Local company Footprints Mobile has developed a cloud-based app by the same name that attempts to simplify customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Salespeople don’t want to fill out clunky forms to update accounts in Salesforce.com Inc., the standard-bearer for customer relationship management. Or they forget, leaving holes when they change territories. There’s just too much information and no way to organize it in other applications, so the process is slow and sales representatives often don’t do it.
With Footprints Mobile, all the information is kept in one spot with the account history, reminders and day-to-day activities. The system allows salespeople to plug in the data on a cellphone or tablet as they visit the account. It even reminds them if they have an open task to finish. It alerts salespeople when they are near an account, reminds them when they last visited an account and tells them the latest news curated on the app for the company.
What distinguishes the company from competitors is its map of customers and real-time updates using geo-fencing, a virtual trigger that goes off when in a certain area. Footprints released the latest version of its app Jan. 22.
By integrating into the Salesforce platform, the mobile app uses the sales representative’s accounts so he can review nearby clients and open tasks, generate reports and update information. Footprints Mobile allows managers to review the progress of the team and see real-time updates without having them check in manually.
The application also has real-time news updates so that as a representative walks into a meeting, she’ll get the latest news and alerts about how the company is doing and which representatives frequent that location.
“With our tool…the reps are actually becoming aware of things they maybe hadn’t considered, calling on accounts in ways that they had not thought of,” said co-founder and CEO Jonathan Friedman, 42.
Friedman recognized the need for this application while working as a field sales representative for Boston Scientific Corp. in 2005.
He struggled to find applications that worked with Salesforce. By the time the iPhone came out, he realized it was finally possible to make a customer relationship management (CRM) system easy for people to use.
“With mobile technology and GPS becoming mainstream as opposed to brand new, we felt that the technology was in the right time, the adoption of Salesforce is growing and growing and we know that there’s an unmet need when it comes to getting apps that are really easy for people to use,” Friedman said.
Using geo-fences, or a Google Maps-like interface and an algorithm that anticipates location, salespeople can get all the information they have on an account and news from that company as they enter that area.
“I no longer mind using Salesforce.com,” said Ron Guillot, former district sales manager at Medtronic, a medical device company. He is now U.S. vice president of referral development for medical software developer Heartflow. “Why? Because it is no longer a hassle. I don’t need to boot up my computer or access Salesforce with my iPad. Instead, Glogger alerts me when I enter an account, am with a customer or in a physician’s office.
Following a sales call, I am nudged to enter my data — and I do, because it is quick and simple and whatever the team member enters is downloaded to Salesforce making the numbers people at the top happy.”
Incubator and Springboard
Founded in 2012, the company began with Friedman’s four-person team of mostly software engineers in San Diego — and 15 worldwide — to grow his startup. He graduated from the EvoNexus program and the CONNECT Springboard program. The company was San Diego Venture Group’s ‘Cool Company’ in 2013 and 2015.
To date, the company has raised $1 million in funding through angel investors based in San Diego, San Francisco and New York.
The application became available in the Apple App Store in 2014 and is on the Salesforce App Exchange; Footprints Mobile has over 1,000 users of the app.
The two applications from Footprints Mobile are Footprints CRM and Glogger, which work together to track the information.
Corporate customers are charged $18-$30 a month per user for annual subscriptions. Individual users are charged $5-$15 monthly once they pass a certain threshold of usage.
Friedman said he hopes to offer the application on Android and other platforms besides Salesforce.
Currently, plenty of applications assist in calendaring or delivering electronic brochures, but Friedman doesn’t see these companies as direct competition. He thinks of his app as an alarm clock, but instead of focusing on time, it focuses on location.
“We’re the right tool to do your day-to-day activities fast and easy,” Friedman said.