Mobile-First Strategy Boosts Sales Performance

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2016-08-09 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mobile-First Strategy

WIV Wein, an international direct-sales company, turns to a mobile-first strategy to transition from a paper-based business to a digital business framework.

Transitioning to a digital business framework is rife with challenges. At WIV Wein International AG, a leading German wine distribution company with a workforce that's mature and not always tech-savvy, the obstacles were formidable.

"We are in many ways very traditional," says Steffen Hauger, director of CRM for the Direct Sales Division. "We have some sales reps that are in their 60s or 70s. They are excellent and  know the business, but they are not oriented toward technology."

A few years ago, the company recognized that it had to transition from a paper-based business to a digital enterprise. Among other things, this meant adopting a mobile sales automation platform that would integrate with an existing SAP ECC 6.0 ERP system. The goal was to allow 780 sales reps in its Bacchus division, which connects directly to buyers, to use their tablets to showcase products with an e-catalog, place on-the-spot orders and ensure immediate back-end data processing.

The initiative was complicated by the fact that many of the reps are self-employed. "We had to convince them to use a system rather than force them to do so," Hauger explains.

After examining its options and surveying various vendors and approaches, the company turned to a mobile sales automation platform from Pepperi. It began rolling out the system in July 2015.

Delivering Mobile Device Management and Security

The mobile-first framework allows the sales reps to enjoy mobile freedom. The Pepperi solution integrates with Citrix XenMobile in order to deliver mobile device management and tight security for sales reps, while also managing app and product updates to tablets and smartphones.

For example, a sales rep can now go to a meeting and display a webinar or presentation on a tablet device or smartphone. The company can also push out documents and notification about new features or changes in an app. "We are dealing with constant changes, and the ability to automate the process is significant," Hauger notes.

By adopting a mobile-first solution and streamlining processes, WIV has achieved a 70 percent reduction in order-to-delivery time. Meanwhile, sales have increased significantly thanks to the interactive mobile displays and immediate order processing. There also has been a marked reduction in errors since moving away from the pen-and-paper system.

About 70 percent of the sales force has adopted the solution, and approximately 60 percent of the orders now arrive through the platform, Hauger reports. The resulting data—and the ability to obtain visualizations of customers—has been transformative. With a dashboard and filters, the company can better map sales patterns and trends.

As a result, "We are now able to engage in micro-campaigns that are more targeted and relevant for customers," Hauger says. "If sales results are below expectations, we can understand what it taking place. The reps can use these tools to structure their day and their work more effectively."

The initiative is helping the company become a digital business. "We have transformed a paper business into a mobile business," Hauger says. "We have taken a big step forward."



 
 
 
 
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).
 
 
 
 
 
 

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