How We Improved Our Sales Processes With Sales Apps

Learn how Giovanni used a no-code app to increase his sale process productivity and close a deal with Lena’s company. 

Sales apps

Angelika Methner

Guides

Sales manager Giovanni Antonello [name changed] works at a large manufacturing company that builds machines for manufacturing lines. He and his client Lena Gustavsson, head of operations at a big pharma company, are having an animated discussion. As they walk across Lena’s production site, they are discussing Giovanni’s sales pitch, and how the machines he is offering could save Lena’s company money, and reduce the workload while increasing productivity.

Lena is interested in Giovanni’s offer but she needs more information regarding the return on investment (ROI) on each of the machines. She also wants to know more about the amortization level of the machines. This type of information is important to her as she prepares to raise the question with her fellow managers and the procurement department. 

Giovanni is prepared to answer all her questions right away. Earlier this week, his head of sales Jean-Pierre had provided him with two new sales apps to use on his phone during meetings with clients. Thanks to them, he can pull up all the relevant information on the spot. 

Pricing and quotation apps are frequently created with Open as App. These apps are used by a wide variety of businesses – from freelancers and small companies to mid-sized and large enterprises. 

These apps help businesses to easily determine the cost of their products and services, even when the cost is complex and must take into account numerous factors. Thanks to these apps, many of our users have been able to increase their sales numbers, shorten the sales cycle, and achieve greater customer trust in their company.

Giovanni’s Story: Providing quotes and ROI estimates with one click

Earlier that day, as Giovanni prepared himself for his meeting with Lena, he reviewed the sales apps, a quotation app, and an ROI app, that he’d gotten from his Head of sales several days earlier. 

They ran through the apps together. Amazingly, for Giovanni, the apps were very simple to use, yet could provide in-depth data about ROI, issue quotes, consider various factors that would impact the machines, and more. They could provide all of this information on a PDF that Giovanni could then send off directly to potential clients. This was in stark contrast to the complex Excel sheet they were using up until that point and which none of the sales team could use without difficulty.

Giovanni told his Head of Sales Jean-Pierre: “This is great, I can now answer all questions on-site and close my deals faster.”

Back at his meeting with Lena, with a few clicks, he marks all the machines that Lena is interested in, the number of machines she is considering, as well as the payment options, and the rates at which she can buy them. But Lena is interested in the amortization level of the machines as well. 

Luckily, Giovanni’s ROI app can also calculate the amortization levels of the machines, based on production amounts and intensity of use. In the app, he generates a PDF with all the information, including the quote, and sends it off by email to Lena. Two days later, Lena confirms her company’s approval of the order. The deal is closed.

Quotation App

The Challenge: Optimizing the sales process 

Previously, before he had his new sales apps, Giovanni had to pass all of his clients’ questions to the back-office. Due to the complicated Excel sheet they were using and the many requests they were getting, his colleagues could sometimes take up to 2 or 3 weeks to respond and provide quotes. 

By the time they heard from Giovanni, many clients had already lost interest. Their enthusiasm was fading as other and more pressing questions had called their attention. Others had simply found competitor companies that had a more efficient sales process and could complete the whole deal in a week, instead of a month. Needless to say, all of this was really hurting the business.

Why Excel is good for business but not flexible enough for sales?

Seeing this disadvantage, Giovanni asked Jean-Pierre to help with finding a new solution. While using Excel was great for calculating quotes and ROI, because it allowed for a lot of complexity and precision, it was impossible to use during a sales pitch. Giovanni needed something that could give him the calculating power and data offered by Excel but in a flexible and faster way – right there, on the spot, while still in conversation with his clients.

Jean-Pierre didn’t waste any time and got to work on looking for the best solution. He knew he needed something that wouldn’t substitute Excel but that would run on top of Excel, and make the best use of it. Moreover, he needed something that could run on a mobile device and be convenient and easy to use. This was the other difficulty of using Excel for sales – navigating the complex spreadsheet on a mobile phone was simply impossible.

At the same time, he couldn’t afford to have a whole app programmed from scratch. Sales figures needed improvement, and waiting for months or even a whole year for an app wasn’t an option. He’d heard from a friend about a new type of software solution that made it possible for someone without any coding skills whatsoever to create his own apps. These were called citizen development no-code platforms, and this sounded very promising.

That’s how Jean-Pierre found Open as App. 

no-code app to speed up sales process

The Solution: Sales apps that issue quotes within minutes

Jean-Pierre immediately started testing the Open as App platform. Following the steps outlined in the app creation process, he first uploaded a very simple spreadsheet to calculate rates, based on just a few factors. Within minutes the app was ready and everything was working without fault. The app was very user-friendly and there was no way to get lost or confused about it.

He then decided to amp up the difficulty and uploaded a more complex spreadsheet, one that factored in ROI, amortization levels, and more. This, too, was ready within minutes. This is when Jean-Pierre knew he’d found what his company needed to significantly improve the sales process with minimal disruption. Instead of 2-3 weeks it would now take his sales staff 2-3 minutes to issue quotes and provide detailed data to their leads.

