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Tell us about your organization.
The need to understand the health of our business becomes more and more relevant as time goes on—and especially under current circumstances. One of the areas I’m responsible for is identifying the metrics and trends and potential challenges within our arena. We understand our business once it’s on the books and we can see what [Web ads are] set to run. That’s clearly available. What we didn’t have was a good, robust tool to be able to see what’s in the pipeline downstream. We wanted to look at what’s set for next quarter or in the next six months or next year.
How did this challenge affect business?
When we look at our book of business, we want to look not just at when an advertiser books to run an ad on our site, but also when the actual campaign is running and the revenue we will see when that campaign actually runs. For example, when we are in the middle of December, advertisers book to run January through February of next year. When we implemented Salesforce.com last July, one challenge we identified was the fact that [the software] is good about giving you a perspective, at that time, of the health of the business—but doesn’t necessarily provide you with good insight of how your business has changed from one period to the next. We want to identify what’s changed week after week so we get some insight in terms of trending.
Salesforce.com would just show that you booked a deal, and the booked amount. We also want to see our revenue goals by month, quarter, and year. Really, from a pipeline-management point of view, we were trying to understand the business at not just an entity level, but down to the salesperson level and also down to the individual advertiser or campaign level.
What’s filled the void?
Cloud9 [solves] that particular area of weakness that we have within Salesforce. It actively shows you the current state of the business—and, more important for us, what has changed from the prior period: the previous day, week, quarter—whatever you want to look at. [Cloud9 said], “This is how we can get it to you at a quick turnaround. We’ve implemented this for other clients. Based on your unique needs as a business, we can address those through some incremental development work above what we would normally provide, and we can provide that visibility very quickly.” The implementation took about five weeks.
What results have you seen?
Since then, we’ve begun issuing reports [about the health of the business]—not only to the sales group, but to senior management, too. We now have a clear way of seeing how healthy the business is and we can identify [an area] to focus on—whether that’s a particular campaign or a salesperson. From a sales point of view, if you hit [your] goal, great. But if not, why [didn’t you]? This tool…has given us the ability to understand why—[now] we can effect the change proactively rather than reactively.
When times are good, if you’re hitting budgets and goals, and everyone is comfortable and happy, business just flows. But when the economy is where it is [now] and budgets are being cut and spending is being scrutinized, [you have to] look at pipeline management—not what’s booked, but what’s out there still to happen. “What do we need to do to move this forward?” The way the economy is, you want to be able to see that on a more-frequent basis to get a good pulse on the way the business is progressing.
5 FAST FACTS:
How old is the implementation?
The system was implemented in September 2008 and went live in October.
Who was involved in the decision process?
Fandango’s vice presidents of operations and of business intelligence.
What’s been the best CRM idea?
The ability to see how our business is trending week-over-week so we can address potential issues before it’s too late.
The ability to really understand our business at a much deeper level and in as close to real time as possible. The granularity is far greater than we could have achieved historically.
Not having implemented the technology sooner.
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