Success Story Follow-Up: Thermal Solutions Manufacturer Positions for Sales Growth by Leveraging Athena’s New Business Development Process Model

Thermal Solution

Client Profile

Headquartered in Upstate NY, this client is a custom designer and manufacturer of thermal solutions, including heat exchangers, heat sinks, cold plates, and heat transfer fins.

Business Situation

The customer had built an outstanding reputation for providing high-value solutions for difficult heat transfer issues. With a team of highly functioning inside and outside sales engineers, the client was positioned for major growth. However, the resources needed for
new business development were limited within the existing sales infrastructure.

The sales team was dedicated to numerous tactical efforts, which included following up on referrals, customer service, and maintaining relationships with their network of manufacturer reps. They also had difficulty motivating their manufacturing reps to prospect for new business, outside of their existing relationships. Their average sales cycles spanned anywhere from 18 to 24 months.

In order to achieve the desired sales growth at an accelerated rate, there was a need to create a consistent flow of new qualified relationships keeping manufacturing reps eager to promote and sell the clients thermal product solutions.

Looking for a Solution

Management did not want to fragment its existing sales team with more responsibility, but wanted to ensure that these vital new business development activities were being executed appropriately and continuously to effectively increase lead flow and produce the desired sales results. The overall focus was to find a structured process that would continuously fill the pipeline with new qualified opportunities, compress sales cycle times, and increase sales productivity.

The customer decided to partner with Athena SWC. Its evaluation and eventual selection was based on Athena being a professional partner that would enable it to grow its pipeline with a structured, repeatable and dedicated process model and support team. As a provider of outsourced new business development process models and support services, Athena offered a unique infrastructure approach that included a proven set of processes, tools and skilled experts who executed as part of the customers sales and marketing team.

The Results

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Introduced $5 Millioninto the company’s active sales pipeline

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Compressed the sales cycle

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Increased sales rep productivityby by relieving front-end sales burden

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Provided a structured front-end sales processto support the current and future sales growth needs

Athena’s Approach

The client’s selection of Athena as its trusted business development partner was centered on Athena’s approach to sales and marketing development, which mirrored the beliefs of the customers management team. It was looking for alternative options to quickly open new doors to a larger targeted audience. Athena’s professional and experienced staff offered a proven process model that had been successfully implemented within similar custom manufacturing environments.

Deliverables of this systematic approach included the custom development of highly targeted and profiled prospect lists, securing one-on-one web cast presentations with qualified relationships, and extraction of market intelligence specific to prospects needs, demands, trends, competition and pricing scenarios. The customer also leveraged Athena’s ability to create compelling value-added messaging that would educate the target market decision makers and provide the ability to invoke qualified responses from the prospects regarding specific calls to action and next step opportunities for the sales team.

Athena’s infrastructure model also places an emphasis on providing the client with the right tools for marketing automation and lead management that provide the customer with ability to track and monitor prospect activity and progression of qualified leads from initial contact to closure. Athena’s technology tools gave it the ability to target only the most qualified prospects that were ready to and interested in engaging with the clients sales team, as well as provide the required follow up processes to convert initial prospects into qualified active sales opportunities.

Athena worked closely with the customer’s sales team to determine who would be targeted on the highly focused and customized prospect list. From there, Athena sent multiple touches including direct mail, fact sheets and email blast campaigns that highlighted industry specific pain points and listed it engineering capabilities. Outbound sales call execution began immediately after the prospect had received all the information so they were educated and familiar with who the client was, what it does and how it can specifically assist with the prospect’s thermal solution needs.

This approach allowed the customer to quickly fill the pipeline with qualified sales leads, ensuring its network of manufacturing reps would prioritize selling the customer’s thermal solutions to solid qualified opportunities. The response from the market resulted in multiple new qualified account relationships, which added a total of $5 million dollars of potential new business opportunities into the active sales pipeline with the expectation of closure in a compressed cycle. It also provided a structured front end sales process to support the customers current and future sales growth needs.

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