Customer Spotlight: eDist
Periodically, we like to shine the spotlight on our great customer partners – giving them the chance to offer insights about why the company chose SMP, how the company is benefiting from SMP and more. This month, we’re profiling eDist, headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey. eDist has locations scattered throughout the US and Canada, providing business and security solutions to companies in the healthcare, legal, insurance, public safety, field reporting, and corporate sales markets. eDist uses Sales Management Plus, and our MarketPro2 product.
Mike Whalen, executive vice president, and Lisa Magnatta, executive assistant, are championing the use of SMP at eDist. Their team is starting 2017 with new initiatives focused on a deeper customer relationship experience, and targeted email marketing programs to deliver content relevant to their customers’ specific needs. How did they get started down this path? As Mike puts it – “we’re spoon-feeding our team” – asking for little bits of data at a time, and giving them back nuggets of information thru the power of SMP in return. Starting with small groups of customers, the team began by profiling the customers they know best and will work through their entire account package. What is the customer’s primary market? The secondary? Who are the key contacts and what do we need to know about them – what’s their job role? The goal – really getting the sales team to realize “who” their customers and contacts are on a deeper level so the sales team can communicate about subject matter that’s ultimately most important to their customers’ business. What’s they payback back to the reps – tools that allow them to identify target accounts, strategically market the right products to customers based on their markets, and reporting capabilities that easily allow for slice and dice regarding spend and growth year-over-year (or even quarter-over-quarter) – ultimately giving the reps new customer intelligence that’s easy to digest and act upon.[pullquote style=”left”]The reps are using it so much more now that they’re able to see all the reporting capabilities and benefits based on the data they’ve entered into SMP.” [/pullquote]
Before SMP, as Mike and Lisa shared with us, trying to pin the data down AND make it easy to compile and use was tedious at best. They tried different methods and software tools, but in the end, those weren’t handling their core needs, and created frustration all around. What’s more – with no real ability to pull targeted customer or contact lists, they were unable to truly send targeted messages. As Lisa shared, “before SMP, we used another emailing tool, but there was no ability to drill in or target. It was blanket emails to everyone.” This created a ‘noisy’ atmosphere for the customers, and they had to work to find what was relevant to them in each newsletter.
What their team really wanted was a single solution that allowed them to combine all the customer, contact and sales information so it was easy to analyze and act. “We really needed something to help us drill in, target strategically and get all the data integrated in one place,” Mike said. And not just “act” from a dollars-and-cents standpoint, but use the data in combination with marketing to target messages to the right customers at the right time.
Through SMP, the eDist team is doing some very powerful and positive things. They’re doing it the right way – requiring data management and input from the sales team for customer profiling and contact management – and in return, giving them access to all the key data they need to have the effective sales conversations that focus on needs, products and benefits.
The sales reps use SMP Mailers to send out personalized, targeted messages right to their customers about products, offerings and specials that matter to them. The marketing team is augmenting this by using SMP’s MarketPro2 product. They’re capitalizing on MarketPro’s abilities to create custom headers for each e-blast that’s sent – so they can brand the mailing based on the manufacturer they’re promoting. They’re including only content relevant to that manufacturer and target customer group, with links to product info or documents so each click/download can be tracked. And they’re maximizing the data available to them on-demand via MarketPro reports – such as “clicks” (which are distributed back to the account managers directly so they can make specific follow-up calls to their customers about the content from the mailer they clicked on), and “hard bounces” to help keep their contact database updated and clean. Mike shared, “the best example of the contact management side is really the ability to have the right contacts, profile them correctly, and build a long-term campaign to manage them. We can do that all within SMP.”
The results with the sales team are apparent. Lisa said, “The reps using it so much more now that they’re able to see all the reporting capabilities and benefits based on the data they’ve entered into SMP. Plus the results tied to the email reports showing who has read what – they can more easily connect the dots. They’re more willing to work with us when they can see the positive growth, rather than feeling like it’s just another administrative task. They are seeing the benefits.” Mike added, “It starts from the top. The top of the management team has to implement, stand behind it, AND use it! The outcome can really be beautiful!”
While their initiatives for 2017 are just under way, Mike, Lisa and team have lofty goals for continuing this effort through the year. Executives are taking notice, and programs similar to these will likely be implemented across another company division later this year.
Mike and Lisa wrapped up our conversation by offering, “The team support at SMP has been amazing – a product is only as good as the support behind it; without the support of their team for SMP and MarketPro, we would not have been able to get to this point.”