One question we are often asked is, are apps not just a consumer proposition? Increasingly not, B2B centric apps developed with staff use in mind are on the rise. Some of these platforms have been built to help with internal communications or as an intranet replacement, however a massively underutilised area is the use of apps within the sales channel. Such apps, often referred to as sales enablement tools can help your sales staff, your sales partners staff, or provide consumer facing tools for your sales partners.
Can I cut corners on a sales app?
All your potential sales team app users are also consumer app users. As such they know what a good app looks and feels like, so it is vital that whatever you build for your sales team / partners is built to a high standard. Gone are the days when you can force your team to use something internally that is below par. It sends the wrong message to your team about your brand values and how you value them as a sales team.
So what types of sales app could be built?
Sales Collateral and Media
These apps overcome the perennial problem of the sales team not having up to date collateral / offers. An example of this type of app is the Meeting Creator we developed for Epson. The tool allows users from the sales team to access the very latest sales assets form the core marketing database and curate a set of pdfs / videos for a given client meeting. If any assets were updated by the marketing team then they would automatically be updated for the entire sales team – ensuring they were always up to date. In addition to the core functionality there were also industry specific folders that brought all the likely products and services for a given sector together – handy if you found the prospective client had needs that had not been anticipated.
Additionally, the tool included a number of calculators, for example around ink usage, consumables etc that allowed the sales representative to demonstrate the savings given products offered. A versatile all-round tool. These calculators allowed tailored usage figures for each sales visit, far more engaging than a generic product sheet. To make the tool as easy to setup as possible it can be configured from a desktop, and this auto syncs to the sales persons iPad or Android tablet.
Reviewing and Reporting
This type of app is ideal for trade marketing reps, or field sales teams maximising their time in the field, which at the same time ensures up to date data for the management team. An example would be the “Perfect Store Calculator” app created for the coconut water company Vita Coco. This application supports the TMRs who are tasked with checking in store POS, product mix, pricing and supporting the store to maximise sales for the store and Vita Coco. The tool allows viewing of historic data so progress can be seen, new data entered, and all managers updated live. The data is also passed back so it can be matched against changes in sales data to confirm the effectiveness of the activities. As an added benefit, managers are able to drill down in the data in almost any conceivable way to look at store or TMR activities. The project drove a 10% time efficiency gain in TMR time ensuring project ROI, and the uplift in sales was a bonus above this project ROI.
Pricing and Stock
The app delivered for Jewsons allows live stock data for a full range of SKUs for field sales teams. The app showed applicable discounts for specific accounts, discounts available to given customer types, regional pricing, as well as stock levels. This vastly improved sales team confidence, improved speed of negotiations and reduced loss of trade to competitors. To quote the client – “The application they have developed has revolutionised the way in which our sales team works”.
Utilising touch, high resolution displays and AR/VR technology to showcase products that were previously cumbersome to demo, or to show off products in interesting new ways. An example of this is a camera demo product, which took a 3d model of a camera and allowed users to spin it around. Users could access various demo hotspots on the virtual camera – this allowed visualisation of complex features such as depth of field or shutter speed in an interactive and simple to understand way. In this case we did not just build a one product demo, rather a solution that allows new demos for new cameras to be developed and maintained without further development. The app was initially used by an in-store demo team, however this could also be rolled out as a standalone customer display unit.
Loyalty Platforms & New Communication Channels
For a number of our clients, customer loyalty has a big impact on sales results. Even a minor shift towards the competitors can heavily impact fast moving consumer goods at any given point. Having recognised this risk, a few big brands have approached us to develop large scale loyalty platforms, connecting manufacturers directly to the retailers selling their products.
As a brand, imagine having an app used by over 10,000 retailer’s phones that allows you to send them personalised offers, discounts and various incentives to sell your product over your competitors. The addition of direct messaging allows the entire trade marketing representative team to directly communicate with the retailers in their assigned area. This can alert retailers of upcoming visits, and allow them to request additional stock or redeem offers.
Take our word for it – loyalty platforms and direct communication channels have a great ROI, as even a small increase in engagement can have a monumental impact on sales figures.
These apps are just some of the ways mobile technology can impact your sales process, but whatever is built needs to be tailored for your specific sales team, sales process and product range. This is something that the Pocket App team can help you with, and would be happy to provide an initial free consultation for your brand. Simply contact us and our team will be in touch.