How would you deploy ConnectAndSell?
Our customers utilize ConnectAndSell in all areas of the pre- and post-sales process. Here are some of the typical uses:
ConnectAndSell customers frequently call on leads that have been nurtured and scored with a marketing automation product. Once a lead reaches a specified ‘score’, from which customers predict the prospect need and timing, it is then passed to sales for immediate follow-up. ConnectAndSell ensures that the sales team has a live conversation to qualify the prospect at exactly the right time in the sales cycle. Customers also use ConnectAndSell to ‘fine-tune’ the scoring system – testing in real-time via live conversations whether leads are qualified in the intended way by the scoring system, or if improvements can be made.
"Our first goal is to secure a meeting with the decision maker. This can take six to nine touches."
— Ivan Gomez, VP Inside Sales, Qlikview
Many industries and organizations are not able to rely on inbound lead generation techniques. ConnectAndSell customers use sophisticated targeting, data acquisition and phone techniques to drive outbound calling initiatives that generate significant revenues. These can be for new business creation, up-sell or cross-sell into existing customers, or for contract renewals at the appropriate point in the contract life-cycle.
"Through our own cold calling efforts it would take a month to have as many live conversations
as ConnectAndSell delivers in a one hour session."
— Peter Snell, Regional Sales Director, CompleteRx
Field marketing managers and sales teams are often tasked with driving prospects and customer attendance at conferences, webinars, seminars, round-tables and entertaining events. Some organizations base the majority of their lead generation efforts around event marketing. Our customers use ConnectAndSell in a couple of ways for event management. ConnectAndSell is used to rapidly contact a large number of potential attendees to establish interest and provide invites where appropriate. Registrants are then contacted shortly before the event with a reminder and confirmation. Once the event is completed, sales team use ConnectAndSell to follow-up on those attendees that are interested in further discussion. This can include online broadcasts that run live, and are then available for on-demand viewing.
"ConnectAndSell keeps our inside sales team talking with hot prospects."
— Simon Peel, SVP Marketing & Strategy, Cast Iron
Inbound marketing is attracting more attention from corporations, and the allocated budget is expanding. The number of leads resulting from blogs and other social media is accelerating rapidly compared to other forms of outbound marketing. Customers use ConnectAndSell to maintain pace with this large inbound lead flow and ensure that their marketing response teams have live conversations with prospects at the appropriate time in the sales process.
"It takes a BDR (appointment setter) a full 8 hour day to get a good opportunity for our sales team.
With ConnectAndSell it takes an hour."
— Mark Roberge, VP Sales, Hubspot
The rate of innovation and change in social media is extraordinary. Among the benefits to businesses is their ability to be far better informed about your products and services, the reputation or your organization, and even the delivery record and day-to-day performance of your products. Prospects can utilize contacts and information from social media to develop a short list of vendors for evaluation. Our customers use ConnectAndSell to have a live conversation with prospects at the most critical time in the discovery and education process. This also allows customers to complete a high level qualification of the prospects against their internally developed ideal client profile.
"It's amazing – and I don't say that often. I think it may be the best sales innovation in the last 10 years."
— Steve Kraner, Principal, Sandler Training
Developing, incubating and launching new products can be extremely capital intensive and time consuming. The best run organizations typically incubate new products first with a dedicated team who works with a small number of early adopter or beta customers. This allows the organization to learn about the buying behaviors of prospects, and to better align the marketing, sales, delivery and customer service functions to ensure rapid and successful adoption. Our customers use ConnectAndSell to test the effectiveness of marketing messages and sales presentations to a larger number of prospects in a compressed time frame. If you were able to test-market using Message A for 100 prospects and Message B for another 100 prospects within the same 1-2 weeks, you should be able to review and improve the messaging and value proposition prior to launch.
"Year over year, Informatica has seen a 20% increase in marketing sourced pipeline creation, and deployment of ConnectAndSell is a key reason for that improvement.”