Fast forward to Giovanni who has just closed the deal with Lena. Thanks to the apps developed by Jean-Pierre, Giovanni was able to reach his current sales target, and shorten the sales cycle as never before. 

Speaking to Jean-Pierre, he shared that the new sales apps allowed him to always stay up to date and that the whole sales process had become more straightforward than it used to be. With their help, he could serve his clients more professionally. Seeing how useful the apps were, they started planning a whole series of additional apps. They also integrated the quote an ROI apps into their company’s CRM which made it easier to keep track of the different clients.

What does the sales team like about the sales apps?

For Jean-Pierre as the Head of Sales, the challenge was to find a solution that would reduce the time it took to issue quotes to potential clients and to shorten the sales cycle. 

He also wanted to improve the overall quality of work of his sales staff and provide them with a tool that would grant them greater legitimacy and professionalism in the eyes of their clients. 

Finally, he needed a solution that would allow him to make changes, without needing the assistance of an IT consultant or requiring any special IT resources. 

Thanks to Open as App, here is how the sales process has been improved:

  • Faster sales cycle and more deals being closed
  • Figures are always up to date
  • Quotes are instantly delivered and correctly calculated
  • Bespoke app – the app is tailored to the company’s needs and can be edited accordingly
  • Costs for creating an application with Open as App are significantly lower than having an app developed from scratch
  • Inside sales capacity is freed up for other purposes such as strategic calculations
  • Information can be pushed directly to the company CRM due to integration with the app
  • Deal size increase because sales representatives are empowered to match the needs of the customer
  • More tools for sales representatives that enable them to respond to customer questions on the spot
  • Easy ROI calculation for the products 

Features of Giovanni’s sales apps

Giovanni’s sales apps included a quotation app as well as an ROI app. See below for a description of the different functionalities that these apps offer.

Quotation app

The quotation app which Giovanni used in his sales pitch with Lena, allows him to calculate a specific quote for a customer on-site. It includes features such as:

  • Setting individual figures for the quote, depending on what the customer wants
  • Calculating the quote
  • Adding customer details (e.g. address) and conditions that apply (special rates)
  • Printing a PDF 
  • Sending the file to the customer per email
  • Quote signature option for the client using a signature pad
  • App synchronization with the company CRM system

This app allows Giovanni to issue quotes on the spot. It is based on a spreadsheet created by the sales back-office and is always up to date. In other words, Giovanni does not need to worry about the logic of the spreadsheet – he only needs to input what his clients request and provide them with the output. Of course, this app may contain various other sections and options, depending on a business’s specific needs.

ROI app

ROI app

The ROI app, on the other hand, allows Giovanni to:

  • Add individual figures and factors that apply to the customer scenario (intensity of use/amortization, production amount)
  • Provide a comparison between different machines and their prices
  • Calculate the ROI for the customer
  • Add customer details (e.g. address) and special conditions that apply (individual rates)
  • Print a PDF
  • Send the file to the customer per email

This app is a great supplement to the quotation app, as it allows Giovanni to provide clients with detailed information about the usage of the machines he is selling, and their return on investment. It also provides his sales process with greater transparency which is important in building trust with clients.

How were Giovanni’s sales apps created?

Whether it’s one sales app or two separate apps, the process of creating them was the same. Giovanni’s sales back-office provided the spreadsheet which makes all the calculations of the quote and the ROI to Jean-Pierre. 

The spreadsheet was already structured and well-formatted so it didn’t require any additional editing to match the requirements of the Open as App platform. Jean-Pierre only needed to upload it to the platform via the App creation wizard. Once it was uploaded, he needed to complete the following steps:

  1. Select the ‘calculation’ app type – the app type is the basis for how the information in the spreadsheet will be structured and displayed in the app.
  2. Select the columns and cells in the spreadsheet which need to be displayed in the final app.
  3. Format and configure the app visually and functionally – add colors, buttons, drop-down menus, etc.
  4. Select the charts or graphs which need to be in the app – visual comparisons of different pricing options work really well in a sales app.
  5. Publish the app and test it internally in the company.
  6. Make any necessary changes and roll it out to the sales representatives to begin using it.

The process of creating the sales app was very easy and straightforward. Jean-Pierre didn’t require any assistance, nor was it necessary for him to have any kind of IT skills or knowledge. He simply followed the steps in the app wizard, and within a very short amount of time, he was already testing out the app and sharing his findings with colleagues.

Open as App could not have come at a better time. The sales process was direly in need of improvement, yet the back-office had their hands tied due to the many demands for quotes they were getting.

Change needed to come from a different direction. What was necessary was to enable sales representatives to be more flexible during the sales process, and provide clients with more information and various options on the spot. This would guarantee that they could meet clients’ needs and demonstrate a willingness to find the best solution to both parties. The sales app helped achieve just that.

Are you curious to try creating your own sales app? You can try Open as App out immediately and have your first app ready within a few minutes. Alternatively, we have many app templates that you can try out before building your own app. Start with your Free plan, and if you need more features, you can always move on to our Basic or Enterprise plans.

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