Czech Microsoft partner enters Australian market with global D365 rollout

Our new client – a fast growth Czech Republic Microsoft Gold Partner provides workflow automation solutions and has won a contract with a distribution business to implement a global rollout for Microsoft Dynamics D365 Finance and Operations as well as CRM modules including an Australian based site.

New market entry scope requirement:

A local Australian delivery partner with strong Microsoft certifications was required with D365 F&O skills and understanding of the local Australian accounting standards and Australian taxation rules for compliance requirements.

new-market-entrySecondly an ongoing local support engagement is required for the post implementation period as part of a Global Support contract.

The consulting engagement brief for Alchemise was to locate and identify the best fit Australian D365 partner to help fulfil the functional consulting for the rollout scope and partnership fit with right expertise and ongoing support/maintenance capability.

From our new market entry experience working with fast growth technology companies coming to Australia from UK, Europe, US and Asia we know there are many country specific nuances to consider in terms of the broader partner considerations when forming a channel alliance and partnership which needs to include the following.

Culture considerations:

Both the end client relationship and your global support model needs to be considered for a compatible cultural fit. This needs to be a seamless experience for the local client and parent client experience with compatible operating values and processes as well as how the project management structure is setup.

We understood the learnings from the current EU market that experienced Microsoft Dynamics 365 functional consultants are difficult to find amongst Tier 1 & 2 Consulting firms and a trade off between highly structured engagements versus a partner who are more flexible to suit with partnering with a growth company.

Local Australian market considerations:

The end parent client expressed preference of the physical location being Czech based without offshore but local access and fly in fly out but having a local office in Australia.

The local requirement was to arrange an in country partnership with a credible sized Australian based organisation with national presence to assist with the functional Microsoft D365 experience and also ongoing support.

Remote support considerations:

This mode is time efficient to be able to offer local business hours coverage for Level 1 support in Australia as part of the global support “round the clock” agreement required to be managed from Prague, Czech Republic in line with Contractual Service Level Agreements.

They spoke with Alchemise to assist given our technology services background, local network of Microsoft partners and understanding of the subject context from an integrated technology sales & marketing perspective.

Timeline:

There was limited time frame to arrange a local partnership as the global rollout scoping for 2019 was already in place with the Australian site.

The Czech team was flying out in two weeks for the client scoping workshop and needed the right options in place prior.

We addressed the brief requirements and qualified a shortlist of five suitably qualified potential Tier 1 & Tier 2 partners and helped to conduct shortlist criteria/ interviews within this time to deliver the client outcome required.

New market entry outcome:

Given the challenge of the local Australian Microsoft partner criteria, skills, timeline, and experience for Microsoft Dynamics 365 needed as well as the accounting background expertise required to interpret Australian accounting policies, we managed to deliver the results with just 2 weeks lead time.

We successfully scoped outcomes with the pressing urgency to find a local Australian project functional D365 consultant following market research for the correct Microsoft Partner which was suitable with Microsoft D365 skills as well as industrial and distribution sector experience.

We conducted the local Microsoft partner interviews and assessment to ensure the right fit for both current project need for client location and also ongoing support for D365 and also CRM modules. Once the shortlist was completed, we facilitated the conference call introduction with our client and was able to advise from market research around market contracting rates and local insights about the local Microsoft partner network.

Our value with ICT sector and technology domain knowledge of the market and Microsoft partners helped position the confidence and network of suitable providers for this need.

A shortlist was compiled following several discussions and interviews with prospective Microsoft partners. The learning was that current knowledge is required for D365 not Dynamics AX or previous versions that some partners might be using as a migration or training ground but the selected Australian partner has real compatible experience to meet this client need and fit.

The other shortlisted Microsoft partner interviewed didn’t have the capacity to scale with overflow work and was very dependent on 1 to 2 dedicated resources with required expertise. From a partnering risk perspective this “ability to deliver” needs to be evaluated as part of a local go to market partnership strategy. In the future this may fit with ASEAN based locations.

What our client was looking for wasn’t just the lower pricing as a criteria but the ongoing reputation and commitment to the Australian market which the Australian partner has been established for 30+ years and also a proven current track record which minimises the client risk.

The value of a flexible arrangement and value of the Australian Microsoft Dynamics Partner with their support and consulting model provided our client with the confidence to look at a back to back agreement in the first instance and a time and materials engagement for the initial functionals D365 scope consulting as part of the client’s team.

