A Balancing Act: National Business Newsweeklies Publisher Leverages Salesforce to Unify 40+ Markets
- Management Consulting
- Employee Engagement
- Data & Analytics
- Architecture & Integration
- Order Management
Prospect-to-Cash Consulting Coupled with an Emphasis on Sales Enablement, Data, Integration, and Training & Adoption Helped this Publisher Scale Salesforce and Drive Greater ROI
During a period of declining revenue in the print industry, the C-suite at a national print and digital business news publisher recognized a critical need to increase operational efficiency across its 40+ markets. As with many traditional publishers, the company had grown over the years through a series of regional acquisitions but had allowed local nuances spanning process and technology to continue without proper normalization. Global pipeline visibility was limited due to the lack of a uniform pipeline tracking methodology and the capture of meaningful seller activities was inconsistent. In addition, the company leveraged multiple order management systems to support sales across various media types and lacked a universal definition around responsibilities for order entry, spreading order entry across various roles, local markets, and a centralized order entry team.
The client’s Salesforce instance had been deployed 8+ years prior and was highly inflexible due to major code-based customizations and legacy integrations. In addition, overbuilt data entry screens and dirty, duplicate data led to low end-user sentiment and adoption. And while a new ERP/billing system and data warehouse had been put in place in recent years, the company lacked a clear vision to build and maintain a tightly integrated Cloud architecture spanning its front, middle, and back office software solutions.
V2 kicked off the program by leveraging its D(3P)™ management consulting framework to analyze the publisher’s current state spanning data, people/roles, processes, and platforms. V2 conducted workshops across regions and markets aimed to gain feedback from both managers and sellers. Through these workshops, V2 helped confirm that key processes were highly localized and. V2 worked with the executive team to determine what levels of centralization might be appropriate. Given the success of specific markets, V2 collaborated with the client to map out a solutions strategy that would support a balanced approach, ensuring key processes could be centralized while retaining the nuances important to each regional market.
In the early days of the program, V2 helped manage the publisher’s migration to a new marketing automation platform which included designing optimized process flows, cleansing data, and implementing an integration with Salesforce. Next, V2 collaborated with the client to redesign core CRM flows and features to better support uniform pipeline management and seller activity capture. Much energy was invested in restructuring Salesforce Account hierarchies keeping goals around master data management in mind by ensuring a unique ID flowed across Salesforce, Workday (ERP), Fattail (Order Management System) and a data warehouse. V2 focused additional data efforts around Account and Contact data cleansing, and dramatically improved UX around Account and Contact management. Additional efforts included connecting Salesforce to Sharepoint to optimize access and collaboration around marketing materials and other sales collateral in context within the CRM system.
Next, V2 tackled booking, order management, and billing challenges. V2 designed a Salesforce-based booking solution to enable sellers to more effectively submit data to a centralized order capture team. V2 also revisited the connection between Fattail and Salesforce and implemented significant improvements. V2 focused energy around reducing custom billing scenarios which caused downstream challenges. Finally, V2 developed a strategic approach to integrate third-party credit reporting data with Salesforce, enabling finance to proactively manage credit issues to limit friction for sales.
From an architectural and integration perspective, V2 re-architected existing Salesforce integrations with the client’s ERP, OMS, and data warehouse in order to improve data integrity, system performance, administration/maintainability, and analytics. V2 also supported integrating data from an event management system to Salesforce in order to tie event data into the sales pipeline, order booking, and billing systems. V2 then helped connect data from an editorial calendar system to Salesforce, enabling more precision around order booking and deeper reporting capabilities.
Lastly, training was a highlight of this program, as V2 developed a highly customized approach to training and adoption spanning the many national markets. V2 assessed each market to determine current state usage and propensity to adopt, and deployed myriad training approaches to address the unique needs of each. V2 supported the client in carefully tracking early engagement levels and supported the rollout of supplemental training in real-time to ensure high adoption.