ADT putting 4,000 iPads in hands of its sales reps

Company says the wireless devices are ‘the future of sales’
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT started providing its sales reps with iPads a few months ago, and has found the wireless devices so useful in boosting sales that it plans to put them in the hands of all its approximately 4,000 reps by the end of 2012, according to Joe O’Connell, VP of residential sales ADT North America.

The iPads not only help sales reps manage their work more efficiently—saving time they can use for extra sales calls—but are proving to be a valuable presentation tool to demonstrate to customers ADT products such as its Pulse home security/home automation offering, O’Connell said.

“It really is just so much more than an iPad,” O’Connell told Security Systems News. “It is the future of our sales organization.”

He said ADT, based here, started deploying the iPad 2’s in November and told SSN last week that about 2,000 now are in use. “We’ve got several months under our belts and you can see quite good success with it,” he said. “It has helped raise some of our sales production in average tickets.”

ADT may not be the first security company to provide sales reps with iPads, but with approximately 6 million customers and the largest sales force in the industry, ADT's deployment of the devices constitutes “a difference in scope,” said Bob Tucker, ADT director of public relations.  

O’Connell said ADT is a leader in introducing new technology and wants “to continue on that path with some of our new offerings, and with the Pulse offering [introduced in 2010] and the movement from life safety in our industry to lifestyle offering, it was a really nice tie to move iPads into the sales force’s hands.”

He said the iPads have turned out to be a “CRM [customer relationship management] tool” with “kind of a twofold usage for us.” The sales force uses them “to manage [its] daily activities—prospecting and leads,” and customers like them as well. “The iPad is viewed by a number of our customers as very state-of-the-art and intriguing when they see it in a sales representative’s hands, not to mention the demonstration [of products],” O’Connell said. “It really sets us apart, we feel, from our competition.”

Sales reps also can use the iPads to show customers crime statistics in their neighborhoods. And they use the iPad camera “to take pictures in a home that may already have a system, when you want to identify and understand the type of devices that are in the home” and send the pictures back to the office, O’Connell said.

The iPads also will help make ADT more “green” by reducing the use of paper, O’Connell said. “We’re going to be moving forward with electronic contracts, electronic order entry and electronic pricing configurations,” O’Connell said. “… If we can more accurately estimate and produce a more accurate contract document … it’s an improved customer experience.” The iPads also will save on the labor and materials costs associated with printing, he said.

Customers’ private information is safe on the iPads, O’Connell said, because if they get lost or stolen “they have a password-protection feature on them and we can remotely wipe any of those documents.”

Tucker said the iPads make sales reps so efficient they can save as much as 30 minutes on a sales call, giving them time to make more calls.

ADT is a Tyco International company. In a Jan. 31 Tyco earnings call, Tyco CEO Ed Breen revealed some statistics on the Pulse product. He said ADT currently has 105,000 Pulse units in field, all sold by ADT’s internal sales force. The average monthly revenue for those units is $50, an increase over legacy ADT accounts which average $36, and the Brink’s/Broadview legacy accounts which average $33 per month.