IBM Expert Seller, Powered by Box, Delivers Curated Content to Mobile Sales Teams
Location: Armonk, NY
Use Case: Mobile sales empowerment through curated content powered by Box
IBM is one of the world’s leading technology companies, with a 100+ year history in technology innovation. Today, IBM is much more than a “hardware, software, services” company. IBM is now emerging as a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company who’s work helps transform industries for the digital age, such as healthcare, retail shopping, transportation, and even sports.
IBM partnered with Box and Apple to create a seamless mobile solution for sales organizations. IBM Expert Seller with Box is an iOS application that enables sales representatives to manage and interact with their most important content while on the go.
The art of the sale is dependent on many factors, including relationship building, timing, and preparation. When in the field, sales representatives need access to the right content that will resonate with a potential customer — and they need it quickly and easily. Wasted time searching through content repositories or asking for help from colleagues may greatly impact the momentum of a rep’s pitch and process, resulting in a lost opportunity. In addition, product information already in hand may be outdated or incomplete, which puts the sale, and the relationship, at risk. Reps need immediate access to up-to-date product and service portfolios to better prepare for customer meetings, answer customer questions on the spot, and close more sales.
IBM Expert Seller empowers sales professionals with the information they need, at the time that they need it most. Sales reps can use the tool to quickly prepare for interactions with customers and prospects by accessing up-to-date, curated sales and marketing content. The intuitive interface helps them easily search and identify the materials most relevant to their needs. Content is curated based on past successes, as well as what colleagues have indicated is effective. Reps can then present the best materials to customers on their iPad in a more interactive and dynamic way.
The content displayed through IBM Expert Seller is entirely powered by Box and uses Bluemix to host its runtime. By leveraging Box, the solution is extremely easy to configure and set up, and it exposes the full power of Box features within the custom application. Sales operations teams upload content to Box in any of the 120+ supported file types, including: documents in PDFs, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, as well as image and video assets. The organization’s folder structure in Box drives how the content is organized in the mobile application. The rep is presented with a custom interface that is tailored to their customer and/or industry focus.
The IBM Expert Seller for Box solution has been in market since 2016, with dozens of customer deployments across insurance, banking, retail, consumer products, and distribution industries. In recent releases, Expert Seller has incorporated IBM Watson for natural language understanding. This means that content managers who distribute sales material to a global sales team will be able to understand what part of a piece of content drives high usage. It will also recommended ideal content for a particular rep’s upcoming meeting.
In addition, sales reps can now access Box content through a web interface on their laptop. This has led to new use cases for Expert Seller as some companies are using it as a replacement for their intranet sites. For example, one major Italian retailer has completely migrated over 15 internal sites to a singular site, entirely powered by Box.
IBM has been using Expert Seller with their own sales force across 52 countries, delivering the most critical content to their sales teams in the field. Using Expert Seller, IBM has already seen a 25% decrease to date in the amount of time spent preparing for client meetings. Now, reps can spend less time searching for content and more time engaging with customers.