Alice started her professional journey in sales as a travel expert in the aviation industry. Later, as a sales team lead, she pushed premium services in North America.
Alice joined Belkins in October 2020. She had grown from an SDR to an account manager in four months. As an AM, Alice has run 46 projects already. She masterfully juggles industries like software development, solar energy, SaaS, video production, real estate, cyber security, data analytics, marketing & advertising, e-learning, ERP, biotech, and more.
Alice Rassadina, Belkins account manager with 40+ projects in her portfolio, faced the challenging task to drive business leads for a multi-service company. How to set up communication when you onboarded several teams for a single client? The tips are below.
|The name of the company has been hidden in the article to maintain its confidentiality.|
What was the project you were working on?
It is a global technology solutions company specializing in digital strategy, design, transformation, and support. Utilizing expertise in AI & analytics, commerce, managed services, digital transformation, and government, the enterprise delivers intelligent digital transformation solutions that meet organizations where they are. Born digital, this business unit has been delivering mission-critical, enterprise-grade solutions since 2002 for over a hundred ‘Fortune 1000’ enterprises and all fifteen U.S. Federal Departments.
The company’s profile is impressive, so their collaboration with Belkins was expected to become very exciting from the start.
What was the biggest challenge?
Basically, our collaborator has 6 separate business units that provide digital transformation services and products. The challenge was to pick up the relevant one or a few and align the enterprise’s goals with our campaigns and the capacity of our team.
During our 10-month cooperation, we worked with 3 business units that offer different services.
Belkins and the company have to cooperate very closely. Each business unit has different ICPs, VPs, and sales teams. So we have to sync with each of them separately, which involves a lot of communication, calls, strategy alignment, etc.
There were several challenges:
- picking up the right approach, the right audience, and the relevant service to pitch
- streamline communication between Belkins and the company, particularly their marketing dept, sales team, and sales team of each business unit (BU).
What solutions helped you to overcome it?
Approaches and Audiences
It’s really a matter of constant testing, not just A/B, but C, D, E, F, and so on. We were coming up with new approaches every 1,5 - 2 weeks. Each method is a combination of Belkins best practice + the client’s experience and feedback.
- For the Business Unit #1 (Customer Experience), we developed 12+ approaches distributed throughout the 10+ months campaign. It’s still an ongoing project, and for the last five months, we are running only one campaign that brings us the best results. There was an evolution of 11 approaches that led us to the one that works consistently.
- For the Business Unit #2 (Managed Services), we came up with 11 approaches, and the campaign lasted for five months – the Client decided to remove this Business Unit. The challenge here was that we targeted $1B+ accounts with the service that has extremely long pre-sales and sales cycles and is hard to pitch just via the outreach email method. So the investments into the outbound channel proved to be not the best option. Inbound channels work better for this type of service, as we figured out together with the client.
- For the Business Unit #3 (Commerce Strategy), we came up with 10 approaches so far (5 months of the campaign, still ongoing).
Step 1 - setting up separate communications channels: weekly recurring syncs with the enterprise’s marketing team and with each Business Unit separately + different Slack channels.
Step 2 - creating a Playbook that helps store all of the information in one place, so everybody on the Marketing team and the Groups members has quick access.
Step 3 - regular and detailed recaps for each team on what’s happening; it is vital to keep everyone on the same page.
Step 4 - keeping in touch with the marketing team that helped lead the sales team where needed :)
Step 5 - if the service and product are complicated, there should be a supportive sales team that would help explain and give continuous feedback. This partnership is the key to success.
Explain the technical aspects in detail: how to resolve this kind of problem?
Let’s focus on finding the right approach for the Business Unit #1 (Customer Experience) here. The main challenge when you have a lot of services/products in your portfolio is what to choose and who to chase (industry, size, title, annual revenue, etc.).
Considering Belkins experience, we couldn't confine our campaign to one template. We started with two sets of templates for 3-4 industries and tested them for a month to see the feedback. And then the fun part started :)
Each approach provided us with specific learning that we applied to a new one. Here is their brief evolution process:
- Wide offering customized per industry with relevant case studies - considered the best practice that helped us book 12 calls.
- Testing higher education institutions as a vector for our campaign - we had success in 18 calls booked but failed in the sales cycle and decision making. We moved from there.
- Narrow approach with hyper-focused personalization on commercial sector industries - 14 calls booked.
- Narrow approach with CTA offering Assessment - 24 calls (the most successful so far).
At any given moment, it was easier to have multiple tested ideas + some more insights right up our sleeve. In case of “bad times”, we can quickly launch the new one without delays and not lose several days. Timing is always of the essence here.
What knowledge helped you in resolving the issue?
As the Belkins expert, I had never dealt with such a project before. Previously, it was more than clear what to offer to the audience. And the key was to pinpoint the most valuable sides of the product/service, hook prospects with the pain points, choose the proper wordings/CTAs and expand the industries.
It was a matter of diving into lots and lots of services without specific priorities and figuring out “our way” here. The essential piece for me was weekly studying the clients and constant brainstorming that helped us find the right approach together.
What would you recommend to users facing similar issues?
Indeed, in almost every project, we may encounter similar problems that could arise. Schematically, it looks something like this:
- Split the offering/industries into parts and test 2-3 simultaneously.
- Keep the messaging concise and clear - “I do not understand what you offer” is the kind of response that you should be afraid of, and it usually comes when you go too broad and too vague about what you do.
- Test different CTAs - do not get stuck only on a sales call; offer assessments, in-person meetings, Taco Tuesdays, group presentations, and more.
- Try deeper personalizations based on your offering - one of the most obvious is personalizations by industry, but you can go further.
- Test partnership campaigns - ask your partner if they have some other services/product companies they cooperate with.
- Track clean stats across these campaigns every week. The beauty of outbound email outreach is that it can help test if the industry matches a specific service/offering within 3-6 weeks or so. Sometimes it happens faster. It depends on the size of the companies we reach out to. Of course, it depends very much, but that’s my learning.
What did your typical day working on this project look like?
Well, let’s assume that it’s the day when we have our weekly call to the client :)
- Checking up on the health statuses of our domains/inboxes/etc.
- Checking up or syncing with SDR on the open rates, reply rates of the sequences in action/syncing about the types of replies: positive, negative, etc./+ analyzing what titles and industries are responsive to each series/checking the Research team on the industries that are available for us to tap into.
- Preparing a report in Google Data Studio that we share on the call with the prospect.
- Browsing through the client’s website, dozens of case studies, white papers, etc.
- Answering the client’s emails/chats.
- Checking the status and feedback on each call we booked (meaning the industry, title, etc.). It gave us a lot of hints on what industries to go after and where the enterprise’s expertise was applicable.
- Brainstorm with the team if we need to test new industries, think about a new campaign, or keep going with the current flow.
- After brainstorming internally, present ideas to the client.
Choose a metaphor to describe the project in one sentence.
The perfect metaphors would be “What to choose and who to chase” and “Gathering needles in a haystack.” :)