The client were happy with the outcome and has managed to meet their end clients expectations as well as a suitably qualified partner to build the relationship upon beyond Phase 1: Scoping but also for support and Phase 2: Implementation of D365 F&O and also access to strong D365 CRM skillsets.

If you would like specialised technology solution marketing and sales optimisation and help with your go to market plans, we can assist with an initial no obligation consultation and can be contacted on ….  By the way if you missed one of our other case studies for new market entry into Australia here is a good read:

New Market Entry Assessment saves 40% start up costs for UK ICT Services Provider

Our top 10 Sales and Marketing articles from 2018

Throughout 2018 our blogs, case studies and insight articles and videos have covered a number of topics surrounding the sales and marketing world – here are our 10 most read pieces for the year.

  1. Case Study – IBM business partner drives up lead conversion rate by 25%
  2. Blog – My customer experience: 5 ways a major Australian department store failed to deliver
  3. Insights Video – How to turn your website into a customer centric approach
  4. Blog – How business owners can maintain focus and discipline for success
  5. Blog – Reflections on global business: Diversity, leadership and experience
  6. Blog – Software start-up businesses: What is your sales and marketing plan?
  7. Blog – How do you protect your business identity and digital risk?
  8. Case Study – Sales and marketing strategy: Australian HR advisory firm
  9. Blog – 9 steps to calculate your sales and marketing ROI
  10. Case Study – What sales commission do I pay my new sales BDM hire?


To read more of our sales and marketing insights and articles please visit our Alchemise Consulting News page.

Welcome to 2019. Happy New Year! To kick start your new year, we would like to offer you our FREE E-Book on “How to increase your profits with 7 Profit Multipliers!  

Are you thinking about your 2019 plans and where you need help?  Feel free to contact us for an initial discussion about your sales and marketing challenges and to book in your independent health check. We can demonstrate specific value by identifying where we can help you and your business accelerate your sales engagement and increase your marketing effectiveness with measurable ROI.

Contact Alchemise Consulting at  info@alchemiseconsulting.com or @alchemise_cons or call our office on +61(3) 9225 5022.

Case study: Go-to-market strategy for SD-WAN – Australian telco solutions provider

When it comes to marketing complex technology solutions and planning, the engagement of a specialist sales & marketing provider such as Alchemise Consulting will ensure there is contextual and content understanding of the product and service to sell. Depth of understanding for the specific market dynamics to help develop an effective value proposition to develop a solid go-to-market plan both from an industry sales led and marketing perspective is a recommended investment to make.

What is SD-WAN Technology?

  • SD-WAN (software defined wide area network) is an emerging technology that offers several benefits compared with traditional, router-based WANs.
  • With SD-WAN, business decision makers with service providers can achieve cost savings, increased agility and simplification to support branch office connectivity.

The service diversification and growth plan decided by the directors was to look for the right technology vendor partner for SD-WAN solution with comprehensive due diligence before taking the solution to market and testing the relevant strategy.

In building a ground up new capability, several factors internal and external needed to be considered from a resourcing, commercial, product development, sales & marketing perspective.

They spoke with us to assist, given our technology services background in the market and understanding of the subject context from an integrated technology sales & marketing perspective.

Project Scope

Our senior consultant was engaged for five months to work in the role of ‘go-to-market manager’ and tasked with helping to develop the go-to-market strategy plan as Phase 1, ahead of the go-to-market execution as Phase 2.

The scope involved determining the right value proposition and messaging with market testing as well as sales enablement preparation of digital marketing assets.


Our deliverables spanned across both sales and marketing and product components:

Market Research – Phase 1

  • Business vision go-to-market
  • Market segmentation
  • Competitive positioning
  • Definition of offering


Marketing Plan – Phase 2

  • Market position and strategy
  • Sales and marketing enablement
  • Product market launch
  • Operational requirements
  • Financial analysis

Our deliverables and value of sales & marketing experience provided:

  • Developing relevant foundation content that was needed as well as relevant targeted customer centric presentation collateral
  • Digital website content to specifically engage the right audience
  • Understanding and mapping their buyer’s journey and customer problem as the first step of alignment
  • A new website domain and trial marketing automation usage with a CRM and marketing CMS/automation tool by HubSpot
  • Sales execution and demand generation processes and activities
  • Enacting a culture shift to engage internal client resources from digital, development, sales and technical solutions (both internal and from vendor)
  • As part of the go-to-market manager role,  we highlighted the importance of focus on product roadmap, pricing, positioning and packaging research to work at tactically as well as strategically.
  • Executing a strategy requires practical testing in the market as a well as a dynamic ‘hands-on’ approach

After five months fulfilling the requirement delivering the go-to-market strategy, the clarity of market positioning and sales strategy was established as well as deliverables scoped to market test.

