Beyond A Transactional Relationship
One of the most significant changes that Tom has noticed is that the partnership with Athena has moved beyond a transactional agreement.
“The longer that you’re engaged with somebody, the more you become colleagues or friends,” he said. “When we say we’re going to call Zach, everyone knows exactly whom that is without having to add ‘Costello at Athena.’ It’s the same for some of the people on his team. That’s probably the biggest transition that I’ve seen is that we moved away from the formalities. It’s like a colleague who is your friend – somebody you talk to not only about business but also what’s going on with them. It’s like the person sitting next to you in the office one over. It’s business, and it’s personal.”
Zach Costello is an Athena account manager and the second account manager that Tom has worked with since engaging with
Athena. The previous account manager was promoted to a new position within the company.
As an account manager, Zach is the main point of contact for Metrics and is responsible for the day-to-day tactical operations
for the account. Zach is also accountable for the high-level strategic guidance of the program, including process improvement implementation, CRM best practices and support, target profiling, sales process and situational consultancy, and the development of annual workshops. Zach has a team consisting of sales coordinators, marketing associates, and research associates who work with him to develop and clean target lists, execute outbound calls and emails, and manage the active sales cycle activities from the first appointment through win/loss feedback.
Seamless Transitions For CDMO
After five years of working together, the two teams have established a smooth routine. When changes have occurred, such as with one of Zach’s team members or new technology, Athena ensures seamless transitions so the program is not negatively impacted. This was the case when Athena transitioned the CRM to Pipedrive.
“Athena was transitioning from relying on our CRM, Salesforce, to moving to Pipedrive. It was a seamless transition. The positive there again is Athena does a great job making things smooth for the client,” Tom said.
Patience and Brand Recognition
Getting your brand in front of prospects is critical when you have a long sales cycle. One of the greatest values that Metrics finds with Athenas services is that they do the heavy lifting of making sure prospects get enough marketing touches (calls, voicemails, emails, etc.) so that Metrics is thought of when there is a need. It takes Athena’s team 45 touches on average to have a phone or email conversation with a prospect.
“We know that our sales process is long, and it’s very opportunistic. We’re not going to convince a client to buy our services based on a great sales presentation, or we’re not going to be able to create a project, but we have to be there when the client has a project. Where Athena comes in is keeping Metrics at the top of mind when there’s an opportunity.”