In 2013, two like-minded second year Computer Science undergraduate students, Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti founded a software company, Mesozi, with the mission to help businesses harness the power and scale of technology to optimize their business processes.
Four years later, the two were approached severally with a very similar problem, businesses lacking reliable information on the performance of their sales teams, products and services in the market. This inspired them to develop MarketForce360, a sales and distribution automation solution that gives businesses a 360-degree view of their sales cycle and helps them increase efficiency, reduce costs, identify trends and spot opportunities.
Launched in Kenya, MarketForce360 allows field agents to electronically record their activities and collect data in the field using handheld devices, providing an online real-time order and leads capturing process over mobile networks.
“It is a mobile-first solution that allows field agents to electronically record their activities and collect data in the field using handheld devices, providing an online real-time order and leads capturing process over mobile networks,” Mbaabu told TechMoran. “Through a web dashboard, the management and office personnel are able to get real-time information and respond to what is going on in the field. We went to market with our solution in early 2017 and have grown the product to over 10,000 active users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.”
The platform works simply. Businesses register on marketforce360.com, and create accounts for their field agents and office staff so that they are able to access the solution. The field agents are able to log in into the android-based application and collect required data in the field. In real-time, the office personnel and management are able to see the data collected on a web dashboard, with analytics and reports.
MarketForce is available for any business, as a Software-as-a-Service, from as low as $10 per user/month.
“Our product works well in sales force intensive industries such as financial services (e.g. lending, insurance, banking) and FMCG sectors. In Kenya alone, we are targeting over 1.6 Million businesses (from retailers to wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers). It is also worth noting that in Africa, over 80% of the workforce in businesses operates from the field,” Mbaabu told TechMoran.
According to Mbaabu, it’s hard for companies to manage their field sales processes in Africa because most firms use traditional forms (pen and paper, excel) to capture sales data which leads to slow fulfillment of orders and loss of critical customer data; making reporting and decision making for businesses a pain.
“This ultimately affects customer satisfaction and business sales performance,” he says, “but digitizing this processes ensures that businesses have last mile visibility of their sales channels and performance; and greatly reduce the manpower required to manage, consolidate and generate reports for management and analysis, in order to make more informed decisions, faster.”
In two years, MarketForce360 aims to bridge that gap in distribution by delivering an end-to-end platform that enables FMCG brands to be directly in touch with the retailers, improve their stock availability, provide them with working capital loans and get real time market insights that will ensure better service and product delivery for the end-consumers.
The firm has deployed a business development and customer success team to onboard customers through offline channels and ensure they are able to achieve their business objectives through MarketForce.
Though there’s is a lot of competition in the market, the team believes that its product is superior, affordable, and backed-up with the best customer support. Mbaabu believes that companies and organizations gain competitive advantage and value by having access to critical data and software companies that help businesses to harness and consume this data deliver an indispensable competitive advantage by helping them to maximize their true potential.
Mesozi is investing heavily in developing the right applications for this, and making them accessible even to SMEs at a fraction of the cost they would pay to develop the solutions themselves, assuming they had the capacity to do so.