Key Project Learnings

When starting from a foundation level, the Directors’ commitment and team time needs to be available for this to be a joint success for Phase 1.

go-to-market-strategy

What a business has in mind or brainstormed for their service offerings may not be a match for what the market wants or is ready for, so market testing or market opportunity research needs to be completed first.

A clear vision and strategic plan is needed as well as taking the time and investment to look at sales & marketing alignment in some detail as part of the go-to-market.

For smaller businesses or niche specialists, the shift to digital marketing in a customer centric manner is important to prepare for omni-channel engagement outside traditional relationship, referral and sales channels. The value of this approach is an ability to accelerate sales and marketing engagement when the solution and services are launched.

When considering new product introductions, there cannot be a solid plan until you complete market research and feasibility analysis.

When most business owners/directors are time poor, the speed to market and right launch preparation is important to develop the team expertise required to achieve this. If you are attempting to launch too early, the opportunity window might be premature to secure customers, or if you are too late, you need to be a market segment leader not a follower generally.

Outcome

We successfully scoped outcomes for the assessment of go-to-market strategy, market research for the correct vendor which was suitable and also developed the digital presence, collateral and sales enablement components of the content plan.

Our value with extensive ICT sector and technology domain knowledge of the market and competitors for SD-WAN helped positioning a productised and managed services model for generation of revenue opportunities in the Australian market.

The value of a flexible arrangement and value as part of the client’s team allowed much further consideration for investment and market knowledge to be developed for the Australian market for SD-WAN. The completion of Phase 1 provides future clarity when Phase 2 (execution) commences.

If you would like specialised technology solution marketing assistance and sales optimisation and help with your go-to-market plans, we can assist with an initial no obligation consultation – contact us for an initial discussion on how we can help you and your business at info@alchemiseconsulting.com or @alchemise_cons or call our office on +61392255022.


CLICK HERE for another case study where we assisted and added value to a UK technology company with their APAC expansion and new Market Expansion feasibility. 

How live chat accelerated a new inbound sales lead

Overview – Why do you need to have Live Chat?

The importance of Digital customer service led sales and marketing channels offering LIVE CHAT on your business website is NOT OPTIONAL anymore with B2B and B2C engagement. With the progression of customer service automation to ChatBots, AI and Live Chat engines, you don’t know where and when your next inbound prospective sales opportunity might come from – so BE PREPARED to have the capability to be responsive 24 x 7 or be available to engage without delay or you will miss out on new business enquiry for your pipeline!

The Initial Customer Journey “Live Chat” User Case – National IT Services Business

A leading national IT services business needed some assistance to develop their Inside Sales Team process and growth.  The General Manager made an enquiry as a new lead through our website using live chat options as the communication channel of preference.

The customer buying process identified is summarised below and as a result of investment in building a content and contextual driven strategy once the target customer profile was development and understood:

1) There was a need for assistance to see who could help in the local marketplace.

2) Google keyword search performed 

  • How to build Inside Sales teams
  • How to develop Inside Sales processes

3) One of Alchemise Consulting’s blog came up in the results organically SEO ranked on the first page.

https://alchemiseconsulting.com/how-inside-sales-drives-lead-generation/

4) The initial enquiry was made from our Hubspot Conversations website chat room 

live-chat-alchemise-consulting

5) Our Alchemise Inside Sales Consultant was notified of this in real time and was able to respond from his mobile application within one minute to respond to the request and then switch channels to convert the lead to a phone based outbound call within five minutes.

6) After an initial marketing qualified lead (MQL) discovery discussion opportunity was identified, this was converted to a sales qualified lead (SQL) with a meeting set that same week with the key stakeholders/decision makers.

7) Following the initial prospective client meeting a proposal was delivered within the same week with a solution.

As you can see from the example the acceleration from top of funnel to bottom of funnel within a one week timeline was due to a two minute response time from being found on Google Search from organic SEO for an evergreen content piece, the live chat lead was developed from initial customer service to sales engagement and new well qualified opportunity for the sales pipeline.

