Integrated service is a big part of GMR’s competitive advantage as a full-service agency. With strong digital, creative, promotions, and staffing teams in house, the company delivers cost-efficient, seamlessly coordinated marketing campaigns to top-tier brands including the NFL, Pepsi, HBO, FX, and many more.
But when it came to generating and acting on business opportunities, it was a different story. The company was using a homegrown CRM system that had evolved out of their financial platform, and the limitations of the technology were preventing different teams from collaborating effectively and keeping the pipeline filled with high-value business opportunities.
The team at Silverline began by examining GMR’s workflows and identifying the best ways for the company to use Salesforce. Together, GMR and Silverline mapped out an implementation that would help the company start small and focus on the areas most likely to yield quick wins and encourage adoption.
“Since having a CRM in place was new for the sales and business development teams, we didn’t want to overdo it,” explains Megan Gavin, GMR’s Business Development Manager. “We decided to focus on account contacts and opportunity tracking and management, using the product tool to assist the team in budgeting and communicating numbers with finance as we were pitching different opportunities.” The system tracks opportunities generated from every conceivable channel: personal relationships, 800-line calls, website requests, and existing clients with new requests that fall outside an existing retainer or scope of work.
While the sales team became instant fans, business development and client management were harder to convince, viewing the new system as “just another thing to do,” according to Gavin.
Silverline and GMR explored ways to increase adoption among these groups, and together, they came up with the idea for a process that enables the different teams to evaluate—rather than just manage—the opportunities coming in through every channel. That’s when the system really took off, attracting more interest and generating more value.
“Silverline helped us develop a system that engaged users by delivering clear benefits,” says Gavin.
The new system has succeeded in facilitating greater collaboration and information-sharing across teams, while the ability to collect and centralize opportunity data is transforming the way the company evaluates and pursues new business.
Previously siloed sales, business development, and client management functions can now come together to contribute expertise, support one another, and make smarter decisions about the opportunities the company pursues. And for those responsible for delivering the work once the company wins new business, being able to see the opportunity sooner helps with planning and resourcing.
“The new system is helping us to gain visibility across all of our teams,” says Gavin. “It’s great to have that foresight of an opportunity that’s coming down the pipeline so that everyone can prepare for it. That’s really where we are getting the benefit.”
It’s also enhancing buy-in from management, because they now have better visibility into each opportunity at every stage. “Our CEO talks to each of the different teams to make sure that they are utilizing the system and giving him visibility into what’s going on,” Gavin says.
Better visibility is helping GMR become smarter about the opportunities they pursue.
“Some of the new business opportunities that were coming through the system and then bogging down our teams were things that we really shouldn’t be going after,” Gavin explains. “Being able to look at our overall work load and prioritize gives us the ability to say no to things that are not the right fit for us.”
Throughout the journey, being able to trust Silverline to protect their best interests helped GMR move forward and explore new possibilities with confidence.
“If I ask a question, Silverline always has an honest answer,” she says. “If another company is a better fit for the job or there’s an add-on tool that already exists that could save us money on a new build, they’re more than happy to make those suggestions.”
Looking to the future…
Building on the early success of the new system, GMR is already exploring ways to get even more value out of the investment. As a potential “phase two” project, the company is looking at developing a filter that automatically grades and prioritizes opportunities. The new filter will enhance the decision-making process with objective analytics and save their staff the time and effort required to evaluate every opportunity from scratch.
“I think it’s a very interesting way to look at the process,” says Gavin. “We have an in-house strategy team that deals with insights and analytics, and we’d really love to engage them and work with Silverline to see where it takes us.”