October 2012

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Useful Apps

for the Sales Rep on-the-go

Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor

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The last few articles that I’ve written have been about how to best utilize the current Social Media tools to increase sales funnels.  One thing that I have not touched on is perhaps the most important piece of gear in any salesperson’s arsenal…their phone.  “Always be reachable” was a motto that a former sales coach of mine used almost every day.

These days almost everyone in sales or marketing is packing a smartphone simply because it is almost a complete office that fits in a pocket.  All the Applications (Apps) and features on the market today for smartphones and tablets truly make them a compact and mobile office complete with an admin assistant to keep track of all those client appointments and meetings.

In this article I would like to highlight some of my most favorite Apps for smartphones and tablets that I’ve used to make life on the road easier.

          1. Kayak Mobile – Some companies have a travel department that makes all the travel arrangements and dots all the” I’s” for sales reps.  Others don’t.  For those that don’t, the Kayak Mobile App works extremely well.  Based off the Kayak website, Kayak Mobile aggregates costs and special deals from travel agencies, hotel chains, car rental companies and other travel websites.  I have used it to plan recent trips, and what I found really useful was that it provides easily used price comparison tools that work well in a mobile environment.  This feature enabled me to plan and modify trips quickly to suit my needs.
          1. FlightTrack – I don’t know how many times I was stuck in the O’Hare Airport in Chicago and wished that I would have had this App. This App provides flight and gate information on flights from more than 5,000 airports and 1,400 airlines.  Now with the touch of a screen on your phone sales reps can spend a little more time with that last minute airport meeting (because we all have them) and still make the flight even though the gate has changed. It is a free App for most of the big players i.e.: Windows Phones, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. There is a pro version that I am told integrates with any itineraries entered on Tripit, but I have not explored that option to date. Flight Track is available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
  1. Turboscan – Now I’m a Blackberry guy myself, but a colleague of mine showed me this awesome App for his iPhone called Turboscan.  It is a free App that acts like a document scanner in your pocket. It uses your smartphone’s camera to save images as a JPEG or PDF. These can then be emailed to colleagues back at home office right from the trade show floor.  I did some research and there are similar Apps for Blackberry and Android.  PDF Scanner for Blackberry.  Camscanner and DroidScanLite for Android.  This App is promoted as being a great way to keep track of expenses so that you don’t have to keep them all in Ziploc storage bags. (Not that I ever did that, and even as I type this I feel compelled to apologize to my Accountant).
  1. LinkedIn – Kind of goes without saying.  In the world of business, networking is the key.  It is a must have when working the trade show floor.  As reps make new contacts they can easily see profiles, explore business networks, get introduced to potential contacts, or simply join the discussion. LinkedIn is an App that is available for Blackberry, IPhone and Android operating systems.
  1. contemporary Business Card Reader – At the end of every introduction there is always the exchange of business cards. Now with the Business Card Reader App users can easily import information from the business card directly into your Blackberry, iPhone or Android Phone.  Much like the old business card scanners that plugged into a laptop’s USB port, this App uses a smartphone’s camera to capture the information on a business card and enter that information in the appropriate fields in your phone’s address book.  Easily done on the trade show floor right after receiving a business card.  No more worries about losing a card throughout the day. Once back in your room, simply sync your phone to your laptop and export the information directly into Outlook.
  1. 100 Push Ups – Every business trip or trade show is typically jammed with client meetings, presentations, drinks with clients, dinners with clients, early mornings, late nights, and hotel food.  Everyone needs that one thing to stay grounded and help them make it through a difficult road trip.  Some reps I have known are extremely dedicated and manage to get in a full workout every day. I do when I can, but sometimes calls, clients, and simply sleep, take over.  I like to keep balanced using the 100 Push Ups App, and the 100 Sit ups App.  Using the App to set your own max push ups that you can currently perform.  The App then constructs a six week program for you to work on completing 100 push ups.  I find that it is a great program to keep the mind moving, and work off a little hotel food while on the road.

There are a million Apps out there on the market today for all three of the largest smartphone operating systems. The purpose of this article was to make sure that road warriors remember to always treat their most precious piece of equipment to a treat with a new App and make life a little easier while on the road this season.  


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