Does anything else really matter?
The truth is that 70% of all change projects fail. And you can’t afford for that to happen. You need results. You need to see things working right from the start. That’s why we do things differently. That’s why we’re maniacal about the details.
We listen to you. We learn. We measure. We help you take big ambitions and turn them into big achievements.
Here are a few stories of those triumphs:
“We can’t get people to use our software”
Software company needs better engagement with leads.
A popular software company noticed that their free trial program was not generating enough leads that turned into paying customers. Fewer than 47% of interested prospects who downloaded their software actually turned on the software on and started using it. This was costing them millions of dollars in unrealized revenue.
After looking through the data and observing how potential prospects in that industry were likely to engage with this software company, we put together a strategy that engaged users throughout every step of the nurturing process.
From the first time a prospect navigating their website through every day of the trial process, we architected an emotionally intelligent e-mail conversation that nudged users who had not activated their free trial of our client’s software. The results were clear. Within 45 days, we doubled the number of active leads our software client was able to target. Consequently, our client doubled their revenue for that product line that same year. Millions of dollars in new revenue from existing leads.
“We can’t make all the pieces work together”
Services company needs to restructure acquisitions to drive revenue.
A multibillion-dollar service provider struggled to align several key acquisitions they had made in a fast growing industry. Sales growth stalled as a result of a highly territorial sales process. There were several problems. Large account executives were no longer able to increase the amount of revenue generated per client and there was no incentive to cross sell key services between acquisitions. Their growth in a billion-dollar industry was nonexistent due to poor sales processes and the wrong sales strategy.
Working directly with the president of the company we strategized ideas that would fix the sales process of their recent acquisitions, designing a solution that would incentivize revenue growth across all divisions of the company.
Ultimately, due to shareholder pressure and emerging interest in our clients portfolio, we concluded that these new divisions should be spun off or sold. They agree. The resultant sale generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profit for our client.
“We need to enter a new market”
Commercial construction company needs growth opportunities
A midsize commercial construction company had been thriving locally in the education and office building markets. But when the recession hit, funding for these projects was put on hold and bigger competitors came in with lower bids for the smaller amount of work that was available. They called on us to help them enter the healthcare market—develop a target list of customers and strategically pursue new business.
We helped them develop specific criteria for ideal customers and taught them how to build key relationships with a few high-profile prospects. They engaged a strategic subcontractor with industry experience to partner with them. Other division leaders in their company did not embrace this strategy and in fact refused to participate.
But the young healthcare division zeroed in on the local operation of an internationally-renowned medical center as the basis for relationship building and learning. They learned that the hospital was planning a huge expansion. The result was winning a $40m bid for that construction project—quite an accomplishment for a $60m company. Now they are implementing our processes across the board throughout all of their divisions.
“We need more strategic focus”
Soil treatment company stretching resources too thin.
We were called in by a company that produces a variety of substances to control dust and debris on dirt surfaces. They can control dust on the unpaved driveway that meanders through your farm or estate so that your drive is more pleasant and they can control dust on a helicopter landing strip in Afghanistan so that there are fewer crashes caused by lack of visibility as the aircraft approaches the earth. They did not know how to focus their sales efforts and were afraid to let go of any area of business, regardless of its profitability or impact on their market perception.
We introduced a process to help them decide how to focus their efforts. The problem, as we identified it, was that the people who want to treat their driveway think you are too expensive if you serve the Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps and Air Force procurement officers don’t want to buy from the guys that spray driveways.
They were able to make a conscious decision and revision of their business model to eliminate their B2C market and focus exclusively on large buyers with mission-critical needs.
“We need help reinventing a boring service”
Telecom needs to bring a new product to market with splash.
An innovative telecom wanted to deliver a new series of services to the SMB marketplace that would help business owners manage their phone bills. According to our client’s research, small business owners were overpaying on their phone bills by more than 10% each month. Providing a solution to solve that problem could easily result in millions of dollars of new revenue for them.
We looked at their core strengths as a business and then developed a marketing strategy that would allow them to get the attention of busy business owners. It was important that we did not overpromise on potential savings to business owners, as our client had a long track record in honest and practical telecom solutions.
Using a series of web landing pages, we allowed business owners to upload and analyze their current phone bills for potential savings. Our client was able to to add thousands of new SMB clients as a result of this new strategy.
