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Old 13th September 2012, 07:10   #1
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Default The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App-07.jpg

This beats a brochure presentation for sure.

Mercedes-Benz implements the iSales App for its sales force. The company will be equipping all of its sales consultants with iPads containing the iSales application.

The iSales app provides a 360 degree view of the car, along with features like customization of colours, accessories, equipment and interiors. Considering the long list of equipment & technology on offer, iSales will explain the benefits of each feature in the car. Potential owners can customize their ride using the interactive tools of the App. iSales also enables customers to view finance & lease numbers. Once the order is confirmed, sales consultants can book a car from the App itself.

The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App-02.jpg

The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App-06.jpg

The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App-04.jpg
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Old 13th September 2012, 07:37   #2
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Guess this is a good move because most the Mercedes buyers do not come to the showroom to see the car. The dealer sales staff need to go to the buyers office/home. Secondly a fair bit of time is spent on discussion on the accessories. Hence this iPad will be very handy as the virtual car is seen during the discussion/negotiations.

Typically the Dealer in December each year, has to project the model/colour/accessories etc for the next 12 months. Hence production is planned based on the dealer projections for the next 12 months. Thus the dealer will always know what cars are available currently and also cars he is going to receive going forward. The Dealer cannot change delivery schedule/combinations of the cars to be delivered in the calender year as production has been frozen as per his projections.

Now if a customer wants to order a car with the colour/accessories combination the dealer does not have, he will have to convince the buyer to go with the combinations available based on the expected projections/deliveries. Alternatively, the dealer will have to scout with the other dealers and request for a transfer/swap of deliveries

Cheers

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Old 13th September 2012, 08:29   #3
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Just wondering. How difficult is it for other car makers (Tata/Mahindra/MUL etc) to make similar apps and port them to their websites? Wudnt it be great that we can go online, customize our cars, add accessories and warranties etc then get a tentative quote, all before we go to any dealer? What if they can take orders for custom specials online? How difficult is it, to think and ease our lives?
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Old 13th September 2012, 08:53   #4
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Quote:
Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Just wondering. How difficult is it for other car makers (Tata/Mahindra/MUL etc) to make similar apps and port them to their websites? Wudnt it be great that we can go online, customize our cars, add accessories and warranties etc then get a tentative quote, all before we go to any dealer? What if they can take orders for custom specials online? How difficult is it, to think and ease our lives?
It's not difficult. But innovations like these suffer from policy impediment and lack of motivation to serve the customer better. I've been involved with companies that create applications for Mobile Phones and Tablets for the past 4 years and hence I exactly know the time and money that goes into developing such apps.

I've seen companies like MB and Honda putting in efforts to even consider such technological breakthroughs (we created one for MB long back) for the overall image of their cars and customer service, but I doubt whether an MUL or a Tata executive would even dare to put up a proposal to his higher ups for such things.

Mitsubishi was one of the first companies to create something similar and host it on their website. They even marketed it heavily. It was an application whereby the prospecticve buyer can choose the colour, trim, accessories, etc. and see the final product right in front of his/her eyes. Here's the link to that app. Though it is the American site, I am pretty sure they had a similar one for Indian market as well.

http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/build.do
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Old 13th September 2012, 09:36   #5
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Just wondering. How difficult is it for other car makers (Tata/Mahindra/MUL etc) to make similar apps and port them to their websites? Wudnt it be great that we can go online, customize our cars, add accessories and warranties etc then get a tentative quote, all before we go to any dealer? What if they can take orders for custom specials online? How difficult is it, to think and ease our lives?
I think the answer to your question is within your question itself. The examples you have quoted, Tata/Mahindra/MUL, have at least half their sales done in rural/semi-urban markets. So far, rural people are hardly aware of anything called a website.

