Sales and business applications for the iPhone or Android devices have added much to the way society does business. Invoicing, business tips and advice, lead management software, time sheet tracking or social media management, you name it, there’s an app for that! We’ve taken a look at the Top 15 Best Sales & Business Apps of 2012 in an effort to help you mobilize for the New Year. Give ’em a try and let us know what you think!
1. PlanGrid – Construction Plans, Specs, and Photos: Cloud-Free and Paid versions available
Loupe, Inc., launched PlanGrid in February 2012 and after nine months of doing business, the “Blueprints on the iPad” app, which is also available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, has garnered 5 out of 5 stars from more than a dozen satisfied customers. The app syncs with the PlanGrid.com website and keeps all your construction planning, specs and photos within reach wherever you are. The free version allows you to store up to 50 sheets. Ongoing monthly rates of $19.99 and $49.99 are also available, offering 550 or 5000 sheets worth of storage, respectively.
2. Snap Payroll – Paycheck Calculator: Free
The Snap Payroll-Paycheck Calculator app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is a godsend for small business owners and curious employees alike. Available in 16 states at the time of this writing, the app from Intuit, Inc., was launched in April 2012 and currently boasts a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating in the Apple App Store. Snap Payroll quickly and accurately determines pay in seconds. All you have to do is enter hours worked, pay rate and week applicable and bam, you’ll know how much taxes should be taken out and what the final take-home number should be. The app works for all W-2 employees and stores paycheck history and employee information historically. For more information or to request that your state be added, simply email SnapPayrollFeedback (at) intuit (dot) com.
3. Resume Maker Pro: $2.99
Who needs a resume writer when you can just handle everything from your Android smartphone? The Resume Maker Pro from Zenith Technologies allows you to carry your resume with you wherever you go. A simple interface allows you to enter general skills, education qualifications, work experience, references, professional goals and contact information in minutes. The result? You’ll never again be caught off guard when you’re pounding the pavement looking for a job and someone asks to see your resume.
4. Invoice2go Plus: Free
Developer Chris Strode’s Invoice2go Plus application had a strong launch in August 2012, offering business owners the ability to calculate invoices and estimates, bill, collect and report, all from one location. The app also provides automatic syncing to the iCloud as well as automatic file creation for each new company that the user sets up within the program. Compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, this app takes a lot of the legwork out of getting paid. And who doesn’t like that?
5. Starting a Business with Venture Capital: Free
The DocStoc, Inc., application Starting a Business with Venture Capital was launched in February 2012 and includes more than 41 videos that offer newbies an insider look from both sides of the table. Whether the topic is how a business hopeful raised VC dollars or what a VC is actually looking for in a pitch, you can’t get much more involved than this, and it’s free. If you have a fascination with or are currently considering your own start-up, this is the app for you. The app is compatible with all iPhones (3GS and up), 4th and 5th Generation iPod Touch devices, and the iPad.
6. Facebook Pages Manager: Free
The Facebook Pages Manager for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is a step in the right direction for the mobile applications division of the popular social media site. After languishing for about two years with one of the most embarrassingly awful applications in the space, the company is finally starting to branch out and beef up its offerings. If you have a product or service and are looking to manage or grow your following, Facebook Pages Manager is a much easier way of doing it. Use the app to respond to private messages and posts from your fans, or upload photos and your own messages in an instant, all without giving away your personal Facebook identity. Amazing that it took Facebook until May of this year to do it, but we are happy nonetheless.
7. Bump: Free
Bump 3.0 launched on the iPhone in 2012 after a stellar 2011 in which more than 75 million people downloaded the old version of the mobile application to their iPhone and Android smartphone devices. The concept is simple, though for the life of us we’re not sure how it works. Doesn’t matter, though. It does. Simply by touching phones together-and yes, it works cross-platform so it doesn’t matter if you’re an Apple or Android user-you can share contacts, photos and apps. With the 2012 version, you can also bump info and photos to your computer.
