TissueTech is a leader in innovative technologies using products derived from human amniotic and umbilical cord tissues. The company is advancing regenerative medicine with 600K+ human clinical applications and 380+ peer-reviewed publications.
During our webinar, Custom sales operations apps at TissueTech, Sales System Manager Nick Labrada shared how his team used the Skuid Salesforce app builder to create an internal sales ops app that made its order management process more streamlined, integrated, and user-friendly.
Originally a customer service rep at the company, Nick moved into an analyst role focusing on Salesforce optimization. Today, he’s a Salesforce admin.
“I've always had a desire to improve processes and make an impact,” Nick says.
That opportunity came to fruition in a big way in 2018. The company realized a key piece of its sales process wasn’t scaling with company growth.
When a sales team outgrows its order management process
Prior to using Skuid, TissueTech’s order process was heavily manual. The workflow was lengthy and the user experience, suboptimal. Sales reps would secure orders for the customer service team to log in the company’s ERP system, kicking off the fulfillment process.
For every order placed, reps must provide 17-20 data points to ensure the product’s safe, on-time arrival. In most cases, the company’s premium products must be shipped overnight, adding complexity. With a manual process, each expensive shipment had a large margin for error and any mistakes on the front end meant a poor customer experience.
TissueTech has over 50 Salesforce users and, initially, the sales system team gave reps a basic order form to standardize the process. But the form lacked pricing controls and had no connection to Salesforce data.
“A rep would have Salesforce open on their phone and then be typing the data needed to place an order into their iPad,” Nick says.
The inefficiencies became more evident when TissueTech’s pricing model grew in complexity, along with its approval management process. While the initial order form helped the team get organized, the company had outgrown it and the executive team wanted change.
Reps needed pricing logic to uncomplicate the process for the customer service team. The company also needed order traceability, formal reporting, and a better way to track KPIs.
Salesforce could address TissueTech’s needs for almost everything. The big missing piece? A strong user experience.
“We weren't able to deliver the custom branded solution,” Nick says. “We knew that if we wanted to achieve something without a third-party solution, we'd have to go to a developer.”
How TissueTech reps gained a consumer-grade order management experience with a custom app
When it came to the new CPQ app, a branded solution was key. TissueTech reps also cared about user experience and performance.
In less than eight weeks using Skuid, TissueTech built a custom, mobile-friendly app that reps could use at their desk or on the go, drastically improving the order management workflow. All without writing code, and with a thoughtful Salesforce UI design for better user experience.
Let’s talk about how they did it.
A shopping cart with controls and pricing history lookup
Using Skuid, TissueTech built an order management wizard that guides reps through a shopping cart experience. They start with a product selection screen and from there, the system efficiently gathers all the data points needed to correctly process an order.
At the outset, reps select an Add Product button that calls TissueTech’s product catalog from Salesforce. For the shopping cart experience, a panel slides out over 70% of the screen so reps can see the product in the cart. With Skuid, you have the flexibility to set that sliding percentage to whatever you’d like.
Sliding panels are part of the wider UX toolkit Skuid offers. They’re useful for optional information, hidden menus, or sidebars on mobile.
To build this feature, TissueTech used the action framework within the Skuid Composer to call Salesforce Flows and Process Builder. The Composer is where the page-building magic happens. As a managed package, Skuid inherits everything you have in Salesforce and Skuid models bring your data into the pages you build. You can have as many models on a page as you want.
Back to the CPQ app, the Add Product button retrieves product and pricing details and also opens the sliding panel. By using a sliding panel, TissueTech optimized page performance because the product data only gets loaded when retrieved by the Add Product button.
As for controls, once the rep starts adding products to the shopping cart, a message alerts them that they already have an item in their cart. The app doesn’t stop them from adding more products because there are scenarios where they could add multiple items. It simply warns them in case they’ve made a duplication error.
Once the user moves to the shopping cart, quantity and price are required. There’s an additional useful feature—a pricing history button—so that reps can retrieve Salesforce invoice data showing what a customer paid in the past. It’s a quick reference so the rep doesn’t have to navigate away—which keeps them efficient—and it’s especially helpful for new reps who don’t know customer pricing history.
TissueTech also needed shipping controls in the shopping cart. The experience has a calendar function where reps can select the delivery date.
If they choose a date that’s not feasible (i.e., today), the system serves a real-time error message. This prevents frustration because the user isn’t confronted with multiple validation errors at the end of the process. They can course correct before saving instead.
When a rep selects the shipping method, the app generates the correct price for them. There’s also the option to offer free shipping by clicking a button below the shipping price. The button toggles so that they can reverse that option, too.
Through Skuid conditional rendering capabilities, the app prevents reps from moving to the next screen if any shipping details are missing (e.g., delivery date, address, etc.).
Nick achieved this by adding Enable Conditions to the button. This feature enables or disables button interaction based on a set of criteria, helping you control the data flow and minimize user errors.
