Business Case Studies
Getting Results
  • Increased Revenue
  • Increased Profitability
  • The Right Sales People
  • Sound Business Strategy
  • Effective Sales Management
  • Sales Driven Company


Client Success Stories

 

Here are just a few few examples of how we have helped our clients.

 

Thursday
Nov032011

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

Situation: A manufacturer in the HVAC industry wanted to grow their business and knew they needed to make some changes in their Sales & Marketing approach. They had a bit of a revolving door in the management role for Sales & Marketing but with little improvement in their success. In addition to the manufacturing side of their business they also had an educational side business that was related to their industry.

Solution: After evaluating the business and on paper creating a fictitious competitor to compete directly with them we uncovered a treasure trove of leads sitting right under their noses that was being destroyed on a regular basis. This came from their side business and included the contact details for thousands of end users of their manufactured products. Since they had a multi-tiered sales channel and not enough focus on the Sales & Marketing side of their business they missed this entirely.

After presenting a comprehensive Sales & Marketing Strategy which included new roles, responsibilities, marketing initiatives, we finally got to the root of their problem. It was their corporate culture.

Their culture did not empower whoever was running Sales & Marketing to actually implement the kinds of changes they needed. The sales manager was overseen by what amounted to a committee of Operational, Technical and Financial C level executives. Any new ideas presented by ourselves or prior sales managers while tentatively implemented would be cut short before there would be enough data to determine whether they were effective.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. This is in our Success Stories section but was not a success in that we were unable to convince the committee that THEY were the problem, not their sales managers past present or future.

Monday
Mar142011

From Concept to Reality

Situation: Three founders of a newly formed oil and gas company came to us looking for help. They knew they were on to something that had great potential for revenue in the oil and gas space and had already formed a company to pursue it. They put together a basic pitch letter and sent it out to a list of prospects, set up a physical office and began speaking with prospects.

Soon enough they realized that while they all shared the same enthusiasm and goals for their business they had not assigned core responsibilities among themselves and were not consistent with the message they were each giving different prospects.

Solution: The first thing we did was to help the founders take a step back from all the tactics they were independently deploying in order to get them to see the bigger picture. This involved revisiting the step of creating a competitive business strategy they had skipped over in their excitement to be the first to market this concept.

In helping them with their strategy they gained a clearer perspective on the different customer segments they were going to be marketing to in terms of potential “deal size”. This segmentation allowed them to better prioritize their time and efforts to reach the different prospect segments.

We determined a website was a necessity for this business and quickly went about working with our web developer to create and launch an appropriately themed site. Since the three partners all had other jobs we coordinated all the work on the site and helped “extract” content from them which we further refined for the site. The purpose of the site was not just to serve as an online brochure and indicator of legitimacy but also a source of news and information relevant to the evolving oil and gas exploration in their region.

In addition to creating their site we created a blog (including content for multiple blogs), set up a Twitter account and tied it in to their blog, set up Google accounts including AdWords and began monitoring web traffic. Within a short period of time they were showing up on the organic search results in several search engines and were even linked to by news sites in discussing the topic of oil and gas. And no we do not do any "black hat" SEO trickery, just plain old common sense and diligence in creating a site with relevant and updated content that people are interested in seeing and coming back to.

One benefit of creating a website such as theirs was that it forced them to answer all the, who, what, when, where, how, and why questions relevant to their business. It also allowed us to prompt them to respond to the question "so what?" that many companies fail to address, and that is letting people know why they should care or explain what’s in it for them. The web content creating process also provided content to be used in the marketing collateral we created for several post card mailers and brochures.

In the process of fleshing out their sales process, more accurately described as aligning their sales stages to their customers' buying cycle, we helped automate the communication process with prospects and setting up and customizing a hosted CRM system for them. The CRM system acted as a hub for all communication including web to lead capture that we integrated with the web sites' contact page.

In the matter of a few short months we took this company from concept to reality; from a lot of great ideas that were not being implemented to a sales driven company with a real web presence.







Friday
Mar122010

Pricing Strategy

Situation: A US based manufacturer came to us saying they wanted to increase revenue and profitability. Who doesn’t? When we started working with them we found out that they had not invested the time and effort to determine how much it costs them to manufacture the different products they sell. They had a high level idea, but with a large number of different product configurations it had not be broken down to a more granular level. At the same time, they did not have a well thought out pricing model. Their discounts for volume started at too low a level and margins decreased rapidly for larger customers. This discount structure was not scalable to the volume levels they wanted to reach with individual customers and their customers had no skin in the game for the amount of discounts they were receiving. This combined with the developing economic troubles was the perfect storm that could seriously jeopardize their success.

Solution: First we stopped them providing such a dramatic discount at low volumes and created a more manageable discount structure. In parallel, we started the process of collecting more data points in the product manufacturing process so we could get a better handle on what each part cost to make. In addition we looked at the competitive pricing landscape and determined that they were underpriced. For example they had resellers that were doubling or even quadrupling their price and still selling it. With the competitive analysis combined with what resellers were getting we were able to come up with a more competitive price commensurate with the quality and value of their products.

Results: Within two years of starting the pricing analysis and implementing changes we have seen a significant increase in revenue and profitability. Even with the downturn in the economy and a flat year followed by a decline in units sold they were able to offset this with more aggressive pricing. The bottom line is that we were able to increase revenue by 8% the first year and 20% in the second for a total of $1.6M they would not have had if pricing had remained the way it was.

Monday
Mar012010

Trying to Grow Revenue Internationally on the US West Coast

Situation: A manufacturer based in California with no other offices outside the state wanted to grow international business while getting the best return on their investment.

Solution: We determined that the most cost effective solution for them would be to have an inside sales team on the US East coast. Having people work from home across the country is rarely a good option for inside sales people, but neither is opening a large branch office when hiring only a handful of people.

We created a program that provided office space, training and management oversight to their employees in Boone, NC. We helped recruit, hire and train highly motivated inside sales people for them. This was a huge start up savings while still giving them employee control.  Nothing beats having direct and ongoing contact with customers (and in this case, especially international customers) and this program continues to expand.

Wednesday
Jun242009

Growth Stagnating with No Sales Organization in Place

Situation: A custom manufacturer of Check Valves wanted to grow their business and wanted help designing a compensation plan for an outside rep.

 

Solution: We helped them to take a closer look at their customers and their sales cycle and determined it would be more cost effective to hire inside sales people instead. After looking at their business model and customer base, we worked with them to develop a Competitive Business Strategy that included defining sales roles, marketing ROI, compensation plans, product pricing, sales recruiting and training, CRM processes and more.

 

Because there was a need to increase international business, we helped them recruit and train “inside” sales people who worked offsite on the east coast. This was the first time the company had gone “outside the building” with employees. Being on the east coast allowed the sales people to capture 60-70% of the European day and communicate with many new customers.

 

Results: As with many businesses their size, a small number of large customers made up a disproportionate percentage of their revenue. We implemented a pricing strategy that created a “sweet spot” of profitable customers and formed the basis for much of their marketing efforts. Profitability was dramatically increased across the board and even when one of the large customers departed, that revenue was replaced much higher profit dollars.