August 27, 2018

The Best Tools for Outside Sales Reps

Written by
Miranda Xie

For outside sales reps, the road can sometimes feel more familiar than home. Traveling has a lot of benefits: getting to visit new places, meet new people, and try new things. But being on the go also has its challenges. Home is far away and you have to be as efficient as possible without the convenience of a normal business environment.

As a field sales rep, it’s crucial for you to have all your work accessible while on the go. Luckily, smartphones give you the power to carry more than just phone numbers in your pocket and the apps on your phone let you do almost anything. Believe it or not, there are great and useful apps specifically for sales reps.

Field sales is unique because you have to stay on the road for extended periods of time. Being away from home is stressful enough as it is. Added pressure comes from planning meetings and routes, compiling notes, and staying on top of all your other work. Organization is key, so we compiled a list of apps to help you stay focused and efficient on the road.

1. Stay organized on the go

To take on your different responsibilities throughout the day, it’s important to be productive and efficient. You handle a lot of information, from your team’s goals and stats to customized notes for each of your clients. This means traveling lightly and being able to access your information on one device are musts.

Evernote is a platform that makes notes easy to share between devices and between people. You can take notes, add web clip-ins, images and more, all in one app. It has to-do lists, voice-recordings, and countless other features to keep things organized while on the go.

Evernote has also created a product called Scannable, an iOS app that scans papers into your phone for you to store in Evernote. Eliminate using paper from your travels and never lose information again.

No matter what industry you’re in, you need a file storage system. If you’re looking for a way to keep your digital files organized, secure, and accessible, Dropbox does it all.

Apart from secure storage and file syncing, Dropbox integrates with a variety of business apps like Adobe, Salesforce or Slack for an easy and smooth workflow. It also encourages collaboration, making it easy to share and update files between multiple users.

2. Communicate effectively

Staying in touch with your clients, your sales team, and your manager is very important. Thankfully, there are apps that make communication fast and staying up-to-date while on the go a breeze.

Having an email app on your phone allows your clients to reach you at all times, letting you assist them at a moment’s notice. Emergencies can be quickly resolved and relationships can be strengthened even when you’re out of the office.

User-friendly email apps like Inbox by Google will make your work flow even smoother. Inbox organizes your emails and bundles them into various categories so you can better visualize them and rank them by priority. It basically acts as a to-do list for all the emails you have, giving you the ability to snooze emails, highlight the most important information, and create reminders of things you have to do that day.

Say a client wants to meet with you, but you’re a busy person. Instead of going back and forth on what time would work for both of you, just send them a Calendly link. Calendly is an online scheduling service that allows your clients to schedule a time with you based on your availability.

For example, you can set your open meeting times between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday if that’s when you want to schedule your calls and meetings. Calendly also integrates with your Google calendar, so as you schedule your day, the website will only let your clients select the times you are available and will take into account already booked times. It’s all done online, making scheduling between you and your clients easy and stress-free.

To stay connected with your team and manager, Slack is a great messaging app to simplify communication. You’ll be able to do so much more than just chat. Slack allows you to share documents, create messaging channels, search through your conversations, and even make voice and video calls.

You can download a free version with partial functionality, or try one of Slack’s paid plans that offer a wide variety of features – such as screen sharing, user authentication, guest accounts and more storage.

3. Optimize your routes

As an outside sales rep, you’ll have to drive efficiently while meeting with clients in your territory. Your time on the road is precious and can’t be wasted. Using a GPS system that will alert you of traffic and detours makes your day much easier, especially if you’re worried about being late.

Waze is a community-based GPS system, meaning other drivers around you are updating the app about traffic conditions. It’s the most up-to-date navigation app and has a carpool mode, so when you’re travelling with someone else, Waze will direct you to HOV lanes to save more time.

An alternate GPS app you can use is Google Maps, a trusted source for millions. Google Maps has been useful for so many because of its accurate directions and offline mode. It can also give directions for several modes of travel, such as train, car, walking, or biking. Google Maps is flexible and easy to use, which is why it’s a staple for so many smartphone users.

As a sales rep, you also have to plan your day and schedule so you aren’t wasting your time on the road. In addition to getting directions from a GPS app, you can use an app to map out an optimized sales route, hitting all the clients you want and finding new leads along the way.

Badger Maps is the #1 Sales App in the App Store and was specifically built to make the lives of outside sales reps easier with its optimized route planner and lead generation features. It’s simple to upload all of your accounts into the app, visualize only the accounts you’re interested in, select which accounts you want to visit for the day, and Badger will create the best route for you in seconds.

It will even show you stats of how long your day will be, or how many miles you’ve gone. Badger also integrates with Google Maps and Waze, so you’ll be able to be as efficient as possible on the road.

4. Know your clients

Before you visit a client or prospect, it’s important to have a solid background of who they are and what they do. Discover.ly combines all the social media profiles of a potential client into one place so you can find all of their information easily. This will help you ‘study’ your customers and throw a pitch best suited for their needs.

After your meeting, you have to keep track of the information you learned about your new client. Make sure you remember what their use-case is for your product and even facts about their personal life to bring up in the next follow-up. It helps you build a stronger relationship with them because you are able to build rapport and go beyond a professional relationship.

While it’s necessary to stay on top of your current customers, it’s also critical to be on the lookout for new potential leads. The best lead generation means targeting a certain industry or consumer, and there’s no better way to do this than by using LinkedIn.

Their lead generation tool, Sales Navigator, allows you to filter potential leads based on your preferences, contact these leads directly, and connect your CRM to keep track of your sales activity.

Field sales requires a lot of product knowledge and organization skills, which is challenging. There’s rarely an off-day, so let the apps on your smartphone do the grunt work for you and you take care of what you do best: selling.

Miranda Xie is an Account Manager at Badger Maps, the #1 Sales App in the App Store. Badger Maps is a route planner that automates territory management for outside salespeople. Badger visualizes sales data, optimizes daily routes, and generates meeting reports – helping users drive 20% less and sell 25% more on average. You can follow Miranda and her team on LinkedIn and Twitter @BadgerMaps.