Salesmen Taking Apps On The Road
Originally published: 11.09.11 by HVACR Business Staff
Smartphone and tablet technology helps to increase productivity and sales opportunities.
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At the intersection of technology and the HVACR industry lies a glut of smartphone and tablet apps for professionals: HVAC Buddy, HVAC Formulator, HVAC Terminology and the ACCA and ASHRAE apps, to name a few. But the question remains, how — if at all — are these tools being used in the field?
Micah Sandlin, an outside salesman for Ruud wholesaler Comfort Supply, has been outfitted with an iPad for six months.
“I use it more and more every day,” Sandlin said.
His favorite tool is DocstoGo, an application that enables users to create documents such as quotes to send to others, or keep, or send to an email box.
“I can create an order and send it to the sales counter, so my customer can get products without waiting for me to get back to the office,” Sandlin said of DocsToGo.
Rocky Cothran, technical service adviser for Comfort Supply, also finds the app helpful.
“You can store any file that you need, like your price list, spec books, and list of Middle Tennessee contractors,” Cothran said. “The app helps you find documents really quickly, too. I can easily search 200-page manuals.”
Another useful tool when out in the field is the Contractor’s App Box.
“With this app, I can still write an order when I’m on the road. The app pulls up the form just like an order sheet, then emails it directly to the computer in the office,” Cothran said. “You can also access job site and accident sheets, invoicing materials, estimates and purchase order emails.”
Built-in, general-use applications such as note pads, calendars, and maps can also improve an HVACR salesman’s productivity.
“I use the iPad’s Note Pad Pro app all the time,” Sandlin said. “It’s a really helpful tool to take notes with on job site calls,” Sandlin said. “Since the app stores notes by the date the data was entered, my notes stay organized, too.”
Cothran said the app works just as a paper and pencil would.
“I can even create wiring diagrams and email them back to the office. Obviously, when you’re driving around Tennessee and Kentucky, the GPS app comes in very handy, too.”
Having technology readily available also allows HVACR salesman to pull up websites on a sales call.
“Salesmen can pull up a supplier’s web- site and show their customers the latest specs, equipment, sales, and any promotions that we may be having,” explained
Billy Jobe, district manager for Comfort Supply. “For example, Honeywell has a very readable website on the iPad. Salesmen can look up thermostats, search by model number, and download installer instructions.”
Cothran said the bottom line on apps is that they make him a better salesman.
“There are so many products on the market, it’s hard to remember all the model specs. When I’m on the road with my iPhone or iPad, I can research my competitor’s products on the Internet. By learning about other products, I can better sell my unit over someone else’s unit. It’s a tool that helps me perform my job better.”
Articles by HVACR Business Staff
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