Where Are The Killer Sales Apps?

One night off, I decided to check out the world of apps for the wannabe sales scholar.

I tapped in the key word “sales” into my appstore.

2,480 search results got returned.

On the day, the top app on the list was the one pictured above. It was free, so I thought I’d give it a quick whirl.

I should have feared from the very start, as their front page (pictured above) loaded.

Have we really not progressed since the 80s? An angry looking fella in a tired combo shirt and tie pointing menacingly at you. At best, misguided, at worst crass and wholly inappropriate.

Sales Techniques and Training Secrets, from an outfit called docstoc.com, was launched in February 2012. There’s no real review feedback to go by, so how on earth they nailed the top spot in results is a mystery.

But then again, considering the fourth result was for property searches and the fifth on how to write a business plan, perhaps it says more about Apple’s inability to adequately curate for their customers than an app’s strong points.

Here’s what the one review they post themselves says;

“All business owners dream about more sales…most of us wish to find a reliable source with truly useful advice and step-by-step guides. This is exactly what [this] app offers”

Someone utterly clueless from ipadshouse.com wrote that. I am at a total loss to explain this glowing testimonial.

The app itself is basically nothing more than a college student-style project book on selling. One that was clearly a chore to produce, as it’s not a very good book at that.

It holds a number of short videos and sample documentation within five chapters.

Here’s one example from a 60sec clip. The speaker says you must live your sales life by these three acronyms;

ABC – always be closing

KISS – keep it short and sweet

ALF – always listen first

In my homeland, someone of my age would call this Jack ‘n Jill. So rudimentary. Yet it’s useless. Hardly likely to help anyone in such form. It gets no better. One of the last clips they have claims to provide “sales secrets”.

Here’s one such secret. A recommended question to ask is;

what can I do to get your business

And in a summary;

don’t be afraid, be very clear on your goals and more importantly the goals of your customer

All too general. No applied thinking. No vibrancy. The kind of Mickey Mouse stuff you can get from any one of the myriad content farm or crowd-sourced self-help sites. And this is before I even get on to the content of their docs. (Don’t bother).

I was so frustrated by this, I thought there must surely be better out there.

August publications such as Forbes and Inc provide top-ten style run-downs of essential apps for the salesperson. But they’re not much cop either. Google Maps for Parking, expenses filing and your corporate crm provided entry point are hardly earth shattering.

If we thought the world of apps was going to change our selling lives, well, so far we are being let down. Bookmarking a select few mag and blog sites, getting alerts on industry terms, and keeping your forecast-cum-calendar up-to-date are about as good as it seems to be right now.

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