An EMS company that designed, manufactured, and tested complex, custom electronic components and assemblies, including Printed Circuit Board Assemblies, PED, precision metalworking, and wire/cable harnesses.
An EMS company that manufactured and tested electronic components and assemblies for OEM manufacturers had faced stagnant growth for three consecutive years. The company had rolled out an initiative to increase sales revenue in several markets with a goal of 12%-15% year-over-year (YoY) growth for FY2017 and 17%-20% YoY growth for 2018; however, the company lacked the new business development resources to achieve these goals.
The company’s sales and marketing efforts included participating in trade shows, website development, a quarterly newsletter, and webinars, but they didn’t have a structured front-end sales model to measure, track, and attain their aggressive sales growth goals. The sales team’s activity was heavily focused on current account management, leaving little time for the hunting new relationships. The company also lacked the necessary skill sets, methods, and accountability to effectively execute this type of new business development activity.
Choosing Between Internal and Outsourced
The company realized they either had to invest in an outsourced relationship or develop the “hunting” capabilities internally, which could be time-consuming and costly. In the end, the company decided to outsource and turned to partner with Athena SWC.
Different From All The Others
Athena SWC, which specializes in front-end sales and lead generation in complex manufacturing selling environments, approached the EMS company and its highly skeptical CEO. He was frequently contacted by companies offering lead generation services, and he wasn’t convinced their models were right for his company.
However, there was something different about Athena’s offer that stood out. Athena had experience in the EMS industry and understood the market. The CEO was also impressed with its unique, proven process model that delivered highly qualified leads that met the company’s specific profiling criteria.
Electronics Manufacturing is a process dependent industry, and the structured, repeatable and measurable methodology, along with a dedicated infrastructure to support the program, gave the CEO confidence in Athena’s ability to deliver on its goals.
Working the Process
During the kickoff meeting, the Athena team sat down with the EMS team to get a better understanding of the company sales culture, its offerings, its key differentiators, and its customers. Armed with this valuable information, Athena’s team returned to their office to put this knowledge to work for them.
Athena’s creative team put together marketing materials that would be used for the program, and its research team developed a qualified prospect list based on the company’s profiling criteria, which included contact titles as well as company market segment, applications, revenue, and geographical locations.
Once the list was approved, initial contact with the prospects began with hard copies of a sales letter, which introduced the EMS company, touched on industry pains, and offered a differentiated solution, and a brochure that gave more specific details on the EMS company’s service offerings. In addition, a precisely crafted, visually appealing email was sent to prospects.
A few days later, this was followed up with phone calls from Athena’s Senior Marketing Associates, who were dedicated to the account and spoke to the prospects as a representative of the EMS company. By sending the letter, brochure, and email first, the prospect had recent familiarity with the company and if they had a need, would be more responsive to having a meeting. This continued on a monthly basis. Those who had no immediate need and opted in were moved to a longer-term nurture relationship-building effort as a way to keep the EMS company name front of mind for when a need does arise. As part of the process, the Senior Marketing Associate gathered market data on the industry’s needs to feedback to the client.
In addition, the program has a preventative action component built-in. Results of all activities are tracked and reported, and the program is evaluated on a regular basis. If a component of the program does not meet the set expectation, a corrective action and process improvement is put into place.
Athena’s focus on in-depth prospect qualification and development, continual prospect contact, and market intelligence gathering allowed the EMS company to reduce its sales team’s front-end workload, improve sales rep productivity, while helping to grow the desired market segments and increase sales pipeline.
Within a year, the EMS company closed a large sale valued initially at $2 million with the possibility that it could lead to $20 million annually. In addition, the EMS company had an additional $1.5 million in their active sales pipeline.