NetSuite is a unified business management suite with more than 16,000 customers worldwide. Founded in 1998 in California, USA, the system helps medium and large enterprises manage business finances, operations, and customer relations. In November 2016, Oracle acquired NetSuite for approximately $9.3 billion USD. However, NetSuite continues to operate autonomously and last year set its sights on the Nordic market.
Catja Karlson, Marketing Manager Nordics at NetSuite, quickly realized that she needed a seasoned team of BDRs working alongside her. She approached Brightvision to help them define an outbound sales process, build a winning sales pitch and fill the pipeline with qualified leads.
Here’s how it happened.
Product education is the backbone of the success of a BDR. Regardless of the nature of the opening pitch – technical or not – BDRs need to have a fundamental understanding of the product they’re selling. A comprehensive business management system such as NetSuite requires experienced BDRs that are well versed in the fields of IT and tech.
Image source: http://www.netsuite.com/portal/home.shtml
During the early phase of the project our BDRs spent five hours together with product specialists at NetSuite to get acquainted with the product. With the help from the pre-sales team along with NetSuite’s own BDRs, Brightvision’s team acquired the product knowledge necessary to confidently talk about NetSuite’s capabilities if needed.
Target audience and list creation
Together with NetSuite we identified four primary industries that we wanted to target. These were based on Netsuite’s success in other markets as well as their desire to explore new audiences.
- Wholesale distribution
- Professional services
- Software/Internet companies
The lists were then developed using the following criteria:
- 50-5000 employees
- Annual revenue of <100M USD
- Companies that have experienced significant revenue growth in the last few years
- Companies with parent companies based in the Nordics
When consolidated, each list comprised of 300-500 contacts that ranged from low-level leads to high profile brand names.
The sales pitch is a crucial tool for BDRs. It’s when they demonstrate the value of the product or service to the prospect. Regardless of the style of the BDR, the pitch is what can make or break a potential business opportunity.
In-house test calls and drastic changes
The pitch was developed together with the team at NetSuite following discussions and product education sessions. This pitch ended up going through a number of iterations before arriving at a pitch that we could confidently use when calling prospects.
The initial pitch was very comprehensive and talked extensively about NetSuite. During our early in-house test calls it became evident that the pitch should have a problem-solution approach instead.
“By approaching the pitch from a problem-solution standpoint, we could instantly get into a dialogue with the prospect and get to a point where we discussed needs rather than product features. This led to a much healthier conversation with prospects, and we saw a high quality from beginning to end of the call,” says Alexander Bentley-Wennhall, Project Manager at Brightvision.
As a result, the pitch went through 3-4 iterations and was ultimately cut by 90% in length to remove premature product information to focus on prospect needs instead.
After testing the pitch among our own team of BDRs and receiving feedback from the team at NetSuite, we arrived at an appropriate length and a concise message. We were now ready to test the sales pitch on actual prospects.
We tested the new pitch on a few low-level prospects before moving onto our high quality lists. As the pitch performed well, we could confidently move on to our lists with high quality leads.
Johan Flink, Senior BDR on the project, stated that “The pitch was truly crucial to the success of the project.”
So why was the pitch so good? There’s three main reasons why the pitch worked:
- We demonstrated product value early on.
- We talked about market trends specifically in the context of the prospect’s industry.
- We referenced existing customers and their success.
It’s important to remember that a sales pitch is never static. It should change continuously based on feedback and results. Throughout the course of the project, we’ve made additional changes and updates to the pitch based on the response from prospects.
A trial and error approach
When first setting up operations in the Nordic market, the NetSuite team had three core members. 18 months later, the team had grown to 33 people, a number that continues to rise today as a result of NetSuite’s rapid growth.
But in the beginning, Catja Karlson knew as well as anyone that you don’t just enter a new market expecting customers to come banging on the door. It takes a while to get to know the market, your audience and how to best communicate with them.
Karlson explains, “being solely responsible for the Nordic market, I quickly realized that we needed more people on the ground. We needed an experienced sales team to bring in qualified leads. Fast.”
With the introduction to the Nordic market, NetSuite had one clear goal: Add qualified leads to the pipeline. To achieve this, Brightvision’s BDR’s followed a straightforward process:
- Prospect identification - List development
- Prospect outreach - Cold calling
- Prospect qualification - Mapping prospect needs
- Pass on prospects to NetSuite’s in-house team
“We operate very differently from most big corporations. We’re owned by Oracle, but we’re autonomous in our work. This means we’re flexible and agile and make a lot of changes on the fly. However, these changes always correlate to a underlying plan,” confirms Karlson.
Bringing in qualified leads and delivering valuable market feedback
To this date the team has delivered 128 qualified C-level leads to NetSuite’s pipeline. During the outreach process, BDRs also collect important market feedback from prospects such as:
- What solution is used today?
- When and why would it be relevant to find a new solution?
- Does the budget exist to invest in a new solution?
By gathering the above information, the BDRs can effectively score the leads and get a general idea of the state of the market and prospect needs. At the end of each week, NetSuite has an entirely new set of market feedback generated by prospects.
Embracing an agile process and continued feedback loop
Project manager Alexander Bentley-Wennhall together with the BDRs and Karlson, hold a weekly meeting to assess the project. In this meeting they evaluate the results and determine best way forward.
“The team at Brightvision has been incredibly adept at listening. They are always open to ideas and suggestions. We’ve never found ourselves in a situation where someone goes, ‘No. That’s not how we do things.’”
Catja Karlson, Marketing Manager Nordics at NetSuite
Following the project’s success and proving the ability to deliver qualified leads when NetSuite’s in-house team struggled, Brightvision’s team has effectively become NetSuite’s primary outbound team. As such, other division’s have followed suit and Brightvision is paving the way forward for NetSuite’s continued outbound sales efforts.
Next up, inbound marketing
Today, NetSuite and Brightvision continue to pursue potential customers with laser focus and a sharp pitch. Next, NetSuite will start to explore inbound marketing with the ambition to make it a key component of their customer acquisition process.
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