That's not the case with luxury carmakers. They need their numbers from major cities. The customers have to be impressed not only by the looks of the showrooms, but also from the way salespeople present themselves.
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Old 13th September 2012, 09:57   #6
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Mahindra used this for the XUV launch. When I went to the showroom, the sales guy was carrying an Acer Iconia tab and showed off all the features of the XUV on the XUV app installed.
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Old 13th September 2012, 10:02   #7
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Good move, but long overdue. Some car salesmen do carry marketing material on their laptops but booting up, accessing it etc. takes time, so an i-pad app is a welcome change.

Just one problem that I foresee: most of the "busy" men the salesman visits will browse through the app and tell the guy, cool leave some brochures with me and I will get back
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Old 13th September 2012, 10:23   #8
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Just wondering. How difficult is it for other car makers (Tata/Mahindra/MUL etc) to make similar apps and port them to their websites?
Well although not exactly similar, but the Tata dealership I went to last year to check out the Manza did sport something like this. They had a Tablet ( probably chinese make) which was loaded with a 5 minute clip explaining the features and technology of the Manza. And to make the experience better, the GM was himself requesting every customer to see the video while sitting inside the car. It did have a positive effect and I came out impressed, both with the car and the dealership outlet. Probably they can add some more options to it and make it more interactive.

Don't know if this is present in other cities too.
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Old 13th September 2012, 10:58   #9
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Good move!

Even though the car configurator is available on Mercedes India website, this I feel is step ahead. With the online tool, you can do up the car, but there maybe many features which the customer is not clear of. In this case, a trained sales guy’s help will add to the overall experience.
Mercedes is indeed getting younger

When the Polo/Vento was launched, VW had this option to configure the car online, add on accessories, and customer can take a printout of the final product, with the pricing. Due to some unknown reasons, they later decided to remove that option.
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Old 13th September 2012, 11:01   #10
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Mahindra SE's dealing with XUV500s have the same as well. In fact I chose my accessories from a Galaxy Tab application!
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Old 13th September 2012, 11:38   #11
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Dunno about all 3M centers, but the one in Marathahalli, Bangalore also has a tablet with a pretty good app giving details of all their products and treatment along with very good videos that show what exactly is done during the treatment. Very practical use of technology and helpful for customer in deciding what to opt for than just relying on the sales guy's pitch.
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Old 13th September 2012, 11:41   #12
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Tim Cook just showed a similar Ducati app for the iPad during yesterday's keynote. Pretty effective sales technique I would say.
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Old 13th September 2012, 12:18   #13
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

It is a neat and modern tool for sure. Yet am sure that there would be many buyers who would want the Brochure presentation as well.

The colours on paper tend to be more life like compared to those on screen. (Yep know the Apple screens have great reproduction - yet.)

While most cars already have a e-brochure - it is not animated. TATA Guys did send me an animated Brochure CD for the Aria post purchase - to add to the delight factor I guess.

Luxury cars tend to have a lot of options for trim colours and features that one gets to choose from if one is actually ordering a car, as opposed to picking one up from the available stock (if one wants the vehicle faster). They do tend to offer these in combo packs now)

Overall the company would actually save money that would be wasted on customers who are just window shopping vs the actual buyers. But each buyer would maybe want a hard copy of the catalogue in addition to the soft copy.
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Old 13th September 2012, 12:21   #14
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Mahindra already uses similar app , but it is not called as I sales , every sales rep for XUV has a ipad with Virtual XUV , rendered with all options across variants .
Heard TATA is doing the similar but for service manuals , virtual manuals .
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Old 13th September 2012, 12:33   #15
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Just one problem that I foresee: most of the "busy" men the salesman visits will browse through the app and tell the guy, cool leave some brochures with me and I will get back
Worse yet, leave the iPad. Ill check the features and get back to you .
I mean, if a person is buying an S Class, keeping the iPad is a relatively easy deal, no?

But yeah, on a serious note, this does make sense. Better late than never.
Question is- would this app be available for all to download, or is it Merc property only?
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