Top 10 Apps for Sales Reps
Let’s face it. Paper is a pain when you’re on the road. In fact, paper is a pain even when you’re not on the road (hence the name of our blog). But for field sales reps, paper-based processes are more painful than they are for most, because your success really depends on being able to stay organized and in control, regardless of where the day’s appointments take you. Fortunately, there are a number of apps for sales reps (or at least apps that sales reps can take advantage of) that can help keep the amount of paper you need to use on the road to a bare minimum. These apps can help you find and communicate with new and existing customers, stay organized while on the road, and negotiate and close deals––all without getting bogged down with excessive amounts of paper. Here’s our list of 10 extremely useful apps for any sales rep.
Apps for Sales Reps On the Road
90% of life is just showing up. These apps can help make sure you get where you need to go, no matter how complex your travel plans are.
How many times has this happened to you? You need to check your flight times, so you go to your email to find your itinerary, but you end up having to search for quite a while before you find it. That won’t happen with the TripIt app for your mobile phone. The free TripIt app lets you organize all your travel plans into one master itinerary, and it works on iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows. You can add or make changes to your itinerary easily, simply by forwarding your email confirmation letter to TripIt. You can also share your itinerary with selected individuals (your significant other or your manager, for example) as well as sync your itinerary with your Outlook, iCal or Google calendar. The paid version has even more features. You can keep track of your rewards program points, get real time flight alerts and find alternate flights, automatically update your “inner circle” any time an itinerary is set or changed, and much more.
2. Google Maps
If you’re driving, there’s nothing worse than juggling a map while you try to find your customers. Well, there is one thing worse – not finding your customer at all. With Google Maps, paper maps are a thing of the past. Simply download Google Maps onto your mobile device, speak your destination (or destinations – Google can handle multiple destination routing) into the microphone, and you’re off. It works for walking routes and public transportation routes as well, if you’re in a pinch. Satellite connections can be a challenge in some areas, and sometimes GPS has a difficult time finding very rural or remote customers, so don’t throw the maps away just yet…but generally speaking, a GPS tool like this is a must-have for any traveling sales rep.
Apps for Sales Reps to Keep In Touch
Unlike days past, life as a traveling sales rep no longer has to be isolating and difficult to organize. Your smartphone can keep you connected to everything happening in your professional and personal life and can even help you grow your business.
3., 4., 5. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
These are the big three––the obvious choices to help you make connections on the go. LinkedIn is the go-to tool for making professional connections, while Facebook and Twitter can be both a professional and personal lifeline for the traveling sales rep. The LinkedIn mobile app for iPhone has one great feature that saves a ton of time at trade shows and or any event where you’re making face-to-face contacts: it’s called, “the bump.” During a conversation with a prospect, ask them to turn on LinkedIn on their smartphone. Then, bump your phones together lightly. LinkedIn will automatically transfer contact information between phones. Just bump, and the lead instantly goes into your LinkedIn contact list for follow up.
6. Skype for Mobile
Even the best sales rep can’t be everywhere at once. When an in-person meeting isn’t possible, Skype enables you to make video and voice calls, as well as conference calls, via the Internet from any desktop, tablet or mobile device. You can even share screens if you have something on your desktop that you need to show your customer. It also has an instant message feature, for when you or your customer need to reach each other instantly. And when you are on the road, you can video call with all the important people back home, so you’re never out of touch.
Apps for Sales Reps to Get Organized
Organization is a real challenge for sales reps, because lost or forgotten information can be the difference between a sale made and a sale lost. Fortunately, technology can make a big difference for even the most seasoned sales pros, making the best reps even better at what they do.
Some people use Evernote as a productivity tool, using the to-do list feature. However, for more complex processes like sales, we think it’s better to use it for brainstorming and organizing ideas. Say you read an article that gave you some ideas you want to share with a customer. With Evernote, you can “clip” the relevant parts and save it into a notebook about that customer, and share it with them electronically. When you’re ready to take the next step, you’ll be able to get back into that notebook from any device. Another neat feature is voice recording your notes, which is great if you want to make a note to yourself or record a conversation with a customer.
Because Asana is a fully functional productivity tool, it can be used for everything from simple task lists to managing highly complex projects and sales cycles. Asana allows you to create workspaces for each customer, within which you can set up teams, projects, tasks and subtasks. You can assign tasks to anyone on a team, and it integrates with your email as well so that you get a notification whenever a message is sent or an action is taken. It’s also a great place to manage and store your important documents so that you and your team members can easily find the latest updates and most relevant documents for every customer. Finally, Asana allows you to tag your documents, tasks and projects so that you can find what you need even when you don’t remember the name of the document or project.
Apps for Sales Reps to Get Closing!
All right, you’ve positioned yourself for maximum success by getting out there and getting organized. Now it’s time to download some apps that will help you close deals and make some money!
Remember: paper sucks. So even when it’s time to sign contracts and documents, there are e-signature tools that can help you do it without having to wrestle with paper. Docusign is one of the best, and there’s even a free version called DocuSign Ink. With Docusign, you can upload documents and tap or use your finger to insert your signature. Docusign offers document encryption, authentication of signers' identities, and an audit trail showing who signed, when, and where.
At a store visit, you’re talking with a customer and writing an order. Naturally, we think Handshake is the best way to do it. Handshake lets you store your customer information and product catalog on a mobile device and write orders from that same device. It easily integrates with your bookkeeping, ERP and other back-end systems, and it can even replace your need for a separate CRM system by allowing you to keep customer notes tagged to each customer and order. You can review those notes to prepare for meetings, provide feedback about current or past orders, help ensure customers comply with merchandising guidelines, and more. Handshake also offers a B2B eCommerce platform that allows your customers to place orders online. As the old saying goes, “you’re only as good as your tools,” and that has never been more true than it is for today’s sales reps. We want to know: what apps are you using to help streamline your sales processes and manage life on the road? Tell us about it in the comments.