Mobile mapping helps field reps close more business using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

posted in: Cloud/SAAS, Microsoft Dynamics | 0

By:  Linda Rosencrance

About four years ago, Kerr Dental, the Dental Division of Danaher Corp., was looking for a way to enable its field sales representatives to more efficiently use the massive amount of data stored in its Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

The combined challenge was to help the field sales team increase their interactions with customers, uncover the best opportunities in an area, and improve the reps’ adoption of Dynamics CRM, says Ken Buck, regional sales manager at Kerr.

The need: Access to more intuitive CRM data

At that time, Kerr Dental used the CWR CRM Mobile app from a third-party provider. But Kerr needed a way to enable its outside sales reps to identify additional sales opportunities that were in proximity to sales calls that they were making. Although Kerr always had accessibility to such data through Dynamics CRM, it wasn’t accessible in a way that was efficient for the sales reps.

“It would be nice if they could see how close those opportunities were on a map,” Buck says. “We tried to use Google Maps to find the locations of particular doctors on their lists but it wasn’t very efficient or a good use of a sales rep’s time.”

Then Kerr came across a platform called BatchGEO that allowed the reps to create maps of doctors’ locations from their Excel spreadsheet data, he says.

“That was good, but because the data we had was not always up to date, we had to go in every week or every other week and create new lists [of doctors’ offices],” Buck says. “And there were limits on how many data points you could plot and there was no routing feature or a way we could add appointments to our calendar with BatchGEO. Some reps were using Microsoft Streets & Trips, which helped them build routes.”

At that point, Buck says he decided to look for a company with a solution that could allow Kerr to deploy a solution with a connector to Dynamics CRM so reps could schedule appointments, route their trips, and identify accounts by applying specific filters and do it all on one platform.

A solution in sight – and in need of CRM integration

Buck’s research led him to San Francisco-based startup Badger Maps.

“During our first conversation, they told us they could do everything we wanted,” Buck says. “So we started working with them. At the time, their focus was getting [their product] to connect with Salesforce, and there really wasn’t anything in place for Dynamics.”

So, the companies worked together to create a connector for Dynamics CRM to give Kerr’s sales reps a mobile version of the app.

“I would say we played a big hand in funding the hours that it took for the Badger group to … start building out the Dynamics side,” Buck says. “After about a year of having them building out that connector and getting it live in 2013, it literally changed the way that we do business and allows us to easily identify account opportunities.”

Mobile mapping means field sales efficiency

The Badger mapping app gives Kerr’s sales reps access to key CRM data – without the traditional CRM interface. They have insight into their territories directly through their iPads, iPhones, or Android devices so they can see sales data, activity history, as well as nearby accounts while they’re out in the field.

The solution solves a key usability challenge: making it possible for reps to work with complex CRM data and organize customers by essential metrics. In fact, the efficiency of the company has increased over 100 percent since it deployed Badger Maps, with each rep seeing two more accounts and finding two additional prospecting opportunities per day.

“The biggest thing the connector does with Dynamics CRM is allow us to receive raw data from our distributor partners who load that data into our data warehouse system where our Zip Code sales information lies,” Buck says. “For Dynamics CRM, we have a feed for the dental platform and that feed takes the data warehouse information and loads it into CRM, and that’s where we get our data for the CRM system.”

Equally as important, since Kerr’s sales team adopted the solution, CRM use has increased by more than 75 percent, resulting in more market data being collected and shared company-wide, he says.

About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.