How Salesforce CRM has become the backbone of Dubai media companies

When Tenacre Group was setup in Dubai in 2013, our first ten clients were all media or advertising businesses based in Dubai Media City. We quickly build up an in-depth understanding of what media and advertising companies needed from their Salesforce CRM. With each new client we learned a little more about how to make the CRM create even more value for both sales managers and salespeople. 

It's worth stating that while most companies in these industries have similar requirements, each of our projects have unique features. We develop Salesforce platforms around the processes and procedures of each company, and often help our clients to optimise these processes before building them into the CRM workflow. 

When I look over the various projects that we have completed in this industry, there are ten key features of Salesforce (or customisations that we build into the CRM) that are consistently valued by our clients. 

1. Data Security

The media industry here is clustered in DMC, media sales professionals often move from one media business to another over their careers here in Dubai. The risk that sales leaders have raised again and again with us is that when sales employees leave the business, they can walk away with spreadsheets containing the companies client base or pipeline. 

When Tenacre creates the Salesforce CRM for media companies in Dubai, we build in all of the various options to minimise the risk of data theft. Some of the techniques that are used (this is a long list of features..) are

  • Creating a company-wide hierarchy where users can only see their own sales opportunities, but managers above them in the hierarchy can see 'down' the hierarchy 
  • Restrict access to reports, limiting the sales users to seeing their own data only
  • Restrict the capability for users to export data completly

2. Business Continuity 

When a salesperson leaves any organisation, the manager is dependent on a thorough handover to ensure that that the company continues to work on live sales opportunities. 

When Tenacre creates the Salesforce CRM for media businesses, we integrate the users email clients (such as Outlook or Google Suite), so that all emails and meetings are logged in Salesforce. If the salesperson was to leave, all 'open' records such as sales opportunities, pending meetings and uncompleted tasks can be transferred to their replacement within minutes. 

This business continuity feature of Salesforce ensures that your data remains valuable, and there's no loss of revenue due to deals 'falling through the cracks'. 

3. Real Time Forecasting

We have observed that it can often be difficult to get salespeople to provide timely reports that accurately reflect their sales pipeline. The lack of accurate forecasting information can make it difficult for sales leaders to track pipeline to targets, and for the finance team to update cashflow forecasts. 

Tenacre has overcome this issue by eliminating the need for a salesperson to produce a report. Instead, Salesforce draws from the sales opportunity records ( information such as close date, deal value and sales stage) to automatically forecast pipeline value. The Salesforce forecasts can be measured in terms of value, products and production requirement dates. 

4. Sales Activity Reporting

Most media sales businesses have key accounts (MBU's), that they need to maintain solid relationships with. From a management perspective, it's vital to know how often your are meeting with these key customers and then documenting the meeting notes so that the information can be stored in the CRM. 

Through the integration of Outlook / Gmail with Salesforce, all activities such as 

  • Emails
  • Meetings
  • Phone Calls
  • Completed Tasks

are logged in the CRM. For many of our clients, we have build a customisation into Salesforce that reports on the number of days since a particular MBU had a meeting with one of your salespeople. Working alongside this are automatic alerts that are send to the salesperson and the sales manager if the time time in between meetings exceeds a certain number of days. 

5. Document Automation

Tenacre builds in automatic creation of quotations and media booking forms. These documents can be created (and version-controlled) by a single button click on the CRM. This process pulls data from Salesforce, and merges it with standards templates so that there is a consistency to all documents being sent to clients, and that there's little chance of error as the data. 

For salespeople, this feature reduces their admin time, and they can even produce these documents from the Salesforce mobile app while they are out of the office. 

6. Approval Management

As much as you may try to standardise the media packages & prices that you offer to clients, inevitably your sales people will want to break up the packages (outdoor circuits, DOOH networks etc.) so that they can offer their clients the most attractive deal. 

Tenacre builds simple but effective approval processes into Salesforce to facilitate requesting, accepting or denying an approval. Using customised Salesforce approvals for discounts or the media inventory mix gives a fast and clearcut decision making process. 

Approvals can be build into the quotation / media booking forms also, with the records being 'locked' until a manager grants an approval. 

7. Inventory Management & Price Books

Managing media inventory, circuits and contract pricing is often a time consuming process for our clients. Tenacre has helped many media companies to build a database of their media inventory, classified and categorised as required within Salesforce. This exhaustive list of available inventory is easily searchable, and can be added to all sales opportunities and quotations directly in the CRM. 

Many media sales companies negotiate special rates with their best clients, including with media agencies or MBUs. Tenacre can create multiple 'Price Books' which contain the entire media inventory and the special pricing for that particular client. 

8. Salesforce A.I. 'Assistant' 

As a sales leader, one of the tasks that you will grapple with is how to create long term user adoption of the Salesforce CRM after it has been released to the users. Salespeople often see the CRM as a way of the management team keeping tabs on them, and they often see little practical value to themselves. 

One feature of Salesforce that has been universally welcomed by the sales teams of our clients is the 'Assistant' feature. This AI element of the CRM reviews all open sales opportunities in Salesforce, and highlights when action is needed to be taken.

For instance, if an opportunity doesn't have any actions planned (meetings, follow ups), then it will appear on the Salesforce home page each time they log in. They're prompted to setup the next step in the sales process so that they have the best chance possible of closing that deal. 

9. Integration with Finance, Art Production & Document Management

We encourage our clients to continue building their Salesforce environment in a way that will give their users a true 360-degree view of their clients. This involves system integration with other technical platforms such as accounting or ERP, project management or document management systems. 

Integrating the sales processes with the finance and production or operations teams creates a lot of value. Records and processes move through the business seamlessly rather than having unconnected systems whereby each department has to rekey information. It takes less time to complete processes, and the the chance of errors being made is significantly reduced. 

10. Tracking agency sales v client direct

Often our clients have two unique sales processes, selling via MBUs or selling directly to the customer. In either case, it's important that the sales pipeline reports are accurately reflecting the correct value and that the correct Price Book is used. 

With agency sales, there are usually some additional features that need to be built into the CRM. As mentioned earlier, agencies often have special rates which are made available to the salesperson via the specific Price Book. 

In some cases our clients want to track the total sales value to agencies so that they can build in volume rebates or similar special arrangements. Tenacre can build in analysis graphs to show this key financial data, and make it available to a limited number of users (via Salesforce security features).