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Tablets outperform laptops for sales reps in the field

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By Megan Anderle, Editor and Contributing Writer

The Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet, running Windows 8.1, delivers the best tablet version of Salesforce.com in terms of mobility, usability and functionality, according to a study by Prowess Consulting.

Prowess compared the performance of the Salesforce app, Salesforce1, on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet running Android OS and the Apple iPad Air running iOS with a full browser version of Salesforce.com on a Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet running Windows 8.1.

For a sales professional on the go, mobile efficiency is crucial to making deals, and Sales Cloud is considered among professionals to be the most reliable way to work with customers.

“Mobility in workforce is a highly impactful thing,” said Fen Evans, vice president of consulting services Prowess. “As salespeople, you have to be even more reactive.”

Sales professionals using the browser version of Salesforce.com on the Windows-based Venue 11 Pro were able to convert leads to opportunities, generate quotes, create and view reports, set reminders for tasks, send emails and attachments from Sales Cloud as well as update Sales Cloud data directly from Microsoft Outlook. The Salesforce app on Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet’s Android system and Apple iPad Air’s iOS was unable to complete these functions in an efficient manner, according to the study.

“Salesforce compatibility with Windows applications on this device enabled smooth integration with Outlook and Office — both critical tools for many organizations,” the analysis said. “And because the full-browser view puts more fields at your fingertips, performance of common tasks was much higher on the Dell Venue 11 Pro.”

What makes the full browser version better?

The study determined that the Salesforce1 app on the Android and iOS systems is best suited for simple tasks such as looking up an appointment or an address, whereas the browser version on the Windows-based Dell Venue 11 Pro has greater capabilities.

“The app’s limited functionality can lead to frustration and have a significant impact on productivity for business users when they discover that key features are difficult to access or are missing entirely,” the analysis said.

The Dell Venue 11 Pro used in this study had a dual-core Intel Core i3 4020Y processor (1.5GHz), one of four processors customers can select from while customizing their tablet. In the study, researchers used an Internet Explorer 11 browser and Sales Cloud, version Winter ’14.

The findings? For one, creating proposed meeting times for potential clients is not possible through Salesforce1 on Samsung’s Android-based tablet or through the iOS-based iPad Air. Creating event reminders once meeting times have been established and sending the client attachments are not supported through the app on either device. The browser version on the Windows-based Dell Venue 11 Pro, on the other hand, offers a seamless user experience for these tasks.

Generating quotes is a cinch with the Windows-based browser version of Salesforce.com, whereas the app does not have this functionality. Entering Sales Cloud data from Microsoft Outlook is also not possible through the app on the Android-based and iOS-based tablets.

Salesforce app slower than browser version

In addition, it takes longer to access multiple screens in the Salesforce app on both devices. According to the study, the average time it takes to send an email to a lead and record the event as an activity in Sales Cloud is 1.02 seconds through the Windows-based Dell Venue 11 Pro. Through the app on the other two devices, completing this task takes as long as 1.42 seconds.

In the full browser version of Sales Cloud on the Windows-based Venue 11 Pro, users can also create meeting events faster than they can through the Android-based and iOS-based mobile apps.

For sales professionals courting potential customers, these seconds add up, and the fastest communicating professional is often in the best position to convert leads to sales.

“If you can’t get the reports you need at your fingertips at time of sales, you may lose potential opportunities,” Evans said.

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