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How Mobile Innovation Helps Brazil’s Pulse CRM Compete with Software Giants

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We can all recite in our sleep the names of big-league enterprise software players. Portfolios for companies like Salesforce.com, Oracle and Microsoft run the product segment gamut and boast significant market share. Of course, if you examine their target demographics, like the customer type and company sizes they attract, the story gets more interesting.

Over the past few years, a host of regional software players – those developing solutions tailored for local businesses – have emerged and begun to thrive in very crowded markets. Their collective success is due, in large part, to their understanding of the unique needs of those businesses and the ability to innovate fast to cater to those needs.

BExpert Group, a leading tech consultancy across Brazil, is doing just that. The company leverages its deep CRM expertise to create custom roadmaps and strategies for customers ranging from manufacturing and consumer goods to tobacco and service industries. BExpert Group owns Pulse, a company whose Pulse CRM solution is built on top of this expertise and inspired by years of working with local businesses.

To expand the Pulse CRM solution into mobile and further empower customers, the company created Pulse eMob. The new mobile app, a central part of Pulse’s CRM solution, was created to arm sales teams with all the information they need while on-the-go to better service customers. Pulse also wanted to automate overhead tasks to free sales reps from administrative headaches like route planning and tracking and recording visits. The upshot? Reps can spend more time focusing on the quality of their customer interactions.

One App. Endless Flexibility

As a CRM solution vendor, one of the biggest challenges Pulse faced was creating an app capable of serving differing organizations with unique ways of doing business across a range of industries. This meant designing a solution with extraordinary flexibility on multiple fronts:

  • Data and process customization: Every organization has nuances in their customer processes and the data they need to present and collect in a mobile app – and these needs change over time. To tackle this, Pulse designed a configuration console for defining the data and layout that is then reflected in the mobile app.
  • Offline enabled: In their market in particular, Pulse saw demand for a solution that works both online and offline. By providing data synchronization between the back office and the mobile app and making the data available for offline use, Pulse allows reps to access and update information on their device no matter where the job takes them or how strong their network connection might be.
  • Open and extensible: To give customers full control over their data, Pulse opened the solution with web services, allowing it to connect to any system or application a customer may have in their stack. This lets customers integrate and consume their information in whatever way their business needs.
  • Cross-device, Cross-platform support: It was key to support all the target devices and operating systems Pulse customers might employ. Also, because Pulse didn’t have unlimited resources to build and maintain the app, the multi-device, multi-platform capabilities afforded by the Appcelerator Platform allowed them to achieve this with a single Javascript codebase.

Making the Most of Mobile

To fully tap into the “smart” capabilities mobile devices bring to the table, Pulse looked to harness native features like sms, camera, email and GPS, allowing them to rethink business as usual, streamline the user experience and eliminate administrative headaches. Mobile ingredients like barcode reading, signature capture and route planning and tracking with geo referencing empower sales reps to achieve greater field performance, productivity and control.

Another area where native features shine is Pulse’s corporate messaging and chat capability, enhanced with push notifications to guarantee messages arrive quickly to each representative. This ensures information about order changes, such as blocked orders, approval requests or cancellations, are communicated immediately, so users are always up-to-date.

Always Be Closing (With the Help of Mobile)

Now, Pulse eMob is able to orchestrate and surface key business data, including product lists, SKUs and bundles, previous sales orders and cycle activities for each client. Organizations can uniquely define what information should be accessed and collected in the field, list that information with the necessary details (such as SKUs, merchandising materials and contracts), run routing processes and create purchase orders. This always-accessible, highly-flexible approach enables sales reps to have more informed, productive conversations with their customers and prospects.

Industry giants are already using Pulse’s solution in Latin America to manage large numbers of field service reps. One of these companies, Tobacco icon British American Tobacco, has more than 500 representatives in the field. Another Brazilian consumer good company has more than 2000. With some making up to 40 sales visits per day, streamlined mobile processes can drive massive productivity gains.

What’s Next?

With releases every six months, the Pulse team is always focused on the horizon. Upcoming initiatives include: better use of Titanium analytics to improve mobile device usage in the field; support for additional OS versions and device models; and a crash repository.

With everything sales reps need from a CRM application right out of the box, Pulse was able to create an ecosystem that would meet the needs of consumer goods companies across industries. The all-in-one solution covers everything from sales and trade planning to field execution and business analysis, allowing Pulse to meet the unique needs of local businesses and position itself as a player in the big-league enterprise software world.

pulse-app-screenshots

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