Our solution

We have been running Salesforce CRM and HubSpot marketing automation with a Live Chat (Hubspot Conversations feature) on our homepage to allow us to capture and qualify any real leads quickly. It has a round robin team feature for any defined “customer agent” to pick up live and be notified automatically that a new web enquiry has come in within message inbox.

From a customer experience and journey mapping exercise, we choose to offer our prospective customers the options for phone, email, contact us or live chat. This was not enabled as just a pre-scripted AI programmed chat bot which allows us to deepen each live chat engagement initially.

Outcomes

As part of the shift to a 360 degree flywheel approach by HubSpot, this was not just a two-dimensional traditional marketing to sales funnel, our distinct customer centric approach allowed us to: 

  1. Add value to this new prospect
  2. Respond quickly to their timelines
  3. Position our value proposition in person with a meeting with the two key stakeholders/project sponsors
  4. Lead with a proposal ahead of the two other competitors within a week

Subject to the budgeting cycle and project priorities we have quickly used inbound digital channels from content marketing to a sales qualified engagement to accelerate our sales process with this leading national IT services prospect.

Key takeaways & learnings

What I wanted to highlight is a textbook example of how the investment in sales enablement, CRM/marketing automation platform, customer experience and live chat channels can help sales team accelerate their sales process to reduce the ‘friction’ for customers to engage with us.

The lead response time enabled us to convert the warm lead within one minute response time instead of a 24 to 48 hour telephone call back response time from sales allowed us to shorten the sales funnel cycle from MQL to SQL.

Using a marketing automation tool like HubSpot allowed us to monitor, log and respond to our potential customer quickly and at the right time.

The role of the Inside Sales Representative or Sales Development Representative today needs to also be multi-skilled with digital omni-channel customer service support skills and experience to handle inbound and outbound customer interaction dynamically.

The role of the traditional telemarketer based on cold calling is at risk and needs to diversify skillsets into social and digital sales whilst having the ability to be customer centric. Most importantly it’s understanding how to really build trust and off value to your prospective clients during outbound and inbound multichannel interactions ( up to the prospect’s choice of communication channel).

We talk about bridging the gap between sales and marketing and this experience shared shows how easily the digital channel of experience can provide immediate ROI.

A traditional example in contrast which DOESN’T WORK for customer engagement today

How this unified communications/contact centre services company just missed out on a new genuine lead enquiries and needs to digitally transform their sales & marketing approach.

It is most ironic that this well established Australian service provider sells contact centre and unified communication solutions but do they really practice what they preach?

In just having two communication channels on their website – contact us for the Melbourne office with a 1300 or local direct dial number.

live-chat-inbound

Upon calling their office three times over a two hour period, and pressing every option on their IVR systems:

1 – for Customer Support
2 – for Sales
3 – for Accounts
4 – for Reception

The common response was SILENCE; each channel option rang out or was put onto a dial forward to the next department but no voicemail or diversion to a real person.

As more and more companies choose to reduce cost with reception or a front office what will happen with this silence which makes it challenge for genuine enquiries to get through on the phone or someone to assist. It seems like the reachability in this digital age is becoming less focused on customer service with a reduction of communication channel choices to cater for broad demographic access. 

Look out for our upcoming blog around “The impact of silence”

For a new customer lead enquiry this wasn’t a promising start, especially when I was trying to reach the Sales Director. When I eventually reached him, I asked if he was aware of this inbound challenge to get through to someone either in Sydney or Melbourne office and how many more new sales leads he might have missed! What a shame it would be if it was the next $1M deal that another competitor won from their lack of availability to be contacted from an inbound call.

To find out more how you to can stop a leaky funnel effect or not miss out on valuable new inbound leads with LIVE CHAT, please contact us for a confidential discussion and we can review your requirements first to assist.

If you would like another example of how inbound marketing automation helped us close a new client deal in just 10 days – please click here for our blog. 

Case study: What sales commission do I pay my new sales BDM hire?


The right sales compensation plan is critical to your first hire with a new or growing business. Some of the considerations and challenges raised in this example are particularly relevant to business owners or directors who have come from a non sales background who might be unsure where to start.

Overview

A fast growing leading Melbourne full service marketing agency was recently looking to hire their first salesperson to join their successful team, and  shift their focus for active sales growth.

Prior to this new sales focus, sales activity was led by one of the Directors and other sales responsibilities were shared between the Digital Strategist and the Project Management team.

