The client was a large independent healthcare consultant in Upstate New York that provides customized employee benefit solutions for small, mid-sized, and large businesses.
It’s critical to generate new accounts and grow your book of business in the highly competitive insurance/ benefits industry. Athena’s client was experiencing limited brand recognition within the Rochester, Syracuse, and New York City marketplace.
This lack of awareness was negatively impacting their ability to generate new account opportunities. Traditional advertising in local business journals and a focus on customer-based seminars was not creating the desired new business development activity.
The firm was looking for a measurable process that would increase buyer awareness and education and would also clearly define their value proposition to key decision makers and centers of influence. Benefits consultants, who are viewed as subject matter experts, did not have the time to perform prospecting activity as they needed to focus on servicing current clients and addressing new active sales opportunities.
It made a lot of sense to go with Athena. They gave us a better opportunity to close deals. It is very hard to link advertising back to ROI; with Athena, everything’s quantifiable. We can directly correlate ROI based on appointments they’ve set for us to deals that we’ve closed.”
– Benefits Consultant
Educating the Prospects
The firm partnered with Athena SWC, a company that is experienced in marketing value-add solutions and that provides a proven process that increases sales team productivity.
Athena developed a comprehensive marketing campaign that utilized educationally-based webcasts and seminars as a platform to increase market awareness, build relationships with potential customers, and move qualified opportunities along at an increased rate to compress the average sales cycle.
Athena executed their synchronized Relationship Acquisition and Management Process (RAMP) to generate prospect attendance to events and followed up to qualify leads to schedule individual analysis meetings. RAMP provides the capabilities and enabling technologies to execute Athena’s outbound sales and marketing strategy. These processes include reaching out to prospects in a consistent deliberate manner through calls, emails, and direct mail pieces; nurturing those throughout the sales cycle; and gathering market intelligence.
Staying in Front of the Prospect
In addition to booking events and meetings with qualified leads, prospects that were not ready to engage in a webcast but expressed significant interest in future contact were entered into Athena’s nurture process.
The nurture process provides permission-based touches to key decision makers and centers of influence. They receive educational materials to help them make informed decisions during their evaluation and decision making process.
Within three months of the campaign’s inception, Athena’s client solidified a $22,000 annual deal, which offered a three- to five-year average customer lifecycle and was valued between $66,000 and $110,000. The process methodology enabled an average six-to twelve-month sales cycle to be compressed to less than 60 days.
In addition, Athena’s nurture process resulted in an additional client within 10 months of the campaign’s start. That sale had an annual contract of $25,000 and a three- to five- year customer lifecycle value between $75,000 and $150,000. In all, Athena’s RAMP process generated 15 individual analysis meetings, resulting in the addition of over $675,000 to the company’s sales pipeline and added 45 future interest prospects to the company’s marketing lead pipeline.
"Athena put together a comprehensive marketing strategy for our group and has done a very good job of helping us engage with new qualified prospects. With these new potential revenue opportunities in front of us, I don’t see how we could move forward without using Athena. We plan to integrate Athena’s services into our long term sales and marketing strategy” —Benefits Consultant