Economedia is the biggest business media publisher in Bulgaria and is among the leading online publishers. Economedia releases the most influential economic media “Capital” and the digital general news media “Dnevnik”. The media group’s portfolio also boasts a few specialized media brands like CIO, PC World, Computerworld. Economedia reaches 1.5M people monthly through all of its brands. Its mission is to provide credible information through genuine content to help readers make informed decisions. They turned to us as the only Salesforce Gold Partner in Bulgaria. Valentina Tsoneva, Finance Director of Economedia, shared her experience with Salesforce in front of the audience at the Sixth Annual Salesforce Conference in a conversation with Lora Georgieva, Director Software Solutions at Next Consult.
What made you turn to Salesforce?
VT: Fully focused on our readers, we decided to make an in-house business process analysis in our company. As a result, we found that our two sales teams are working with two different customer databases. So, we decided to join these databases up to have more extensive knowledge of our customers and the products they are interested in.
Our second goal in this decision was to optimize workflows so that our salespersons can work more effectively.
Our ultimate goal was to create a better management reporting system with enriched and detailed information that is necessary for future decisions about the company's staff and products.
No less important is the freeing up of the IT resources in the company. By implementing the platform, we have managed to free our IT department’s hands and motivate them to develop new products. The media sector is one of the fastest growing in Bulgaria and we need an expert and dedicated team to look come up with new products and look after existing.
By setting these core business goals, we have begun to look for a solution to respond to them, as well as to optimize the business processes in the company. Initially, we chose another CRM solution with a customer focus. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to greater efficiency but helped us see what we were looking for and showed us the way of working with such platforms.
After this experience, we decided to look for the best solution on the market, in terms of CRM and business management in the company. That’s how we got to Salesforce!
How was the implementation process and what are your plans for the future?
VT: Our co-operation with Next Consult started in April 2018. We started with three-day meetings to explain our business processes to Next's consultants. Following our mutual efforts, they offered us a solution to improve our internal processes, based in Salesforce. Our partnership with Next Consult has allowed us to completely refresh the company organization, forgetting the old way of working and turning to a management system that is up-to-date and responds to today's growth requirements.
We made an initial strategy on how to begin the implementation process. We decided to start with the platform's standard functionality and to build and upgrade it over time.
The key factor here was to start with the most important processes for us, and then move on to the automation in other departments.
Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Next Consult’s team, the implementation of the standard platform functionality did not take more than 3 months. From January 1st, 2019, our two sales departments are working together, using the platform, and don’t use the old commercial databases. Everything has been migrated to Salesforce, and now it’s a primary tool for our sales and customer service processes. It contains all the information we need. We have achieved plenty of our goals for the moment: we have a single customer base, all the information about the usage of our products is in one place and we enjoy great management reporting. Thanks to the dashboards we have in the system, each employee can reach the important information as soon as they log in to Salesforce.
Our freed IT resource has been entirely focused on developing new and improving existing digital products, enabling us to provide a stable foundation for the development of Economedia's products subscription. After the successful start of the deployment, we are already aiming to build the platform with the additional automation offered by Salesforce.
What was the most important part of the Salesforce implementation process?
VT: It is very important to have a clear implementation strategy. We advise you to communicate with all employees and include them in the process by explaining the change that is about to happen. Good communication determines the level of motivation of your employees, which is key to the successful implementation of the tool. It isn’t a secret that the salespersons’ motivation is driven by targets and bonuses. From now on, we have automated business reports from Salesforce only, as well as any transaction and sales information. In this way, we have saved time for producing many individual reports.
Since the beginning of January 1st, all the important information for us is on the platform, and we have better reports on our company’s activities.
At the moment we are very happy with our work with Salesforce & Next Consult. We have achieved plenty of our goals and we continue to grow. After today's meeting, an idea of a new product came up which will improve our online trading platform by giving our customers the opportunity to choose the printed form of their subscription. As most of our data is already on the platform, this next step will be just a small part of our long and successful journey with Salesforce.
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