8. Business Secrets: $2.99
Talk about value. HarperCollins Publishers launched the Business Secrets app at the very end of December 2011, and the ensuing year has been very kind to it in terms of acceptance among iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users. The app features 900 secrets for success-50 each across 18 areas that include lead management, interviews, negotiation, selling, marketing, presentations, leadership, career management, dealing with difficult people, getting things done, management, NLP, mind power, team and people management, time management, communication and finance. Whew. Currently has a 4.5 out of 5 stars score with 77 ratings in the Apple App Store.
9. Timesheet Pro – Time Tracking, Invoicing and Billing: $1.99
Blue Tags launched the Timesheet Pro application in March 2012, allowing business owners, workers and team members alike to enter rates and hours worked. The app automatically calculates daily payments based on the parameters provided. It also creates and exports invoices, supports multiple currencies for the increasingly global marketplace and offers safety and security through pass code protection and backup/restore features. The app is currently available in the Apple App Store and compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
10. Multiscreen Multitasking THD: $1.58
NQR Productions is the team behind this Android-based application that is compatible with tablets such as the Nexus 7, Note 10 and Asus Transformer and most smartphone devices that use Android 1.6 and up. The Multiscreen Multitasking THD allows you to tile multiple windows at once and enjoy the Windows 8 desktop look from your handheld device. It also heaps on the features-word count, spell check, video player, find and replace functions, maps and much, much more. Who says Apple has all the great ideas!?
11. Business Insider: Free
Silicon Alley Insider (SAI) launched its Business Insider app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in August 2012 and has quickly forged a 4.5-star rating to go with the 4-star rating that it carries in the Android marketplace. The cross-promotional application focuses on the latest insight and news in the business world and is a bible of sorts for entrepreneurs, recruiters and company executives across the country. With a higher number of individuals getting their news and insight from mobile devices than ever before, the free price tag is perhaps one of the best deals around for the business community.
12. Social Media for Business: Free
DocStoc, Inc., again makes the list for its March 2012 release of the Social Media for Business social sales software application on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Most business owners know they need a social media presence –Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.- but few understand how to harness these networks effectively, slicing through all the noise and converting followers and friends to customers. With this compilation of video interviews with social media wizards, DocStoc provides users with unique insights into 21st Century business that must be experienced firsthand for the full effects.
13. Templates for Pages Pro: $4.99
Design genius Jan Heiermann has produced more than 200 (222, to be exact) templates that are ready to go for Pages on your Apple computer. The word processor-graphic design hybrid program already comes preloaded with dozens of templates, but Heiermann’s offerings add even more value for the low price of $4.99 (at the time of this article). Heiermann launched the app in March 2012 and has amassed a 4.5-star rating thus far. Definitely beats hiring a graphic designer on your own! Heiermann’s offerings are also available for Apple Keynote and Numbers.
14. Mileage Manager: $1.90
Lumencode’s Mileage Manager for Android devices has really taken off in popularity over the last year, offering business professionals the perfect solution to tracking mileage and expenses. The great news about this 4.5-star rated application is that it will soon be available on iTunes as well for Apple compatibility. The app features GPS tracking, mileage and expense tracking for multiple clients and projects, the ability to export data to Dropbox or email and kilometer-to-mile conversion for international use.
15. AdWords and SEO Secrets: Free
The January 2012 release of AdWords and SEO Secrets from DocStoc, Inc., has demystified the world of SEO for thousands and led to a perfect rating in the Apple App Store with a 5-out-of-5. Using the video eBook format that the company has popularized in the last year, AdWords and SEO Secrets will clearly and concisely teach you how to use search engine optimization effectively in a post-Panda world. And if you need an explanation for what “post-Panda” means, then you definitely need to download this freebie today. Strong SEO generates more traffic, and more traffic equates to more dollars in the advertising dollar-driven world of the Internet. Ignore at your own peril.
Technology and sales go hand-and-hand these days. It’s also a cutthroat world out there and when seeking every possible advantage to close a lead or make that sale, turning to a smartphone app seems like an easy first step.
Did we miss a lead generation, sales or contact management software app that should have made the list? Or have you had a GREAT experience with one of the above apps you’d like to share? If so, use the comments below to let us know your thoughts.