Five Great Free iPad Apps for Sales Pros

Last Updated Mar 21, 2011 4:35 PM EDT

In my experience, most free things are worth almost exactly what you pay for them. That's also true of iPhone and iPad apps. Many of the free ones barely function, are chockablock with ads, or are simply advertisements for the full version of the product.

There are exceptions to that rule, though. Here are five free iPad apps for sales professionals that users have rated three stars or above. There are others, but these are the ones that struck me as particularly useful. Note: the first first on the list, Brainshark, got 4.5 stars, making it far and away the highest rated free app for sales.

  • Brainshark. Plays multimedia presentations on your iPad or iPhone. To build the presentations, you upload a PowerPoint presentation to the free site, add your voice by phone or microphone, and then enhance your content with video clips, photos, surveys, polls, attachments and so forth. You use the app to display presentations, share links to presentations via email, and post links to your presentations on social media sites. Typically uses include sales presentations or on-demand sales training.
  • MileBug. Keeps track of the miles you drive for business, charity, or medical reasons. This is a very simple application that can track the miles that you use for multiple activities, even if you use different vehicles. You can set up frequent destinations and even supports international travel. More importantly, it can create reports that you can use in your expense accounts or for the IRS. The free version is limited to 10 trips, but you can make a report of those 10 trips and then start over.
  • Hoover's Near Here. Finds companies based on proximity to a particular location. You can refine the search to include ranges of revenue, number of employees, keywords, and so forth, and save those filters for future searches. Once you locate a prospect, you can place a phone call, visit the company's Web site, get step-by-step driving directions and find local competitors. You can even bookmark your favorite locations and favorite companies.
  • Sales CRM EZi Lite. Probably the best free CRM package available on the platform. It has many of the features that you'd expect, including contact management, pipeline managements, sales process support, historical sales, and forecasting, all collected into a series of easily understood dashboards. The lite version doesn't have the full functionality, but there's plenty in this free version for most sales pros.
  • The SellingPower Podcast. This isn't a "app" per se, but rather a podcast that's a power resource for sales professionals and sales managers. Over the years, publisher Gerhard Gschwandtner has interviewed dozens of sales gurus, marketing mavens, and sales executives. The result is a complete video library of the best thinking in the sales industry. Since most of the interviewees are professional communicators, these are very easy to listen and absorb.
READERS: I'm open for suggestions about other hot apps that are useful for sales pros, especially free (over very inexpensive) ones.