Bloomberg: DeSIGNING the Sales Experience

Bloomberg had tasked Annecto, a team of five Carnegie Mellon University students, to evaluate and design Bloomberg's internal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This project was an eight month design effort that focussed on evolving sales tools to be more transparent, unified, and intuitive. I was the User Experience Research and Design lead for this project.

VISION STATEMENT

Improve the sales force experience and enhance client relationships through a solution that is focussed on transparency, simplicity, and unity.  

Process

Domain Knowledge

In the initial phase of this project, our team gathered domain knowledge by looking at existing literature and evaluating competing CRM products. Through Literature review, we identified effective CRM implementation strategies. While these publications were sometimes too diverse to inform our primary research directions, they provided a number of high-level questions and opportunities to keep in mind as the project developed. During Competitive analysis, our team evaluated eleven different CRM products to gain perspective on the breadth of features and functionality with eleven different feature metrics. Each software had a unique approach to capturing and organizing customer information, which we used as inspiration during the visioning process.

Field studies

After gaining domain knowledge, our team turned to field studies to help inform future design decisions and strategies. Field studies where conducted over two months across multiple sessions with Bloomberg employees in their New York office. Many research techniques and strategies were used, including Contextual inquiries, In-person interviews, and I like/I wish sessions. Our field studies was augmented with remote sessions conducted with employees in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and London. These sessions were conducted to gain insights into common and disparate workflows between North American sales reps and European and Asian sales reps.

Analyzing the data collected through contextual inquiry. 

Analyzing the data collected through contextual inquiry. 

Design

Using our research as a springboard, our team mapped out over 200 ideas to support the Bloomberg sales workflow. Drawing from the top ideas, we sketched out storyboards of how sales reps could use these functions. After cherry-picking the ideas that resonated the most with sales reps, we moved forward with prototyping a design solution focused on how Bloomberg sales reps call their clients and prospects and get an understanding of their business.

Prototype

Our prototypes ranged from low to high fidelity, using different tools such as Omnigraffle, Balsamiq, HTML/CSS and JavaScript. We gathered feedback from 38 participants, across six iterations.

Working prototype

Our working prototype took all of our design feedback from our usability tests into account. Each iteration brought our design closer to a solution that was robust and flexible, supporting Bloomberg sales reps’ workflow. Due to the confidential nature of our project final designs cannot be shared.

More about the project can be found here: http://hciresearch4.hcii.cs.cmu.edu/M-HCI/2013/Annecto/