Custom app improves sales, marketing and reporting

Thursday, 11 February, 2016 | Supplied by: FileMaker Inc


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SouthTrade International is an independent sales and marketing company aimed at developing robust, long-term luxury and specialist beverage brands in Australia and New Zealand. Since launching in 2002, the company has experienced significant growth — it now has approximately 50 staff and offers hundreds of premium alcoholic beverages.

However, its reliance on an outdated database system based on Microsoft Access for tracking, managing and reporting sales and marketing activities meant it lacked the insights, efficiency and transparency it needed to take the business to the next level of growth. The static and offline nature of documents meant that every employee created their own version of the document, which would then be collated into a central repository. This process would often take weeks. Marketing also had no visibility into sales activities, and there was no standardised order process.

Following a review of a number of offerings, SouthTrade International partnered with Advanced Database Systems to develop a custom-built app based on the FileMaker Platform to manage, track and report on sales and marketing activities.

Sales representatives and the marketing team are now using the app for all aspects of their roles. Importantly, they are no longer bound to the office. The solution, hosted on FileMaker Server, is available on iPhone and iPad devices using FileMaker Go, enabling anyone to have access to the information they need, anytime and from any location. In fact, 40% of the team now works remotely and the company is aiming to raise this to 50% by the end of 2016.

With the app, the company has improved its sales efforts with a more targeted approach, developing a customer star rating system based on sales history. With added insights, sales representatives build their call cycles around the rating system, increasing the chances of securing a sale and significantly streamlining the process. The app also provides visibility into stock levels for each customer on the spot. With a ‘stock taking’ and a ‘talking points’ tool, the sales team can easily identify which stock is selling and which is not for each customer.

“We now have insights into each... customer’s purchasing behaviour, which allows us to provide strategic counsel and advice — something our customers really value,” said James Johnstone, brand manager at SouthTrade International.

The solution has simplified the ordering process. Ordering can now be done anytime, on any device. Using a workflow integrated with an EDI system, sales can easily raise order requests. Requests are automatically filtered and allocated to the correct person for processing. The solution also enables the marketing department to create more targeted campaigns to existing customers. Using FileMaker Pro on desktop computers, the team can see which customers are stocking certain brands and then arrange the promotion of other brands that they might not have purchased before.

Reporting has significantly improved. State managers now have better visibility into every sales activity and can generate their state or territory reports. Weekly sales reporting is also simplified, saving the team an average of 10 hours per week. It has also halved the time of monthly sales meetings, and sales call rates increased by 10% nationally in the first three months.

“The ability to access all sales and marketing documents on the go means the team can make faster and more informed decisions,” said Johnstone. “This ultimately allows us to provide a better service.”

Online: www.filemaker.com/au/
Phone: 1800 028 316
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