Apple has had more success in the past year or so getting businesses to adopt its products, thanks in part to the success of newer devices like the iPad, but the company’s enterprise strategy still has some major flaws.A former Apple employee who spent years helping to promote products for business use told us about some of the issues Apple needs to fix if it wants to improve its success on the business-side.
- Hire more enterprise sales people. “There is an enterprise division, but it’s very small,” the source says. “Enterprise used to be a much larger part of Apple when there was no retail.” The source adds that Apple has only recently begun to increase its enterprise sales division.
- Do more on-site work for businesses. “Apple does next to no on-site work,” this source tells us. “Doing business training for an iPad at a corporation is important because a lot of places don’t want to go back to the retail store. Apple should Accomodate them.”
- Launch more briefing centres in stores for businesses. “There’s not enough briefing centres,” the source says, referring to Apple stores that offer one-on-one consultations in the store to talk through business solutions. “They need to roll out more of them.”
What’s more, our source notes that Apple does “very little” cold calling to businesses. Instead, Apple has decided to make the retail store the centre of its enterprise strategy. According to this source, the business sales team at Apple coaches the retail sales team to pepper customers with questions in order to learn more about their potential business needs, and to plant a seed in their heads about the potential for using Apple products at work.
“Basically, Apple’s strategy is that while you have an engaged customer sitting in front of you buying an iPad, learn as much as you can about that, not just because it makes your day go by faster as a salesperson, but because we as a business team would find little tidbits of information,” the source said. “We coach the store employees to find out what businesses are local and coming through our doors to buy stuff.”
In this way, Apple tries to grow its business sales organically, if not quickly.