Selling is about wearing out shoe leather. Great sales managers understand this. Long before there were computers or smartphones – maybe even before there were landline phones – the sales manager’s credo was, “Don’t let me catch you in the office too much.” Marking time behind a desk was no way to be productive and close deals.
The pressure is even greater today to be productive when on the go. As we see a consistent global shift toward mobile platforms for all of our business activities, sales productivity increasingly means being able to stay on top of an endless stream of social media, email, content, and other online-information feeds. Try these three apps to help you save time and become more productive on the road.
Tipbit is a “smart inbox” app for your mobile email. It integrates email, calendar, and social context and combines all of that with personal search. Tipbit keeps you from toggling among too many apps. For instance, without leaving your calendar, you could find an email with attached documents that were relevant to a specific meeting. Tipbit automatically delivers relevant content to you. If you want to be up-to-date on a key customer before a sales meeting, use the app to review your recent email correspondence, the customer’s social-media activity, and any files in Dropbox that are relevant to your specific meeting.
Cloze is a great tool for keeping up on industry news and competitors without the overwhelming deluge of information. Cloze sorts and manages a selective feed from your social-media platforms, autofiltering all of it according to your specifications. You can prompt it to give you a feed of your professional contacts, selected based on such criteria as company and region.
Newsle tracks colleagues and potential clients in the news, allowing you to avoid the “buzz” of social media and bringing you “real” news. Newsle doesn’t ignore social completely, however. You can still tweet, post, and search within the feed it gives you, but Newsle gets rid of the “fluff” that can plague social-media platforms. It also auto-imports your contacts from the social platforms you plug into it and allows you to follow public figures to keep track of mentions in blogs and articles.
As a sales professional today, you’re lucky to have your smartphone. Try these three apps to save time that you would have spent searching, filtering, and parsing information yourself. After all, in a mobile world, the adage that a great salesperson is never behind a desk rings truer than ever. These tools will keep you organized and in touch, even when you’re wearing out the shoe leather.
What apps do you use the most, and why? Share your tips and thoughts in the comments section.