In order to talk to you about our sales and marketing evolution at Wolters Kluwer, I want to take a couple of minutes to guide you through the Wolters Kluwer story as it is relevant to where we are at today.
When I think about businesses transforming internally due to external influences such as digital disruption, I can’t go past our business at Wolters Kluwer. From a traditional publisher selling print books like the Australian Master Tax Guide to selling content online and evolving this further to be integrated within newly developed or acquired software platforms, we have taken on abrupt changes in our own buyer’s experience to remain relevant to our customers. No longer are we simply a publisher, we are an information, software and services business enabling us to offer solutions for all stages of a customers work flow to meet their needs which has forced us to transform internally.
Buyers used to seek out content however this is now opposite. Content/information, is served up to us everywhere…so readily available at a click of a button. Google alone totally disrupted our business as we are now competing with free source material. Which meant for us to compete we needed to also make snippets of information available online for free. We started making pricing visible online and we started opening up our content platforms to be searchable by multiple search engines.
Which results in our customers now being extremely informed before they even come to us. We all know the statistic that says 57% of all buying decisions are already made before the buyer comes through our doors.
So this new world that Wolters Kluwer saw themselves in meant that internally we needed to force change to be more customer centric, rather than product and sales centric.
It made us look wholistically across the silo’s of our business to start to align our customer facing teams to ensure our go to market reflected a customer centric one Wolters Kluwer approach. For example; A Group Marketing Function was established instead of separate product/business unit marketing teams, which means marketing is focusing on segment and persona based activity, gaining marketing more influence and relevancy.
The sales structure is evolving into a more inside sales model with lead development reps sitting within marketing.
In developing our people we are instilling a culture of change and curiosity as again being
Internal transformation mirrored externally
There is so much complexity around this today…so we are trying to keep it simple. We started by initiating monthly sales and marketing meetings whereby each function discusses what is working and what isn’t and what we both need to be successful.
Feeding the one funnel – mapping out together what the sales and non-sales touch points are to take our potential customer on the journey from nurture through to conversion. Integrating of our internal systems – our CRM which was traditionally used by the sales organisation is now integrated with our email marketing system – so automation is enabling us to work hand in hand. We are still a way off then taking this further through our marketing automation tools to reflect when an MQL becomes a SQL.
Being a publishing business we have an abundance of relevant content for our target markets. However content had only ever been productised by us for selling not used as thought leadership material. Through the closer alignment between sales and marketing we are finding better ways to use this relevant content and add value to our customers through their journey with us.
Where sales & marketing is working extremely well to increase client and prospect engagement is through the sharing of content on social media. Multiple times per week, we provide the sales teams with posts for their social media accounts and also give them alternative status updates to accompany these posts. We found that our sales reps would simply blanket share these posts without adding their own opinion or commentary to the post which would better reflect their own personality. This has resulted in more sharing from them and hence more engagement internally and to our external audiences. We have created consumable content from our customer newsletters and blogs which is repurposed by sales resulting in consistency and alignment in our external messages to our clients.
Using SFDC Engage, marketing works closely with individual sales reps, creating email templates for them reflecting themes/content that they personally would like to target their prospects or clients with. This enables them to flexibly email a target list directly from SFDC at the right time for the rep that best reflects where the prospect is in the buying cycle. It enables sales to create their own funnels of follow up depending on the recipients engagement with the email campaign. The customer journey is hence smarter and more meaningful as by working together sales and marketing are going after the right audience at the right time.
Marketing has been driving our social selling program using LinkedIn Sales Navigator licenses.
Sales and Marketing are aligning when it comes to gathering and using data and insight we collect;
Introduction of NPS has fed into putting the customer first. It has given our sales, marketing and product functions more meaning in what we do as we have greater insight into how our customers are feeling and what they want. Hence arming us with insight into where we can all add the most value.
Our NPS gave rise to; our online book store during its first year of launch saw a 34% increase in sales via this channel. a revised strategy around ebook fulfilment allowing print and ebook bundling again increasing sales revenue whilst at the same time improving our customer experience as they received both a digital and print book in the same order. Marketing and sales implemented the on boarding process tracking a significant reduction in first time order cancellations.
So in closing, Wolters Kluwer definitely sees the importance of a tighter alignment between sales and marketing and how this has evolved us from being a traditional Publisher, to pushing the boundaries of innovation to ensure our customers remain relevant to us and to their own customers.
Strategies for Sales & Marketing Collaboration – what have we done!
Strategies for Sales &
what have we done!
14th July, 2016
What has this meant for us…
Organisational restructuring - adapting from a product and
sales centric business to a customer centric business.
Instilling a culture of change and curiosity
Development of our people
Operational side of convergence….
Monthly sales & marketing meetings together in the same room!
Feeding the funnel
Mixture of sales & non-sales touch points
Targeted & aligned content to empower the sales function
Sharing on social media – offering personalised status updates
to accompany posts
Salesforce.com Engage – self serving targeted content at the
Social Selling Program - LinkedIn Sales Navigator Licenses
Gather data to better understand our customers;
Net Promoter Score (NPS) insights
Research to better understand our customers – contextual
inquiry, surveying, focused external research