Case Study: Public Radio International

Public Radio International improves sales strategy and shifts towards dynamic marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

“Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been vital in helping us foster a collaborative work environment at Public Radio International. The notes and activities sections of our CRM help to increase communication and awareness both across and within various departments. Additionally, many of the customizations that OTT developed for us, including automations that update records, approve changes and generate reports, have streamlined process and increased efficiencies. We have also taken full advantage of the integration capabilities that the CRM has with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Our CRM truly functions as a centralized place for information.” Ashley Berube, IT Specialist, Public Radio International

As a growing company, Public Radio International (PRI) struggled with a custom-developed front office application. Although this application contained logic to support programming schedules, pricing, and discounts, it did not provide the relationship management tools to support their broader sales and marketing strategy. As PRI continued to grow, their custom solution became increasingly difficult to manage. Now, through the use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Outlook, PRI can easily access and maintain the information that is central to their continued growth and success.

Business Needs

As Public Radio International (PRI) continued to grow, they struggled with their custom-developed front office application. Although their application contained extensive logic to support their programming schedules, pricing, and discounts, it was not designed to be a relationship management tool or to support their broader sales and marketing strategies. PRI’s sales team members did not have the ability to target existing customers based on their programming or to create call campaigns to generate new business.

As PRI grew, their custom solution became difficult to manage, as any change in business requirements necessitated custom coding from an outside vendor. PRI realized that the application was not agile enough to grow and change with their needs, and that the custom database was a silo of information to which many teams within PRI did not have direct access, including the executive office.

Solutions

PRI needed a system that allowed them to carry out their sales and marketing strategies while growing. OTT, Inc., an award winning Microsoft Partner, created a custom solution, which included Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint, to meet the specific business goals and needs of PRI.

OTT, Inc. is proud to have configured Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Public Radio International in a way that showcases its incredible flexibility and extendibility. OTT customized virtually every entity and added 23 custom entities, making use of the SDK with additional .Net development and JavaScript to automate actions such as calling up workflows or reporting subscriptions. OTT boasts a powerful service-oriented architecture where a single user interface provides much of the information and process users need to do their work easily and efficiently.

Utilizing Microsoft SharePoint for design requests and issue tracking throughout the implementation helped introduce the PRI product team and the end-users to the power of SharePoint technology. However, with the seamless integration between Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, users often do not realize the difference between the tools. This seamless integration allows all users to see the information they need when they need it.

With a strong history of doing integrations, OTT, Inc. was proud to deliver the same quality service for PRI in a bi-directional integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP. OTT, Inc. loves to hear customers remove the terms “export” and “import” from their vocabulary, and to open up visibility of the billing status and invoice history to everyone working directly with the customer. The integration of the customer record provides for a flawless analysis of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP data on the dashboards created in Microsoft SharePoint.

Results

Improved Sales Strategy - Being able to see what a radio station carries, the affiliation history, Total Station Revenue (TSR), and all of the notes organization-wide boosts PRI’s consultative sales strategy extensively. Sales people can get a thorough understanding of the radio stations they are calling, spot areas of need, make suggestions that help the station meet their own goals and strategies, and collaborate with other teams within PRI, creating synergies in their organization that lead to increased revenue.

More Dynamic Marketing – PRI is capitalizing on critical conversations with their customers and more accurately targeting stations to purchase programming that meets their needs. In addition, both sales and marketing teams are empowered to query the customers and create target lists based on existing programming.

Empowering the C-Level – It is great to have in one view what used to be a chain of phone calls and a search through several systems to find. PRI’s top executives are now experiencing what so many can only dream of – a single view of the customers at their fingertips and a real-time analysis of business, from front office to back office, right inside their Microsoft Outlook.

Power of Information

PRI was initially attracted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a solution because of its incredible configurability. They saw it could be configured to support their unique processes, and that they could maintain these configurations themselves. As they continued to explore the idea of implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM through their relationship with OTT, Inc., PRI began to see that CRM had the power to centralize contact information across all of their teams and to drive increased productivity for everyone in the organization, not just Programming and Sales. Through the design process, other teams within PRI realized that Microsoft Dynamics CRM, integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft SharePoint, created a technology platform to support the processes and flow of information across the entire organization.

Knowing that most employees were using Outlook already, PRI understood that having a solution so tightly integrated with Outlook would make it easier for users to adopt and incorporate CRM into their daily work. OTT, Inc. showed PRI how they could provide dashboards for every team and have document management at their fingertips.