When it comes to adding the shipping address, here's a great example of how Skuid and Salesforce complement one another. Using the UI built with Skuid, reps can retrieve all shipping addresses associated with the account from Salesforce, without having to leave the page.
Where customer accounts have multiple addresses, searchability is also key. So, when the rep types in the first few numbers or letters of an address, the field auto-populates options.
In a scenario where a known address doesn't exist, the rep can add it on that screen without having to call customer service to do that for them.
Once all shipping data is populated, a button appears to advance the process.
Given that TissueTech reps work with doctors to identify product opportunities, the company strives to be as physician-centric as possible. But doing so requires capturing more data and the ability to tie all orders back to the doctors who placed them.
The new app’s ordering experience retrieves a list of doctors associated with a practice so the rep can make the right selection. If a new doctor doesn’t appear in the list, the rep can add that person by retrieving their information from the Salesforce database and associating them with the account, all without leaving the order form.
Reps also have the option to tag physicians as favorites. Let's say a practice has 20 different doctors. When the rep selects a favorite, the app saves that information and the doctor will be at the top of the next order form.
And when the company wants to understand which doctors ordered which products, it can retrieve this information via Salesforce reporting.
Using encryption for credit card payments
Before the CPQ app, TissueTech reps didn’t have a secure way to capture customer credit card details when taking orders.
Credit card information was stored and updated in the company’s ERP system, which reps couldn’t access. So, whenever an order was placed, collecting payment details required an additional phone call between the customer and a customer service rep—who could update the ERP. It was an inefficient process and TissueTech knew it needed a better way.
Since credit card processing requires PCI compliance, encryption was key for the new app. So, TissueTech leveraged Salesforce encryption. With this capability, you designate who can access credit card information and what fields you want to encrypt.
As for improving the user experience for everyone, that’s where Skuid came in. The payment details section of the app now presents the encrypted fields alongside all the necessary information for the reps authorized to view it. Or if a rep needs to add new credit card information on the fly, they can enter it in an encrypted field.
If an account uses more than one credit card, the app retrieves all cards and shows only the critical information that helps a rep select the right one.
Reps can also designate one card as the primary method of payment in the app. It’s a time saver that helps them avoid navigating to another screen to retrieve information, which also prevents mistakes.
For added security, TissueTech uses Salesforce Process Builder to wipe credit card data from all orders after processing, too.
Approval management made easy
Prior to the CPQ app, the approval management process was entirely manual. When the approver perceived a discrepancy, they would email the rep’s manager, wait for a response, and email pingpong would ensue. One problem with this approach, aside from the obvious inefficiency, is it put orders at risk of missing delivery deadlines.
With the new experience, once the rep has collected all order details, the app helps them document any exceptions on pricing and shipping, which speeds the approval process.
The TissueTech team had originally worked this into its Skuid v1 app (where it began building the experience), but wanted to improve on it in v2.
If a rep selects free shipping or deviates from a product price in any way, the app provides a field to capture justification for these decisions. In v1, that place was a text field. But not having a standardized list of reasons made reporting difficult. So in v2 of the app, TissueTech created a standard list of reasons and incorporated a drop-down.
Now the team is gathering important data points and helping speed the approval process with concise justifications for decisions made. Streamlining the process also means that multiple groups at TissueTech can now provide approval instead of just one person.
When an order doesn’t require approval, through conditional rendering the app surfaces a button that lets the rep complete the order. For those orders that do require approval, the app routes those through the Salesforce approval process.
The way TissueTech wanted to show and hide these buttons in native Salesforce would normally require customization and writing code. With Skuid, TissueTech did it declaratively.
When a rep closes an order, the Skuid action framework creates a case in Salesforce and drops it into the customer service queue for fulfillment.
What it’s like to build an app using Skuid
If you recall Nick’s career background, he has no development experience. With Skuid, that doesn’t matter.
Nick insists no code was required to build the CPQ app. “I promise you, I look at code and I get a little scared, honestly.”
While creating the app, Nick and team started in Skuid v1 and, partway through, made the transition to v2.
“In v1 we had a great app. It was a great design, but it had a lot built on top of it...one thing that we did a lot of in v1 was CSS design,” says Nick. But that all changed with v2’s Design System Studio.
“You're not worrying about the color scheme because you already have it pre-built. Now, you want to do other color schemes? You can go and have multiple if you'd like. I think the real treat moving from v1 to v2 for me was that designability…” says Nick.
With v2, TissueTech also saw an immediate performance improvement. “Our reps love a performance boost because it means they're quicker and faster out in the field,” Nick says.
Pairing Skuid with Salesforce, the TissueTech sales systems team has dramatically accelerated its discovery-to-deployment process, allowing it to respond to business needs as rapidly as they arise. The company can now better track sales-related KPIs, has gained order traceability, improved reporting accuracy, and made huge user experience enhancements for both its reps and customers.
To see the full demo of TissueTech’s custom CPQ app, watch the webinar here.