Hoover’s, a well-known service that provides business data to salespeople and marketers, just released its first iPhone app. If you’re a salesperson who spends a lot of time on the road, the Hoover’s Near Here app may help you find potential sales.

Basically, the app is a location-based directory of sales leads. So if a salesperson is on a business trip and suddenly finds that they have some time to kill, they don’t have to just sit around — the app can help them figure out where they might make sales calls nearby. You can bring up a map of your area with markers for the surrounding companies in Hoover’s database. You can even narrow down your search based on industry type, number of employees, and annual sales. And if you find a company that seems like a potential customer, you can just press a button and call them from within the app.

You can download the app here. You don’t need a Hoover’s account to use it, but the app itself costs $19.99. It currently covers the United States and Canada.

Lindsay Duran, mobile product manager at Hoover’s, said this is the company’s first big foray into the smartphone market. Hoover’s released a mobile-optimized web site last year, but it found that users were less interested in accessing the same service on their phones. Instead, they “were really looking for very specific applications to solve very specific problems.” Hence the app-focused strategy, starting with Near Here. And the iPhone and iPod Touch were the obvious targets, since 80 percent of the visitors to Hoover’s mobile site came from those devices.

“In 2010, we’re really focused on iPhone applications,” Duran said. “But where it makes business sense for us, we will consider applications on other mobile platforms as well.”

Hoover’s is a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet.