Information leakage is rarely a deliberate act. Just ask Jeff Brown, the national commercial manager of Sydney-based mass merchant distributor Mayo Hardware. His company's 40-plus sales reps spend their days dealing with mass merchant retailers – stores like Bunnings and Mitre 10. There's a lot going on – pitching new products to buyers, in-store sales training, order taking, and assorted category management duties. It creates a lot of 'paperwork' and follow-up activity.
"Too much information stayed in people's heads, and notes travelled in the backseats of cars," said Brown. "So sharing information wasn't easy, nor was it very secure. And when people left, knowledge left with them."
Mayo had outsourced its computing infrastructure and business software, so cloud services made good sense, reflecting Brown's ethos: manage services – not IT. Brown had his eyes on centralised command and control information management. That's tough work for IT, and almost impossible for a Salesforce administration team of one – Brown himself. He wanted to develop and launch new services and apps on his terms. Brown also saw potential for mapping a desktop experience to mobile devices. Consistency on every device.
Mayo got started with Salesforce Sales Cloud. Brown soon had his salespeople logging their activity in Salesforce Sales Cloud. In tandem, Brown rolled out iPads and iPhones to the majority of his sales team. Salesforce1 Mobile App ensured nothing was lost in translation from desktops to mobile devices.
Fully connected, Mayo's salespeople got to work logging opportunities and follow-up activity. Brown said the change helped Mayo put a sharper eye on opportunities. "We're able to identify areas of potential growth. Combined with market share data, we can measure Mayo's share of product categories." Mayo also tracks opportunities, close rates, overall progress, and sales conversion.
Mayo reps record in-store product training and track who they've trained. Brown said this intelligence was extremely powerful, because it showed national buyers the level of support Mayo put behind its products.
Back at base, Mayo developed an app to manage product development. Called NPD (new product development), the app takes charge of product development and creates a clearer picture of key tasks in the development process – things like competitive, financial, and marketing analysis. When decisions are made, product managers follow work-in-progress reporting that tracks development right through to product launch. It beats the hell out of spreadsheets. It's also drawn marketing into Mayo's Salesforce environment, said Brown.
HR departments have long known the value of 'social' workplace connections, though, in the workplace, collaboration is the bigger play.
"We've been using Salesforce Chatter since day one," said Brown. "Collaboration was a weak area. Our salespeople really like Chatter, because they don't see much of their out-of-state peers. If someone builds a great display, or wins new business, they're able to upload the details and a photo, so everyone can see it and comment."
Brown said Chatter was taking the load off email. "Email is a saturated medium. We're pushing more general communication to Chatter."
Brown talks about the power of one way of doing things. The main pillar is Salesforce1 customer platform, which connects everything and puts Mayo's apps on every mobile device. Brown estimated that 70 per cent of Salesforce transactions were mobile. That, in turn, drove efficiency. "We're armed for customer engagement. Salespeople arrive on-site, they can see what's happened, and it's easy to prepare, even when they're in front of customers. Now there are no excuses for not being prepared."