Specops

Specops Adopts Act-On for Pre & Post Sales Engagement – Drives Better Customer Outcomes

The software industry is crowded with competitors. If you can’t keep prospects’ attention, they’ll simply go with another company that does. That’s why the IT software superstars at Specops use Act-On to engage and captivate prospects. Now they run a full spectrum of automated campaigns and track how users interact with their website to dynamically serve them content. And when prospects convert to customers, they use Act-On to keep them onboard.

specops-logo

Industry: IT Management/Services
Act-On Customer Since: 2014

Highlights

  • With triggered email, Specops doesn’t have to respond manually to all inquiries, and as a result has saved over 1,150 hours annually
  • Specops has seen a marked improvement in lead qualification and opportunity conversion, with an 11% increase in won deals just a year after implementing Act-On

SHARE:

Download Case Study >

CHALLENGE:

Security and efficiency are top priority in any IT department. If they can prevent breaches and spend less time managing day-to-day operations, they can focus on new technology that can advance the whole business. That’s why IT software companies like Specops provides a wide range of products to help IT departments automate both. Their desktop management solution lets IT departments deploy new software and applications across an entire company effortlessly; their password management solution increases security while reducing costs through self-service password resets. But it’s a crowded field and if you want to sell to IT departments, you need to stay ahead of the competition.

“The challenge is to keep prospects engaged,” says Specops Marketing Specialist Colleen Yang. “The sales cycle can be very long and we’re competing for very small audiences. It’s an over-saturated market and prospects get lots of information about our competitors. It is hard to keep us top of mind.”

In the past, Specops sent one-off emails to promote their products. Open rates were low and long-term engagement was poor. Campaigns weren’t based on any prospect action or buying signals. They were purely based on time. As a result, the emails weren’t effective in generating awareness. Colleen and her team knew they needed a way to reach prospects at the right time with the right content.

SOLUTION:

Specops needed a marketing automation solution that they could set up easily and that could produce the quickest time to value. “We have limited resources in both Marketing and IT,” she says. “We were looking for something really easy to use and not technically complex to implement.

And since this was our first time implementing a marketing automation solution, the level of support a vendor could provide was as important as the technology itself. Act-On came highly recommended both for its ease of use and for its support department.”

Getting the solution setup was as quick as they expected. “I watched the demo a few times and we had a customer success manager to walk us through the setup process,” says Colleen. “We started using Act-On right away and were able to launch our first nurture campaign two weeks following the implementation.”

Colleen started with a nurture campaign about Microsoft’s phase-out of Windows XP. The campaign showed how IT departments could quickly and easily upgrade their entire office with Specops Deploy. It included 12 emails spread out over 12 weeks, each with different pieces of relevant content. Later the team created more targeted campaigns based on industry segments, products of interest, job titles and more.

The Specops team also created a customer retention campaign. After a customer purchases a product, they’re sent a series of emails to help them get the most out of Specops. “We send customers training materials and helpful tips on a monthly basis. And at the end of the campaign, we follow up with a customer satisfaction survey to measure their overall experience and renewal intent,” says Colleen. “Act-On is an invaluable tool for customer onboarding and retention. It’s a great way to stay in touch beyond the point of purchase.”

BENEFITS:

Thanks to Act-On, Specops has seen a marked improvement in lead qualification and opportunity conversion, with an 11% increase in won deals just a year after implementing Act-On. “We can now identify leads early and route cold leads to nurturing programs. We can also score and track lead sources and set up campaign specific landing pages. All of these things have drastically improved our lead qualification and greatly enabled Sales,” says Colleen. “Armed with lead insights from Act-On activity history, Sales can follow up on leads more effectively – they can now determine the best time to reach the prospect and the message that would resonate with them the most.”

Act-On’s workflow and automation capabilities have freed up the Specops Marketing team to allow them to devote more time to content creation and long-term lead nurturing strategies. With triggered emails, Specops doesn’t have to respond manually to all inquiries, and as a result has saved over 1,150 hours annually. “Since we have automated everything in Act-On, it has taken repetitive manual tasks out of our hands” says Colleen. “For example, auto-response emails allowed Marketing to take over the initial follow-up so Sales no longer needs to spend time drafting their own emails to prospects with the information they need to get the products installed.”

Most importantly, Act-On has helped Specops reduce churn and increase customer retention, ensuring they engage with and tailor each customer’s post-sales experience. “We have automated programs now to train our new customers about product usage,” says Colleen “We have improved customer retention in the form of contract renewals and fewer support queries when we release product updates. That’s a benefit that goes above and beyond what we expected when we started using Act-On.”