Business Case Project

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1.1 Executive summary

Today, Salesforce automation is increasingly being adopted by many businesses. Making data available to sales force helps achieve better targets and more revenues from sales activities. Mobile phone apps form an important element of sales force automation. Sales force automation involves utilizing software programs to manage different tasks connected with marketing. Applications and software can provide up to date information on sales processes, the performance of sales personnel, and information on inventory and customer feedbacks. With necessary information at hand, automation enables sales personnel to change strategies and selling efforts. It is time-consuming and tedious to manually gather information and track sales team. Automation helps a business improve processes, strategies and achieve better growth.

2.1 Introduction

Business processes must be efficient for any business to achieve desired value. Automation helps businesses achieve better efficiency. To be competitive, businesses cannot spend a large amount of time collecting information to use in sales efforts. Furthermore, manual data analysis is prone to errors and loss. In its place, the use of automation provides accurate information to enable management access accurate information and focus on core business. With sufficient data at hand, the sales team can achieve their objectives with ease. In the past, the use of sales force automation software was limited to laptops and desktop computers. With the increased proliferation of smart mobile devices, the sales team can have access to all important information on the go. Mobile applications have made a lot of things easier. There are virtually different mobile applications for every task. Most apps are mobile apps that can be linked to industrial software or commercial software. Enterprise mobile apps can serve as a front end to the enterprise software, making it possible to carry out all important tasks normally performed on laptops and desktop computers through smart mobile devices. With sales force automation in place, it is possible to develop a mobile app that can seamlessly integrate with the existing software. The paper presents a business case project for development and integration of mobile applications to sales force automation.

2.1    Purpose

The major purpose of developing this business case is to sell the idea to the funding body. The business case presents a compelling argument for development and integration of mobile applications to sales force automation. It articulates a clear path to an attractive return on investment. It also examines benefits and risks of taking action and not taking action. It also shows how the action will lead to measurable and substantial benefits both in the short term and long term.

3.0 General project information

Mobile sales force automation will be integrated to increase efficiency in sales force and add value to Enterprise Automation. The application will enable effective management of records and contacts. It will contain contact details including name, phone numbers, address, email and other information that can be stored and retrieved. The application will help in managing accounts and will allow instantaneous updates of accounts. The development of a mobile app will reduce the time taken to check or update past records.  Non-core activities related to sales will reduce as lead conversions, and related work will be automated.  The availability of data will make sales and marketing campaigns a lot easier since the details of target customers will be readily available. Taking customers orders will be done right from the customers place without much delay. In addition, the mobile app will provide accurate predictions on market status to enable sales personnel to prepare themselves for likely situations. Given that the enterprises already makes use of sales force automation software developing the mobile application and integrating it with the system would suffice. A middleware should allow the smooth integration of the mobile technology with an existing system.

3.1    Project Description

Keeping all interconnected components of the enterprise running smoothly requires the right apps. The practice is based on the premise that collaboration leads to higher productivity. The latest mobile applications provide businesses with tools and capabilities to make optimal use of data. The project will allow sales force to be more effective. With the development and integration, the powerful tool will increase sales win rates, enhance sales representative’s productivity, reduce sales cycle and improve revenue. Given that the business offers hundreds of products, the application will eliminate time-consuming tasks associated with sales activities. In addition, the sales team will have immediate access to order information and alert customers in the case of order delay and arrivals. When customers require information, sales personnel will have that at their fingertips. The application will improve both sales force and customer experiences, save time and increase sales revenue.

Enabling sales force reach more prospects will generate additional income for the enterprise and the individual. Sales employees and management will also easily monitor accounts to identify areas that require improvements and those that require extra attention. Equipped with such information, the sales department can easily create a targeted effort that will match most relevant products or services based on data. In providing support and services to the sales force, the capacity to access necessary data can generate the opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell during communication with a client. The application will also enable executives to create more accurate forecasts based on real-time figures, in this manner, preventing unexpected surprises.

5.0   Alternatives and analysis

5.1    Alternative 1: Build

An enterprise can develop or buy an app.  Building an application requires a significant investment as well as unique skills. Building a mobile application is appropriate when the business has a unique product management workflow. The benefit of building a mobile app is that a business can connect it to mobile application management software.  This allows IT to secure and control an app and its data. It is also possible to use mobile device management to secure and control tablets and smartphones to which the app is deployed.

5.2    Alternative 2: Buy   

The second alternative is to buy. On shelf apps have a lower barrier to adoption. However, they present unique challenges when it comes to security, management and licensing. Given that they are built for mass audiences, they are unlikely to meet every business’s specific needs.

5.3    Alternative 3: Hybrid option

The third alternative is the hybrid approach. A hybrid approach helps enterprises meet their customization needs without necessarily expending significant resources. Hybrid enterprise software refers to partially pre-built apps that are tailored for users or carry out particular common tasks.  Enterprises can purchase these applications and complete them with specific requirements before deploying them to users. The process requires some development resources, but it can provide businesses the jump-start they require. Most software vendors offer post-purchase development assistance to enterprises to minimize the complexities.

5.4    Alternative 4: Do nothing

The last option is to do nothing and remain in the same state. The problem with this option is that the business is likely to miss strategic opportunities associated with the availability of data.

6.0    Preferred solution

Building the application is the most suitable option.  Purchasing is made complex by the rapid evolution of the core operating systems and increased support for multiple systems.

6.1    Financial Considerations

The project is expected to cost $ 25000. The cost includes a list of items that will be required as well as costs of personnel.

6.2    Preliminary acquisition plan

There are various items and personnel required in the development and integration of the App. The human resource department will assist in recruiting app developers. To minimize cost, the personnel will be employed on contract basis for the period of the project. Procurement department will facilitate the acquisition of necessary materials.

6.3       Work breakdown structure

WBS Task Cost ($)
1.0 App development and integration Project 25,000
2.0 App design 6500
2.1 Layout Selection  
2.2 Design Graphics  
2.3 Design Approval  
3.0 App Content 7500
3.1 Select contributors  
3.2 Approve Content  
4.0 App Development 10,000
4.1 Set up the Website on Test Environment  
4.2 Perform Tests  
4.3 Approve the app  
4.4 Set the app on Live Environment  
5.0 App integration 1000

 

6.4       Assumptions

  • The app will be fully integrated to the enterprises’ system.
  • Financial resources are the most significant factors that impact the development t of the application.

References

Boujena, O., & Merunka, D. R. (2009). Sales force automation: a customer’s perspective. Journal of Sales Management, 29(2), 137-150.

Charland, A., & Leroux, B. (2011). Mobile application development: Communications of the ACM, 54(5), 49-53.

Erffmeyer, R. C., & Johnson, D. A. (2001). An exploratory study of sales force automation practices: Expectations and realities. Journal of  Sales Management, 21(2), 167-175.

Morgan, A. J., & Inks, S. A. (2001). Technology and the sales force: Increasing acceptance of sales force automation. Industrial Marketing Management, 30(5), 463-472.

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