As with almost all technology implementations, failure often comes from not the technology itself, but the inability to drive effective change management. This is particularly true of global companies that have thousands of employees to consider. PwC was all too aware of this when it began rolling out Salesforce to all of its regions, to help it better engage with clients, and decided upon an innovative approach to drive adoption and usage.
The global professional services company, as explained during a session at Dreamforce this week in San Francisco, created a gamification app inside of Salesforce to creative incentive amongst its partners and users. But first, some background on the project...
Reggie Walker, PwC’s Chief Commercial Officer, and Kevin Burrowes, PwC UK’s Head of Clients and Markets, explained how the Salesforce platform is being introduced to unify the company’s global processes.
A few years ago we really embarked on a strategy for the firm to more deliberately connect all of our networked firms around the world. Like most large companies, we operate in a large number of territories, but we weren’t very connected as an organisation. We operate as a global brand, but our processes were largely defined by what happened in local territories.
However, as PwC serves global businesses, it was aware that those clients expected to be served on a consistent basis. Walker said that Salesforce became part of the company’s strategy to enable this, with the platform being rolled out to all territories to help better connect PwC’s network of firms. Walker added that “we couldn’t even count the number of systems that we had locally that were managing relationships”.
The company now uses Google for collaboration and Workday for HR, but Burrowes said that Salesforce formed a key part of the strategy for client engagement. He said:
Most importantly for our clients, we need a really great tool, and that’s why we use Salesforce. We’ve got 233,000 people in the firm around the world and they really be connected with the clients at the centre. It’s okay to have email traffic backwards and forwards, but we needed a platform to enable us to collaborate around each and every client. And I think that’s what’s been really revolutionary for us. I can see into my client what’s happening in America, what’s happening in Asia, etc. It’s really lifted transparency for us.
Following a series of pilots, PwC went live with Salesforce in the UK in December last year and went live in the US a couple of weeks after that. It is now being rolled out to other regions. Burrowes said that, in the UK at least, the project enabled PwC to embark on a data cleansing exercise. He said:
In the UK we had 300,000 contacts in our old tool. 300,000 relationships with clients. We had a long debate about, how much do we migrate? Interestingly we decided to migrate hardly anything, we only migrated 10,000 contacts. We threw the rest of them away, because we considered the rest to be old or out of date.
Walker explained that PwC has 100% adoption amongst its 3,500 partners and 99% adoption amongst the rest of its workforce. Over the last month, PwC has seen 78% of users continue to log in and use the platform. He added that during the rollout, PwC was acutely aware that it wasn’t the technology that was going to prove challenging, but rather the people using it. He said:
Just like any technology rollout, it’s not the technology that’s the problem, it tends to be your own organisation that’s the issue - change management. Our focus was very, very heavy on change management and adoption. I’m really proud of our partners, because they really lead the adoption. When your leaders are using it, and your leaders are driving it, that’s when the rest of the people you need on board will take their cue.
To help get the partners and users on board, PwC created an internal app called ClientIQ, which was fully integrated with Salesforce, and enabled the company to put values on certain activities in the Salesforce app and gamify it. Walker explained:
As an example, if you create an opportunity you get so many points, if close a deal you get a lot of points. We had a lot of fun with that, we put it in place. You never really realise how competitive people are in your organisation. What we did was we took that and we put a challenge in place for our people. If every person in the firm that was on the platform, all the users, achieved a ClientIQ score of 150, they would all get the week of July 4th off. And we did that, because they did it. It was a way to incentivise our people.
In addition, PwC now uses the scoring system to further incentivise partners. Burrowes explained that if a partner is on a score of 100 and other partners are using the platform more actively and have a score of 10,000, this information can be used to drive further change. He said:
We were telling partners that if you’re at 100, you’re putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. We weren’t ringing them up and saying ‘hey, you’re not going to get paid as much’ or anything like that. We were just saying that ‘you’re just going to fall behind’. It’s a real motivator, it’s a soft encouragement, rather than a big stick.
Burrowes said that one of the key benefits that Salesforce has created for PwC is the access to data that it now has. It is rolling out Salesforce Analytics at the moment and is experimenting with Einstein, following a project to create a new data platform, which provides a complete collection of all PwC data globally. Salesforce will be put on top of that and users will have access to all the company data. Walker explained:
That ability to have those insights, to say to someone on the ground, who may not realise all of the things that we do. One of the questions I always get from partners is - how do I know all of the other stuff that we do that might be relevant for this? We are a big organisation, we do a lot. Now, that ability to deliver to a partner in the field, to say if you’re talking to a client about this, have you considered this?
It’s fewer phone calls, it’s giving a partner a greater ability to increase their win rate, it’s giving us the ability to take things to clients that they didn’t know they needed. They wouldn’t have had the ability to do that before. Before, it was all about who you know, now it’s delivered in a real-time basis.
And ultimately, he added, this allows PwC to serve its clients better. Walker said:
Speed to action is so much quicker now. We get information so much faster, so much faster. In this industry, that’s key. I also want to take it back to the angle of our clients, ultimately the reason we needed to implement a solution like this is to enable our partners to do a much better job of providing a tremendous experience to our clients. From that angle, it’s been fantastic.
On a large global account, that ability to have insight into what’s happening in each of the territories, what meetings are happening, who they’re talking to, what things are being discussed, that ability to communicate and connect the team, and create that real sense of community, is huge. Huge. That ultimately is the reason we did this.