Mini-Case Study #1 - Office Furniture
Background: An office furniture manufacturer currently collects inquiries and sales leads through various sources and responds with an average of three "touches"
In this case study, the manufacturer took charge of the relationship with the lead and deployed an automated email campaign. The results of the additional touches were extremely positive… an increase of 13 percentage points for sales conversions during the test period.
Initially dealers were skeptical about the process and wanted more control of the nurturing process. To accommodate this request, a feature was added to the dealer's lead management system. In order to pull a lead from the nurturing process the dealer simply clicked "stop nurturing". This gave the dealers control at the lead level in case they knew more about the progress of the lead than manufacturer. If the lead was close to purchasing already, this feature was used to avoid overwhelming the prospect with information.
The manufacturer also took steps to promote the local dealer in the email communications. Variable data fields were used to insert the dealer's logo and contact information and also included a button to "have my local dealer contact me", which created a new lead notification message to the assigned dealer. By taking steps to ensure the channel had some control over the process, this manufacturer was able to conduct a successful nurturing campaign and obtain dealer support in the process.
Mini-Case Study #2 - Office Equipment
Background: An office furniture manufacturer that sold through three channels (branches, dealers and VARs) did not know if the sales representatives were following up on leads. They assumed that consistent initial contact rates on leads would have a direct positive effect on sales conversions. To gain initial metrics, historical leads were surveyed to determine whether follow-up contact was occurring from the local sales resource. Results of the survey were as follows:
In order to get feedback from leads regarding sales follow-up, the manufacturer launched an auto-responder email nurturing program. Within the program a $1.00 MP3 gift code was offered simply for answering the question "Has a local sales representative contacted you yet?". If the respondent said they were not contacted another email went out (with another) $1.00 MP3 gift code essentially asking "Now have they contacted you?". A double negative response resulted in escalation to the sales reps manager. On the branch side, the branch manager received the notice. On the dealer/VAR side, the district sales manager was notified.
At the end of the test period the sales entities were grouped into A, B and C locations based on their sales conversion percentage. The results of the contact study were overlaid with the location rankings by sales conversion. The locations that had the best follow-up records were also the locations that had the highest sales conversion rates!
What initially started out as a test that was seen as intrusive by the sales force proved its point. If you are quick to follow-up on the leads generated by marketing, your sales conversions will increase.
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