Australian Associated Press (AAP) is the national newswire agency used by 95 percent of the media in Australia and New Zealand. Founded 81 years ago by media stalwart Keith Murdoch (Rupert Murdoch’s father), it is one of the few newswire agencies in the world that is not funded or influenced by the government.
While AAP is best known nationally for its news content, it offers a truly diverse range of products and services, including content creation, digital production, media intelligence and publishing solutions, which it sells to corporations, brands, media agencies, and broader content creators.
Each solution has its own group of dedicated sales specialists, all of whom are supported by separate marketing, finance, and operations teams. The siloed nature of the organisation meant that the same clients would often be contacted by different sales, marketing, and finance teams about different AAP solutions.
The lack of communication and information sharing between the different teams created inefficient processes, missed opportunities, and a frustrating customer experience. Without a central source of data, the teams were replicating a lot of the same information and clients had to deal with multiple contacts with no consistency or insight between them. Further, AAP’s legacy quoting and invoicing system was clunky and inflexible, and didn’t support product bundling or pricing model changes, creating sales barriers. AAP realized it was unable to properly analyse the spending patterns and needs of their clients to identify growth opportunities.
AAP turned to Bluewolf, an IBM Company, its trusted consulting partner of over four years, to help implement Salesforce across several parts of the business. Originally, Bluewolf started working with AAP Medianet, its media intelligence division, to implement Sales Cloud. However, the benefits that Bluewolf and Salesforce could deliver to the business on a broader scale were quickly recognised, and the partnership was expanded to implement Sales Cloud across the entire sales team.
Since this initial project, AAP has embraced Salesforce beyond Sales and Marketing, and see it as a core business enabler driving real insights and innovation. Under Bluewolf’s strategic guidance, AAP decided to bring the Finance and Accounts Receivable teams onto Salesforce and streamline the quoting and invoicing processes by implementing Salesforce CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote).
To create a solution to suit AAP’s unique needs, Bluewolf did a deep dive analysis of the business. Using our proprietary Rep Rides approach, Bluewolf sat with the teams to observe and understand their day-to-day needs and challenges. From there, Bluewolf was able to break down AAP’s existing processes to implement a user-friendly and integrated system that would grow with them.
All of this was delivered in just eight months through the Bluewolf Beyond program, through which AAP collaborated closely with Bluewolf experts to drive innovation throughout the entire project. Specific processes were put in place to prioritise and execute meaningful change to engage AAP employees at all levels, from the end users up to the C-Suite.
The adoption of Salesforce CPQ has greatly improved the employee experience, streamlined processes, and created a single source of customer data—all of which has bolstered AAP’s customer service.
The new system is already saving each individual account manager six hours per week in administrative tasks. Furthermore, multiple manual steps have been removed from the invoicing process to save time and minimise the potential for human error. It has also allowed the commercial team to be more agile and take new products to market, or to bundle products from different divisions in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days.
By having one single source of truth for each customer, teams are able to identify opportunities and collaborate with other teams to provide a better and more consistent level of service to their customers, all while increasing sales. Better yet, AAP is now a more insight-driven organisation, because its employees have access to real-time data to make informed decisions. AAP predicts that these changes will be transformational to its business in the months and years to come, and that Bluewolf is the best-suited partner to continue working with them to drive this innovation in the future.
To learn more, download our CPQ Made Simple eBook or watch the webcast: Automating Quoting with Bluewolf and Salesforce CPQ.