With Salesforce, we can have personalized, integrated, and consistent interactions across all of our sales channels.”

Christopher Coleman, Head of Sales Capability & Enablement
 

Every prospect’s needs are different, and that means every prospect’s buying journey is different. Virgin Media wants to be there whenever — and however — a prospect wants to interact with the company.

“We want to deliver a brilliant customer experience, but we want that brilliance to extend to our prospect experience, too — to the people who are considering using Virgin Media services,” explained Chris Coleman, Head of Sales Capability & Enablement at Virgin Media.

To do this, Virgin Media came up with an omni-channel approach to managing leads and prospects, one that uses Salesforce to help create a data-rich, highly personalized experience.

Virgin Media was the first provider of all four phone services — broadband, TV, mobile, and home phone — in the U.K. The company currently has 4.8 million cable customers, making it the U.K’s largest provider of on-demand content. Although originally founded in 1999 as Virgin Mobile by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the company is now owned by Liberty Global, the largest broadband internet service provider outside the U.S.

Every year Virgin Media sees millions of sales interactions, but they don’t all result in a prospect signing on the dotted line. The challenge has been how to provide salespeople with greater visibility of a prospect’s previous interactions, thus creating a more tailored and personalized experience. With Salesforce, the company can ensure that any follow-up communications are focused on the services and products that the prospect viewed or priced online.

“With Salesforce, we can empower our talented salespeople to have even better customer conversations and greater sales interactions,” said Coleman.  

 

Our aim is to provide an experience that means more of our prospects choose to become customers.”

Christopher Coleman, Head of Multi-Channel Sales & Development

Virgin Media implemented Salesforce in late 2015 after research revealed its purchase journey wasn’t giving prospects enough flexibility. As Coleman explained, “On average, our prospects engage with at least two of our sales channels when buying. In the past, they had to supply the same details every time they moved to another channel, starting the interaction again from scratch. We wanted to provide a more joined-up experience so that prospects could pick up in one channel where they last left off in the other.”

With more than 80% of prospects starting on the Virgin Media website, it is critical that the transition to an assisted channel — for example, a store or the contact center — is seamless.

With Service Cloud, Virgin Media can make all previous interactions visible to agents, allowing them to personalize their customer conversations. Every sales interaction is documented to capture as many details about the prospect’s journey as possible.

“People don’t think of Virgin Media online, Virgin Media telesales, or Virgin Media retail as separate entities. They just think of Virgin Media and want to have a joined-up experience,” Coleman said.

To ensure this prospect information is also available to sales agents working in the field, Virgin Media uses the Salesforce mobile app. “If it’s in Service Cloud, then it’s available on the app,” Coleman said. “More than half of our sales team are mobile, so we have to be able to deliver data to them on the go.”

Virgin Media’s new omni-channel approach hasn't just improved the prospect experience; it’s also unlocked the world of data science. “We are constantly mining data to optimize everything we do,” Coleman explained. “To be the best, you have to be obsessed with your customers, your prospects, and their expectations.”

Thanks to Einstein Analytics, Virgin Media has been able to better understand its customers and prospects using an abundance of new metrics, dashboards, and lenses. “By integrating Service Cloud with Einstein Analytics, we have gained new insights into prospect behaviour and sales channel performance,” said Coleman.

For example, Virgin Media leaders have been able to identify the end-to-end cross-channel journeys that different prospects take when buying. As Coleman explained, “We always knew where a prospect started their journey and where they completed it, but had limited visibility of what happened in between. Now we can see the whole journey in detail and can make smarter decisions on which parts of the journey to optimize.”

Virgin Media is already seeing the benefits of investing in mobile apps. Thanks to an app for its 500-plus door-to-door sales agents, it has digitally transformed what was traditionally a manual sales channel.

The app, which is built on the Lightning Platfom as part of the Salesforce Platform, has also eliminated the printing of hundreds of work schedules every month, helping to digitize the direct-sales operation. “Agents can now access their work schedules on their iPads, which increases efficiency and simplifies planning,” said Coleman.

Virgin Media has also boosted efficiency by connecting its sales agents with colleagues in other departments. “With Salesforce Chatter, we can collaborate both in and outside of sales, ultimately providing both a better agent and customer experience,” added Coleman.

As Virgin Media continues to develop its omni-channel and prospect management capabilities, company leaders will be looking at other new technologies and tools to further enhance the prospect and customer journey — for example, gamification and geolocation tools.

“Having amazing products and great offers isn’t enough; you’ve got to deliver a brilliant experience, too,” said Coleman. “Salesforce allows us to do that in a way that’s never been possible before.”

 
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