While laptops are better than cell phones for working on proposals and spreadsheets, few sales professionals write while on the road. That’s why CRM vendors have worked hard to make their applications available on cell phones and smart phones. Now there are specific applications that leverage cell phone platforms to help sales professionals sell. An excellent example of this is Hoover’s Near Here App for the iPhone and iPod touch. This app allows road warriors to find potential prospects based on where they are currently located and soon to be located. Hereâ€™s how it works:
Suppose a road warrior finds herself with a spare afternoon due to a cancelled meeting. She fires up Near Here, and it finds a list of potential prospects (typically based on predefined criteria) located within walking or driving distance. She can then easily place a phone call to the company, visit the company’s Website, get step-by-step driving directions, and even find local competitors. Ten minutes later, she’s got a new prospect in the pipeline rather than a wasted afternoon.
The idea is to create a mobile environment where business is no longer restricted to desk-side transactions, according to Hoover’s president Hyune Hand. “With the Hoover’s Near Here App, busy professionals on the road can find prospects…in complete accordance with their daily workflows and schedules, making every business trip more productive.”
Needless to say, Hoover’s isn’t abandoning its support of PCs; however, the company is clearly finding ways to use its gigantic database of executive and corporate information in ways that make travel more productive. And that’s good news for the road warrior.