Apps are an everyday part of modern life. From social media, to games, to helping with daily tasks, keeping track of your finances and even organising your documents - mobile applications are something we're all used to in our personal life.
Whilst we may be familiar with so-called "Personal Assistant" apps such as Dropbox, Evernote and Spendly, we may not be too familiar with the use of apps to help sales professionals boost their efficiency and therefore their numbers on the board.
Since the smartphone is now a staple item in the Sales Professional's toolkit, it's not off-kilter to see why they can be of such use. Keeping you connected whilst on the go, jumping from meeting to meeting, means that emails don't go un-answered, diary reminders follow you around, and the office can know your whereabout at all times. It's no surprise that the growth of mobile apps is expanding to be more than just a mini personal assistant, but actually a new team-player within your salesforce.
And these apps don't just stay on your phone either. The beauty company Wahanda has fully embraced the use of apps in their business and has flourished because of it. By using the app Salesforce to track sales productivity and performance of their staff, and Chatter to connect their sales teams when they are on the move, they have opened the door to keeping their communication open and transparent, and their performance going steady.
Salesforce also allows the company to track individuals performance and custom make staff development plans, according to the data that is generated. Not only does it help their salespeople to connect but they also allow for savings of around £40,000 in admin costs, funds that can then be used to further develop the business and its employees. It's clear to see that their integration of apps company-wide has a massive impact both individually, and on the organisation as a whole.
The use of mobile apps is set to skyrocket by 125 percent in the next 2 years - most of which will be used on smartphones and personal devices. Which begs the question, what apps do salespeople use and why are they becoming such a necessity for salespeople? We took a look at some of the mobile apps we think are changing the way sales people are working.
Working in a business where you receive copious amount of business cards, it's easy to feel overwhelmed as they get misplaced, you forget who you received it from, or it's been so long since you received it. So what do you do? You download Cardmunch. This is an app that allows the user to take a picture of a business card and it will then save the details into your contacts straight onto your phone. With the click of a button you now have your next client's details on your phone, never to be forgotton down the back of the top drawer again. With networking being such a huge part of sales, Cardmunch could not only take the stress out of keeping track of your newly created contacts, but also organises these for you with little to no effort - saving huge amounts of time.
As shown with its use by Wahanda, Salesforce is also a worthwhile app to download. It allows you to communicate with everyone in the office, log details and gain access into the dashboard feature. It syncs into the desktop version, allowing you access into the full database. This is worthwhile for those constantly on the go, as sometimes a fast turnaround is imperative to closing a sale. If you can access and view the database and files that you need before you even return to the office, some of the legwork can be done whilst you're out on the road - leaving the rest of your time free to do your job better and more organised than ever.
Have you ever double-booked yourself? Well with the use of Calendly that no longer has to happen. This app syncs into your primary Google Calendar and allows you to effectively manage your time. It even allows other users to schedule time with you based on your own availability by offering available 'time slots'. With an app like Calendly, you no longer have to spend any time playing "calendar tennis", and can simply schedule and organise your diary with little fuss at either end.
You have probably had instances where you have sent a proposal to a client and you are wondering if they have read it yet. Did they receive it? What did they think? Will they ever contact me? All these questions, so few answers. The app Sidekick gives you real-time updates of when your prospects open and click on your emails and allows you to focus and manage your time to the most engaged leads. Salesforce integration is the most noteworthy aspect of this app, as it allows you to be notified when new leads are assigned to you and pipeline notifications help you to keep track of your sales performance.
One of the most valuable apps for a sales person could be Panda DOC. This app enables users to generate quotes, proposals and contracts, as well as allowing you to build proposals in real-time and signatures right away. Cutting down on the vast amount of time that would have been spent going to the office and building a quote.
Last but not least is Rapportive, an app that allows the user to see what their prospect is sharing on social media and allows them to gather enough information that will help them to start a conversation, getting rid of the awkward first email. Sometimes what you need with a lead is a common interest or goal. With Rapportive, you can keep an eye on their online movements in order to find the perfect time to call with a solution or a conversation that they will want to engage with.
All these apps - plus many more - assist sales professionals, making their life a little easier, cutting time and costs; which could never be bad thing. But is there a darker side to relying on smartphones and tablets to create, manage and distribute important information? Could the sales office one day be replaced with one device and a collection of apps, or will they never be able to replicate the effectiveness and organisation of a human and a team?
Let us know your opinion, and what apps you use by tweeting us @RED_Jobs.