Even if you’re not going door-to-door, live sales meetings can be exhausting. There’s all the travel, the traffic, and the disruption to your routine. Seriously, why can’t we all just do product demos over Go-To-Meeting and close this thing?
The good news is that there are a horde of new technology tools to help you on the go. You can now take conference calls in an airplane, log meeting notes from a mountaintop and find an empty parking spot 3 blocks before you reach your destination. These tools will make those business trips – whether across town or across the globe – a little bit easier. And they might even boost your chances of getting and closing your sales.
Here are our top 10 apps for the sales road warriors amongst you.
1. World Time Buddy – This helpful website shows you corresponding time around the world with a simple hover. Not forms, no clicks, no little boxes to complete. It’ll even let you overlay your Google Calendar for accurate information on your own schedule. Though not yet available as a mobile app, the website is mobile-friendly and can be accessed from your smartphone before you send out your next calendar invite.
2. PayByPhone – So you had to cross a bridge, the entire city and now have to dig out 10 quarters from your glove compartment? No wonder you’re running late to your meeting. This app lets you pay electronically at parking meters in various cities across the US, UK, France and Canada. No more hunting for local currency in your pockets or fumbling for credit cards. And it does away with that awkward moment when you’re checking your watch in the middle of the appointment. Instead, if the meeting’s running late, the app will send you a reminder text before your parking expires.
3. FlightTrack – The guru of all flight information apps, this piece of mobile software lets you save and track each of your flights with the same level of detail you get on the plane. You’ll see updated arrival and departure times, gate information and (if you pay for the Pro level) seat maps. You or your assistant can save each of the flights to your FlightTrack before you take off, and you’ll be set for the rest of the trip.
4. Expensify – One of the biggest pain points of business travel is the envelope of little receipts that you collect and forget throughout the trip. If you save them until you get back to the office, you’ll have to troll through your calendar to match the receipt to the right client. This app lets you click a picture on the spot and have the receipt added to your expense report before you even step foot back in town.
5. Join.me – Need to run through the numbers with your boss before you walk into the sales meeting? Join.me is a quick, web-based screenshare app what works with your computer and your tablet. You can jump on a call with your colleague, give them a 9-digit number, and they (or you) can login from wherever you happen to be sitting at the time. No software download required and the basic version is free.
6. TripIt – Traveling involves a ton of logistics – booking travel and accommodations, scheduling meetings with as many of your local contacts as possible, and figuring out how to get home from the airport. This smartphone application lays out your itinerary chronologically, based on emails that you forward to your TripIt account. It takes in flight, hotel and meeting information and sets up a daily list for you to refer to while you’re away. The information is accessible offline and on the plane, so you arrive prepared.
7. Salesforce – Salespeople will look for any excuse not to waste time updating a CRM account. But the mobile app makes it easy to finish up this tedious job in the cab or in the airport security line as you leave the meeting. You can update your contact and meeting notes on the go and while they’re fresh in your mind, instead of letting them pile up when you return to the office.
8. What’s App – An international messaging application for your smartphone, which allows you to text or leave voice messages for your colleagues for free. It doesn’t require a local phone network to function, so is a great way to avoid roaming charges while you travel. The interaction itself happens with the ease of a walkie-talkie, so no more waiting for someone to pick up on the other end.
9. Google Maps – The world’s most comprehensive maps application has real-time traffic information and directions for whichever nook of the world you’ll be traveling through. It now includes navigation for bikes and has incorporated schedules for more than 1 million public transit stops. Best of all, for those of you expensing your mileage, the app tells you exactly how far you’re going right up front.
10. OANDA Currency Converter – Need to explain your product price in a different currency? This app can help! All the relevant currency conversion information is on the same page. The application even lets you designate one of a variety of conversion rates to make sure you aren’t being swindled by the local market money-changer.
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