A client of ours develops and sells enterprise disaster recovery software with an average deal size between $50K and $100K. Even during the downturn they have been successful. However, given the state of the economy the average time to close a deal was getting too long. We reviewed their sales process and determined where deals were getting hung up.

The sales team was focusing primarily on meeting with disaster recovery (DR) teams. The good news was that 86% of the time that a correctly profiled account performed an official evaluation of the solution, it closed. The bad news was that DR teams typically do not know how to sell internally. Deals tended to drag on and on. We recommended a different approach.

We suggested they have the sales team meet with CIOs first instead. The sole purpose of the meeting would be to get the CIO to direct the DR team to perform an evaluation. If the CIO was conceptually sold, the role of the DR team would be solely to vet the solution. When they reported back to the CIO that it “performed as advertised” it would be a relatively simple matter for the CIO to reallocate $100K of the IT budget. This would be faster and more predictable than relying upon the DR team to promote it internally. They asked us how to get meetings with CIOs; we showed them.

We first segmented their customer base into verticals to determine if there were any unusual characteristics that we could exploit. The company is very strong in financial institutions but hadn’t cracked the NY Metro area. A decision was made to specifically target 24 financial institutions in Manhattan.

We created a two-part landing page which included a video of their CEO speaking directly to the CIO. The CEO explained why the CIO was being contacted and what were the expected outcomes of a meeting: either move to an evaluation or disengage; they were completely upfront with the prospect. Also included was a technical presentation of their solution for the CIO to forward to the DR team. So how did we get them to the landing page?

We purchased “emergency preparedness kits” that came in rolling luggage that had enough supplies to keep a small group well for 3-4 days. We included a simple note directing the CIO to a custom landing page. The package was substantial enough that it could not be ignored. We knew when they got the package. We knew when they were on the website. We knew when/ if they forwarded the technical materials to their DR team. And we even knew the message they included when they forwarded it. The results surprised even us.

They got meetings with 6 (24%!) of the CIOs that received the kits. Their VP of Marketing told us that previously they had not been able to penetrate these accounts at any level.

So don’t believe you can’t get in front of ‘lofty’ decision makers. With some creativity and a well executed plan you can get through to just about anyone. For an example of our work, check this out: