Case Study: On Call for Sales and Marketing

Borland engages SMA’s research team to better understand and respond to market perceptions.

How closely are your sales and marketing strategies aligned?

When Borland®, the global leader in platform independent solutions for Software Delivery Optimization, wanted to find out, the company engaged SMA to survey its target market.

“Our goal was to refine our go-to-market strategy and better understand our customer’s behavioural patterns and preferences, as well as their perceptions of Borland’s brand and message,” explains Riley McNeilage, Borland’s Partner Marketing Manager for the Americas. “We had been proceeding on good instincts, but we wanted to make sure that what we were selling was aligned with what we were marketing.”

Listening To The Market

The market survey rolled out in two phases in late 2005 and early 2006. SMA researchers interviewed 70 Borland customers and prospects by phone, extracting information about how recent marketing touch points were regarded and the degree of follow-up and reinforcement.

“At the outset, SMA was instrumental in refining our objectives and recommending an approach that would yield the learning we desired,” says McNeilage. “When we wanted greater depth of information, SMA was very agile in modifying the survey questioning for the second phase.”

Borland learned that about 70 percent of customer respondents felt that its marketing had been relevant and initiated interest. However, about 15 to 20% of those people did not perceive that any follow-up occurred. Among prospects, that perception was as high as 50 percent. As a result, Borland implemented a robust enablement program for the sales team and tweaked marketing messages to realities in the field. The effectiveness of this action will be assessed in a follow-up survey in 4Q06.

Generating Revenue

“We were pleased to discover that about 30% of closes could be mapped back to the impressions made by marketing messages,” says McNeilage. And during survey activity, SMA researchers uncovered renewed interest in Borland; about 20% of the contacts resulted in new appointments for the sales team.

“SMA’s research team handled the calls very professionally and was able to engage C-level executives in a meaningful dialogue,” adds McNeilage. “We have complete confidence in SMA’s ability – and that’s so important when you are turning them loose on your prospects and customers.”