Onex, Inc., headquartered in Erie, PA, provides a wide variety of combustion and refractory manufacturing services for the metal fabrication, machining, and welding industries.
Onex recently added a new manufacturing capability for thermal stress relief and heat-treating services. Its initiative was to quickly enter and develop this new market. The company initially found success in expanding new business within Its existing customer base but found it challenging to obtain new opportunities beyond its current customers.
To keep its furnace fully utilized and grow its new manufacturing service, Onex needed to gain a better understanding of the market demands and create a steady flow of qualified leads for its sales team. Onex lacked the internal resources and skillsets to accomplish this initiative and began to look at potential outsourced options. the company was interested in finding a structured sales and marketing method, which would include the ability to extract market intelligence on purchasing behaviors and would ensure an increased flow of new business opportunities for the sales team.
Onex also needed to educate and create market awareness with new marketing messaging, which is essential in developing strong communication regarding its value proposition. Onex required a process to qualify, track and convert qualified leads with the goal of increasing sales rep productivity so they could focus on the active selling cycle.
"Athena SWC’s process allowed us to quickly test a new marketplace and fully understand our position in the industry. Within three months of partnering with Athena, we increased utilization of our furnace and improved new business development sales activity by leveraging a process model and infrastructure that can sustain future sales growth initiatives."
— Michael Ducato, Vice President
A Proven Partner
Onex partnered with Athena SWC, a business improvement consulting firm, to leverage Athena’s synchronized Relationship Acquisition and Management Process (RAMP), outsourced market¬ing support infrastructure, and web-based technology tools which tracked and monitored return on investment metrics.
Onex selected Athena as their partner for business development growth. The decision was based on Athena’s unique approach to marketing and sales support, as well as for its proven process model (infrastructure) that had been successfully implemented within similar contract manufacturing environments.
Athena customized a program that focused on increasing market awareness, extracting intelligence, and obtaining new business within the metal fabrication, machining, and welding industries.
Setting Goals and Establishing a Plan
Onex wanted to understand where its furnace specifications stood in the marketplace, fully utilize their furnace, and ultimately increase new account opportunities sales. To successfully complete these goals, Athena custom built a targeted prospect list. The list, based on Onex’s target market profile, contained validated contact information specific to decision makers and centers of influence who were responsible for thermal stress relieving needs.
To increase education regarding Onex’s new manufacturing capability, Athena created both direct mail and email messaging aimed at decision makers and key influencers that focused on each target’s specific industry needs and business pains. These pieces leveraged with the outbound call execution process offered a non-invasive sales method to connect with individual prospects to introduce Onex’s new service line. Ultimately, this approach provided qualified relationships with a way to learn more about Onex and its new manufacturing services.
Understanding Purchasing Behaviors
As a result, Onex began to understand the unique purchasing behaviors of those with thermal stress relief needs and how sporadic project opportunities arise within this niche segment. That being the case, Onex understood how essential it was to keep consistent, ongoing educational touches in the market in order to uncover these qualified leads and create a continuous flow of opportunities within the active sales pipeline.
Within three months of the program’s inception, Onex received multiple RFQs and closed an opportunity, soon realizing and exceeding their return on investment. Athena’s holistic business development, marketing, and sales support offering allowed Onex to accomplish their goals of understanding their position in the market, creating long-term relationships, and increasing awareness for Onex’s new manufacturing service. The experience with Athena’s process prepared Onex’s highly trained sales staff with the appropriate tools to remain focused on the active selling process and provided an infrastructure to support Onex’s long-term sales growth initiatives.