Leveraging a passion for professional sports to drive recurring revenue
A leading satellite television provider in conjunction with a major Telco hired us to sell a professional sports subscription service. In North America professional sports are hugely popular, seasonal plus they represent a huge preference driver for one television provider versus another. What’s more, professional sports content is expensive to acquire so the stakes are high for anyone entering this business.
A customer acquisition program that has evolved
Our acquisition program began in 2012 and since that time we have our increased dedicated headcount fivefold during the peak season to accommodate growth. Our data driven sales approach has resulted in a number of refinements and innovations that has led to even greater levels of success. Refined call flows resulted from a better understanding of the SMB audience as well as the consumer customer base. It’s the classic definition of marketing- understand the needs of your customer and then meeting those needs.
Value based selling
S&P developed our call flow strategy to discover customer pain points and then pitched the service based on something we call value based selling. This means presenting the value or return on investment to the prospect. It’s individualized to meet specific customer needs so it works better than non-differentiated offerings. We also enhanced this approach by adding such techniques as outlier management, performance based routing and the careful management or held leads.
Addressing a large, overlooked market segment
Early on S&P identified the potential of tapping the lucrative SMB commercial segment. Commercial customers like restaurants and bars buy this service regularly and pay a lot more per month for it. Our SMB campaign succeeded well beyond expectations. Importantly, the insights we gained from our SMB focus helped inform our sales strategy for targeted consumer audiences.
Our results for this client were and continue to be excellent. Sales per hour have increased dramatically. Conversion performance grew more than +50% from 2012 to 2015. Close rates on web based sales leads increased more than +100% over that same period. Finally, the attachment rate for this incremental service more than doubled. As you would expect our client was thrilled.
S&P achieved a commercial activation rate far greater than the client’s internal sales teams. This happened because of our value based sales approach, incentive activation testing and the careful management of cancelled accounts. Interestingly, we turned the cancellations into outbound leads that we sold for an even greater program ROI. We plan to drive even more innovation and success as the program enters its fifth year.
SMB Merchant Acquisition In The Ultra Competitive Payment Processing Space
Our client’s challenge was our challenge
S&P Data was tasked initially with implementing a single sales strategy to help source new customers in the incredibly competitive payment-processing market. Our client, a leading provider of EMV payment acceptance terminals, hired us to do telesales (outbound calling) to the SMB segment (small to media size businesses) in the Unites States. We did well and learned a lot in the process. It resulted in a much larger engagement as well as significantly more customers for our client.
Generating greater ROI
This objective as in many of our engagements was drive sales volume as well as high ROI. Mitigating higher returns was a cumbersome on-boarding process for new customers that eroded margins. Our first task was to develop a new multi-faceted sales approach that resulted in a more robust new customer pipeline. This included:
- Cold calling – an effort was based on precisely targeted SMB criteria
- Callbacks to the company’s money line – this toll-free phone number was a rich source of leads. The experience was engineered so that prospects could talk with a sales consultant at one of our centers anytime.
- Targeting newly formed SMBs – one tactic that worked well was to target SMBs within 90 days of their incorporation. This helped assure that we were one of the first payment processing brands that contacted them personally.
- An aggressive email campaign – during a six-month period we sent out nearly 1 Million targeted emails. This approach leveraged low cost media and generated both awareness and sales.
- Web forms – a simple web based customer-prospecting form both within our email effort and online fed back to S&P Data so one of our sales consultants would return the inquiry with a call almost immediately. This kind of responsiveness yielded excellent results.
- Live chat – this direct form of interaction could be accessed within our email campaign and also online. When appropriate, it also triggered a callback to prospective customer from one of our sales consultants.
- Warm calling – we took our email campaign to even more proactive levels using email open rates and interactions as proxies for customer interest. This proved to be an efficient way to generate sales.
Great sales success was just the first stage of what has been an ongoing engagement. Our sales learning translated into an enhanced customer onboarding process for our customer. We worked closely with our client to streamline the steps to get a new account that offered a distinct advantage in a mature category. This included a migration to an e-sign platform and faster new account turnaround time. The result has been more new accounts, a lower account acquisition cost and an improved ROI.