Australian Radio Network

Our customers have increasingly tight timelines and Salesforce helps us to meet their expectations by removing roadblocks and helping us move a lot faster and smarter.”

Samantha Wessel | Business Systems Manager

ARN speeds up campaign proposals through smart collaboration

Australian Radio Network (ARN) is one of the country’s leading media companies with major brands including The KIIS Network, Pure Gold Network, iHeartRadio, and The Edge. Through these brands, the company has more than five million listeners each week across five metropolitan markets.

ARN’s wide-reach makes it an attractive partner for advertisers and it offers them a range of promotional opportunities. These include commercials read live by on-air talent, sponsored segments, and digital adverts across ARN’s owned channels and social media.

Samantha Wessel, Business Systems Manager at ARN, shared that there's a lot of work behind the scenes to get these campaigns to market. Pre-sales activities alone involve 14 departments and collaboration has not always been easy.

“We’ve traditionally operated as an offline business which meant that a lot of our data was sitting in emails and spreadsheets and it was difficult to track what was happening with each customer or campaign,” said Wessel. “It wasn’t always clear what needed to be done next or who was responsible for completing each element."

A wider review of ARN’s data handling pointed to the need for a CRM and Salesforce stood out as the best fit for its needs. “Salesforce was flexible in coming back to us with a solution that could support our complex workflow. They understood our business better than anyone else,” said Wessel.

Getting everyone on the same page

Salesforce has helped ARN to centralise customer data, providing it with a single view of advertisers and opportunities in-flight. This has put everyone on the same page when it comes to pre-sales activities and knowing what needs to be done next. It has also brought structure to an otherwise fluid and creative process.

“We sell advertising in different ways to different people and there’s a lot of creative collaboration to come up with new ideas and proposals,” said Wessel. “Salesforce brings more rigour to our processes and helps us to manage all of the structured and unstructured data involved.”

Customers’ campaign requirements are now captured in Sales Cloud and then pushed into Quip where several teams collaborate on proposals. These include sales and sales support teams as well as creative teams responsible for scriptwriting and the design of digital content. Depending on the type of campaign, talent management and podcast teams are also invited to share their ideas and feedback.

"One of the benefits of centralising campaign collaboration is that no matter when people are pulled into the process, they can get the full picture of what’s happening rather than just the tiny snapshot they had before,” said Wessel. “It also allows us to search through past ideas and repurpose them for future campaigns, rather than letting them go to waste."

All internal approvals on proposals and campaigns are now managed in Salesforce as well. This has eliminated the need for ARN to track approvals through email and helps with monthly auditing.

Speeding time to market

ARN went live with all of these capabilities on time and on budget, despite the challenges of onboarding remote teams during the pandemic. Daily Q&A sessions, weekly check-ins with leaders, how-to guides, and training videos all helped make the change easier while super users and support teams benefited from additional learning on Trailhead.

"I think one of the most important aspects of the change was gathering everyone’s feedback and making sure they felt heard,” said Wessel. “Pre-sales is a very collaborative effort and we wanted to make sure that everyone had a say and felt a sense of ownership over the change."

They have also created internal efficiencies in areas like reporting. For example, sales reps can now produce forecasts and reports at the click of a button as opposed to spending three or four hours a week typing up information in spreadsheets.

Now everyone is collaborating on Salesforce they have been able to streamline the process for customer proposals which have an average turnaround time of three and a half days.

"Our customers have increasingly tight timelines and Salesforce helps us to meet these by removing roadblocks and helping us move a lot faster internally," said Wessel.

The next step for ARN will be to streamline its post-sales activities so that it can work even faster. It also plans to use Salesforce to automate activities like post-sales reporting for customers. This will lessen the administrative pressure on teams while ensuring customers receive more timely updates.

Social Studio is also on ARN’s roadmap. This will be used to manage organic posts related to campaigns, helping to reduce workload for the social team while allowing for better reporting back to customers.

Wessel shared her excitement about the future possibilities, including the opportunity to build on the solutions already in place.

"I have never worked with a system where I have so much flexibility and control to change things without needing to go to a developer. You can do anything you want with Salesforce, it just depends on your skill level,” said Wessel. “What we want to do next is to increase our accountability to customers and better engage with them throughout their journey. Salesforce will support us to do that without increasing the workload on our teams who are already doing so much."


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