Success Story: Deluxe Plastics Lands Over $1.5 Million in New Business Using Athena SWC’s Proven Sales Process

For many plastic injection molders, creating a new business development strategy for filling and managing their sales pipeline can be a challenge. Deluxe Plastics used Athena’s inbound and outbound program for its front end-sales and marketing strategy. This move added more than $1.5 million in revenue.

Client Profile

Deluxe Plastics, is a Wisconsin-based full-service plastic injection molder. Across multiple facilities, they offer complete end-to-end solutions, including engineering support, transfer tooling services, in-house mold building and maintenance, secondary operations, assembly, and Kanban and other inventory management systems.

Business Situation

Deluxe Plastics was looking for sales growth but lacked the outside sales team and resources required to consistently look for new business. The company spent three months looking for a firm that could help them but wasn’t finding the right fit.

“We researched quite a few companies and found most focused solely on cold calling or media marketing,” said Carl Wolter, Director of OEM Sales & Marketing at Deluxe Plastics. “Athena provides a comprehensive package for everything, which was exactly what we needed.”

Athena made a networking connection at a conference for Manufacturers Association for Plastic Processors (MAPP), where it is an active member. The connection made an introduction to a Sales Engineer at Deluxe Plastics. Athena’s sales team reached out and introduced its process model that would streamline the sales process, increase brand awareness, and create a consistent lead flow.

“We talked to existing customers, and everybody had really good feedback. Our industry has its intricacies,” said Carl. “Athena having a lot of knowledge and clients in the industry really helped us make the decision to move forward.”

Go Deeper: Learn about Athena’s  experience in the Plastics Industry

Teamwork Makes it Happen

Deluxe Plastics opted for Athena’s integrated inbound and outbound program, which provides a best-practice holistic solution. The program comprises five pillars of activity: target market profiling, creating awareness and educating the market, securing opportunities and developing relationships, sales process management, and tools and technology. The process provides a whole team of people led by Account Manager Zach Costello to execute the program.

“It’s hard to find good people, and that’s what’s also nice about Athena. They have an excellent team. Besides Zach, there’s Lisa [sr. content consultant], Chelsea [sales coordinator], and Kyle [sales development rep]. We see a lot of communication going through the whole team, and everybody is working closely together for us, which is great.”

In addition, others are working behind the scenes, such as graphic design, an SEO team, and Athena management, to make the program successful.

Target Market Profiling for New Business Development Strategy Success

During the program kickoff meeting, the teams worked together to determine whom Deluxe Plastics felt was its ideal customer with regard to company size, product, and spending opportunities. As is often the case, it soon became apparent that the targets needed to be dialed in more. Getting the list correct is one of the most critical steps in the process.

“We had a slow start initially, but we started seeing much more activity once we worked closely with the team to firm up our target list. So that’s something we’re going to continue,” said Carl. “Our initial list was comprised of large companies, so we added some mid-size and smaller companies to go after more aggressively. While we still plan to target large companies, the sales cycle is often much longer for them and requires more constant contact. Athena is helping us stay in front of all our prospects to ensure they’re familiar with us if an opportunity emerges.”

Also Read: Target Markets and Buyer Personas:Fishing in the Right Pond

Creating Awareness And Educating The Market

The program also includes creating brand awareness through targeted outreach (email and e-newsletters) and creating inbound traffic through website search engine optimization. One aspect of this is creating monthly blog posts—Athena’s industry experience plays a pivotal role in educating the market.

“Athena’s team is well informed about our industry and provides a great framework for articles and posts,” Carl said. “They form an article, and our team simply adds in technical details to finalize it prior to releasing it online, which saves us a lot of time.”
The program also includes creating a LinkedIn presence to create a conduit to funnel traffic to its website. The company has seen close to a 40% increase in views, with 25% being unique. In addition, the SEO work has led to an increase in more targeted traffic to its website.

Securing Opportunities And Developing Relationships

Consistent contact executed at a regular cadence converts cold leads to meetings. It can take up to 30 touches (phone calls, direct emails, voice mails, e-blasts, educational newsletters), with phone calls making up the bulk of the activity, over four to six months before a breakthrough is made. This consistent activity is challenging for companies with limited resources, like Deluxe Plastics, to perform internally. Athena took on these tasks as part of its program and delivered results!

Sales Process Management

Athena has a monthly pipeline review meeting with Deluxe Plastics to discuss current opportunities and to provide active sales cycle support, including scheduling next-step appointments, obtaining RFQs/drawings, quote follow-up, and capturing win/loss feedback.

The Results

The program has been very successful for Deluxe Plastics. They have closed sales with a value of $1.5 million. A total of $2.7 million has been quoted, with $550,000 in the quotes delivered pipeline.