For many consumer goods companies, mobile solutions to empower field reps have been out of the question as they typically require a high investment despite technical limitations and unreliable coverage.
But this status quo is about to change. Salesforce recently released new offline capabilities via a mobile application as part of the Consumer Goods Cloud Retail Execution solution that solves the traditional challenges of technical limitations and unreliable coverage, all while reducing the investment required to get started.
This solution connects the organization through the Salesforce platform by bringing trade promotion teams closer to the shelf and providing everyone from Account Managers to Sales Managers with visibility into accounts, territory performance, and key metrics on sales rep and store performance. And now, with the offline mobile application it ensures reps can access information wherever they are – increasing productivity in the field tremendously.
Let’s take a look at exactly what these offline capabilities offer, how to prepare your company for success and how one team has already started realizing the benefits.
Delivering Retail Execution Excellence from Anywhere
The new offline consumer goods application from Salesforce allows sales reps to take orders from anywhere with a solution that calculates the exact price of goods based on available promotions, customer-specific discounts and other pricing conditions.
These capabilities enable reps in the field to maintain access to data and complete their jobs, regardless of whether or not the store they’re visiting has cell service. For example, they can:
- Stay connected to Point-of-Sale (POS) and Nielsen data
- Maintain visibility into promotions to help up-sell additional products
- Conduct inventory checks
- Access display and competitor display information
- Review options to reschedule visits to retail locations
- View integrated route planning using GPS and map support
- Find information about upcoming visits and visit-related information, including a 360 view of a store and in-store live reporting capabilities
Critically, any changes a rep makes to data or orders they place while offline will automatically sync with Salesforce when the mobile device comes back online.
Preparing Your Team for the New Offline Consumer Goods Application
The new offline application location for Consumer Goods Cloud is separate from the standard Salesforce mobile application and requires its own configuration, which requires expert support.
Because the offline application also works online, reps can use it in any situation without having to switch back and forth between two different applications depending on whether or not they have a connection. And while this does involve additional implementation work, if your field reps need offline access to Salesforce to view data and place orders, then taking on this project should be a no-brainer.
Beyond the value of offline access, it’s important to note that in the near term, Salesforce is focusing consumer goods investments in further developing the offline application for a variety of capabilities. As a result, this application will be the foundation for many future enhancements for consumer goods teams.
Upcoming feature releases to the offline application include:
- Penny perfect pricing for more sophisticated promotion management
- Support for multiple order types, including standard and return orders
- Conditional surveys to support asset tracking and more flexible capture of corporate priorities
Early Success with Salesforce’s New Offline Application from One Food Manufacturer
As one food manufacturer moved more and more of its processes online, the company’s field reps ran into challenges as nearly one-third of the stores they serviced were in areas without any connectivity.
The search for a solution to enable their reps with access to data and the ability to place orders wherever they were led the company to the new Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud offline application. The company implemented the application as part of a larger Consumer Goods Cloud deployment and hasn’t looked back.
With the new application, the company’s field reps can now easily manage their promotional display inventory, capture competitive field information, access promotional assets, track corporate priorities, respond to audits, and visualize point of sale data all without service – enabling them to work efficiently and effectively from anywhere. This has not only helped increase productivity in the field, but also contributed to top-line revenue growth and deeper insights to improve store performance.
Ready to Go Offline?
Salesforce’s new offline application is an obvious choice for any consumer goods company with field reps who visit stores with limited connectivity (which, let’s face it, is most companies!). On top of that, as Salesforce continues to develop this new application, it will become increasingly more sophisticated than its online counterpart.
With that in mind, are you ready to go offline? AllCloud is one of the only Salesforce partners with experience implementing the application, and we’re already positioning consumer goods companies to take advantage of all the future enhancements coming soon.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of getting started, our experience with the application and how we can get your reps working offline.