.

Anything to make the process easier for the sales consultant is a win-win, and there is a lot of conversation surrounding the usage of tablets versus desktops. In many cases, too, the OEM’s have apps and resources for the dealerships - using a tablet - when it comes to delivering new vehicles and service walk-around, to name a few. That said, the sales consultant is using both their computer and tablet, which has posed the question: can the sales consultants just use a tablet during the entire process? 

Here are the top things to consider when discussing making the switch! 

Why Are You Making the Switch? How Does this Impact the Sales Team Much Less the Sales Process? 

One of the biggest buzz words in the industry in the last few years has been “transparency.” The idea that we need to ensure that the customer has a clear understanding of what we do; namely, how the sales process is approached on the dealer level. All of which sounds great, but more importantly, how do we execute that on the dealer level. 

So you have to ask yourself “why are we making the switch,” as simply switching to a tablet does not by any means make it easier to complete the sales process. Much less offer the customer the experience we are aiming for! 

One of the ideas behind the usage of a tablet was the idea that the customer is not sitting at a desk with the sales consultant plugging away at their computer. Instead, the sales consultant is more engaged with the customer as they are going through the process: everything from selecting the vehicle to test drive, to reviewing extended warranties, and service contracts. 

The problems that can arise with this approach, however, is the usability of the tablet which is outlined below. 

Not All CRM’s Function Well On Mobile. 

There is nothing worse than trying to pinch and zoom on the tablet to use the CRM when entering a customer in and or working the sales process. And while many CRM’s have a mobile app as a part of their platform, it does not mean that it functions well. In fact, you will find that a lot of the CRM apps lack features that are otherwise available on the desktop (web) version. The core functions that your team needs to be able to access on the mobile app are quoting, emails, customer profiles, and work-flow management. Otherwise, as mentioned above, it becomes quite cumbersome to try and manage the sales process solely using the tablet. 

One thing that dealers are doing to convey the concept of being ‘mobile’ is by giving their sales teams laptops instead of desktops. In which case, while they are not using the tablet for the entire sale process, they are at least able to use the laptop, enabling them to work with the customer from wherever in the dealership. 

You Have to Have Wi-Fi that Works. There is Nothing Worse than Not Having Reliable Service. 

With so many aspects of the sales process being digital, using everything from your phone to a tablet, it is essential to have good, quality internet service. I cannot tell you how many times I have encountered dealerships who do not have good Wi-Fi much less the ability to use the Wi-Fi outside of the dealership. All of which impedes the usage of the tablet/phone. For example, many CRM’s today offer the ability for the sales consultant to scan the customers VIN on their trade using their phones/tablets. But if they are otherwise unable to connect and/or do not have service, it makes a simple, quick, process a daunting one. 

The Bottom Line: there are pros and cons to both perspectives. The most critical element to consider when approaching this conversation, however, is the purpose of moving towards tablets and phones. Ensuring that if you do make the switch that you not only have a solid infrastructure but more importantly that your sales managers buy into the process. As while the sales consultants might be in alignment with the changes, if the management is not on board it makes it that much harder to offer the customer the experience you are trying to offer. Lastly, for those who do embrace and offer the sales process via a tablet or mobile phone, it is still essential to have dedicated spaces where your sales consultants can work with the customer. As there is nothing worse than trying to work a deal in a space the customer does not find comfortable. 

Do You Use Tablets for the Sales Process? If So, What Are Some of the Challenges You Face? For Those Who Do Not Use Tablets Other than What the OEM Mandates, What is Holding You Back?

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