“We have to grow or die”
Advertising agency needs to overcome stagnation
An interactive marketing firm had built a local southwest business portfolio serving resorts and golf courses. As the company grew, they developed a highly skilled and innovative team, capable of providing services beyond their current customer’s needs and ability to pay. Their business was stagnant and they had no idea what to do about it.
They brought us in to help them position to attract larger customers and bigger deals. We helped them redefine their marketing message, refine their target client list, and engage subject matter experts in client-facing meetings. Within the first year they landed 11 clients with deals that were ten times or more the size of their previous average deal. They went from a local firm to become a national and now international presence.
Three years later their corporate growth has been extraordinary. The ten-times deal size is now the minimum that they will consider. Their laser focus on appropriate prospects resulted in landing 100% of the deals they pitched in 2011.
They are achieving these results with a sales team of ONE. The strategic combination of executive team, sales lead, and subject matter experts has created a company where everyone is engaged in business development.
“We can’t deliver what we sell”
Software company needs agreements among sales, project management, and development teams
A large software company launched new products in several industry verticals with great fanfare. They had been the biggest fish in their pond, but their new products expanded their industry reach and the size of customer they would pursue.
The development team releases these products in Version1.0. Basic functionality is complete but customization options are unfinished. The sales team, however, is enamored with the bells-and-whistles and focuses on those add-ons in the sales process.
Meanwhile, the sales process did not include an assessment phase prior to the sale. Needs assessment by the project management team did not occur until after the contract was signed.
If this sounds like a recipe for disaster, it was. New, larger customers were more demanding and less forgiving. Costs skyrocketed as development had to produce options that did not yet exist. Nobody could meet deadlines to deliver what had been promised.
We helped them implement and manage a strict sales process that included the project management team’s needs assessment prior to the contract phase. We helped them develop a team approach so that project management resources were made available in a timely manner so as not to delay the sale.
Consequently, they were able to survive several customer challenges and move forward with a much more reliable set of sales practices.
“We aren’t good at landing enterprise customers”
Software company wants to land big deals.
A niche software company was struggling to shift their focus from selling individual licenses to delivering very large enterprise deals to corporate customers. They did not have the manpower or the expertise to be able to expertly hunt big deals.
We took a look at their existing clients, the best verticals to sell their software, and potential growth trends in the marketplace we could leverage to their advantage. We noticed some key patterns in their user-base that we used to build a sales strategy.
By helping our client focus on two key high-risk verticals — medicine and banking, we were able to help them generate business with 19 of the 21 biggest banks in the world. As well, they were able to sign multi-million-dollar enterprise deals with two new clients.
“We need to cultivate better start-ups”
Hedge fund needs to get better results from portfolio companies.
A large hedge fund was struggling with underperforming investments in several high-growth potential companies. Despite hiring several sales consultants to help their companies grow, they were unable to figure out a monetization model that would work. The fund was at risk of losing millions of dollars of investment if they couldn’t get the results they were expecting.
We met with the management teams from the companies they invested in and spent some time getting to understand their market potential. We then introduced several new strategies for better monetizing the ideas that were being generated by these companies.
Within a few months, revenue was being generated by each of the portfolio companies and there was relief from management of the hedge fund that their investments had been saved.
“We’re good at advertising. We need help with sales.”
Advertising agency needs to generate better results.
One of the largest advertising agencies in the world approaches us with a specific problem. While they were particularly good at broadcasting sales messages for their biggest clients, they were not getting the results that they wanted. As a result, they were afraid that competitors would poach several of their biggest clients, each paying them more than $1 billion each year. Losing a single customer would have a dramatic impact on the company performance.
We spent several hours strategizing with the entire global management team, outlining the evolving changes we saw in the buyer/seller relationship and educating the team on possible options. Using our insights into buyer behavior as a foundation for process change, we were able to suggest several key emotionally intelligent innovations for helping our client’s clients provide a better experience and drive revenue growth.
Our client not only retained all of their existing customers, but was able to land several new, large clients using the strategies that we taught them.
“We need our resellers to prioritize our products”
Software company needs better indirect reseller results
A large commercial software company approached us with an indirect sales problem. They were relying on over 4,000 resellers to drive revenue growth. Due to a wide range of competing products resellers were not selling their products as often as our client felt they could.
We spent some time looking at the sales process the resellers were using. By understanding the compensation plan of our resellers and the tools that they were using to close deals, we were able to introduce several key strategies which resulted in improved performance.
