Does your app need an update? Here are five steps to help you decide if your app needs an update.
A few years ago, Mark Walker, founder and partner at Red Funnel Consulting, developed an idea for a sales app with his partner J. Rusty Bishop. The result, FatStax for iPad, is a sales teams’ dream come true. The app allows the team to share the most relevant product information in real time by calling up hundreds of product options during a sales call.
FatStax didn’t start out as the highly integrated, functional app it is today. Red Funnel worked with a firm to develop the original FatStax app before they came to Connect Think. They were dissatisfied with the features, functionality, and inability to quickly prototype new features before making them a part of the core app. Because of this, they weren’t comfortable pursuing new customers for the app, and concerned about usability for salespeople. Here are five steps to determine if your app needs an update.
Step 1. Assess the existing features of your app.
- Connect Think began working with the Red Funnel team to review the work that had been completed in version one.
- We discussed Red Funnel’s vision for the app and how we could achieve their vision from a technical standpoint. Specifically, FatStax wanted to feature an unparalleled search experience. Looking to capture the life sciences market first, the app was to be marketed to companies with large catalogs, solving the problem of finding the right product in real time.
- We helped to determine what features and functionality were feasible and honed in on limitations and challenges. The original app limited search results to 100 or fewer for scroll performance on the iPad 1. It also could take up to 10 seconds to search a catalog of 25,000 products, which was the limit at the time.
Step 2. Look at the timing for the build process to help narrow down the features list.
- With a long-term roadmap in place, we divided the tasks at hand into several phases. Our focus was to deliver a revised version of the app, with a primary goal of marketing it to potential customers as fast as possible, without sacrificing the ideal features or functionality.
Step 3. Be realistic about what you need in your app and what you can afford.
- The FatStax app for iPad is the business model for Red Funnel. Its’ primary purpose is to augment the sales process. Without a superior product, the business could not compete successfully. That made the decision to invest in the quality of the work and to do so quickly that much easier for Mark and Rusty. It was worth the investment to do it right.
Step 4. Gather feedback from your customers
- Five weeks after our first meeting, Connect Think produced version 1.0.1 of FatStax for iPad. It featured an overhauled search mechanism, which could query over 50,000 products instantaneously, and present the full result set to the end user. Now that they had best in class mobile search, Red Funnel signed their first client the following week with a new version of FatStax.
- With this key feature convincing companies to purchase the app for their sales teams, FatStax turned to their new users to see what was next for the app.
Step 5. Keep building and testing your app
- Over the past two years we have responded to user feedback by releasing 13 updates to the app, extended the functionality to work with third-party CRM systems (Salesforce.com and Marketo), included support for sales collateral (PDFs, videos, and images), deployed custom builds for Red Funnel’s enterprise clients, and optimized the system to support thousands of users. FatStax is now a powerful, fully featured, branded mobile sales app and content delivery tool. The app has gone on to win a slew of awards and was voted “most liked” app at the 2011 CTIA Disruptathon Mobile Enterprise event. For a demo and more information check out their website or preview it at the app store.
Apple’s WWDC June 2013, has provided us with the latest updates for iOS 7 and Mac OSX 10.9 Mavericks. We believe they will provide opportunities for us to add new functionality to the FatStax app platform and to the apps that we maintain for our clients.
If you think your app is in need of a fine tune up or an overhaul, or if you want to know how to use these new tools to stay in the forefront of the ecosystem, we would love to talk to you. firstname.lastname@example.org