Simplifying the life of a sales person
I have a great idea, but I can’t seem to get it built the way I envision it.
At the start of their journey, most founders know they have a great idea that solves a real problem for their target market, but they haven’t been able to translate their vision into an effective product. The Zulu team was no exception.
The team came to me with mockups of their initial product that was outdated and most critically, did not showcase the power behind what their application could do. They were experts in the sales industry and knew if they could correctly build this product, it would bring a lot of value to sales teams, but the challenge was building it.
My goal was to take the concept they had in their heads and translate it into an effective product that showcased the value they would bring to the sales industry.
Defining the key concepts
The first step was to take a step back and look at what the application was really trying to do. This involved the process of asking key questions to get to the root what their company was trying to do, everything else needed to be put to the side since it would be very easy to over-engineer the product.
Zulu is aimed at helping sales people build better relationships with leads and close more deals by providing giving them the tools to complete actions as fast as possible.
Like all initial products, the key to building an effective prototype is to only showcase 2-3 core features of the application. This makes sure that as a company, you are easily able to test whether these features are in reality what gets your customers excited. When you are at the start of your company, you want to setup a process where you iterate quickly instead of building everything all at once and hopping for the best.
Zulu needed to:
- Know what my action items are for the day
- know who I am interacting with and how that relationship is going
- Allow me to quickly complete actions throughout my day
There were many other features Zulu could have and plans to have in the future, but sticking to the concept of building in small incremental steps, I made sure we saved those for the next version of the app and only focused on their key differentiators.
The final product
What are my action items for the day
The core purpose of Zulu is to help sales teams keep track of all of the things they need to do in a given day. What is special about the app, is that the list of tasks they are given have already been generated for them by a unique algorithm. So they no longer need to spend time trying to determine what to do next, that part has already been done for them.
Since this is an extremely valuable and unique feature, I wanted to make sure it was showcased in a more tangible way that aligned with how users would expect to interact with their tasks. The card view promotes focus, so that they do one thing at a time, while they can always swipe down to a list view so they can understand everything they need to do for the day.
Getting work done
An app that only showcases a list of things you need to do is not effective in itself. That’s why Zulu also has the capability to act on these actions by providing in-app screens to call, text, email, and prep for meetings with their leads
Monitoring your relationships
It is also essential that sales people can keep track of all the people they are in contact with at any given time.
Changing the way sales teams work
In 6 short months I had taken what was originally a concept with an outdated prototype, to a usable iOS and Android app which is now being used to internally test the core features with potential customers.
I know that one of the biggest struggles when starting a software product with a non-technical background is figuring out how to build it. That’s why I make sure to spend the critical moments at the start to make sure what is built, aligns exactly with what you envisioned.