'Off the shelf' sales management system transforms business

Tuesday, 26 March, 2013
Elize Engle
Namaqua Wines is a successful company that not only markets and sells its own brand and range of wines but also distributes, in South Africa, the Van Loveren range of wines, certain wines for the US wine giant, Gallo and Nature’s Own cream products. Selling 25% of all boxed wine in SA.The company has 14 branches and sales centres throughout SA.
However, Namaqua Wines needed to find a solution to a common problem experienced by medium sized sales operations, how to make its sales force even more focused, effective and inspired to greater achievements. Namaqua Wines SA Managing Director, Koos van Dyk explains: “Sales reps are usually very good at what they do-selling. But they are invariably not very good at all the attendant admin that goes with the job. We wanted something that would streamline the process and allow them to do what they’re best at.”

Having attempted to design its own system and following investigations into other sales management systems, most of which were too large for their requirements, Namaqua Wines was delighted when the company, Field Office, presented its ‘HoneyBee’ product.

The Field Office HoneyBee software is an ‘off the shelf’ product that has been designed to improve effective sales management and allow for instant information sharing. It helps sales reps manage their customer information ... and it helps sales managers, through its complimentary web application, monitor sales and rep activity. As a Samsung tablet-based solution, Field Office HoneyBee is a highly effective productivity and management tool and one that obviates the need for companies to manage their own hardware, systems or cellular accounts. It’s as simple as ABC to get started – training for the reps takes all of five minutes – and it’s a low risk investment because HoneyBee is attractively priced with subscriptions from as little as R700 per rep per month.

So, how is NW measuring HoneyBee? “Our call rates are up by between 20 and 25%”, says Van Dyk. “It’s too early to tell what impact this will have on sales but we’re confident it can only go one way and that’s up.”

Namaqua Wines tested HoneyBee in Gauteng in December and knew immediately that it was effective and that it was helping to stimulate not only sales but also enthusiasm among their reps in the region. “We decided to move swiftly so, by mid-January, we bought all the necessary tablets and rolled out the software to all our reps nationally. I have no doubt that we will see increased sales performance and customer relationship management from now on. It has completely transformed our business and the way we operate.”

Key among NW’s main targets are independent retailers and HoneyBee allows the reps to show the range and pictures simply on the tablet. Van Dyk explains: “Their job is made much easier because all the information they want is available to them, right there on the tablet. For example, they can check the alcohol and sugar levels of a product and the merchandise material that’s available for that product, the pricing ... you name it ... it’s all there at the touch of a screen. It’s really simplified and enhanced the selling process for our reps and now they’re not hassled with the paperwork that used to clog up their flow.”

“Every morning, I log in to the web app and I can see, at a glance, on graphs and visuals, who’s been where and what’s been going on, I get a snapshot of what’s happening throughout the country. This means we can interact with our sales force far more meaningfully and positively - in real time - and give them the sales support they need, giving management the peace of mind that our customers are happy and that our sales are growing.”

In fact, HoneyBee represents a significant intervention in the way Namaqua Wines does business. “We used to check sales progress via our orders but now we can check call rates. HoneyBee allows us to be far more hands on in the management process because the people who need to see what’s going on can do so and quickly. It’s also an HR management tool - a win-win for everyone interested in the successful development and growth of the company.

For more information about Field Office and HoneyBees various benefits for Sales Reps and Sales Managers.
Go to: