Scripps Networks is a subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company, a diverse media concern with interests in national lifestyle cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. Scripps operates daily and community newspapers in 18 markets, 10 broadcast TV stations, five cable and satellite television programming networks, a television retailing network and online search and comparison shopping services. Scripps Networks brands include HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, FINE LIVING and GAC. Scripps Networks Web sites include HGTV.com, FoodNetwork.com, DIYnetwork.com, FINELIVING.com and GACTV.com. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in more than 115 countries.

Scripps Networks has the responsibility of selling advertising on each of our network brands. With a different sales team for each network and more than 100 sales representatives in the field, information on advertisers, agencies and networks was not centralized. Reps worked with a combination of spreadsheets and Outlook contact files to maintain their customer base and conduct new business sales.

Under this system, managing the sales reps and the sales processes had become a challenge. Because it could not track relationships between advertisers, ad agencies and its networks, Scripps would often miss out on cross-selling opportunities. In addition, the sales teams had difficulty providing status reports on client meetings and often spent a great deal of time double-entering information into sales reports for management.

Scripps set out to find a customer relationship management (CRM) system that could not only centralize its data, but also allow the company to better understand the relationships between its sales reps, ad agencies, advertisers and its networks. In doing this, we could better manage our sales process, identify and track cross-selling opportunities, increase sales and retain valuable customer information. With the new system, Scripps also needed a higher level of security. We required the ability to allow/restrict access to account notes based upon user level and permissions.

Additionally, Scripps needed the ability to tightly manage its upfront selling seasons throughout the year. These are waves of sales activity in which sales reps sell advertising in advance for the next season of shows on the networks. Event and campaign management is essential because there is a great need to coordinate the marketing and sales efforts during these critical periods. These campaigns are a vital source of revenue for our company and are very sensitive to good customer relations because most top customers, ad agencies and advertisers are contacted.

Scripps Networks chose Sage SalesLogix CRM primarily because of its excellent ability to track and maintain multiple relationships. In addition, it also provided tight integration with Outlook, connectivity to mobile devices and the ability to scale the system as Scripps required.

Scripps chose Infinity Info Systems as its implementation partner because of Infinity’s experience with other companies in the ad sales business. Infinity had predefined templates that helped speed the implementation process and create the proper interrelationships that Scripps needed. Infinity also brought to the table a complete event management module built using SalesLogix, which it customized for Scripps’ use.

Because Infinity had completed several projects for ad sales companies, they understood our needs and requirements even better than we did. Infinity expertly guided us through our data migration, making excellent suggestions for how the data should be formatted and presented as well as how we should structure the relationships between our advertisers, ad agencies and network brands. Infinity’s expertise drastically cut down the implementation time.

SalesLogix was implemented and rolled out to all sales reps within five months. Customizations were specified and completed on time within the projected budget. Infinity connected all the remote users to SalesLogix using Citrix and linked the system closely to Outlook for email storage and indexing and to the mobile devices used by the sales reps. To accommodate the privacy needs for account notes, Infinity built a multilevel access platform of security based upon three classes of user rights along with network grids for the reps who are responsible for each network.

Infinity continues to help Scripps scale our system accordingly as Scripps has increased the number of licenses from 100 to 200 since the initial implementation. IT personnel have been provided the capability to manage all software and data administration and to resolve user issues remotely within the system.

One of the key factors to the success of the CRM project for Scripps has been the commitment of management to the project. This is apparent today in several ways:

  1. Scripps has purchased an additional 100 licenses and has added a significant number of new sales reps to our organization thanks to better management and reporting.
  2. After the initial implementation and data migration, sales reps are using the system regularly and continually providing feedback and requests for additional customizations and functionality.
  3. In terms of real ROI, the implementation saved more than $6,600 a year in upfront shipping costs, and $1,920 was saved per year in change in staff.
  4. Scripps continues to request new user training on the system.
  5. Sales have increased.
  6. Cross-selling opportunities are regularly identified and capitalized upon.
  7. Upfront selling seasons have had an increase in sales.

In addition, an unexpected yet significant benefit of the SalesLogix implementation has been to the HGTV pro Web site team. They attend many conventions during the year to talk about products that have been exclusively developed for contractors and home improvement companies. With SalesLogix, they are now able to preload the list of companies and contacts with information such as booth size and location, and can keep track of all the information that the HGTV pro ad sales staff accumulates. They can then use this information and these lists from convention to convention, keeping the sales force up to date on who they talked to, when they met and what they talked about.


About Infinity Info Systems: Founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York City, Infinity Info Systems is dedicated to perfecting customer relationship systems for each individual client. Infinity provides comprehensive CRM solutions and consulting services, assisting clients through training, implementation and constant improvements to increase their productivity and profit margins. Infinity has a proven track record with more than 3,500 successful CRM implementations in the financial, publishing, life sciences and business services sectors around the world. Visit www.infinityinfo.com or call (800) 354-4228 to learn more about Infinity Info Systems.


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