We replaced their traditional marketing newsletters with a more intimate series of e-mail templates that applied to specific parts of the sales process. Using these templates, resellers were able to reduce the amount of time they spent chasing deals and dramatically increase the amount of revenue they generated per client.
“We need to reinvent our customer experience”
IT company needs better margins and happier clients.
A large IT services client wanted to reposition their business from a commodity player to a high value solutions provider. This would not only increase margin, but also allow our client to expand into new verticals that required large upfront research and development investments.
We spent several months re-aligning marketing, sales, and operations teams to deliver a uniquely memorable client experience throughout all stages of the deliverable.
By introducing a reproducible process and marketing messages that facilitated lead generation, our client was able to increase profitability higher than ever before in the history of the company. As a side benefit, the marketing team increased leads from referrals by over 2000%, driving profitable sales growth of 74% within 15 months.
“We want to grow revenue more quickly”
Services company needs better results
A multimillion dollar software-as-service provider approached us with a unique challenge. While they had been growing at 25% year-over-year, they were not growing fast enough. They were afraid that competitors would increase market share faster than them, forcing them into a defensive position.
We took a look at the industry and the company. We put together a strategy that focused on the uncertainty that our client’s competitors were not addressing.
By taking a radical position in a fast moving industry, we were able to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the industry and put competitors on the defense. Revenue increased 800% over the next 24 months. Our client dramatically gained market share and acquired two of the companies who used to be its biggest competitors.
“We want to bring international business to United States buyers”
International brokers need American wallet-share
International companies understand the power of the American dollar. They understand that American buyers buy more goods than any other country in the world. So it is only natural that companies in South America and Africa approached us looking for ways to market their product to American buyers.
We looked at their product line, the competitors, and their goals for growth and put together a strategy that enabled them to import millions of pieces of new product within 12 months.
Along with architecting an online sales and marketing process that cultivated new business from American buyers, we were able to steer them around import and export laws that might have otherwise crippled their business performance. They continue to add new products to this effective sales strategy.
“We are leaving money on the table”
Market research company needs to become a strategic partner
A prominent market research company was frustrated at their inability to become a strategic advisor to their clients. Typically they were hired for short-term work when a company was in trouble with its customers, but they were not consulted about the long-term strategy of how to create positive customer relationships.
We discovered two key problems. First, their researchers were scholars, not business analysts. They focused on the data, not what the findings could mean for the customer’s business. Researchers were presenting the reports on their own without the presence of a business analyst or sales associate from their own company. Second, their relationships were limited to their counterparts in the customer’s marketing department. They had no contact with executives who were defining strategy.
We helped them develop a new message to market linking their work to strategic decisions. We helped them develop a new way of creating and presenting reports, by teaming researchers with executive leaders to oversee final reports and participate in the presentation. And we helped them target ideal clients and build relationships at higher executive levels, so that their research would be considered in strategic planning.
The outcome was a breakthrough in their revenue plateau and several new large accounts.
“We have no sales process for the largest accounts”
Educational software company needs sales support
A large, international company producing educational software has an extensive US salesforce strictly organized by geographic territories. They sell exclusively to school districts. Company leadership found that very few sales were being made to the largest school districts; sales associates were focusing almost exclusively on their small and midsize prospects.
They brought us in to work with the sales team and figure out how to solve this problem. Not surprisingly, we found that the sale to a large school district was much more complex than the sale to a smaller entity. Decisions were more political, many more people were involved, and sales cycle was much longer. The individual sales person didn’t have or didn’t know how to access the corporate resources that would be required to make such a sale.
The solution was a cross-functional leadership team plan that would kick into place on key deals once the sales rep presented a business case. Executive sponsorship, subject matter expertise, financial modeling and other key resources would be made available once the leadership team signed on. This company is making major inroads in landing bigger customers.
“We need a better sales process”
Payment processor needs new verticals to target.
A large online payments processor struggled to find a way to effectively monetize their interactions online. Besides collecting fees for payments, they were unable to expand their margins. This made them an easy takeover target. Which was something they were hoping to avoid.
We suggested a radical approach to online payments that was both secure but memorable. Within 24 months we expanded their line of services beyond their existing industry into seven new industries. All this without adding any new services. Just a different packaging and a different message for each new opportunity.
Besides expanding their revenue and dramatically increasing profitability, our client was able to begin their own takeover strategy for swallowing up three of their biggest competitors.