To some extent this hindered their ability to service existing clients and also build a new business funnel with a targeted focus for growth. In earlier days, this marketing agency has historically had more transactional business  and strong referral leads  than focusing on generating ongoing retainer engagements and developing new business sales capability.

Growing a sales team: Making your first sales hire

The marketing agency had decided, after an initial interview and shortlisting process, to hire a Senior Business Development Manager with general market rates and to provide an offer. 

The initial challenge was how to pay them a suitable commission package in line with the direction of agency’s services and business growth plans.

Initially a flat fixed percentage plan was discuss on a high base salary. However, management were initially unaware of the many factors that needed to be considered in sales performance management. A clear aim wasto actively grow the number of new sales opportunities and through certain preferred service lines.

4 sales compensation considerations


This agency is in the process of shifting to a higher value retainer model from transactional project based or time based work. This needs to be considered in how sales plans and commission structure are determined and set.

  • Sales goals for the financial year sales-compensation
  • Services priority – retainer-based, projects and renewals
  • Cashflow and encouragement of team based culture
  • Not having an open ended commission plan initially, until aligned with business and financial objectives.

Proposed client solution.


The agency’s initial view was to offer a flat rate percentage commission.
 

Upon review and with additional market insights, that suggestion didn’t quite make sense given the focus of revenue and profit required in the business to make this successful for both short term with the sales person, and also for establishing a foundation for business growth. The other consideration was to create the ability to scale the sales team in the future beyond Year 1. 

Considerations

When you are looking at sales compensation structures you need to look at the sales function of either retention focus (account management) or acquisition focus (business development) as both of these have an intrinsic mode of sales behaviour and associated type of sales approach.

From a sales structure typically the behaviour of your sales team is based on the incentive you set them. If you are a products or transactional business then sometime this top heavy loading on revenue on order might work from metrics focused on volume and size of revenue.

sales-hire-compensation-balanceIn the professional services area, this principle doesn’t apply and a delicate balance needs to be achieved between blending in gross profit margins for healthy financial considerations, a realistic and achievable individual target (particularly for a growth focused SMB/SME), the balance of acquisition and delivery capabilities, and the consideration of which types of services are best placed to sell during the customer buying lifecycle.

Different compensation plans need to be considered for acquisition mode sales and also retention sales plans, or perhaps a hybrid if the sales resource is responsible for both.

Being a full service marketing agency, most of the business’ client work is project based, and in recognising this, there was a discussion about the risk of setting targets too low – if the Senior BDM were to overachieve easily based on revenue early in the year, then there is always a risk that little motivation and monetary incentive exist for the remainder of the year. This can greatly degrade the productivity of the sales function if rewards for consistent performance aren’t put into place.

Our Sales ROI review highlighted that by aligning the sales strategy, a split commission element needed to be put into place, based on the expected contract renewals focus whilst helping the project team with securing the additional business, cross selling and up-selling.

Aligning the sales targets in line with a tightly linked compensation plan needed to be formulated realistically with the considerations in mind.

We provided some sales based guidance around reverse engineering their sales revenue target and direction of sales and marketing activity required to hit their sales goals for the next financial year.

Improve Your Performance Concept in Flat Design with Long Shadows.

The process of determining a break-even ROI on a sales hire is important as they will typically (depending on the industry) generate about three times the sales pipeline value of their individual sales target.

The challenge of ramp-up time and a comprehensive onboarding process is often not considered, with unrealistic expectations on the sales representative to successfully close business within their first month to justify their hire.

We provided a compensation calculation based on the right behaviour in line with the suite of services to be sold based on setting the right targets and appropriate commission elements to suit the individual’s needs and agency’s business focus.

Recommendations and Outcome

After sending through a compiled market survey from leading recruitment reports to validate market rates, the appropriate sales commission plan needed to be structured correctly and fairly to meet short term and longer term sales goals and a foundation which can scale. 

For sales representatives, typically a base salary component and a OTE (On Target Earnings) is provided based on their sales target.

For Year 1 there was more importance on setting up the foundation, then progressing to Year 2 when the commission plan could be reviewed based on performance in Year 1.

After consideration and analysis of the business’ services and financial plan, our proposed plan consisted of:

sales-hire-next-steps-plan

A commission plan tied into three elements:

  • Revenue for all project and services (Total Contract Value)
  • Retainer Profit (Gross Profit)
  • Team component for new business renewal and contribution (End of FY Team Bonus)

This equals the Year 1 target to hit their new business sales goal.

