With an extensive product line and bundled service offering...
... the CEO and Senior Sales leaders for a Fortune 1000 business to business manufacturing company wanted to accelerate customer understanding of the company’s newly expanded service offering. They believed by expanding the awareness of their offering, they could increase sales through more effective cross selling and upselling.
As a leading provider of communications solutions, the company helps organizations improve operational productivity and reduce the costs of internal and external communications. Their target customer ranged from mid size up to the Fortune 1000. However, they felt the new service offering provided the opportunity to grow into larger organizations.
Although their service offering provided significant cost savings and productivity improvements, close rates were not at the level they expected. Because their leading edge solution required buy in from multiple decision makers, across various departments, it was challenging to engage all parties to gain consensus. However, when the sales team did get customer decision makers together for an in depth presentation or facility tour, close rates sored. These in depth meetings guided customers step by step through the service offering making benefits easier to visualize. Although many customers were willing to travel to participate in tours and presentations, there were many more that did not, especially new prospects. The B2B manufacturing company needed a more effective way to bring that personalized experience direct to the customer and close more deals.
Instead of concentrating on bringing the customer to the facility, we suggested bringing the facility to the customer - in the form of a showcase. Targeting customers and prospects in major market cities, a large hotel meeting room was transformed into a product and technology showcase. Emulating a facility tour, the exhibition included a technology center and multiple stations representing each major product category. This setup helped customers see first hand how the services could help them reduce costs and increase productivity. In addition, the product stations demonstrated products helping customers better understand the benefits. The event also included a keynote address and seminars on industry topics. These sessions occurred throughout the day, allowing participants to get a better perspective of the company, and topics important to them as well. This helped draw prospects that wouldn't have attended just to see the company’s new service offering.
The showcases were tremendously successful with nearly 20 conducted over a seven year period. Attendance at each event ranged from 200 - 700. Satisfaction surveys conducted after each event were over 97% positive. Not only did customer’s vote positive in the survey, they also voted with their check books. Each event had a positive return on investment based on new business generated within six months of each show. Lifetime value ROI was significantly higher. Customer’s came away with a clear understanding of the value proposition and how their company would benefit from the services. In addition, the showcase served as a training opportunity for the B2B manufacturing company’s customer facing employees. As a result, they had a more complete understanding of the benefits, helping them sell more effectively.
Large or small, a customer event done right can help enhance current relationships, open doors to new customers and get the most out of your online marketing efforts.