De Persgroep Nederland is the biggest and leading cross-media publisher in The Netherlands with four national, nine regional and over a 150 door-to-door newspapers. As an ambitious publisher with a passion for media, De Persgroep has a motivated and knowledgeable editorial staff that reaches and engages over ten million multimedia contacts on a daily basis in The Netherlands. After several mergers and acquisitions, De Persgroep now has more than 5,400 employees and is active in three countries. In 2016 the publisher generated 1.3 billion euro revenue with an EBITDA of just under 200 million euros.
With the acquisition of Wegener three years ago, all IT systems moved to De Persgroep. “As a result, we suddenly had two CRM systems, two quoting tools and two data warehouses”, says Sinko Borst, Marketing Director B2B. Emergency patches were built, but that only resulted in a more complex IT landscape. The sales team had too little insight, resulting in unnecessary errors in customer contacts. Which in turn resulted in a service level far beneath required. Borst: “We were no longer properly supported by our systems.”
The duplicate systems also made it difficult to obtain and compare the necessary insights for the management to make the right choices. De Persgroep wanted a uniform system, preferably in the cloud, that offered the flexibility and scalability to support their future ambitions and to provide their customers with the best service possible. Borst: “We wanted a flexible and intuitive system that not only allows salespeople to work with it but also our marketers and service employees.”
Our specialists at Nextview were able to provide the implementation of the desired Sales cloud. Moreover, there was an instant cultural match. Borst: “Their use of Design Thinking was eventually one of the decisive factors in our choice for Nextview. Design Thinking enabled us to put the user at the centre of the new system and to get the right information about how people use the system in the most targeted way.”
The agile approach of Nextview was an essential factor. Marloes de Boer, Chief Product Owner, says: “It was important to me that our implementation partner could work with our work methodology. With Nextview, we were able to do the implementation together.”
Nextview completed the implementation at the beginning of May, and since then all sales employees at De Persgroep have been working in the same, new system. That immediately impacted the way of working. Salespeople can now share more information about customers. They are more flexible and closer to the needed information, making them able to give the right advice to their customers. De Boer adds that they are now able to reach more customers. “Moreover, the new system is significantly less laborious. The work we do now contributes much more to new developments, making us able to act pro-active, thus leaving more time for innovation.”
Management also has a clearer view of what is happening in the sales process, making them able to make better choices and faster decisions. Borst: “This system offers us a solid foundation for modern day marketing. It brings us closer to sales and marketing automation. And we can offer the expected service level again.”
Data cleaning was part of the project. “The cleaner the data, the better we can provide service to our customers”, says De Boer. De Persgroep is now able to work even more data-driven.
Borst notes: “We have given ourselves a complete and flexible environment which enables us to grow into our future ambitions, making us futureproof.”
Borst: “We want to optimise our sales and marketing automation further. For this, we need to be scalable and smarter in our way of interacting with our customers. Ultimately, our ambition is to provide better service to our customers by presenting the right offer at the right time and the right place.”