The structure for Year 2 can be negotiated depending on initial performance and tracking of realistic achievements, as well as a review from Year 1 to determine the success or challenges faced with this method. 

Key takeaways and summary

For SMEs unfamiliar with how to compensate experienced sales people, I would suggest to not just think or assume that the simple plan or flat rate or % commission is sufficient, particularly in small business where cashflow is tight and profit margins are slim. You need to know your market and territory to assign as well as which market segment you are trying to sell into.

If you aren’t diligent in this approach to paying to a sales commission plan and target setting, whether it’s a junior or senior hire, you could risk exposure to overpaying your individual sales resource. A secondary effect is further reducing profit margins to keep them sufficiently motivated if they can achieve their sales target too quickly and easily. 

In highlighting this, it is critical to understand where you are paying commissions from, are this cost built into your service contract and deal, or overall based on your gross profit margins.  Your ability to scale and grow your sales teams requires some analysis on where your ROI can be generated from.

You need to know your business figures thoroughly, such as individual overheads and sunk costs, and impacts on GST and superannuation payments. Fundamentally you need to know your financial forecast of revenue and profit margins first to determine whether you can onboard the right investment in sales headcount and budget to start with. 

The other tip is to ensure that you mutually review the goals regularly and separate commission plans with performance reviews to ensure your growth plans are in line with business needs.

As you grow the sales function within your team and business, building that consistent foundation is recommended with the right sales performance advisor until you are ready to hire a sales manager. Consider the temporary impact of sales resource turnover or ongoing challenges to grow future sales hires.


For more information or an obligation free consultation or guidance please contact us at info@alchemiseconsulting.com or call our office +613 9225 5022.

 

Sales and marketing strategy: Case study – Australian HR advisory firm

HR Client Overview

A leading Melbourne based boutique HR advisory firm has a small team of six staff and growing with offering HR assessment and full range of HR advisory and resourcing services to corporate and SME businesses. They pride themselves on personalised service and long term retained clients. They have growth aspirations and also much of their business was from referrals with a very high conversion rate as well as forming alliance partners in their business network.


Vision & Goals

Here were our HR client initial vision and goals for the next 12 months.

  • To explore an effective marketing communications and sales pathway for business growth;
  • To uncovers insights for the value proposition, audience personas and competitive landscape;
  • To identify internal alignment opportunities to strategically position the HR Advisory for success;
  • Recommends an actionable 12 month plan to reach desired 25% growth projections;
  • Identify key sales processes and budget requirements; and
  • Position the HR Advisory with the capacity to grow with velocity and plan for succession.


    Client Needs

To date a conversion rate of 82% from a complimentary HR Health Check has been good and effective however more inbound leads were needed. 

The HR advisory wanted to develop core business service sales around selected retainer services and to explore growth of recruitment services and retainer based business which can scale and provide steady cash-flow from both existing clients and new business.

  • Current resourcing has about 10% capacity to grow in workload.
  • An additional priority to review sales and marketing process and systems (CRM and marketing automation tools) and consideration for investment to support clients, operational processes and internal requirements for future scalability and growth.

In forward planning for the financial year 17/18 they needed some sales and marketing strategy assistance to help with business growth.

They recognized the current depth of their sales and marketing strategy plans weren’t sufficient to help them scale and reach their financial year growth targets.

They wanted a combined integrated approach to address and plan out their alignment of sales and marketing in order to scale.

From there they needed some coaching and guidance on how to best invest a limited budget to take their business forward whilst hiring a new HR consultant and evolving their brand marketing.

A strategy of new leads from their HR Growth Assessment was their main form of new leads, followed by referrals with a high close rate.

The logos and colours used on throughout their digital online presence appeared dated.

After combining the sales and marketing strategy as an integrated approach, the deliverables were a comprehensive plan and roadmap with staged investment estimates to budget for.

How we were engaged

Business Growth Assessment

The HR Advisory found us using an inbound marketing approach and registered opportunity for downloading and completing a Business Growth Assessment as well as downloading our 7 Profit Multipliers E-book resource.

The initial engagement followed an inbound process.

Strategy Planning Workshop
Following this we engaged in partnership with our marketing strategist for a 2 hour paid workshop for an integrated sales and marketing strategy engagement using our proven methodology. 

The client came well prepared with their data and financials as well as marketing materials to help strategise and develop recommendations.

