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Rosetta Stone: The Language of Smarter Selling
Since deploying InsideView, Rosetta Stone has increased its conversion rates.


Rosetta Stone, the global language-learning technology company, might be best known for selling CD-ROMs at shopping mall kiosks across the country. However, the company set its sights on business language learning when, in 2009, it released a front-end management administrative application and business-specific product, according to Charles Frydenborg, senior director of corporate sales in North America for Rosetta Stone.

Although Rosetta Stone's consumer division constitutes about 75 percent of its revenue, the burgeoning institutional business, which consists of education, corporate, and government groups, is rapidly heating up. Because consumer and institutional markets are markedly different in regard to product usage, this trickles into the marketing and sales of the product itself.

In consumer sales, it's about perpetual new client acquisition. Every time a customer purchases a Rosetta Stone product, he or she purchases one unit. When companies buy language-learning technology, they tend to buy at scale, which opens up more opportunity for Rosetta Stone to expand its footprint at-large, Frydenborg notes.

One of the top challenges for Rosetta Stone's sales reps was seeking out the proper point person in a prospective client organization. Language learning has traditionally spanned human resources to corporate training, but it's no longer unusual for business unit leaders or corporate heads of operations to make a technology-purchasing decision. As a result, Rosetta Stone needed to get more strategic with its selling efforts.

The Solution

Historically, Rosetta Stone sales reps relied on public database information from platforms such as Hoovers and Jigsaw to seek out contacts at companies. While these information sources were useful for gleaning high-level information and statistics about companies, sales reps found they weren't as targeted "when it came to understanding the individual or individuals we should be contacting in an effort to pitch our product," Frydenborg remarks.

As a result, Rosetta Stone rolled out paid premium professional social networking accounts on LinkedIn to sales reps, which "were great for identifying people, but still [left a] gap [when we tried to] marry that access to individuals with granular, detailed, prescriptive information about organizations," he says. So, in the fall of 2011, the company's sales team embarked on a pilot using sales and marketing solution provider InsideView's Sales Intelligence solution to not only identify the companies it should be targeting, but also whom within an organization was the most relevant contact. The team experienced a full rollout of the tool and expanded access for field sales reps in late 2012.

Using Sales Intelligence in conjunction with the company's CRM system, reps are able to cull dynamic alerts and information about key accounts or companies from data sources that cross the spectrum of social media to legal or financial filings.

"It has made us a much more effective and efficient organization. We spend less time targeting companies that can't and won't buy," Frydenborg explains. "Then when we identify the right companies, we are much more effective at getting to our potential buyers quickly. It has been an outstanding tool for prospecting, account management, and for opportunity qualification and generation."

Using InsideView Sales Intelligence, sales teams have been able to find and convert new leads more effectively. The company discovered that sales reps using InsideView achieved 22 percent greater lead-to-opportunity conversions by improving response rates on emails and phone calls.

The average win rate went up by 12 percent as a result of reps having more ammunition in selling conversations. And because Rosetta Stones sales reps were now reaching more prospective buyers in organizations, they were able to increase the average deal size by 33 percent by expanding the number of licenses sold to organizations during each transaction.

Rosetta Stone sales reps were able to improve the selling conversation as well, by adding a personal touch. One sales rep, for instance, tapped into InsideView's Connections feature and was able to determine that a member of the executive management team at a retail company and prospective client company was a former colleague of Rosetta Stone's executive counsel.

"The salesperson [now] has to be consultative, and you can only be in a consultative role if you are fully informed about your client, their business, where they're investing their dollars, and where they are in terms of their strategy," Frydenborg concludes.—Kelly Liyakasa

Real Results

  • More than tripled sales to contacted customers.
  • Tripled revenue per call.
  • Increased cross-sell index scores from 3.6 to 6.
  • Improved customer loyalty index scores from 4.2 to 7.1.

The Commonwealth of Virginia: Getting Government Organized
Microsoft Dynamics automates business processes and improves productivity across state government.


More than 8 million people live in Virginia—which means there are a lot of government records to maintain. With a growing population, many agencies throughout the commonwealth were struggling with outdated, costly CRM models that hindered citizen service. "Each agency was operating its technology through separate parts. What we sought to do was bring a more businesslike and more disciplined approach to managing technology across the enterprise of state government," says Sam Nixon Jr., chief information officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The economic crisis that left many states facing financial challenges while struggling to meet citizens' needs was an additional burden. "[We] had to balance our budget, and we wanted to turn to better technology to help us do that," Governor Bob McDonnell says.

With obsolete CRM solutions and an unpredictable economic environment, the Commonwealth of Virginia was ready to take the plunge and implement uniform solutions across agencies, improve accountability, and ultimately fix the way its citizens interact with state agencies.

The Solution

Working closely with government officials, Virginia's Microsoft Dynamics CRM team quickly identified the key issue and determined how to solve it. "They had multiple agencies using various tools with no consistency, and we were able to meet this challenge by standardizing their approach on our platform," Leo Manson, senior marketing manager at Microsoft, explains.

The solutions deployed were individualized to meet the needs of each agency, including the Department of Historic Resources, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Virginia Information Technology Agency, and the Governor's Office.

The State Board of Elections worked with Microsoft Dynamics to cut costs and increase efficiency. The Board of Elections, responsible for conducting and monitoring all elections in the state, didn't have enough HR, procurement, or inventory resources and turned to CRM for those solutions, says Matthew Davis, information resources manager at the Board of Elections. In the first election following the December 2011 solution deployment, more than 1,400 campaigns and political committees filed applications electronically through the implementation."Prior to our locality management system, we had multiple Excel spreadsheets and access databases that were outside of the control of the IT department within our agency. Through the new system, all our staff is now able to easily access all 134 localities' information," Davis says. The Board of Elections has reduced staffing requirements by two full-time employees and eliminated the need for an outside agency to provide additional support services.

The modernized business functions have enabled faster processing of inquiries and concerns, helped expedite the retirement of outdated, often unsupported software and hardware systems, and allowed for the reassignment of staff to other tasks. Results from multiple agencies show upward of a 45 percent reduction in request processing time and a 50 percent staff reduction.

"Our solution has allowed IT teams to hire less staff, since many of the agencies can do some of the work themselves now," Manson says. "For example, notary public applications, which took between thirty and sixty days to process, now take less than a week, despite less...people working on them," he adds.

With the solution, most agencies were able to almost immediately clear a four-week backlog, and, over three years, the deployment is projected to save Virginia more than $340,000.

The commonwealth plans to expand the use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to other agencies and departments, particularly the Authentications department in the Secretary's Office. The goal is to implement a single sign-on system that citizens can use when interacting with the government online. "That way, if you need to renew your driver's permit or get a new license for your boat, you would only need one set of sign-on credentials per citizen, versus requiring new credentials for each interaction with a different area of government," Manson says. The department plans to replace its financial management systems and improve its human resources department as well. "All the things in the future," Manson says, "are aimed to make citizen interaction with the government more efficient."—Maria Minsker

Real Results

  • Three-year savings are projected to be around $340,000.
  • A four-week backlog was cleared in most agencies.
  • Customer request turnaround time was reduced from 25 days to 7 days.
  • Staff was reduced by 50 percent.
  • Processing time was reduced by 45 percent.

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