Today’s organizations want more than just one-size-fits-all training products. They want innovative, customized solutions that address their unique needs and help drive results. To meet client demands in this changing world, Harvard Business Publishing, which creates leadership development solutions for global companies, re-envisioned its entire model for engaging with clients. With help from Salesforce, the company is partnering more closely with customers so they can work together to develop the most effective leadership solutions.
A non-profit subsidiary of Harvard University, Harvard Business Publishing leverages the management insight, thought leadership, and expertise of Harvard Business School faculty and Harvard Business Review authors to provide solutions that are relevant to today’s most pressing business challenges. Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning works extensively with Global 2000 companies to help them design and deliver learning solutions to build their global leadership capabilities. Until four years ago, the company used a traditional product-sales oriented model, where two or three people from the company engaged with each client, and typically focused on selling one product. Individual teams operated independently and stored their data in multiple Excel spreadsheets, which usually weren’t shared with other employees. The company’s relationships with its clients were primarily transactional. Managers realized that the value their clients expected the organization to provide went beyond the company’s products.
Harvard Business Publishing envisioned a new client-engagement model — it would partner with customers to help them diagnose business challenges and craft leadership development solutions tailored to their specific needs. This required a cultural and behavioral shift across the entire organization. Everyone needed fast and transparent access to client data and the ability to work collaboratively with other employees. According to Nick Clayton, Senior Director of Global Sales, "We chose Salesforce because it was very flexible and easy to customize. That was very important to us — to ensure that this became our CRM, and had our language and processes.”