Outcomes and value achieved
A detailed business growth assessment overview to independently help set the direction and achieve their goals. This assessment also included a digital website customer experience review for online engagement which improves lead generation projects. A blend of creative marketing design and commercial sales consideration elements were provided in formal feedback and recommendations of next steps and also an appropriate budget to consider a staged approach.

After the workshop and a series of consultations, we formulated the integrated sales and marketing strategy plan to help provide a roadmap for their objectives using a strategy, people, process and systems approach broken down into stages.

Given it was a small business, budget was a challenge in hiring a resource first, servicing their current client base and then a focus on system tools.

Key Recommendations 

Our staged recommendations and roadmap of an integrated sales and marketing strategy given the short term budget constraint and plan to hire a senior consultant were:

Stage 1– Strategy Plan and Roadmap/Recommendations with Marketing Benchmark.

Stage 2– Implementing HubSpot to replace Salesforce and a transition plan based on ease of use and requirements from the design and CRM marketing data capture process.

Stage 3 – Enhancing marketing strategy to deliver a website and social media plan for CTA with their HR assessment offer and capture more customer and prospect data for FY17/18.

Stage 4 – Generate more leads and shift from a product focus to a higher margin and upsell/cross sell offering to help the account management process.

With some assistance and consideration, the HR advisory have now updated their website and digital presence with more HR assessment offers, social media engagement and customer centric content.

They have also implemented a basic HubSpot Marketing Hub and Sales Hub platform to track and collect digital and social engagement analytics with reporting for better visibility.

Moving forward they now have a defined strategic plan to implement the roadmap, as budget allows, in a practical and controlled way which allows them to be innovative and provide growth using a strategic people, process and systems approach.

Strategy Development Outcomes

As a result of our integrated sales and marketing strategy consulting assistance, the HR advisory gained better clarity and a plan of action across people, process and systems with:

  • Help in defining business goals, objectives and marketing benchmarking measures.
  • Aligned Sales and Marketing strategy plan and processes from the workshop.
  • A plan to provide growth capacity and tools foundation for a 5 year growth plan.
  • Providing an informed sales management and commercial decision making process with a detailed implementation planning and investment budget needed for the next stages of the project over the next 12 months.

For further information around our strategy services or how we helped this HR advisory client, feel free to contact us on info@alchemiseconsulting.com or call +61 3 9225 5022.

Case study: Digital readiness strategy & web user experience review

Alchemise Consulting was engaged by a leading Australian independent cyber security consulting business to run a specific marketing campaign. Our objective was to generate new leads within the Enterprise and Government market and position the client’s IT security consulting services for more sales opportunities.

Business challenge

In preparation for the marketing campaign, the messaging and collateral required review and updating to ensure there was follow-up capability, and a quality digital strategy and content. The client’s static website hadn’t been updated for some time and wasn’t presenting their brand and offerings clearly to prospective customers.

The client had limited sales and marketing resources and expertise to grow the business with a structured go to market approach. Typically, existing business had stemmed from referrals and the vendor, however little new business development had been undertaken or invested in beyond this.

A strong part of this digital world and presence is a strongly presented website that resonates to the targeted audience of a professional and credible level. Brand awareness and user experience is key with establishing new contacts and first impressions counted – both existing and prospective customers needed to have their needs met as far as the website content goes in addressing their problems and challenges.

In order to run a successful marketing campaign and “go live”, we needed to ensure that the preparation material was complete.

Our solution

Alchemise understood what was missing from the marketing campaign preparation. The brand awareness and customer focus starts with online presence and messaging, and the best practices of the current digital design for website and content design and inbound marketing.

Our recommendations

Our digital customer experience consultant spent time reviewing the web presence around the formatting and editing of the current online content to reflect the desired purpose of the business services on offer and awareness to attract the right audience. The online web resources needed to be updated with current material and relevance to the market and vendor partnerships in place, in order to best demonstrate to customers how the client could address their challenges and provide solutions to their problems.

Although this comprehensive review pushed the lead generation campaign back, it was essential to demonstrate from a customer or user audience perspective how the client’s website content, presentation and formatting and branding drove customers to engage, or to not engage, with the website and ultimately the company itself.

For further reading of relevance and if you are ready for digital and what to consider for a digital assessment includes please read our previous blog article:  3 key elements of a digital readiness assessment

Outcome

After the comprehensive website and user experience review, we made a number of recommendations in order to ensure the website and digital resources were fit for purpose prior to campaign kickoff.

