I'm Matt Brzica, and I’m the Chief Operating Officer at Helios Energy, a clean energy services company. We focus on consumption reduction projects for our clients, helping companies be more energy efficient with solutions like LED lighting and solar power. We typically work with people who use large commercial or industrial units and have high energy bills.
One of my key roles at Helios Energy is sales. Our attitude toward sales used to be a very old school. We’d go through our Rolodex and reach out to people. Eventually, however, our Rolodex ran out. We knew we had to change our sales process. Fortunately, that’s when Belkins reached out.
We also help with consulting services in areas like:
Along with Belkins, we created an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), so we can target the right companies and then hit those prospects when they’re closest to a decision point. The Belkins research team then look for companies that match our ICP and find all the details needed to start an email campaign that targets those customers, improving our lead generation, and booking more meetings.
Most of our meetings are face to face, and Belkins have helped us find plenty of leads in our local area. The quantity of the leads generated is great — we've increased our lead generation by more than 50%. We’ve weighted our pipeline opportunities by where they are in the deal stage, and opportunities near the end of the deal stage have increased by $6 - $7 million.
That's a pretty darn ROI.
From there, our team takes over. Our process starts with education, as most of our clients aren't experts in clean energy. We take the complex and make it simple, becoming their Chief Energy Officer. From there we go into an audit stage then a solution stage, a proposal stage, before (hopefully) closing the sale.
Creating a sense of urgency
One of the biggest challenges we face is trying to create an emotional sense of urgency so the client will make a decision.
For example, we usually start our relationship with the customer by recommending changes to their lighting, as it’s an easy way to start saving.
However, lighting simply isn’t a priority for most customers. They'd put it off until every light burns out if they could. They tend to look at it as a pure capital improvement, rather than a revenue-generating investment.
In reality, we've found good lightig makes a huge difference, especially for manufacturing facilities. Employees are happier, they can see better, and do their job more efficiently. One manufacturer found that, with our help, their rework rate dramatically decreased, saving them approximately $250,000.
Still, instilling that sense of urgency needed to close the deal is still a challenge. In the end, buyers buy when they're ready to buy. You can’t twist their arm, as much as you wish you could. You can prod them though, and make sure you’re there when they’re ready to make their decision. That means increasing your lead generation, figuring out who's close to that decision, and making sure you're there at the right time.
A modern approach for a traditional business
- Buyers buy differently today. They've done most of the research online before a salesman's ever involved. B2B sales require a new approach, which is why we're implementing a SaaS sales model for our offline business, in terms of inbound and outbound marketing and lead generation. We're not an internet or SaaS type business, so our scaling is going to be smaller and slower, but seeing how those kinds of business generate leads is very beneficial.
- Our approach is to become a trusted advisor and show prospects that we have the experience, we have the expertise, and they're in good hands with us. That means we do a lot of videos and post them on YouTube and Vimeo, as well as on our website. We create case studies to show potential clients how we can help them. We’re also active on social, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook. We’re still new to these channels and are figuring things out by trial and error, but we’re seeing good results.
- When it comes to the sales process, it’s essential to use the right tools. Before, we managed our pipeline in an Excel spreadsheet. It wasn’t regularly updated, it was cumbersome, and it never had the information we needed. Now we use Pipedrive as our CRM, which is very intuitive, with a great user experience as well as being cost-effective. It also integrates with MailChimp, which we use for sending out our newsletter and establishing ourselves as that trusted resource.
Working with Belkins
The number of leads has increased, which is critical in any sales process, but the quality has also improved, especially as we’ve worked with Belkins to refine our ICP, focusing less on tire kickers and more on the leads who can get the most value from our service.
Working with Belkins has been enjoyable and easy from the start. They’ve been flexible to meet our requirements and quick to react to any requests. The guys we're working with, Alex and Andriy are great people who I’d love to meet in person, the sort you’d want to have a beer with.
We're a small business with limited resources, so we don't have a huge budget to outsource a lot of marketing. However, we’ve found working with Belkins to be cost-effective, getting us the results we need at a reasonable price.
Matt’s Top Three Resources
Belkins has helped us with consistent lead-generation, starting conversations, and getting us meetings. That takes a lot off our plate. Quite honestly, the last thing we want to do is make cold calls. That isn’t our strength — we're better at the relationship side.
If you’re interested to learn more about how to be more energy-efficient and save money, head over to Helios Energy and sign up for their newsletter.
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