DJ-turned entrepreneur Glen Coates had only one dream – to make the lives of sales reps across the world simpler.
In this world where technology has infiltrated every sector, it is surprising to see wholesale dealers writing orders by hand in almost every trade show. Handshake-app.com was created to banish this archaic system and bring about a simple and effective solution for wholesale dealers. It is touted as the best catalog and sales order app for iPad and iPhone.
So, what does Handshake-app.com do exactly? It seeks to effectively replace the order form. You can now upload product images easily, write orders in lightening speed, confirm email orders immediately, scan bar codes, import/export date from your excel sheets and manage orders for your whole sales team with a single app. Handshake also offers wholesalers an online customer portal where merchants can check up on inventory.
Glen Coates, CEO and Founder, www.handshake-app.com talks about how he engaged technology to change the way people did sales in an email interview with TBE..
1. What prompted the inception of Handshake?
The inception of Handshake, like many revolutionary products, came out of frustration with existing solutions and incredulity at the lack of a simple, sophisticated iOS-based solution for writing orders. So many reps have iPads now but few have anything beyond basic PDF-like presentation tools that really change the way they work.
Also, since this space is typically served through enterprise software licensing deals, which come with high price-tags and contract lock-in, we saw a big gap for an agile, SaaS-based solution which would let teams of all sizes get up and running with minimum up-front investment.
2. How difficult was it to engage this market?
Driving awareness is a difficult task in an industry that has very ingrained work processes, however we have been lucky to have users who are highly evangelical about Handshake and have been extremely proactive in spreading the word. Also, having very strong ratings on the App Store has been very helpful in driving natural search traffic towards Handshake and separating us from the competition.
3. How does Handshake stand out from other such apps?
Handshake is focused on speed and simplicity, which are the two most important things for a rep who is face-to-face with a customer. Everything else is secondary. Also, Handshake is team-based and through our web app we allow sales and operations managers to quickly roll out a Handshake solution for their team without any per-device setup, and have all the orders come back to a single place.
Another factor is that many of our competitors are focused on the iPad – but the iPhone (or iPod touch) is a light, quick and lower cost hardware alternative that we support fully with the same functionality as our iPad app.
4. Can you share a case-study where you helped transformed a client’s business?
Goldwell (KMS Australia) who sell hair products to salons all over the country, came to Handshake simply looking for a data entry tool. Instead, their workflow ended up being transformed – by having complete product and customer information on hand at all times, by being able to instantly transmit orders to HQ for billing and shipping (eliminating the majority of order data entry for the HQ staff), and by having a history of previous orders to refer to. At the end of the day, the reps at Goldwell are much happier, and so are their customers.
5. How secure is the App considering all the cloud chaos that happened last year?
Handshake’s hosting architecture is a mix of both dedicated and cloud and is not solely dependent on the cloud. This ensures mission-critical functions are always available and we encrypt all information transmitted and stored to our servers so that data breaches via interception are not possible.
6. What is the level of customisation available in terms of aligning with existing software, adding new categories and so on?
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to deliver a flexible app that works across all industries that does not become bogged down in the complexities of any particular one at the expense of the rest. We have a highly flexible catalog system that copes with multi-level categories and product details like size and color with ease, and we allow customisation of logos, product images and email templates so that our users can really show off their brands the way they like.
7. Are you looking at newer Target Groups in the future, what’s the road ahead?
Our competitive edge is strongly rooted in the fact that Handshake is built with B2B reps in mind, and it really solves their specific problems. Diluting that core strength by chasing other use cases would be a mistake. Handshake’s future is staked on continuing to bring innovative mobile and web solutions to the entire sales process.
8. Any plans for India?
India, as a particularly tech-forward nation, is an important market for us. Handshake is today available in India and globally via the Apple App Store by searching for “Handshake” and looking for our logo, or visiting us at www.handshake-app.com.