"We’re transforming how we run sales, product offerings, and how we do development — and Salesforce is the foundation."

—John Serdinsky
Director of Sales Effectiveness

CenturyLink successfully pivots to the cloud with Salesforce

From its humble roots in Louisiana, which go back to 1930, to its recent acquisitions of Qwest, Savvis, and Tier3, CenturyLink has quietly blossomed into the number three telecommunications company in the United States. Regarded as a trailblazer in the industry, they’ve transformed in a variety of ways, including a shift from connectivity via fiber and copper, to the hosting and cloud space.

“We pivoted,” said John Serdinsky, Director of Sales Effectiveness. “Business became the leading growth engine for all of CenturyLink. We really showed that the cadence we built, using Salesforce as the foundation, was key to achieving growth.” This pivot helped the Business Solutions Group grow revenue six percent within a year of adding Salesforce.

A look at CenturyLink’s Business Solutions Group, which is the company’s largest division with over 1,200 direct reps, 600 internal sales engineers, and more than 1,100 active sales agent users, shows how Salesforce is making a huge difference. Data.com helps CenturyLink prioritize account records to update based on market segment and cleans the data so contact info is accurate, complete and current. Over half of their records have been updated so far — and the number grows daily.

“Data.com arms our acquisition hunters with clean data to locate new leads and opportunities,” adds Serdinsky. “Data.com enables us to solve a number of problems with one investment.”

And the role Salesforce plays is seen company-wide. “We’ve done significant customization to support our unique needs,” adds Serdinsky. “In the coming months, we will expand the use of other products, such as the Saleforce1 Mobile App, beyond what we’re already doing with dashboards and reports.”

Taking Chatter to new places every day

Ever since CenturyLink decided to use Chatter for their annual sales kickoff, the company hasn’t looked back. “The turning point was when we brought our team to Dreamforce and found Chatter to be an excellent way to collaborate with each other during the entire event. That is when the sales kickoff just made sense, and that was only the beginning,” says Serdinsky.

CenturyLink has found numerous ways to use Chatter, like connecting people to senior leadership for strategic goals, as well as automating reports of the company’s weekly big wins and success stories. In addition, the company uses Work.com to reinforce their culture and winning behaviors with a robust rewards and recognition program.

“Chatter is constantly evolving here,” adds Serdinsky. “If my boss asks, ‘How can we improve the quality of onboarding out there?’ for example, someone out there in the field and three states away can come up with an innovative idea, share it with HR, and we change the policy. It’s win-win in a big way.”