AFL’s Western Bulldogs Kicks A Winning Goal With Salesforce.com

Deploys Salesforce CRM in three weeks and halves Western Bulldogs sales closure time

SYDNEY Australia - July 5, 2007 - Salesforce.com, the market and technology leader in ondemandbusiness services, today announced that leading Melbourne-based AFL Club, TheWestern Bulldogs, has deployed Salesforce Enterprise Edition and has halved sales closure time
to 30 days.

The Western Bulldogs is one of the 32,300 companies of all sizes, industries and geographiesthat comprised the salesforce.com customer base as of April 30, 2007. Revenue and subscribers will be recognized as the service is delivered.

The move comes as part of an overhaul of the Club’s business operations in order to transform the sporting organisation into one of the most sustainable and profitable businesses in the AFL industry.

The Western Bulldogs Football Club is using Salesforce to manage its rapidly growing database of sponsors and commercial relationships which include LeasePlan Australia, WorkSafe Victoria and EzyBonds Global Payments.

The web-based solution is being used by the sales and marketing divisions of the Club to enable staff to:

  • Have greater visibility into the sales pipeline – enabling instant, accurate budgeting and forecasting
  • Systematically track and manage sales leads from beginning to end
  • Access a centralised repository of sales information that can be quickly and easily segmented to meet reporting requirements for its Board, sales managers and event managers and the Club’s community services team

According to Bruce Kaider, General Manager Business Development and Strategy at the Western Bulldogs, “to maintain a highly streamlined level of operation, Clubs need to model themselves on the corporate world. Having full visibility into sales pipeline and revenue targets is crucial to running a sustainable business and therefore a sustainable Club,” said Kaider.

Aging Spreadsheet System Was Inefficient and Couldn't Scale

The Western Bulldogs previously used a spreadsheet system to track and manage a data base of more than 14,000 contacts. After more than three years of 20 percent annual growth however, this process was becoming increasingly complex, didn’t scale and was inefficient.

“Spreadsheets are the common language for sportspeople and teams but as our sponsor base grew our existing processes became more and more disjointed,” said Kaider.

“We had multiple spreadsheets to track and manage sponsors so it goes without saying that there were duplications and inefficiencies. There was also no mechanism to set reminders or track calls and obviously no single view into the sales pipeline.”

“In order to grow our sponsorship and commercial relationships – and therefore grow revenue – we needed to take a more sophisticated approach,” he said.

Salesforce.com’s On-Demand CRM Solution Eases Upgrade Burden

“Sporting clubs don’t normally invest time in reviewing CRM packages,” said Kaider. “But we had immediate buy-in from the board as our Chief Operating Officer could see that an enterprise-class solution would help us get ahead of the competition.”

The Club reviewed five different CRM packages and considered custom-building its own system, but Salesforce stood out.

“Salesforce required low up-front costs and minimal new infrastructure. It could quickly and easily scale as the business grew and integrate seamlessly with our existing applications,” said Kaider.

One of the strongest selling points for Salesforce however, was the ease with which the Club could manage regular upgrades.

“Because it is delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, there are no regular upgrade demands on our IT team. System updates happen at the backend and are immediately available to all our users. Five years down the track we won’t be stuck with an outdated CRM system,” said Kaider.

Once the Club made the decision to go with Salesforce, it was up and running across the business within three weeks. Said Kaider, “A fast implementation was crucial in the lead-up to the football season and saleforce.com delivered on this.”Salesforce Halves Sales Closure Time to 30 Days Since implementing Salesforce CRM, the Western Bulldogs Football Club has experienced a range of benefits.

“We have been closing sales leads in 30 days, when previously they were averaging 60 days,” said Kaider. “And because there is now a single view of customer data, the team has a new level of accountability for revenue generation. This will help create a more profitable business.” “As the Club becomes more profitable we can secure our future by reinvesting in football training and development, in our community, in retaining existing staff and attracting the best and brightest.”

“We are very happy with Salesforce. It has fulfilled every requirement we had,” said Kaider

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About Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the world’s largest provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software. For more information about salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com/au/.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com/au/, or call 1800 667 638 (Australia) or 0800 450 064 (New Zealand).