Having established 5 representations (Australia, the U.S., the Middle East, the UK, and South Africa) since 2012, Smappee nevertheless experienced a lack of new prospects and difficulties with closing new deals. Trying to boost lead generation efforts, Smappee reached out to Belkins to try out our appointment setting services. After the initial positive results, Smappee renewed its contract with Belkins to continue their partnership.
- Narrow ICP – the customer’s niche was pretty tight. Smappee defined it as ESCO (energy service companies). However, by reviewing its customer profile, it was possible to find new sources of leads.
- Exhausted markets – a narrow ICP didn’t give Smappee much leeway. The markets were getting exhausted and the specificity of the product didn't really give the company many opportunities to be flexible in terms of sizes, industries, titles, etc.
- Lead research – as a result of the above-mentioned factors, lead research was difficult. Being limited to Energy as a Service company, lead generation was time-consuming as a lot of research had to go into defining such companies.
- Product awareness – some prospects didn’t believe Smappee was robust enough for commercial installation. Thus, the Belkins team had to think about how to raise brand awareness about Smappee products and services among potential buyers to trigger sales.
What we did
In three months, the Belkins team handled a list of challenges in the following way.
We dove into thorough market research, but not because Smappee didn’t do it initially. First, there were changes in the markets. Right when we were about to start digging in, Smappee informed us that they were pulling off the U.S. market. Even though the U.S. was a huge source of leads and appointments, the client decided to stop the American campaigns due to the change of an internal strategy. Now, Smappee’s target audience’s added Canada and covered Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.
Second, Belkins professionals decided to somewhat widen Smappee’s too-tight niche. We expanded the company’s ICP from a narrow ESCO to include commercial retail companies and fast food chains. It was a crucial step because the Asian market was close to exhaustion and the U.S. market was off the charts for us. By revising the client’s ICP, the Belkins team found new sources of leads that could last long.
Re-engaging old leads
Doing market research was hard and time-consuming, so in the meantime, the Belkins team was doing its best to deliver the promised 15 appointments on time. We only had about 400 leads for a re-engagement campaign and managed to schedule 5 calls within a week, which is an impressive number sales teams rarely achieve on projects.
Walking in the customer’s shoes
After we adjusted the client’s customer profile, we realized that we were still to unlock customer awareness of the product. Smappee has outstanding energy monitoring solutions that help customers of any size improve their energy consumption patterns.
We found out that some of the prospects who were a perfect fit were, in fact, thinking Smappee was not robust enough for commercial installations. This realization suggested how to personalize our outreach most effectively.
For example, we would email them links to case studies to show that Smappee’s renewable technologies are as good for commercial use as for homes.
Smappee was happy with the 3-month outcomes and contracted the Belkins team for three more months after the following results:
- 50 scheduled appointments;
- Improved ICP, BPs, and TAs;
- 400 leads, and 15 calls from a re-engagement campaign;
- +60% open rate from cold emails;
- +20% reply rate from cold emails.
- Ensure the client’s ICP is relevant. Starting with market research isn’t a widespread practice. Sometimes, the client has done the groundwork, while other times, you fill in the gaps. This time, we started reviewing the client’s ICP and realized that we needed to reconsider target audiences and buyer personas too. Catering to the right audience is essential. Otherwise, all your efforts are wasted in vain.
- Think 2 steps ahead. It's important to be proactive and discuss possible changes, not after you are already out of current resources (e.g., the market has gotten exhausted). Start generating new ideas slightly in advance when you still have some resources to work with. This way, you'll be able to avoid a lull in the activity.
- Be on good terms with the client. It's extremely important to have good relations with the client. Even when something goes wrong (for example, you struggle with lead research), you can cope with a little setback if you work together and are open to new scenarios.
- Explore new tactics. Be open to new campaign ideas and ways to find your target audience. For example, when we came up with case studies for prospects in doubt, it was a new move.