Complex sales are a fact of life for many B2B organizations – especially the ones in the business of selling enterprise-wide software. These types of lengthy cycles can result in big deals with even bigger payoffs, but they can also create huge headaches for marketing teams. Delivering the right content, at the right time, during the right phase of the buying cycle is a difficult proposition under the best of circumstances, and it’s especially problematic when the sales process takes place over a period of months – or years.
What’s worse is that long timeframes are often only just one aspect of a complex sale. The other is just as difficult: the need to connect with – and convert – multiple stakeholders across a large organization.
Selling Enterprise Software
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article citing results from a series of surveys from CEB and Motista, the likelihood of an IT purchase drops quickly as the number of decision makers increases. The surveys also found that the variety of jobs, functions, and geographies that these individuals represent is much wider than it used to be. And on average, 5.4 people must formally sign off on each B2B purchasing decision.
What does it take to gain consensus in a group that size? And how can you bring everyone along on the buyer’s journey at the same time in order to drive conversions? This is just one of the issues that caused Zyme Solutions, a global leader in channel data management (CDM) products and services, to go shopping for a new technology solutions to help them sell more efficiently.
Zyme provides cloud-based solutions that collect real-time channel intelligence and data to help organizations better optimize inventory, revenue, and compliance. Their customer base is concentrated in enterprise technology sectors such as consumer electronics, enterprise networking, and semiconductors.
Business is booming, but making the sale can become a convoluted processes. Because Zyme’s solutions have organization-wide impact, the company has been focused on trying reach and educate the many different decision-makers in sales, marketing, channel operations, supply chain, and business intelligence. And of course, all of these roles have different perspectives and problems, requiring unique messaging and offers.
A long, complex sales cycle with multiple stakeholders? Sounds like a job for marketing automation. The team at Zyme thought so too, and they looked long and hard for a solution that could meet their needs. Zyme’s wish list included end-to-end visibility into campaign management, list management, comprehensive metrics, the ability to nurture and score leads, and the ability to manage multi-channel inbound marketing including social media and search engine optimization. Many of the tools they tried out fell short, but when they found Act-On, they knew they had finally discovered the solution to their complex-sale challenges.
Because Act-On’s platform allows Zyme to segment its audience by behavior, industry, and role, and to automate and personalize content, Zyme has been able to deliver content that’s targeted and tailored to specific interests.
Rishi Shankar, senior manager of marketing support for Zyme, put it this way: “With the Act-On platform, we are now able to do extremely personalized campaigns that target specific areas in specific industries, and we are starting to see a big difference here. We can use the real time reporting, dashboards, and metrics to deliver the right content to the right target.” The results: email open rates have tripled over the rates they saw using another platform.
Zyme has also integrated Act-On with their CRM system, which gives the sales reps access to all of the metrics and lead intelligence Act-On generates. This insight makes it much easier to track a prospect’s engagement. For example, when a lead clicks a link in an email and visits a landing page on the web site, sales reps can see what content the visitor has viewed and downloaded – and quickly determine what they’re likely to want next. This data helps the sales teams make more effective sales calls – and helps the marketing team fine-tune their content planning.
Read the whole case study to learn more about the ways Act-On solutions are helping this global software provider continually improve results and shorten the sales cycle, and find out how marketing automation can drive growth for your business as well.