The days are long gone when sales productivity software meant installing a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Here are 10 useful, highly rated apps for the new iPad that make short work of common sales tasks. Most are free or extremely cheap--and none depend on having a CRM system running in the background.--Geoffrey James
Expect Success is like having a motivational speaker and a sales trainer hidden in your briefcase. The app provides a constantly updated set of tools (like motivational phrases, videos, concept summaries) to help you through your sales cycle and to change your negative thinking into successful thinking.
If you want some regular pick-me-ups as well as specific advice about how to sell, this is the best $0.99 you'll ever spend.
Handshake Sales Order Manager, despite the long name, makes short work of writing sales orders.
You populate its database with images and descriptions of your product set. Then, when you're at a trade show or on the road, you don't have to pull out a hard copy catalog and write an order by hand.
Instead, you flip through your images or navigate by SKU, name or category to find what you want, and then generate an order automatically.
Salesforce Chatter is like Facebook, but only for insiders. (And you can use it without the worry that a colleague might stumble on the goofy party pictures that you thought were privacy controlled.)
So even if you're not a fan of Salesforce.com, this app deserves a chance. It's cleanly implemented and much easier to use than a CRM tool. And you don't have to be a Salesforce.com customer to use it.
Quick Sale Lite simplifies your sales paperwork. You use it to create, manage and email invoices, track inventory, payments, balances, reports and so forth; it sends out updates in printable PDF format.
It can handle fairly complex inventories, with photos, track stock levels and do all sorts of stuff usually handled by high-priced sales order tracking software. The free version is limited to five invoices at a time, but that should be enough for many businesses.
Price: Free (Full version: $29.99)
Profit Story is one of those weird little apps that does only one thing ... but it's an important thing for many sales situations.
The app provides a sell price, cost price, gross profit margin, markup and break-even analysis, using unit and/or case information.
As you change the different measures, you can see the impact on other values.
Yeah, you could build a spreadsheet that does the same thing, but ... at this price, why bother?
SalesVu Point of Sale is like one of those big Enterprise Resource Management systems, except that rather than costing you a million dollars, it's free.
You can track payments, mail receipts, post coupons on your customers' Facebook pages, obtain graphs for different aspects of your business and even get credit cards processed (for a 2.7% flat-rate transaction fee).
Dossier, despite its somewhat sinister name, turns Apple's Contacts app into something that helps you sell.
It allows you to add notes to your contacts, so you can keep a running record of what was discussed. You can also attach word processing documents and PDF files to a contact, so that you have them handy next time you meet with that contact.
Outlook Mail Pro only works with Exchange servers (no Gmail or Hotmail, alas) and it doesn't integrate with your PC. But it does give you a mail client that's more muscular than the one that comes with iPad.
You can accept and decline meeting requests, manipulate multiple email accounts, and so forth.
Quickoffice Pro HD is as close as you're going to get to Microsoft Office on the iPad, at least for the time being.
It supports Word, Excel and PowerPoint--and while it doesn't have all of the functionality of Office, it's not suffering from feature-bloat either.
It's particularly good for transferring files, by the way.
vTie Premium brings a little elegance into your business world--by showing you how to tie the complicated knots that you see around the necks of super-wealthy.
While the application is obviously for men, it's also useful for any woman who wants to impress her significant other, Mad Men-style. After all, the next best thing to having a billion bucks is looking like you deserve it.
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