Hitting the road to rack up sales is a journey that’s been taken by hundreds in the promotional products industry. The evolution of technology has moved sales reps past the stack of print catalogs, invoices in triplicate and folding paper maps into an era of mobile technology. The two major mobile platforms, Android and iOS, host dozens of apps for sales professionals that are free or come with a one-time cost or subscription.
We took a peek at 15 apps that can help industry sales reps achieve goals and meet or exceed expectations among both suppliers and distributors. In addition to mobile use, many of these apps can also be installed on desktops and laptops. Whether you’re planning your strategy, engaging with clients in a content-rich meeting or taking the next steps to secure a sale, the chances are good that there’s a mobile app to help.
Before The Visit
Nothing feels worse than showing up to a meeting unprepared, showing up late or missing it entirely. These apps help keep you on your game and ready to wow the client.
An app that’s a motivational tool and sales guide all in one, this program features in-depth training, inspirational stories and success analogies.
This app helps you secure a parking spot before you hit the front door of your prospect’s office. The app works in several major cities including Boston, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
A frequent traveler’s friend, TripIt app creates master itineraries out of your trip information. Whether you travel by plane, train or automobile, TripIt gathers directions, maps, weather and other pertinent information that aligns with the dates, times and confirmation numbers you provide.
iOS, Android, Windows
During The Pitch
Come to every meeting fully equipped, no matter the location or timing. These apps offer presentation tools and content customization, with the ability to access your cloud storage and document meetings, even offline.
A multifunction app that allows you to plan meetings, record participation and gather relevant data, Meeting Mapper integrates with other popular apps such as Evernote and Dropbox, and with Salesforce.
RepZio is an app that links to your product information, customer information and their purchase history, with the ability to let you access content offline. Automated order entry and simplified data administration keep administrative tasks easy.
iOS, Android, Windows
This app creates a library of content that can be organized by product lines, types of opportunities and sales processes, so sales reps can create a customized presentation for clients. The program lets users set expiration dates for events and promotions, and it updates edited content. Built-in analytics measure how content is used.
After The Close
Whether you’ve closed with a firm sell or just a firm promise to follow up, these apps help you organize your information and plan your next steps.
Dial-A-Note serves as a voice-to-CRM program. Speak your meeting notes and they’re captured by the program and organized into specific data points, then loaded into your own CRM, reducing the amount of time spent on data entry. Dial-A-Note segments market data, and enters follow-up tasks, expense items and profile changes. The program also accepts images of receipts and handwritten notes.
Track expenses while you’re on the road
in real time with Expensify. The app integrates with popular accounting and practice management software, and it imports receipts from travel providers and point-of-sale systems.
This app helps you find what’s right in front of you. Search for keywords or phrases in
a printed document such as a contract or catalog entry by uploading a picture of it and typing in what you want to find.
Tools For Teamwork
Building a business is a team effort. These apps help everyone stay in touch and up to date on individual and group developments.
Slack allows users to organize conversations, send direct messages and make voice and video calls. Slack also lets you share files including PDFs, images, documents and spreadsheets from other programs such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Cisco Spark Meeting Notes
This program lets you upload agendas and take notes in real time, ensures meetings stay on track and helps participants effectively communicate notes and action items.
Wunderlist lets you schedule tasks, share your plans and collaborate on projects.
iOS, Android, Windows
Life on the road demands a greater effort to maintain a work-life balance. These apps can help you achieve greater harmony between your personal and professional pursuits.
A news and information aggregator, this app lets you add your favorite sources, categorize and filter content, and share what you find with others; layout selections let you choose how to view your content.
iOS, Android, Windows
Task management is the name of the game with 30/30. The app helps you focus on a single task for 30 minutes at a time, then sets a 30-minute block of time for a break. Repeat the cycle for one or several tasks.
An app for tracking just about everything you do, Instant lets you monitor your physical activity, sleep, travel and goals. A chatbot “coach” translates the data, and weekly reports provide trends and insights.
SAGE Mobile Supports Industry Members On The Go
Just for the promotional products industry, business service provider SAGE offers SAGE Mobile for clients to stay on top of business while they’re on the road. SAGE Mobile provides access to its product search tool, supplier details and customer information, as well as the ability to create and share presentations with clients, create virtual designs and store projects in a customized online project center. Users can sync SAGE Mobile content with SAGE Online, including CRM data. SAGE Mobile works on iOS and Android platforms.
SAGE, a PPAI Business Partner, provides Association members and industry professionals with technology solutions. Members can take advantage of SAGE solutions through PPAI and SAGE’s Power of Two partnership.
Reps Reveal Their Top Picks
Alan Christopher, MAS
My go-to app is Flipboard. While it is not specifically work-related, such as a CRM program, I can have a lot of information on marketing, trends, etc. pushed right to my phone that I can read daily. It helps me to be able to use current examples about what is going on out in our customer world to my distributors.
Eysoldt Marketing Group
• WAZE [a traffic app] – Say no more
Ring – I have the ring video doorbell. When I am on the road this is great to have to communicate with UPS and FedEx when they are at my front door.
• Evernote – Great for my lists
• Restaurant Finder – Self-explanatory
Mark Shinn, MAS
Traveling on over 60 flights this year, my Alaska Airlines app keeps me on schedule with check-in reminders, boarding updates and the bonus of no change fees from traveling nearly a million miles in my career. Other key apps for me are Marriott, Hertz and Wingz—think of the top 10 percent of the Uber or Lyft experiences you’ve had, and that’s your typical Wingz driver.
The best app for my business is MileIQ. Daily tracking of my miles and monthly/yearly reporting make tax time easy. Every sales rep should have this app.
Dale Johnson Cornell
I use WAZE, Google Maps and Accuweather while in the car; Best Parking while I’m in New York City looking for a parking spot; and any airline mobile app is necessary when flying. My other favorites are Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks.