There is no denying that the future lays with wearables. Whether they’re on our wrist, feet, arms, legs, even ingested, they are going to have a major impact on how we conduct our day to day lives. We are already starting to see the benefits in healthcare, so it’s only natural that this type of technology spills over into the world of business.
And where better to test it than the field of sales? With their sizeable budgets and mobile nature, field sales teams provide the perfect platform for the launch of innovative technology. It’s a match made in heaven, but there’s also precedence. Looking back over the years, whether it was the smartphone, laptop or even Palm OS, all their initial trialling took place in the hands of the field rep. They need an intuitive solution for their high-paced working environment and wearables, particularly smartwatches, have the potential to provide this outlet.
It’s apparent that this opinion is shared by others, as Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that in April. Before the official launch of their smartwatch the company already had over 3500 apps ready for download. That’s more than double the number for the initial release of the iPad (1000) and 7x more than the iPhone (500).
Furthermore, according to research conducted by Tractica, this next wave of technology is expected to take off in a big way. They predict that by 2020, the global wearable industry will be worth around $4,000,000,000 with enterprise shipments reaching almost 20,000 per year – a 900% increase over the figures recorded in 2015.
One of the main reasons for this sharp increase is user productivity. Again, using sales as an example, the benefits of the adoption and usage of a smartwatch would be seen almost immediately: improved communication, better organisational capabilities and customer relations all stemming from the device’s intuitive features.
This has always been ForceManager’s philosophy. We always strive to stay up to date with the latest developments in technology, and so recently launched our app on the Apple Watch. Any salesman that leaves his office with a wearable and our native app will begin his day ready for the most innovative sales efficiency. With dozens of meetings planned for the week, numerous calls and visits, you can depend on technology to organize and make the most out of your time. With just a simple glance and gentle tap on the wrist, this type of information can be displayed within a matter of seconds.
Wearables such as the Apple Watch and Android Wear act as an unobtrusive filter between you and your mobile device. The smartwatch can filter out what’s relevant, timely and important, enabling you to make smarter business decisions when in an actionable position.
Businesses are expanding wearable adoption beyond the typical constraints of employee productivity, too. In August, BP offered an employee the option to wear fitness tracker FitBit to earn points towards a cheaper health insurance plan. The program proved such as success that BP now offer all employees in North America who log 1 million steps into their FitBit device half of the 1,000 points needed to qualify for additional healthcare. By encouraging a healthier lifestyle amongst employees, companies like BP should start to see a reduction in health costs while showing a genuine interest in employee well-being.
Furthermore, the wearable market should begin to have a similar impact on our personal lives, too. With the continuing development of the IoT, it’s only a matter of time before homes, cars, buses, trains and schools are all intertwined, digitally connected to some form of wearable device. The door to innovation has been opened by the likes of Google and Apple, it’s now time to step through and see where it leads.