— Lennard Fischer, VP Marketing, Informatica
The ramp-up time for a new sales rep to full productivity can be as long as 9-12 months in organizations with complex product offerings that command large capital investment. Online training and e-learning have become essential elements to help sales organizations reduce the ramp-up time for new sales reps. But no amount of classroom preparation, role plays and office-based mentoring can prepare a new sales rep for those initial conversations with customers and prospects. Our customers help their new sales reps by providing ConnectAndSell early in their ramp-up program. This lets the sales rep and their managers experience live conversations with real customers and prospects –on average 7-10 live conversations with your target prospect per hour. Some of our sales training partners will use ConnectAndSell to bring real-world live sales conversations into a classroom environment.
"There is no better training and mentoring mechanism."
— Julio Acosta, VP Global Inside Sales, Infoblox
One of the most rapidly expanding uses for ConnectAndSell is within channel marketing organizations and their value-added resellers (VARs). Market development funds (MDF) that have been allocated to VARs have been invested in lead generation programs (e.g. 20 leads from 500 contacts) that often have poor returns and provide no visibility to the manufacturer regarding the return on investment made. As a result significant percentages of budgets allocated to channel marketing programs remain unused. Our customers include the manufacturers, distributors and resellers. ConnectAndSell may be used by the reseller directly with a channel manager assisting with the calling sessions. This establishes rapport between the teams and allows on-the-job training, or enablement, that improves the reseller. Alternatively, manufacturers use ConnectAndSell within their sales team to generate leads on behalf of their resellers. ConnectAndSell supports either mode of operation.
"This service is the BEST one I have ever used and HIGHLY suggest
you motivate your VARs to spend their [MDF] dollars on it."
— Zac Kilpatrick, Partner Manager, Juniper Networks
Many of the most critical sales calls are made are to existing customers. If a major contract is not renewed, then company performance can be adversely affected; this can halt or slow a new product development initiative, result in a rapid downsizing exercise and even impact the ability to sign new customers.
Customers who can auto-create tasks based on contract expiry dates to build call lists for their sales and renewals staff.
"Our major account sales team has found ConnectAndSell to be a bolt of lightning
for reaching contacts they've had trouble getting to previously."
— Glenn Vondrick, EVP Sales, Sendmail
What if you could speak to every one of your top customers (or investors, partners, resellers, sponsors, etc) whenever you chose to? Maybe once-a-quarter is enough, or maybe a once-a-month conversation is absolutely necessary? Senior executives are highly unlikely to set aside time to a call each of their top customers without a planned appointment on the calendar. Our customers, and sometimes it is their Chief Executive Officers, use ConnectAndSell to call their top customers on a frequent basis. Instead of trying to coordinate calendars, play the executive assistant ping-pong game, or simply hit voice mail, ConnectAndSell now offers our customers the ability to speak directly with key customers – on average 7-10 times per hour.
"I think a lot of CEO's wish they could reach out and talk to their clients. I use ConnectAndSell for
1 hour per week and talk to all our customers at least twice a year."
— Brian Dawson, President & CEO, Tel-Tron
Maybe it is the last 2 weeks of the quarter? Or your largest customer contract is up for renewal? Or maybe you have a number of critical conversations with key contacts that are your highest priorities for the week? There are all manner of approaches (and off-the-wall advice) for getting in touch with a prospect, either in person or by phone, ranging from “I was just in the neighborhood…”, to the “*67” prefix to hide caller id. Our customers use ConnectAndSell more heavily towards the end of the quarter than at the beginning, simply because they are targeting live conversations with the decision makers (and key influencers) for their product or service.
"I am the biggest proponent of your service. It is just fantastic, and I get spoiled:
I do not want to do regular phone calls any more."
— Margaret Moore, Account Executive, iRise
In specialized and complex fields it can be beneficial to have a subject matter expert engage directly with a prospect in the early phases of an evaluation. This helps solidify the vendors credibility, but also allows them to more accurately qualify that the prospect has a meaningful project that the vendor believes they are able to complete successfully. In addition, ConnectAndSell enables activities that were simply not possible before. Some of our customers set aside ConnectAndSell sessions for their consulting practice managers to call new prospects and existing customers. If you have an international tax expert, or .Net architect, or commercial loan officer speaking to one of their peers, then they may find opportunities (and present potential solutions) that a layman would not be able to identify or address.
"Subject-matter experts can listen in on more calls per hour,
enabling them to fine tune product offerings and train staff."
— Lennard Fischer, VP Marketing, Informatica