For any sales team, updating and utilising an effective database is crucial. Roche wanted an iPad app that could keep their CRM system up to date, increase the number of prospects and push their sales success through the roof - and all of this whilst their team are out and about.
CRM on the road
Roche Pharmaceuticals are a global leader in the supply of diagnostic tools and drugs across many areas of the pharmaceutical industry.
Fruit Design approached us to create an iPad app that linked directly to Roche’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, to assist sales staff working in the field to maintain key customer data whilst away from the office.
By giving sales staff access to customer data on the move, Roche hoped to develop better customer relationships and bring about an increase customer loyalty in the purchase of consumables ('reagents') after an initial product sale was complete.
The app needed to provide a record look-up facility, either by the customer's name or the site they work at and should allow the sales team to update key contact data for each customer.
Additionally, the app should manage the sales team's appointments with customers and give pop-up scheduled calendar alerts when a meeting is due or should be arranged.
When a sales team member is with a customer, they should be prompted with a list of questions to ask which would help maintain all relevant data in Roche's CRM system.
Sales staff would also want to record the quantity, age and type of scientific instruments each customer was using, so they can monitor 'hot prospects' and be alerted when anything was due for replacement.
We built an iPad app that could keep their CRM system up to date, increase the number of prospects and push their sales success through the roof
Business goals achieved through digital innovation
Having met with the project's stakeholders at Roche, we talked about their business goals and processes and how the iPad app could best equip their sales team to work in a more streamlined manner.
We built Roche's sales team a custom iPad app, from designs by Fruit Design, which allows reps to regularly download the latest contact data and upcoming appointments from Roche's CRM system, and have these delivered directly into their app.
Sales staff can see, add and update their customers' contact details, job roles and place of work, monitor the inventory of Roche-provided instruments they have been sold and look for opportunities to increase sales of 'reagents' (consumables) to existing customers. The app records this customer data over time and summarises it clearly via a dashboard within the app.
Additionally, we delivered a simplified, locked-down customer-facing version of the iPad app that runs in 'Kiosk mode', so that when sales staff are with clients or at exhibitions, prospects or customers can enter their own data, or sign up for services, from the app.
Built for success
Alongside Fruit Design, we designed the app to be able to communicate with Roche's CRM directly, at the instigation of a sales staff.
Throughout the week, as the sales team meet customers, the use the app to log and update customer contact data and make notes on the outcome of their meeting.
The app adds to, modifies and regenerates customer data until the sales team member is ready to upload his or her data back to the CRM at the end of the week. Once the sync to the CRM is initiated at the end of the week, the sales team member is locked out from making further edits within the app or the CRM, so that the risk of data duplication is diminished.
Our sync process performs the tasks of matching contact data from the app with existing CRM records, or creating new records for new customers. Once the app's data has synced with the CRM, the rep is able to download the next week's data and begin the process again.
Technology we used
In order to connect the iPad app to Roche's CRM system, they first developed an interface on their CRM system which enabled it to send and receive contact data using CSV files.
Because of the sensitive nature of the contact data, we ensured this was transmitted over SSH. As iOS doesn't have an inbuilt SSH library, we explored porting the open source libssh library ourselves, but eventually chose a proprietary off the shelf library.
To show the dashboard graphs, we used the open source Core Plot library.