Location tracking CRM- searching for GPS

The lowdown on location tracking

GPS tracking is one of the most used feature on your smartphone- whether we realise it or not. GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) based tracking is most used by the map on your phone- to provide you directions and navigational help.

The accuracy with which your location is pinpointed on a map is amazing and as a user, we do not often need to know more. This post is for those who are curious to know more and indeed those who use our CRM to track their sales or service team.

GPS is not the only way- simply most accurate

As you switch on your phone and connect to the internet, there are ways your location can be found- though not as accurately as with a GPS. Your WiFi gives away your location, as does your mobile connection. The mobile base station to which you are connected knows you!

GPS does not need the internet

The biggest fallacy we have in our head is that GPS needs the internet. It does not. It requires your phone’s hardware to establish track with 3 or more satellites circling overhead. The moment it does that, it can establish your “Geo-location”- basically where you are on planet earth- with a fair degree of accuracy. Commercial satellites give you around 20 metres accuracy. The more colloquial term for geo-location is “Lat-Long”- short for Latitude and Longitude. These are the co-ordinates that your phone is provided by the satellites.

GPS has no connection with a map

GPS does not know your physical address; the way you or I understand addresses. It does not know 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from 10 Downing Street. That is where Google (or similar map providers) come in. They have a map of every little corner of the world with forever improving details and accuracy. It is they who provide the correlation between the GPS co-ordinate provided by your phone and your physical location. The map providers interpret the Lat-Long data to tell you that you are standing in Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

To interpret the Lat Long data, you need internet connection

When you open Google Maps, it checks for your Lat Long data in the phone and checks with its servers about what the corresponding address is. If your internet connection is off, Google Maps will not be able to get the answer.

But what if there is no GPS signal to get the location data in the first place?

Then Google maps will give you erratic and erroneous data. It might have the last stored Lat Long data in your phone, which may be in reality a few meters to a hundreds of kilometers away. How many of you have experienced driving on the highway, navigating on Google maps and suddenly you hear this “GPS signal lost”, and your phone displays “Searching for GPS”? All of us, right?

How Saleswah CRM users are affected by location tracking

We use the combination of GPS co-ordinates and Google Maps to provide direction assistance and location tracking to field sales and support people using our CRM.

Site address stored in CRM

location tracking assistance in service CRM

Locating service site- location tracking in service CRM

Several things can go wrong

  1. Your phone may not have location tracking on. So, no Lat Long data and without that no map assistance. You will see a message like- “Sorry, your location is not found”

It is important to understand that you may get the same message even if your location tracking is turned on but your phone has lost connection with satellites. It can happen. And if you click through to this link, you shall find that this issue can afflict Google Maps as well!

There may be several solutions- but, usually this issue itself is temporary and the GPS tracking resumes after some time. Understand that GPS is provided by your phone hardware. Apps (whether Google Maps or Saleswah CRM) only access the provided GPS to guide you.

2. Your internet connection on your phone may not be working

If that is the case, your Lat Long will not be interpreted as a physical address. And your location on the map will be erroneous.

It is very rare for it to be the fault of the software. There, I said it!

While it is tempting to think the software is at fault- many times, it is not. The good news is that GPS problems resolve soon. And we do have a responsive customer care, if everything else fails.

CRM for publishers selling to schools

A CRM for publishers selling to schools

We have publishing clients who sell to schools. Our first association with this segment is almost three years old. Here’s the story of how we built, ground up an efficient and effective CRM for publishers selling to schools.

We initially tried to force- fit our solution. But, soon we realized this is a unique model. Schools rarely buy books themselves, but they prescribe. Books are bought by students once a year; from designated book-sellers. The books are decided at least 2-3 months before that.

So, this business has a season. For all of 4-5 months, salesmen fan out to schools, meet the decision makers – curriculum leaders, Principal and many times, the owner of the school. Sometimes they hand out or mail samples.

This is not a trivial exercise. The sheer logistics and and metronomic nature of the job is daunting. One client of ours, in one season alone logged 35000+ visits by using 90 salesmen across India. Their norm was 4-5 visits per working day. Another client told us their volume of samples handed out in a year itself crossed Rs 10 Crores.

We built the CRM for publishers ground up.

Issues the clients grappled with were:

Sales related

  1. Coverage. Are you sure all the schools in the markets are in your database?
  2. Contact: Are you getting in early in the academic year, right in the beginning of the evaluation cycle and registering your presence and credentials?
  3. Penetration: Have you identified and met with and presented your products to all the key stakeholders in the decision making process?

crm for publishers dashboard

Tracking key parameters and milestones are important in every industry. Book finalization date is one such date to track. Because after that date, no more selling- the decision is taken and if your book (s) did not make the cut, wait till next year.

It helped that we are fundamentally mobile first, web first. So, we made it possible for salespeople to add schools and booksellers in the database on the fly; not have to wait for them to come back to office. We focused on efficiency and ease of use and validated with early users.

It all worked out.

Logistics and cost of samples distribution

  1. Ensure the samples are distributed to the correct people.
  2. Measure the results of the samples distribution.
  3. Capture all sample requests and fulfill them in a timely manner.

We knew we had to crack this to be effective. So, we track every piece of sample that is given out, we capture the samples inventory carried by sales people. At the end of the year, it is easy for us to compare the books prescribed by a school and the samples given out.

Discipline and administration

It is hard work keeping the same routine day after day and setting up visits and following up. In this business, the more people you meet, and regularly at that, translates into more business.

  1.  How do you ensure your sales people are setting the pace, visiting at least 4-5 schools per day?
  2.  Ensure they did visit the schools they said they visited.
  3.  Make the sale people see value in using the mobile app for reporting?CRM for publishers

We knew we had to get this one right. So we worked on functionality and clean UI to ensure that sales people logged visits and meeting notes in an easy to read format. And, in an attempt to do away with multiple updates and printouts, we did this online. Not only that, we ensured the managers could email a comment right there and then by clicking reply to the visit note.

Huge, huge help when you are managing a dispersed sales team, spread across states. And, of course we allow you to track the visits with the help of GPS- taking the subjectivity out of those “what were you doing all day?” discussions.

Sign up, for a free trial: here. Or, contact us for a demo.