The benefits of mobile technology on the workforce are only increasing. Businesses that empower their employees with mobile tools are seeing better productivity, streamlined processes, improved customer relationships, and more. And often it’s the simplest solutions, built by non-developers, that make the biggest impact.
Patrick Solum is the Marketing Director and Salesforce Admin for Retail Data Systems, which sells point of sale systems to restaurants, grocery stores, and general retail outlets nationwide. Solum attended Dreamforce 2013, where the Salesforce1 Mobile App was announced. He had barely returned home from the conference when he began customizing it.
“My plane landed at midnight on Thursday. I had the day off on Friday and I sat at my kitchen table on my laptop. It was almost color by numbers to set up a custom feature within the Salesforce1 Mobile App, and configure and build it. Over the course of a couple hours I built this thing and rolled it out to our reps on Monday,” says Solum.
What Solum was building was a way for the company’s 65 salespeople, who cover some 20,000 sites in 50 states, to log their calls on the road. “They have been waiting for a mobile option since the day we got Salesforce,” he says. The new solution allows reps to dictate notes after customer visits and schedule follow-up tasks, with just a few clicks. All of the information is then populated into Salesforce. “It was very simple for me to create a really powerful application.”
Not only was the app painless to customize, it’s also intuitive for the salespeople to use. Even those at the company slower to use mobile as a part of their workday are coming around. “As the tools become easier to use, they’ve started to gravitate more towards the app. It helps eliminate the excuses not to use it,” says Solum.
Retail Data Systems has also integrated the mapping tool Geopointe into the Salesforce1 Mobile App. Now field salespeople, no matter where they are, can quickly determine, using their smartphone, which prospects are nearby, who has been called on recently, and who the rep still needs to visit. This is particularly valuable for those with dozens of accounts and potential accounts.
Solum says the company has plans to add additional custom features to the app and grow its use across the company. “What the Salesforce1 Mobile App is doing is allowing us to take our use of Salesforce a step further and move in the direction of being able to run our entire business off of mobile. Where if you would have asked me a year ago if we could do that, I would have laughed,” he says.
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