“BAO enabled a true market segmentation model.” – Alan Komet, Director of Sales Operations at FalconStor
For sales, “true market segmentation” translates to face time with truly qualified leads that feed opportunities into the pipeline. For product management and marketing, it means tracking market trends and pinpointing competitive strongholds. For corporate leadership, it’s the account-by-account intelligence necessary for aligning organizational strategy with what’s happening in the industry.
For FalconStor Software, Inc., a true market segmentation model is built on a realistic understanding of their target market – an understanding that considers each prospect’s buying plans, budgets, installed competitive solutions and key pain points.
In this case study, we explore how FalconStor is applying custom, account-level intelligence to change the way they go to market.
The Challenge: Quickly Ramping up Reps to Launch a New Sales Strategy
FalconStor, a global enterprise provider of data protection and storage virtualization solutions, was evolving its sales model with a new focus on named accounts for Enterprise reps. As the company shifted gears, they realized that quickly ramping up reps assigned to new and potentially unfamiliar accounts would be a challenge. Komet said, “The team was spending a lot of time and effort to qualify and quantify leads – calling into prospect companies to identify the right targets instead of getting in front of deals.”
A well-timed phone call from a sales rep at BAO introduced FalconStor to a solution that would help their team navigate to real opportunity within those priority accounts. “We weren’t looking for traditional lead gen or telemarketing. We’d done that before and knew it wasn’t what we needed to successfully go to market with a named account model. We needed to go deeper into our prospect accounts to understand where there were real, defined projects being managed by people who would be interested in learning more about FalconStor products. And when we connected with BAO, we knew we’d found the answer.”
Impressed with BAO’s ability to dive deep to get specific account-level intelligence and unparalleled market insight, Komet engaged BAO for an Advanced Demand Generation (ADG) pilot program in March 2013.
Advanced Demand Generation from BAO
BAO’s ADG service provides the real-time insight, tools, and resources to drive go-to-market strategy across a Client’s entire organization. BAO quickly navigates target accounts to get the information that matters most to Clients – including insight into current technology infrastructure, planned projects, budgets and more. All of that intelligence is pushed in real time to the Client’s custom BAO Intelligence Center, delivering a map of not just future sales opportunities, but also actionable insight into the Client’s market on the whole.
At the same time, BAO’s team of dedicated Inside Sales Representatives (ISRs) works to secure the introductory meetings that will put Client reps in front of the right contacts at the right organizations at the right time to lock down hot deals.
Leverage Account-Level Insights to Drive Sales – and so much More
From the outset, FalconStor’s Enterprise reps were eager to work with BAO to make connections with decision-makers at their target accounts. According to Komet, “Our reps basically said, ‘If you put me in front of the right person at a prospect organization, I will be able to sell to them.’ And that’s what BAO was able to do for us. The top sales people in our Enterprise groups are very happy with the level of activity they’ve seen from this program.”
With those meetings working in the background to kick off the sales cycle and feed opportunities into the pipeline, the FalconStor team began exploring other applications for the account-by-account intelligence coming out of BAO’s research. And Komet quickly realized that there were a number of ways he could make the insight work for not just the sales organization, but also product management, marketing and executive leadership.
With this intelligence, FalconStor had real-time market insight that impacted the strategies for pricing, licensing and promoting products. It was a game-changer for the company’s go-to-market strategy.
Share Intelligence Across the Organization Instantly with The BAO Intelligence Center
“The account-by-account insight provided in the BAO Intelligence Center is so critical from a sales perspective, but the value extends way beyond that. For example, our product management team has the opportunity to tap into live, real-time info coming out of our potential customer base – what technology they’re adopting and their plans for the next 12-18 months. We used to get this intelligence from analyst reports – but those are up to a year behind. From BAO, we get ‘right now’ information that we wouldn’t be able to get on our own. They’re able to get it – and provide it to us – instantly.”
– Alan Komet, FalconStor
Komet typically shares the BAO intelligence with three main internal audiences: the Enterprise sales and marketing teams, product management and company executives. With the BAO Intelligence Center’s combination of customized account-level intelligence and technology, he’s able to deliver the insight in the way that makes it easiest for each audience to consume and process it.
Sales and Marketing
The sales and marketing teams get the raw data – everything they need to know about their target accounts and contacts is uploaded into Salesforce.com. Full lead and company profiles – including IT environment details, growth potential and competitive insight – are captured so that a clear profile for each contact is available for use in both sales and marketing campaigns. And it’s not just net-new accounts – BAO has also given FalconStor insight and opportunity to get in front of “land-and-expand” opportunities within customer organizations.
Meetings set via BAO are monitored regularly to track progress and measure conversion metrics. Segments of companies that are defined as longer-term suspects are turned over to marketing for nurturing and flagged for use in future sales planning.
“BAO has become an extension of the FalconStor team. And as a result of their work, the leads we get are already sales qualified. That has saved us a lot of time and money, which appeals to the reps as well as the executives,” said Komet. “Plus, we’re able to take marketing dollars and refocus them on programs that will hit with people who represent real opportunity.
Komet says, “Our product management folks love the firmographic information in the Intelligence Center.” He notes that it gives them “the opportunity to tap into live, real-time info coming out of our potential customer base – what technology they’re adopting and their plans for the next 12-18 months. We used to get this intelligence from analyst reports – but those are up to a year behind.” With the Intelligence Center, the team is able to view the data in customized segments to extract the precise information they’re looking for.
“The market insight we’ve gotten will be reflected in our next round of product development. What we’ve seen is likely to impact our pricing and licensing strategies going into next year as well,” said Komet.
To keep executive buy-in for the program strong, Komet presents results of the BAO program to company leadership on a regular basis. Using the dashboard and firmographics features in the Intelligence Center, he is able to provide a simple, yet compelling, snapshot of real-time opportunities, challenges and trends in the market. Instant, on-demand access to that kind of data makes it easy for Komet to demonstrate the value of the ongoing investment in the BAO relationship.
The Results: A More Productive, Intelligent Organization
Having BAO handle the “heavy lifting” of account profiling and appointment-setting has made a huge impact on FalconStor’s ability to operate more efficiently and productively.
“We have a level of insight that we’ve never had before – there’s huge ROI for the engagement just based on that. BAO has enabled a true market segmentation model for us. Sales, opportunities and pipeline are really the cherry on top of what is already pretty amazing. There is a world of difference between ‘telemarketing’ and true targeted demand generation, which is what BAO does.”
– Alan Komet, FalconStor