Case Study: Digging for Opportunities

Focus and persistence pays off in lead generation campaign for IBM Business Partner DP Solutions.

High technology companies are always on the hunt for qualified leads. Delegated to an internal team, the process often consumes precious resources. Outsourced to an agency, it can be mishandled or inadequately executed.

DP Solutions, an IBM Business Partner, was all too familiar with that dilemma. It had had a poor experience with one provider of sales leads who failed to deliver on proposed services, and was uncommunicative and unprofessional. Yet DP Solutions had an immediate need to capture sales opportunities, and called on SMA to deliver.

With a referral from IBM, DP Solutions approached SMA to conduct a sales lead generation campaign within the distribution vertical market. The goal was to raise awareness of DP Solutions’ IBM products and services and identify people who would be interested in further contact.

“We were attracted to SMA as a vendor because it offered a wide range of marketing services,” says Jill Babchak, Marketing Director, DP Solutions. “We’re interested in developing a relationship with a trusted supplier for a variety of projects.”

“SMA took the time to understand our objectives and prepared a clear and thorough proposal that addressed our needs,” adds Karyn Schell, Distribution Services Specialist.

Once engaged, SMA created a script of about 12 questions for the client’s approval, then its team of specialists went to work, calling in to a list of C-level contact names. The project involved over 600 outbound calls and more than 33 completed surveys, a successful completion rate of 5.2%.

“Throughout the project, SMA was very responsive and very helpful,” says Ms. Schell. “(Client Services Director) Catherine Wathen provided superb reporting. She really cares, and went above and beyond our expectations.”

Ms. Wathen leads a team of marketing research specialists, who average eight years of experience working with technology clients. They are well-equipped to conduct thorough conversations and probe for qualifying characteristics.

The team’s communications effectiveness was evident in the campaign results: an astonishing 58% of the contacts who were surveyed by SMA requested follow-up from DP Solutions. Of those, one-third requested a phone call from a DP Solutions representative; the others asked for information to be sent by email or mail.

“We netted five or six A leads as a result of this process,” reports Ms. Schell. “Even one good opportunity can return as much as 250% to 600% on our marketing investment. We were very pleased with the results and will definitely engage SMA again for other marketing activities.”