After 26 Years In Business, Our Marketing Was Sporadic At Best
My journey with Robin started 26 years into our business with a great client base already in hand. Over the last five years, we have faced a significant challenge in transitioning from a systems integrator/VAR to a leading managed IT services provider. As the Managing Director of a 12-person team, and as our one-man “in-house marketing team,” my personal challenge has always been to dedicate enough time to marketing to see real growth results. To date, our (my) efforts had generally been pretty sporadic, doing marketing activities only when I had downtime, or when things weren’t too busy (which wasn’t that often). I knew I had to get smarter with marketing if we were going to grow our services business and expand our client base.
After exploring various New Zealand-based marketing “consultants,” but not really finding what I was looking for, I met a long-term Robin Robins Producers Club member, Vijay Nyayapati – also based in New Zealand. Vijay told me just how influential the Toolkit had been to his business. Given my past history with making time to get around to marketing, I decided to bite the bullet and fly halfway around the world this past August to spend two days in person with Robin. This was a pretty big investment in time and cost. But… WOW.
4 Critical Simple First Steps
During Robin’s Rapid Implementation Workshop class, I quickly determined that I needed to get these four tasks done first.
- Clean our list! A good, up-to-date list, broken down into target markets, was going to be the platform for everything else to follow.
- Get waaaaay more disciplined with using our CRM system.
- Select one or two simple Technology Marketing Toolkit campaigns to start with – I couldn’t get too overwhelmed by the mountains of content on the Dashboard.
- Create our Shock-And-Awe box – this was a relatively simple task that had the potential to make a great impact. Starting with these four simple tasks reduced my overwhelm, as I started to break things down into small pieces. I began feeling like I was already achieving results.
Up At 4:30 a.m. Every Single Week To Work On Marketing!
What was I thinking … ???? Signing up for a program where I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. (New Zealand time) every week to work on marketing! In seriousness though – the Rapid Implementation weekly group calls with the rest of my “team” quickly became something I looked forward to. It’s motivating to be a part of a team that is progressing so fast. These calls played a huge part in helping me break down the Toolkit into small pieces. Without the help of these live group coaching calls, I would be nowhere in terms of these two key areas:
- Developing our USP – this was a great exercise that really helped define exactly what we want Silicon to be.
- Clearly defining our target markets – using successful customer case studies as a platform for developing a story for those industries has been particularly useful.
Additionally, being around a group of implementers who were getting results in marketing every week was super-inspiring. And with the overall enthusiasm every week from my coaches (Debi, Rich and Ryan), my Fridays always seem to be that much more positive after every call!
From Sporadic Marketing To Focused Marketing Efficiency In Just 12 Weeks
In just three months since I attended the Rapid Implementation Workshop, I’ve gone from spending a few hours here and there on unstructured marketing activities to almost half my day, every day, focused on growing my business efficiently. I’m delegating a lot more IT work to my support team, and know that my time is being spent on growth activities.
Here’s a summary of the top accomplishments we’ve achieved over the last three months:
- A much better marketing list. This is a constantly growing beast, but the quality of our lists has improved exponentially since we began applying the advice and principles from the Toolkit. I now make a point of adding at least 10 new prospects weekly.
- A clearly defined set of target markets. This has allowed us to begin customizing services, and our marketing messages to specific business types and industries, and created better focus with our marketing efforts.
- A clear understanding of “Threshold.” I now realize that opportunities come from continual follow-up and repetition, rather than just hoping “now” is the right time for the prospect to engage, and giving up after one campaign if it’s not.
- More disciplined use of our CRM. This is making it far easier to track opportunities, follow through with them and manage the marketing function as a whole.
- A whole new cyber-security-as-a-service business. Being introduced to CARVIR and ID Agent at the workshop has opened a whole new door, and has already generated new MRR for our business (approx. $2,600/month confirmed, with another $3,000 to $4,000 in the “almost there” category).
- Additional cross-sell and upsell results and opportunities through the Quarterly Business Review initiative, which we have carried out specifically to our mid-tier clients who don’t typically receive the same high level of attention as our top-tier clients.
