SUCCESS Computer Consulting Heats Up Pipeline By Swapping Cold Calls for Targeted Marketing
SUCCESS Computer Consulting is a best-in-class provider of managed IT support — helping small and medium-sized businesses manage networks, preserve or recover data, mitigate cybersecurity threats, and more. The 100-person firm has been locally owned and operated in Minnesota’s Twin Cities for three decades.
Until 2021, SUCCESS’ marketing approach centered around high-volume, low-success “spray and pray” tactics. It made tons of cold calls. It sent tons of cold emails. And it pushed out tons of cold LinkedIn DMs — all in hopes of connecting with businesses that were ready to address a tech need.
Then a vendor partner introduced SUCCESS to 6sense, which made prospecting in the Land of 10,000 Lakes much more like fishing in a barrel.
For a business centered on close-knit service, the grind of mass-produced solicitation took a heavy toll.
● Receiving one turn-down after another, unable to consistently uncover leads and book meetings
● Contacting prospects too late — sometimes missing out on opportunities by mere days
● Struggling to quantify the impact of its outbound marketing
● Using one-size-fits-all content, and tediously deploying it channel-by-channel
● Experiencing conflict between sales and marketing
● Lacking overall confidence in its lead generation strategy
“We had a well-defined client profile, thousands of records — and no sense for how to focus,” said Vanessa Bryant, SUCCESS Computer Consulting Marketing Manager. “Our messages weren’t landing on the right ears. They weren’t direct or relevant enough, and work wasn’t prioritized. For a company of our size, it became a brand concern. We worried recipients would see our communication and wonder, ‘Why don’t you know me better?’”
The Turning Point
To replace its traditional, guesswork-laden mass marketing with a more personalized, data-driven and account-based approach, SUCCESS implemented 6sense in March 2021. The addition transformed how it researched and built audiences, devised go-to-market strategies, launched email and ad campaigns, and more.
The company had never run multi-channel campaigns or personalized its messages. But with 6sense’s support, it was able to understand which accounts to focus on, their interests, and their readiness to enlist regular tech support services.
Specifically, SUCCESS used 6sense to:
● Retool the way it segmented accounts
● Define buying stages for ideal customers (including identifying which accounts were in-market) based on intent data
● Target audiences with journey-based content over multiple, coordinated channels including display advertising and email
● Integrate with HubSpot to give business development colleagues a head start to engage with in-market accounts. (Notably, 6sense’s arrival and ability to signal which accounts were demonstrating readiness was the impetus for migrating the company’s entire sales process into HubSpot.)
“Implementing 6sense and establishing an Account-Based Marketing foundation completely reshaped how we work,” noted Bryant. “It’s helped us to be more concerted in our content, to direct messages at different stages of the funnel, and to have more potent calls-to-action.”
The transition to 6sense has also changed how SUCCESS’ marketing team tracks and rallies around results. While its reporting had been centered on output like impressions, the department is now able to tie its efforts to pipeline and deal flow.
One year after 6sense adoption, SUCCESS was able to boast 26 accounts in the Decision stage and 17 in the Purchase stage. All of these accounts were influenced by 6sense. In fact, before 6sense, the company lacked the means to determine — much less produce — those kinds of bottom-line results.
6sense insights have allowed SUCCESS to personalize content based on the customer buying stage and specific interests — and that alignment has reduced friction in the sales process.
“With 6sense’s intent data, we can customize display ads that play to differentiators we know resonate with certain target accounts,” said Bryant. “One of the marketing team’s proudest moments involved a hyper-targeted, hyper-relevant ad campaign we ran around cybersecurity. Within mere days of launching the campaign, we saw — boom — two self-booked meetings appeared on our sales reps’ schedules, taking a lot of work and time out of the equation.”
Revenue Team Alignment and Empowerment
The move to 6sense has also helped SUCCESS define roles and improve revenue team alignment and coordination. Whereas marketing and sales used to occasionally step on one another’s toes, it’s now clear that marketing is in charge of fostering accounts in the Awareness and Consideration stages before turning things over to its sales counterparts to nurture those in Decision or Purchase.
“Sales’ goals are marketing’s goals, and we have clarity over who’s responsible for what at each stage of the funnel,” said Bryant. “The conversations we all have together are more concrete and less combative.”
An additional benefit of the 6sense relationship has been SUCCESS’ ability to better serve and sell to current customers. With insights into the topics clients were researching online, the firm has a leg up in anticipating and improving service needs and, occasionally, has taken advantage of upsell opportunities.
The before 6sense vs. after improvements in SUCCESS Computer Consulting’s email marketing metrics reveal a stronger reception compared to the blind outreach of old:
● 15% increase in open rates
● 5% increase in click rates
● Replies to email marketing for the first time
Furthermore, during the 6 to 12-month period after onboarding 6sense, every single deal that SUCCESS closed was targeted by the marketing team’s journey-based digital ads.
While Bryant is quick to point out that bringing on clients is a team sport, she knows it’s nice to see her lead-generation efforts play such a positive role in extending SUCCESS’ legacy of service excellence.