How we helped Macmillan Learning go live a year early with a very simple idea.

Macmillan Learning

Formerly Macmillan Higher Education

Macmillan Learning is one of the biggest educational publishers in the world. The team adopts a research-focused, bold, and adaptive approach to their work. Improving the world through education is a company mission, and we were delighted to provide the tools that help them operate better.

The business has over 250 dedicated sales reps worldwide, and we implemented a Salesforce solution to make their job much easier.

Visit the Macmillan Learning website

Steve Devlin – Former CTO, Macmillan Science & Education

“Two things really make them different from other companies of a similar size and in that area. One is the integrity. They only look to take on projects they know that they can deliver, and they’re always completely honest about whether they’re the best company to do a certain project. But I would also say that equally important is the innovation and the amount of effort they put in to researching new ideas on their own time and bringing that to me as a customer…” 

The problem

Macmillan Learning used an Onyx system that had a poor user interface, was wholly inflexible, and was not mobile-friendly. As a result of the CRM’s poor usability, the sales team were not utilising the system to its full capacity. This was resulting in data gaps, and a general reduction of information quality and quantity. Prospects, leads and sales were often input into the CRM retrospectively, leading to duplication of efforts and a lack of real-time reporting.

The business case

Macmillan Learning estimated that by transferring their CRM to Salesforce, they would save around 1 day per week, per sales rep. This would be achieved through a significant reduction in admin, allowing the team to focus more on following up prospects and leads, ultimately achieving more sales. The lead time was between 18 months to 2 years, for a full swap to Salesforce.

Our proposal

We proposed that instead of a full-scale transfer of the whole CRM to Salesforce, there should be an incremental move – with the sales department as a priority. This would involve integrating Salesforce with Macmillan Learning’s existing Onyx system, and feeding the information through. This, we proposed, would allow the sales team to go live on Salesforce much quicker. Following from that, different elements of the tool would be unplugged and transferred to Salesforce to reduce operational disruption.

The solution

Within 10 weeks, we created a proof of concept which included the main priority elements of the solution. Stakeholders were impressed, and Ribbonfish was awarded the request for proposal. We worked with a business analyst and a representative team of sales reps to develop the perfect customised Salesforce solution.

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