Like many other supply chain & tech firms, the sales team at Schneider was looking to marketing for more leads as they only advanced 1 out of every 5 opportunities toward revenue. This reflected a 20% win rate vs. our clients’ win rate of 50% to 75% with named targets. They figured that the more leads that marketing can deliver, the more revenue they can produce.
However, in working with both the sales and marketing teams, we found that the issue was not the volume of quality leads. The problem was that sales and marketing were not driving personal relevance to push change. The sales team had the right target and in many cases, the right connections.
For example, Schneider’s VP of Sales connected to Sygma’s VP of Logistics. However, the connection was unresponsive to general industry messaging “people, process and technology”, “customized solutions to meet customer needs” and “reliable service.” Sales and marketing were not making a human-to-human connection or demonstrating a competitive advantage, which helps buyers think beyond price. Recent studies even show that 86% of content and messaging has no commercial impact on the buyer. That means only 14% of content and messaging is communicated in such a way to suggest a valid reason for a change.
The Logistics VP joined Schneider’s LinkedIn community after profiles, content, and social/email conversations shifted toward account-specific gaps, employee/customer impacts. The VP needed to see proof that his supply chain was under-served by their technology and 3PL. And, he needed stories on how his specific challenges were uniquely solved for a similar customer. Because of the new “personal relevance” Sygma “pulled” the sales team through the sales cycle. The prospect who had walked away twice and was unresponsive for 5+ years now became a $2M to $5M client.
This proves that in addition to marketing for leads, sales teams need marketing for specific conversations with specific accounts the team wants to win, protect and expand.