©2020 Built with love by Nick Howland.

Salesforce Field Sales App

Salesforce Field Sales App

A focused sales app built around people.


Role: Product Designer / Lead Visual + UX Designer

Deliverables: Visual Designs, Visual Specs, Prototype, Assisted User Research Sessions

Project Overview

When you build something with the intention of solving everyone’s problems, it effectively solves none of them. That’s the lesson we learned with the Salesforce App. While a successful app, it tries to do too much and stretches itself too thin in doing so. Through hitting the road and shadowing many salespeople, a new app was designed. All through a shear passion for wanting to provide a product for a focused set of real users and their real needs.

A Whole Lot Of Research

There’s no better way to understand your user’s needs than to spend quality time with them. To kickstart this project, I partnered with a researcher to shadow some of our field sales users across the country. We focused on users within the Bay Area, St. Louis, and Chicago, which gave us a wide variety of user types. Although they all held similar jobs, no one did them the same. The further away from the Bay we got, the less tech-savy people were as well–and more prevalent were connectivity issues with devices.

From our time with users, we learned that the average field sales user is middle aged, has around 10 years of experience, are out of the office 62% of the time, and do not receive training for how to use the Salesforce App. Along with that information, we also learned a lot about people’s perspectives around using the Salesforce App. Everyone voice frustration about the app being slow, which was largely because of connectivity issues and the nature of the app being built as a hybrid app (native and web). People also complained about it being hard to find things in the app (navigation), how it’s largely disconnected from their workflows, and that other apps just tend to do things better.

After seeing these reactions from actual users, it was clear that something needed to be done. I decided to take on designing a concept app for how we might go about solving these user problems while also paying attention to business needs.

While the Salesforce App is a successful product, it has become too complex for its sales users’ needs.

Actual Usage

Through research we also found that a large group of users preferred to use other apps instead of our Salesforce apps or features. This included native mail apps, native calendar apps, native notes apps, Lyft and Uber (for maps and location), Facebook, and LinkedIn. Within our app suite and features, we learned that there was actually only a small feature set that most field sales users utilized: tasks as their to-do list, notes to document meetings, records for staying up to date on business needs, and the calendar to organize their day. These are the features that make our products unique. In addition to these features, users also voiced the need for additional integrations, including the use of voice to utilize the app during their on-the-go lives and intelligence to help tell them what they need to do and when.

Since we shadowed our users for an entire work day, we also go to learn what their habits and needs were at various points of the day. Those can be seen outlined below.


Morning (Prep)

Seeing what their day looks like.
Learning more about their meetings / clients.


Working (In The Field)

Navigating to meetings, always on the go.
Identifying new opportunities.
Scheduling more meetings.
Taking actions.
Don’t always have a signal.


After Work (Prep)

Preparing for next day.
Scheduling actions for next day.
Scheduling followups.
Logging activity.

Salesfore App Satisfaction

Establishing Principles

Before designing, even doing sketches, I established a comprehensive list of principles. These were based off the research conducted and were utilized to make all decisions during the design phase.

1. Simple – A small number of features built around a sales rep’s work flow. Not overly complex and overwhelming.

2. Reliable – The app loads fast when you have a good connection. When offline, you can still access key information and input data. 

3. Efficient – It’s easy to navigate the app and find what you need when you need it. Inputting data is easy and doesn’t always require hands

4. Personal – Personalization should be shown through the organization of information on various levels throughout the app, both within a feature level and app layout, as well as language.

5. Intelligent – The app should be proactive to an extent but unobtrusive. It should take cues based on information it has access to (calendar, time, location, etc.).

Features Based On People.

Know What’s Going On

Starting off the day, a field sales user needs to know what their day looks like. The home screen of the Field Sales app presents a feed of what they need, when they need it. Actions are also presented inline to promote efficiency.

Know Where To Go

When you are spending 62% of your time out of the office, there’s a lot of places to go. Which means there are a lot places keep track of. When you’re on the road and you’ve got free time, it’s difficult to find something to fill that time with. With a built in map, the Field Sales app allows users to keep track of their schedule visually and it also tells users what open accounts and opportunities are nearby so they can quickly schedule a visit and add it to their calendar when they have an unexpected gap in their day.

Keep Track Of Your Day

Every second counts, especially when you don’t have a lot of them. With a native calendar, meetings can be quickly added after a phone call and your schedule can easily be parsed and organized. Meetings like followups or checkins can also be suggested since the calendar knows when the last related meetings occurred.

Hands Free When You Need To Be

When you’re on the road, both of your hands are occupied (hopefully). Hopping from meeting to meeting and driving across town doesn’t leave much time for work in between either. With the built in voice assistant, anything the app can do can be done hands free. And it’s there to celebrate the user’s accomplishments when they occur as well.

Offline First

Your productivity shouldn’t have to suffer if your connection goes out, especially if you are traveling through a dead spot or on a plane on the way to a meeting that you need to prep for. By building offline capabilities into the app, users can accomplish tasks regardless of if there’s a connection or not. And through efficient messaging, users never have to worry if their work is saved or not.

It’s Got Your Back

It’s impossible to remember everything. Luckily the Field Sales app is there to help. Through intelligent and timely push notifications, the app is always there to make sure you’re heading to your meeting on time or preparing for the next big day.


Through crafting features and a structure based on users’ defined needs as well as business objectives, an ecosystem is created that promotes efficiency and ease of use. This also leads to happy users which in turn leads to higher engagement and retention.


Susan Lynch – Principal Researcher
Kyle Haskins – Mobile Team Manager
Lheyla Escobar – Mobile Designer

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