Coca-Cola Enterprises swaps 'cumbersome' SAP for Salesforce mobile

Coca-Cola Enterprises is in the middle of switching from its 'cumbersome' SAP CRM to Salesforce on mobile, which is being rolled out to 2,000 sales reps across Western Europe.

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Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is in the middle of switching from its 'cumbersome' SAP CRM to Salesforce on mobile, which is being rolled out to 2,000 sales reps across Western Europe.

The 360 Connect iPhone application is saving each member of CCE's sales team up to 45 minutes a day, which was previously spent on connecting to sluggish VPNs and inputting data onto laptops.

Don Weatherly, CCE's director of enterprise mobility, was speaking at Dreamforce in San Francisco this week, where he said the previous on-premise SAP application left sales reps spending too much time on admin tasks.

“We were on SAP CRM and the process was cumbersome. It was taking too much time, they were having to do a sync in the morning, they were having to do a sync at night. The sales team had to establish a VPN connection, but it was so cumbersome to use that they weren't actually using the laptop when they made the call to the account,” said Weatherly.

“Even when they did the application was too slow. We also had information spread across too many systems, there was a lack of transparency, and they were spending too much time on admin tasks. They were writing down information on paper then entering it into SAP.”

He added: “So what we wanted to do was go to a new platform that was more streamlined and made our sales reps more efficient, more effective, and actually have them spend more time with our customers at each visit.”

Time saved via mobile

CCE relies on its sales reps to go into stores and collect a variety of information and measure the success of sales with each customer. It has over 5,000 vending machines across Western Europe and the sales team looks at what products are in stock, what opportunities there are to sell more, and audit the equipment.

Weatherly wanted to enable the reps to go into stores and collect this information in the most streamlined way possible, via a new iPhone application with Salesforce in the back-end, replacing SAP.

For example, they were previously having to go to customer locations, write down serial numbers to verify the equipment, then go and load SAP on their laptops via a VPN connection and send back the data. This has all changed with the Connect 360.

“What they can do now is verify the last three digits of the account and input this into the application, or they can use their camera on their phone and capture the barcode of the serial number. What we are also experimenting with now is actually putting bluetooth asset tags on all of the coolers,” said Weatherly.

“It's a proof of concept that will go through at the end of December and will hopefully be rolled out next year.”

He added “Another example is when the reps go to a customer and they have to ask them a set of questions. If it's a standard set of questions and nothing has changed, we don't force them to answer that question. But if it changes then they can do that.”

360 Connect went live in the Netherlands in June, followed by an October launch in the UK, and has just been rolled out in Brussels and Luxembourg. CCE will be rolling out in France this month, with Sweden and Norway to follow next year.

“The results of using an iPhone over the laptop have been very good. The sales reps are probably gaining up to 45 minutes a day extra time,” said Weatherly.

The sales reps are also taking advantage of photo recognition. CCE's sales team spends a lot of time measuring success metrics in store, where they look at what items are in stock, what should be there, what could be sold, which is all calculated onto a scorecard.

“Prior to 360 they would have to write it down, go back to their laptop, establish the VPN connection, etc. Now they can go to the cooler, take a photo and at the end of the account visit that information is sent to the cloud and what happens is we have got a cloud provider that does photo recognition for us and they now do those measurements for us,” he said.

“They apply those metrics against the photos and then that is sent back to us with the measure of success.”

Don't underestimate design

Finally, Weatherly said that other companies looking to enable their sales team with a mobile application should pay particular attention to the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) because in order to get the best results, it is important to make the enterprise application feel like a consumer one.

“Focus on the UI and UX as much as you can for the functional requirements. The day of enterprise applications not looking as good as consumer applications are over, you really can't do that in a mobile landscape,” said Weatherly.

“These people use iPhones and Android applications all the time and unless you meet those expectations in the enterprise you are going to have adoption challenges.”