Mobilizing sales data insights
When a wine and liquor producer wanted to mobilize its sales force, we helped build a mobile data dashboard that gave its on-the-go sales team anytime, at-a-glance insights.
Any good salesperson will tell you that it’s all about face time. Time spent behind a desk—trying to make sense of data or wrangling account notes—is time that could be better spent building relationships with customers.
Our client, an international wine and liquor producer, needed help maximizing the productivity of its salesforce. They were spending valuable time sifting through rich account data that was buried in an enterprise data warehouse.
“They have 600 sales people nationally and 600,000 places that sell alcohol,” says Mark Lewis, a lead in Slalom’s products and innovation practice.* “So how could we mobilize that data, and allow them to stay on the road, get data instantly, and have smarter, more productive conversations with clients?”
The answer: a visual data map, integrated with Salesforce, that armed our client’s sales team with anytime insights.
Research: More than just data
Interviews with the sales team revealed that it wasn’t enough to just see the data. Because each sales person had so many accounts—and often, markets—to cover, they needed to quickly see which accounts were on the way up or down across a variety of time frames so they could better focus their attention.
“A sales person generally starts planning calls or meetings a month in advance,” says Lewis. “They’re looking at the data to see: Where should I be spending my time? What part of the market should I go to? Which stores should I be visiting?”
When they’re out on the road, they usually brush up on that data, sometimes with a distributor, before walking into the store to talk with their customer.
They also needed a simple way to see selling opportunities. And, due to the on-the-go nature of their jobs, a mobile app wasn’t just a nice-to-have—it was a requirement.
Those conversations with our client’s sales team resulted in a foundational list of key metrics, filters, and features that guided the app’s design and development.
“It’s all about distribution, so being able to have better conversations based on data really helps [the sales team] be more effective and more efficient with their time.”
Design: Color-coded map view
Because retailer data is organized geographically, the team created a data map. Each retailer had a unique pin embedded with account information.
Pins were color-coded to show sales growth, and account type was denoted by an icon overlay. Sales people could filter the pins on the map—by volume, category, store type, and so on—and tap a pin to reveal deeper levels of data, such as what SKUs were hot in the market but not stocked by an account.
The second phase of the project added Salesforce-related capabilities to the app.
With a lot of accounts, says Lewis, there are documents that are essential to customer conversations, such as buyer letters.
Integrating with the CRM tool gave our client’s sales people the ability to access those account-level documents, as well as follow accounts and share notes about them.
An architecture aside
To architect the mobile solution, our team pulled data from EDW database views into ARCGIS mapping software, which helped create a geographic view of the data that could be pulled into the app. Additional data was pulled in via an API connected to a different database to allow for further data analysis. The team also helped set up a Salesforce instance to allow for access to account-level documents and to enable note-sharing functionality.
More effective conversations, better relationships
The app has received positive feedback from our client’s c-suite and, more importantly, from its sales team.
At the end of the day, “it’s all about distribution,” says Lewis. “So being able to have better conversations based on data really helps [the sales team] be more effective and more efficient with their time.”
*Mark Lewis is no longer at Slalom.