More than 50,000 units sold within hours of the iPad’s debut. It’s no surprise then that with a little Apple marketing and PR love, their latest ‘golden child’ would be swooped up faster than free product on Woot!. The question now, of course, is how will the iPad be used in the sales industry? With more than $200 million set aside to develop iPad applications, it feels like there’s a fighting chance chance that this device could be useful to salespeople. But who really knows. [tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

Here’s some thoughts from the blogosphere that have us thinking about the iPad’s impact on the sales industry:

“…salespeople will see huge benefits from an iPad. Salespeople usually live and die by their CRM …. A laptop is clunky and an iPhone doesn’t have enough real estate if they need to see account history, open payments, etc. They may be able to show their Power Point slides from the iPad as well. No need to lug around a laptop.”

Evs blog.

“Evs” (aka Evan, president and co-founder of Escape Velocity Systems) may be right on – one device to show the client, via various forms of interactive digital media, the products they are selling. Envision a touch screen to show prospective customers interactive animations of your product, zooming and rotating and demonstrating and… you get the point. Bottom line, the iPad could be a very convenient resource for interactive sales.

Another interesting impact: sales professionals transitioning into application developers. No, we’re not suggesting sales people will becoming technical gurus, but submitting and developing apps for the iPhone and iPad is an increasingly streamlined process, allowing non-engineer folk to work with their computer-savvy friends, quickly creating applications and making the iPad or iPhone work they way they want it to. Bottom line, sales professionals will  find ways to use the iPad to help them make more sales in less time.

So are we entering a whole new era of devices? David Pogue from the New York Times thinks so. “The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget.”

Interesting times. As the hype overflows, we’ll keep our eye on how the sales industry is responding to this new wondrous device.

Have you purchased an iPad? Share your ideas about how Apple’s latest and hottest gadget will impact the sales industry.