Richardson, Philadelphia, PA

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Richardson, Philadelphia, PA
Company Description: Richardson (www.richardson.com) is a leading sales training company. We accelerate the productivity of salespeople by ensuring they have the skills, strategies, and processes to achieve their objectives. Utilizing our proprietary customization process and comprehensive sales curriculum, coaching, and consulting, we help develop the critical skills sales organizations need to win.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Outbound Marketing Program of the Year

Nomination Title: Inspired Marketing for Insight Selling

Tell the story about your organization's outbound marketing program since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

For more than 30 years, Richardson has been at the forefront of global sales training and sales force effectiveness solutions. As the business-to-business sales industry changes in today’s age of the ultra-informed buyer, Richardson needs to convince prospects of its ability to help them engage customers differently, establish credibility quickly, build trust, and deliver flawlessly.

The Richardson Selling with Insights® program was designed to help sales professionals master the skills needed in this new world of selling so that they can influence buying decisions and win more opportunities.

To support the program, the Richardson marketing group created an eBook, called Leaders Guide to Successfully Sell with Insights. Its objective is to strengthen Richardson’s role as a thought leader, build awareness for the Selling with Insights® program, and develop leads and drive demand for the new training program.

Richardson’s marketing team developed a series of direct outreach campaigns to clients and prospects. The overall program ran throughout the summer of 2014 and included a series of targeted social media sponsorships on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. There was also outbound e-mail and supporting drip campaigns, a press release, home page banners, and landing page forms, along with blog posts, pay-per-click ads, remarketing online banners, and featured trade show signage. The Richardson team developed both the messaging and the support material.

The campaign kicked off on July 1, 2014. The initial phase included the sponsored social media campaigns, press release announcing the eBook, home page banners, blogs, and remarketing campaigns. Its impact was significant, resulting in the following:

• 62,000 impressions
• 404 eBook downloads
• 45 qualified leads that are still being nurtured
• 9 new business opportunities, accounting for more than $450,000 in pipeline value

Next, Richardson’s marketing team initiated an e-mail blast and drip campaign to 15,000 people. E-mail has traditionally been effective for Richardson, but open rates and downloads had been declining rapidly due to e-mail overload and content-focused marketing. To see if the company could turn this discouraging trend around, it created an HTML-based e-mail with A/B test subject lines. The open rate was mediocre at best, with 6% and 8%, respectively, on the A/B subject lines and only 24 total eBook downloads. It was the single worst e-mail campaign Richardson had ever implemented.

Disappointed, but not discouraged, the Richardson marketing team took a new approach. Kurt Andersen, CMO of SAVO Group, one of Richardson’s partners, recommended the use of SAVO Inspire, a new digital postcard and marketing e-mail tool. He said SAVO and its clients were experiencing much more effective responses from the tool than traditional e-mail campaigns.

SAVO Inspire is an HTML-based e-mail communication and microsite solution that allows users to share such assets as voice, video, pictures, pdf, and full-story messaging in a simple, personal, professional, and single structure. With this tool, the Richardson marketing team crafted its message, developed compelling content, embedded the eBook, started the e-mail with a personalized video, and developed a strong call to action to help drive leads.

Open rates jumped to 12% and 15%, respectively, for the A/B test, and the eBook was downloaded more than 500 times, or around a 13% download rate. In a single week, Richardson went from its worst to its best e-mail campaign.

Twenty-five of the downloads, or 5%, have moved on to qualified opportunities, and more are still being nurtured and have the chance of moving into an opportunity and, hopefully, closing. One has even resulted in a quick sale.

Just as important as the marketing team’s success with this outbound marketing program is the knowledge gained about engaging prospects in today’s digital media world. Beyond using the specific tool — SAVO Inspire — the marketing team remains committed to campaigns that achieve results, even when it requires a rethinking of tools and tactics.

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