IT Network Support Services Firm
This company was a well established small business IT network maintenance and support company specializing in Microsoft Server and Infrastructure solution installations, monitoring and support, for professional firms with 10-250 user networks. They had been in business for well over 10 years and had seen initial success, but client acquisition and sales growth had stalled, rising only between 0-2% over the past several years.
We partnered with the southeast regional Microsoft office to produce an educational seminar series geared towards helping small business owners cut through the “tech mysteries” of their IT infrastructure and introducing them, in a very non-technical,”business owner friendly” fashion, to both the hidden vulnerabilities and capabilities of their existing IT infrastructure.
The seminar content, which focused on everyday business activities, and ranging from topics like network security, to document sharing systems, backup systems and disaster planning, to email systems capabilities, was a tremendous hit with business owners. They no longer felt “in the dark” when it came to their IT infrastructure and could see the hidden value in the systems they were investing in. The business owners received a certificate for attendance and the opportunity to schedule a free IT network analysis of their company’s infrastructure. 70% of attendees scheduled the analysis and over 50% of those wound up retaining the company’s services for either ongoing maintenance plans and/or additional work.
We doubled the company’s sales and client count within 12 months, taking them to the highest sales volume year in the company’s history. They also received it’s first ever Microsoft Partner awards, winning both SE Partner of the Year and SE Partner Award for Marketing Excellence while achieving Gold Partner status for the first time, as well.
Retail Experience Design Firm
This company was a moderately successful retail design firm specializing in the home furnishings and home improvement industries. They had been in business for over 12 years and were doing a consistent level of business, but were worried about having “too many of their eggs in too few baskets” and were finding it difficult to break into new markets. They felt their growth prospects (or loss prospects) were at the mercy of their top two or three clients.
The company had no existing sales CRM system or any real methodology for developing and nurturing new leads. Their project management software, however, did have some limited customer database and CRM-like characteristics, so we enabled those functions for immediate use. In order to develop a prospect pipeline, we created a “desired industry” list and eligible prospects within each.
Once the industries and prospect “hit lists” were created, we developed an innovative – and highly effective – trade-show outreach (branded as proprietary radio show) whereby we “interviewed” C level execs from those prospects and created a taped podcast series for broadcast and also gave the prospect company a free copy of the taped segment for their own marketing and sales use.
In addition, we initiated a new internal sales lead and nurture methodology for the designers, project managers and support staff. The goal was to get them to develop new leads both within existing accounts that they were working on, as well as referrals from those clients. The ensuing “Lead Dog Awards” became a highly anticipated feature at their monthly team meetings.
The company’s sales pipeline began to grow exponentially and we were able to land several new accounts within the first six months from the Podcast Radio Show leads. The loss of one of their top three clients occurred later that same year and, fortunately, the new business was able to offset the lost business and prevent them from having a sales decline.
Plantation Shutter and Custom Window Coverings company
This company had been in business for over ten years and was seeking to grow it’s business by expansion into additional markets. In order to do this, the owner (who had previously handled all sales appointments himself) was finally going to have to set up sales processes and training for independent sales rep recruits for new markets.
We installed a simple CRM system for tracking and assigning new leads on a “round robin” basis, along with a follow up and nurture program to ensure good lead follow up. We developed a “list price” structure for all reps in all markets which could be adjusted to compensate for competitive bidding across all markets, as well as a “designer/home decorator”, “custom home builder” and regular client referral programs.
In addition, we developed a competitor analysis matrix for each market to help ensure competitive bidding and created an upgraded laptop computer driven in-home sales presentation to give the reps a professional edge and improve close ratios.
Lastly, we created a standardized set of ads for print and radio in all markets, giving the company a higher level of recognition and larger brand presence, in addition to gaining greater discounts from advertising vendors.
The company’s sales in the existing market grew by over 25%, while additional market sales drove the company to it’s highest sales year in company history. New rep training resulted in four new territory reps and close ratios improved from 42% to over 65%. The top sales rep for the year had an amazing 78% close rate and over 25% referral rate.