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The Path to Digital Transformation in Ad Sales Part 2

By Shift CRM (now Silverline) 03.30.21
Reading time: 3 minutes

In regards to digital transformation in the media and entertainment industries, part 1 of this blog series talked about the need to have technology that scales with the ever-evolving content consumption habits of consumers. Stats show that companies recognize digital transformation and customer experience go hand in hand. According to Forbes, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one.

The need to get on the path to digital transformation may be clear but navigating and following along its bumps and curves might be uncertain. Silverline has seen through many successful digital transformation projects including the following example of a client who came to us in poor shape after four prior failed CRM implementations. This hopefully inspires any executive who may not know where to start. Our client’s story may sound familiar. Their circumstances were unique but what they faced is common around the industry. 

Before Silverline stepped in, they had challenges spanning across systems, processes, and sales. They simply were not able to keep up with a landscape that was increasingly becoming competitive with digital. They tried to make changes to their revenue streams, yet their latest system continued to cause them to miss opportunities. While disparate data, poor visibility, and inaccurate pipeline management plagued them, the way their teams were organized also caused problems. Siloed teams created scattered processes that hindered accountability. Furthermore, there was no formalized communication between co-sellers and for global and local account communications. The 25,000 person company got to a point when they realized that they needed to turn their CRM around into a tool that would serve their business needs and allow them to adapt to future requirements.

It became urgent to find a media partner who would strategically align a CRM to not only best practices in their industry but to their exact needs as a broadcaster, and to further tailor their experience to their individual company goals and objectives. The broadcaster with subsidiaries in sports, entertainment, news, and more, tasked us with a complex project that was, in summary, a complete digital transformation from siloed order management, customer data and finance systems to a completely transparent ad sales customer lifecycle within a single platform. 

Hinging on Sales Cloud, the solution considered the dynamic nature of tracking revenue in media. Our team configured Salesforce to allow Sales to close more business by giving each account executive 360-degree views of their account landscape. They can now easily identify relationships between advertisers, brands, and agencies. Users can generate a projection of their expected booked revenue based on either linear or digital lines of business.

The system also enables the broadcaster to compare booked business to what has been delivered, and how this compares to overall budgets. Tools are provided for sellers to bring supporting contributions from various internal teams into an opportunity to drive business to closure. After a campaign launches, delivery details automatically flow back to Salesforce from multiple data sources and rolls into reports and dashboards that are available on desktop and mobile.

Overall, the project has empowered the executive team with the tools they need to accurately report on sales pipeline and identify where and when it makes sense to step in to help an opportunity close. Salesforce now provides the single view of the business that they lacked before by providing greater visibility into weighted scheduled pipeline, in progress and delivered campaigns. 

After the project several drivers of success were identified. A critical one was that the client’s executive team alignment allowed our team to drive the project forward with support. The broadcaster also came to us with an understanding of what went wrong with their previous implementations, and focused on not repeating the same mistakes, they shared their lessons learned and worked with Silverline on creating clear strategies. Lastly, by providing consolidated access to pipeline, forecast, and revenue data, Silverline and Salesforce was able to provide a never-before-seen view of the client’s Ad Sales business.

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