The primary focus, on the user experience front, was on text content and style in order to optimize readability for website visitors. We submitted revised text copy utilizing a more consistent use of language and style and an increased focus on the customers’ challenges to better project the client’s capabilities to prospects.

Navigation and page layouts were restructured for a clearer presentation of the client’s capabilities and expertise, and images and visuals were used strategically, not just for the sake of adding graphics to the page.

To further improve user experience we ensured that hyperlinks and click-through features were created and used purposefully for a more seamless site exploration by users. We also ensured that all of the client’s downloadable resources had their correct contact details, after the review highlighted that nearly three-quarters of resources listed outdated information.

Each aspect of this review and recommendation process was essential to create a web and digital presence that accurately reflected the client’s brand, offerings and value-adds to clients, and their positioning in the market.

Digital presence and marketing is becoming increasingly important and in a crowded marketplace where there is little allowance made for a poor and/or misguiding first impression when a prospect visits a website. The recommendations and changes that Alchemise Consulting offered were key to improving the impact and success of our client’s direct marketing campaign, and were the gateway to our client becoming fully digitally optimised.

For further information on how you can increase your client engagement from your digital presence and website, we can review this for you and share our recommendations as part of our complementary digital readiness assessment.

Contact us at Twitter@alchemise_cons,  email info@alchemiseconsulting.com or phone us +61(3) 9225 5022

IBM Business Partner drives up lead generation conversion rate by 25%

 

Marketing-ROI

 

 

 

This well established leading IBM Business Partner in Australia requested our assistance late last year after launching an IBM marketing funded campaign. They requested our help to qualify their registered contacts generated from their current campaign with IBM which focused on Cloud Services.

There were about 400 Enterprise and Government sector leads delivered from the marketing campaign between IBM and the preferred marketing agency.

The Challenge

Our client used the vendor preferred marketing agency to run the survey campaign including the creative elements through advertising on a leading IT publication channel however the client felt it wasn’t as effective. The need from the client to follow up these cold leads resulted in Alchemise Consulting being asked if we could assist in working through the survey contacts that had been generated.

The list of 400 leads were segmented by the client according to which were better prospects to follow up with, and about 200 leads were discarded because they were not a good fit with the client’s solution.

There was only limited time to ensure the relevance of this campaign and follow up to provide a measured ROI report back to IBM.

Campaign Problem

Due to the timeframe of launching this campaign at the end of year, the IBM Business Partner used both cloud services and application campaign used the same digital campaign assets.

It was challenging to reach survey participants during the holiday period.

The client collateral available was insufficient to convert more leads as many prospects were expecting a relevant digital online presence. There were still at least over several warm lead opportunities available to be progressed further through the lead nurture process for prospective Enterprise and Government contacts.

Our Solution

Using our integrated inbound account based marketing and sales development approach with a limited timeframe available of 3 weeks, we set up a detailed data profiling exercise working only off 170 quality contact list and engaged with multiple touch points.

The depth of qualification was achieved with strategic and tactical knowledge of the subject matter and use of inbound marketing automation.

From the 170 contacts, a validation process found 115 valid registered leads which developed into 23 marketing qualified leads (MQL) which were developed further to 8 sales qualified leads (SQL).

contacts-by-lifecycle-stage

This was achieved based on our experience and lead generation structure to ensure we touched every high priority and low priority contact with a multi-channel approach. The data was loaded in the CRM and using marketing automation analytics helped tracked for lead activity capture to help us.

Outcome

We achieved 8 SQLs and 23 MQLs from only 170 lead contacts in one month.

The outcome represents an overall 25% conversion from MQL to SQL using our inbound marketing and outbound sales approach for handover to the sales team.

There are still several further qualified lead opportunities to still be nurtured before aiming to convert within the next 3 months.


If you are a technology vendor, consulting services, systems integrator or business partner in software, infrastructure or cloud services wanting a tangible ROI and a proven alternative way with marketing funding to accelerate your APAC sales we can assist.

Learn how to align, implement and measure sales outcomes with limited marketing spend for brand awareness, lead generation initiatives or events follow up, please contact Alchemise Consulting for an obligation free discussion on how we can help you deliver REAL results with a measurable Return on Investment.

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If you are interested in reading our recent marketing insights white paper, please click the link

” 5 Reasons Why Marketing Campaigns Fail