MOBILE SALES FORCE AUTOMATION
Our client is one of the largest liquor beverages wholesaler and distributor in Texas. As a part of the digital transformation strategy, they needed to equip field representatives with the Sales Force Automation software. The application should be able to track field workers performance, assist in customer-facing, and provide a set of digital presentation assets for everyday tasks.
For this project, they were looking for the experienced business process automation company capable of coming up with the right solution and transforming this idea into something workable.
By the reference of one of our current clients, distributor reached out to EXISTEK. We offered them a set of custom digital tools to interconnect all stages of their sales process. As a part of a new platform, we have created Sales Force Automation (SFA) companion app for sales reps. We’ll focus on this app in this case study.
UWP, SQLite, Entity Framework Core
5 Months, 2 Developers, Business Analyst
When we started to work on this project, the client was already using set tools like ERP and CRM. Many of those systems had bad integration or weren’t connected at all. Sales reps used 13-inch Microsoft Surface PRO tablets to take orders and access cloud Oracle CRM with browser. An important part of sales managers’ routine work were presentations of the products. Limited in options, they were showing some PDFs or information from the online catalog. This process was particularly unorganized because new PDFs were distributed via emails which caused a lot of issues with versioning (outdated materials) and restricted KPIs tracking. One of the key missing parts was offline functionality. The reps could completely lose access to the CRM and assets in case of slow or bad LTE signal in some areas.
To help our clients overcome their challenges we needed to complete the set of tasks:
- Building the backend service and the mobile sales force automation application for the sales reps. CRM, merchandising module, organizer, performance and KPI tracking, analytics, the base of the digital presentation materials, orders, etc.
- Making the application compatible with the available 2400 units of 13-inch Microsoft Surface PRO to reduce the project cost
- Introduction of the offline mode to assist field force in areas with the slow cellular network
- Implementation of the functionality needed to launch interactive HTML5 presentations. Development of the admin portal for the supervisors and head office to manage versioning and mass deployment a new presentation content.
We can break down the whole mobile SFA application development process into two main tasks: business process design and development of the app.
Workflow part started with the backend system with the database of contacts, organizations, list of the goods with attributes, user hierarchy, etc. The application has access to this database and stores the local version of this database. This local storage regularly syncs with our custom cloud service. EXISTEK introduced three main BP stages: visit planning, visit, and order. This app provides sales reps with all the needed information on each step of this workflow. For example, organization address and phone number when they plan the call, catalog of the goods and presentation during the call, and finally, order form at the end of the visit.
The development of the project was influenced by the devices already used by sales reps. The client owns 2 400 13-inch Microsoft Surface PRO tablets and we had to develop a Windows 10 app to cut the cost.
EXISTEK has quite rare expertise of using Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to create applications for Windows 10 store. Such apps leverage the full set of UWP native features. As a result, our users enjoy a slick and simple touch interface without the need to interact with classic Windows UI.
Below you’ll find a short list of what we’ve completed for our client:
- We have created the cloud services with the database of all the information that may be required by the sales rep through his regular day. Including contacts, organizations, data about previous visits, presentation materials, etc.
- Design and development of the admin panel for main office staff and regional managers. The dashboard allows oversee the data, update information, publish up-to-date marketing materials, analyze performance.
- Development of the Universal Windows Platform mobile sales force automation application. Now sales managers can access any data on the go, show interactive presentations, take orders during the visits, and more.
Our client admitted the major improvement of the sales force effectiveness with the new app. Leveraging latest sales force efficiency practices we managed to deliver the ultimate solution tailored to the specific business needs of the large liquor beverages distributor.
We provided accessibility of information, simplification of the merchandising and ordering process. Now reps have more time for the presentation and communication with the retailer organizations’ staff. This means that they can better present the product and explain to colleagues how to use its advantages for better sales. Integrated organizer and always up-to-date data helped us increase the number of productive visits. For example, our application eliminated the confusion with the availability of the goods in stock, actual prices, discounts, etc. As the final result, the sales have increased up to 20% in some areas.