iPad Sales App Provides “Wow” Factor

— September 12, 2012

New England Biolabs (NEB) is at the forefront of its industry specializing in supplying reagents, tools and the basic building blocks for businesses and consumers to perform genomic research. The company is dedicated to providing the highest performing research tools to the scientific community. It operates a fermentation center and fully equipped laboratories for production, quality control, product development and basic research.

Established in the mid-70s, NEB is one of the first companies to shape the biotech industry and knows efficiency and expediency are critical to its success when supplying products and supporting its a large number of loyal customers.
 
Before App
The company relies heavily on vendor and trade shows for new customer acquisition and lead generation, but has a complex product catalog with over 1,500 unique products with very specific technical uses. End users and prospects often ask technical questions of the sales and marketing group at New England Biolabs during vendor and trade shows. 

“During trade shows, the sales team would write down hundreds of contacts onto various pieces of paper, and then the marketing team would transfer those names to an Excel document once the show was over. It wasn’t an efficient use of time, and the process added several additional days to the follow-up process. Those extra days could be detrimental in the sales process,” says Danielle Shnider, market research and tradeshow manager of New England Biolabs.

To close the loop, trade show contacts needed to be sent the correct product information that was requested at the show. Days and even weeks could go by before all of the follow up was completed.

After App
The combination of a complex catalog of products and the potential for lost opportunities drove NEB to seek a solution. The company chose iPads as its preferred device and installed the FatStax iPad app. The device was then deployed to members of its sales team attending one of the largest vendor events in the life sciences industry.

Because iPads were still new to the business world in late 2010, NEB relied on the FatStax team to help quickly deploy the app. “The implementation process was a breeze – we didn’t even need to involve our IT department,” says Shnider.

The app provides instant, offline access to the detailed product information the sales team needs and provides the ability to deliver that information to prospects instantly. It also aggregates the names of contacts into a list with the products they were interested in, so the team wouldn’t have to go back through emails or hand-written lists to match prospects to products. 

The content manager functionality of the app gives NEB’s marketing team a single repository to deliver updated product information and collateral to the iPads, ensuring everyone has the most up to date information.

Expedited Delivery and Effective Time Management
NEB now uses the app at every trade show and event to organize information, capture contacts with their interests and follow up instantly.

NEB found the app to be intuitive and easy-to-use. “We often bring non-sales people to trade shows. Because the app is so user friendly, everyone’s been able to figure it out and start using it very quickly,” says Shnider. “Furthermore, there’s a wow factor to the speed with which we can supply additional information.”  With a tap of a button, NEB is able to email prospective clients the resources they need to make a purchase decision, leaving them impressed.

Driving Even More Efficiency

NEB has since taken advantage of many platform upgrades including releasing a private branded version of the app featuring the company’s butterfly logo, images of key products and aiding the European distributor channels. 

The company plans to integrate the app with Salesforce.com to automate lead capture from the iPads and will take advantage of new features from the latest version of the app including instant, offline access to PDF brochures, videos, and Microsoft PowerPoint and Word documents.

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