Sales “Stuck in IT”: Case Study #4
An Atlanta-based technology services company was at a nexus. The sales team was having difficulty engaging with the right level decision-maker and it was hurting results. The EVP of Sales called the problem: “Stuck in IT.” Both the CMO and the Sales EVP knew that in order to sell their products and services the sales team needed to engage with senior managers and executives outside of the IT department. They needed to work with the business leaders who held budgets.
They needed to help their customers evolve their IT—not maintain the status quo. Ironically, these goals were in conflict with the objectives of the IT Managers with whom the Sales team was spending so much time.
The Sales EVP and CEO were at an impasse. One believed the company needed to hire new sales people to address the decision-makers they wanted to reach. The other believed the company needed to refocus the existing sales force in order to make the aggressive business plan they had established?
Who was right?
Thought Horizon was brought in to help.
Our approach doesn’t include a recommendation to either keep or change the salesforce. Rather we focus on the marketing and sales strategies that would allow the salespeople to self-select whether they were a good fit in the organization.
Once we identified the specific target buyers, and their related industry verticals, we worked an aggressive two pronged approach.
We conducted highly interactive, engaging workshops that began by demonstrating why reaching the new decision-makers was so critical to sales. We then helped the sales teams to use social media to research non-IT prospects. We concluded with a tutorial on how to use social media to conduct Micro-Content Marketing™ with the new prospects. Our objective was to show sales how to effectively use content marketing to sell to executives.
We assessed the current content efforts by assessing the buyer personas they were currently addressing. We discovered that the content was either written for the broader market or that it was focused on IT buyers. By retooling the content to focus on specific market verticals and non-IT buyers, we showed them how marketing and sales could work hand-in-hand to target specific budget holders.
The sales teams were immediately empowered and began creating new contacts outside of IT. Sales was no longer “stuck in IT.” A vast majority of the salespeople enjoyed using the new approach.
Marketing saw more interaction with the content they produced. By measuring sales results and leads, the efforts with content marketing were directly quantifiable back to the investment.
Our proven methodologies led to sales and marketing alignment. This alignment drove 811% improvement in the creation of qualified leads and new sales over 6 months as measured in CRM.
The program had a measurable effect on reaching the company’s financial objectives in 2015.
The above case study shows that marketing and sales alignment is possible . If the above company can achieve that, then you can too. Get in touch with us today and get your marketing and sales teams aligned.