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How to run a global business from your CRM

We had a sit down with Kenneth Wagner in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kenneth is Head of Sales and Marketing Effectiveness at Global Newsroom Provider, Mynewsdesk. In our time together, we found out more about what he does and how he makes it happen.

The world’s leading newsroom provider

Mynewsdesk is the world’s leading newsroom provider, offering a cloud based PR platform that lets modern day communicators tell their stories in the most efficient way possible. They are a software as a service (SaaS) provider, launched in 2003, spread over 6 different countries in 13 offices, with a sales team that is 75 strong. When asked how sales leads are generated, Kenneth responds,

“It’s a mix. Historically it’s been very much about field sales, generated by manual prospecting along with some data acquisition. More and more though we’re moving towards inbound marketing and market automation. We’re looking to take it more into the digital world than we’ve done previously.”

Sales and marketing effectiveness

On a day-to-day basis, Kenneth spends a lot of his time working with the setup and processes around the company’s CRM installation. “I’m involved in all aspects of that as well as the connected applications, from the ERP to marketing automation. I drive user adoption, system improvements and overall, reflect on how we can make the system better, faster, easier….What I do day-to-day varies from integrating projects, to data cleansing, to training our sales reps.”

Since those in his care are sprinkled around the globe, Gmail is a constant friend as is Google Hangout. The smile widens and laughter erupts when questioned about the challenges of his job. “Time. Getting everything I want to get done as well as everything that must get done is always the challenge. And having the time to instruct everyone on systems and processes, as well as encouraging them to do what they need to do as well. Persuading salespeople to use the system in the best way can be quite a challenge. I’ll dare say that CRMs and salespeople, well, they are not always the best of friends.”

“I’ll dare say that CRMs and salespeople, well, they are not always the best of friends.”

The tips and the tricks

Forever in pursuit of tips and tricks, we punctuated this burst of joviality and made the request for his most secret tips and tricks that enable him to work at a high capacity. “The most precious resource I have is my energy, so for me to perform at my maximum, I cultivate processes to maintain that, in a few ways.

Planning. Communicating and managing expectations. I make sure to be realistic with expectations given my current workload, when someone wants something new done. I let the person asking, usually the manager, decide on whether I put aside my current task in order to fulfil the new one. It’s no secret but that, coupled with taking breaks every now and then, helps to maintain my energy.”

The CRM is central

Mynewsdesk’s current portfolio of 3rd party tools include:

  • Gmail/Google apps
  • Powerpoint and Prezi (presentations)
  • Marketo
  • Hoopla Countdown Counter (to spur end of month sales)
  • Dupecatcher and DemandTools (more admin related)
  • Provenworks Data Tools (CountryComplete)
  • Toutapp
  • Brisk.io

The international element of the business means that the 6 different countries each have their own processes, but the common denominator is that the CRM is “the backbone of everything we do. It is a critical component in our data structure; it’s integrated into our ERP system, as well as the marketing suite.”

Data matters

We all know that a CRM system is never better than the data that is added to it. We asked what Kenneth’s needs in that department were and this is what he offered up: “Our business intelligence is on the rise – before 2013 it had been neglected. Currently the data is used for end of month sales performance. Right now we are in the process of building a database rich enough to do loads more. If I could have complete data quality, it could be perfect for segmentation and the ability to market to people much more effectively, much more personally and niche oriented. I could also source true trend analysis, business intel and trend spotting. And that’s just the beginning….”

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Madelen Arnesdotter
Madelen Arnesdotter

At Brisk.io, Madelen was in charge of all aspects of the customer journey, from customer acquisition to onboarding and support.

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