- A clearer business identity, through the development of a concise USP.
- The ability to leverage a whole set of awesome new client testimonials.
- Development of a far more marketing/new-business-generating focused website rather than a product/service focused website.
- Consistent branded material. New glossy presentation folders, business cards and letterhead featuring our new branding. We would probably not have generated these with the same level of urgency without the reinforcement on the importance of consistent branding covered throughout the
90- day workshop.
- A strong list of “8 Reasons To Choose Silicon.” This really helps us identify what makes us unique, and allows us to now communicate to prospects much more effectively. It’s also a key component of our Shock-And-Awe box, and on our new website home page.
- Being held accountable by my coaches and the group. The deadlines and goals set drove me to get things done!
These Campaigns Generated $205,228 In Confirmed Revenue
These seven campaigns alone have generated over $5,700 in monthly recurring revenue, and $205,228 in confirmed revenue.
- Cross-sell campaign for our new advanced cyber security program. We have sent personalized direct
e- mail to 10 existing clients, educating them about our new program.
- We followed up on a Joint Venture initiative with an MSP in another region who was struggling to service clients in our area. This campaign generated two new clients, $3,200 of new MRR (36-month deals) and$3,400 in hardware revenue.
- Quarterly Business Reviews. We have conducted four so far, all of which have resulted in various opportunities for managed services, and hardware sales with existing clients.
- Education-sector holiday refresh campaign. We sent a direct mail flyer to approximately 200 schools, promoting great laptop deals for the summer holiday “refresh” period, followed up with an e-mail with an additional offer and incentive (discounted three-year warranty upgrade).
- Shock-And-Awe box. We’ve so far sent 20 of these out to new prospects, and the response has been incredibly positive.
- Cross-sell campaign for Dark Web ID. We have so far sent initial “scare” reports to nearly 20 clients. This campaign has generated one new deal worth $7,188.
- 9-word e-mail. We sent this simple e-mail to 12 warm prospects that we had not heard from for a while. This simple campaign has so far generated $460 of MRR, a$34,000 project and the potential for an $840,000 WiFi deployment over the next 24 months!
There are also plenty more “irons in the fire”- and I’m confident that at least some of them will convert to sales. Some of the more significant ones include:
- A 30-location fitness-center chain where we have proposed a$3,750 per month MRR deal.
- A $20,455 per month full outsource managed IT solutions deal. A significant portion of the value proposition here is cyber security, using Carvir and Dark Web ID, and the opportunity was a result of a Quarterly Business Review.
- A cyber security deal with one of New Zealand’s most successful start-ups with a current value of over $1.4 billion and 1,700 employees (have proposed Dark Web ID and Carvir/Sentinel One). Was a result of our 9-word e-mail campaign to warm leads.
- A current client that is a large tertiary provider with over 12,000 students: have proposed a cyber security solution and Dark Web ID. A result of our cross-sell initiative for cyber security.
Based on the tangible results, the 9-word e-mail to warm leads whom we hadn’t spoken to for a while (followed by a Shock-And-Awe box) has provided us with undoubtedly the most significant sales results to date. It was such a simple thing to do, but proved incredibly effective at restarting many conversations, identifying opportunities and allowing us to then use the other tools and systems I have learned to maximize our chances of converting those opportunities.
A Radical Change In Outlook
At times over the past nine months, I’ve questioned the decision to recently buy out my old business partners. But the things I’ve learned and the tools I’ve gained as a result of my short time within this program have given me the confidence that I can make a huge positive impact on my business. It has transformed the way I work; it’s been motivating, energizing, educational and highly enjoyable; and it’s been great to meet so many fantastic peers and mentors, all with the same common goal.
I’m super-excited to now be starting the next step of the journey in Robin’s Accelerators Club – and am really excited about 2018 and the opportunities I can generate with this newfound resource, partnership and energy. Thank you, Robin, Debi, Rich and Ryan for making this such a great journey so far. Here’s to many, many more early Friday starts!