Tip Top is best known in Australia for its sliced bread - a staple in homes across the country for the past 50 years. Today, Tip Top offers a variety of bread, muffins, crumpets, bakery snacks, and cakes via retailers nationwide. To get the right mix of products onto the shelves of each store, the company’s field sales staff meet with bakery or store managers as often as once a week.
"We need to ensure our meetings are effective and engaging with customers in the right way. Until recently, our sales process was not as efficient as it could be – a time-and-motion study revealed field sales were spending too much time servicing customers and not enough time selling,” said Paul Foster, Sales Director for Tip Top, a part of George Weston Foods.
The inefficiencies in the field sales process stemmed from a very traditional model. Field sales and customers would meet in the back office and spend most of their time filling in an order form. There was little opportunity to discuss new products or promotions. Also, orders couldn’t be processed until after store hours, when field sales staff went home and entered the data online.
An iPad-based custom app Daily Dough, built on the Salesforce App Cloud, has transformed the way field sales team works and engages with its customers, and put Tip Top moving in the right direction.
Now, the ordering process has been streamlined from start to finish by pre-populating customer orders in the app for rapid completion during store visits. Field sales teams can simply update the order and present it to the customer to verify and sign on the spot. The order is then automatically processed the next time the tablet is online.
This faster, more automated process has lifted the administrative burden on field sales while freeing the team up to better engage with customers in-store.
All product and promotional information has been digitised so field sales can access everything they need in just two clicks. They can also surface information about how the store is performing against others in relation to Tip Top sales. If a store is falling behind, field sales can provide data-driven tips on what they can do to get ahead.
Critically, the app offers nearly all of the same functionality both online and offline. Field sales only need to connect for updates and the automatic upload of orders.
“Field sales now have information at their fingertips to influence better outcomes in-store, whether they’re online or off,” said Fred Vrazalica, Head of Field Sales at Tip Top.
Tip Top worked closely with Salesforce and Tigerspike to re-engineer its processes and design and build an app that would both empower staff and engage customers. The app was fully implemented in nine months, supported by new sales processes like the pre-population of order forms. Ease of usability and well-designed ergonomics sped adoption. It also minimised training time and ensured the app was intuitive and accessible to all users.
The app combined with a new sales process has boosted efficiency by 20%. Most importantly, field sales can now learn from and engage with their customers like never before.
The app provides Tip Top’s managers with a new level of transparency, resulting in an explosion of data. They can track sales activity as it happens and pull reports to identify trends or opportunities for coaching.
A newly developed survey tool in the app lets them push surveys to field sales and gather information on each store, such as the footage of the bread aisle or size of display racks. They can also gather competitive intelligence and other insights to influence promotions.
“The app has given us a surprising amount of data and we’re just starting to act on that to build on our processes and the performance of our team,” said Paul. “It’s an exciting time for the business as we set a new standard in how brands work with retailers.”