Online buying consortium PrimeAdvantage.com needed to convince purchasing managers at manufacturing plants to open online accounts guaranteeing they'd buy at least $3 million of materials each through the PrimeAdvantage system within 18 months. Ross Berner, Cofounder and SVP Corporate Strategy led us through the company's sales process.
Purchasing managers at manufacturing plants are not usually very net-savvy, plus they have long-term loyalties to current suppliers. Berner decided the way to win their accounts was to, "give them a chance to be a hero, rather than a cost center. We helped them go back to the CFO and say, 'I'm saving 5-50% on materials!'"
First Berner bought a list of the top 5,000 manufacturing plants in the US and handed it over to InBusiness Teleservices. "They're more sophisticated than typical cold callers. They are capable of getting a purchasing CFO, VP or director on the phone and lining up a sales call." Calls were staggered so Berner's field sales team could handle the lead flow.
Instead of showing prospects a canned demonstration, sales reps sat down with each prospect and plugged in that plant's numbers into their laptop, and showed them how much money they could be saving right there on the spot. The reps then handed the prospect a print-out of the results so they could use it to pitch the idea upline.
InBusiness Teleservices has had a 10-15% success rate setting up appointments from cold calls. Berner's sales team has grown PrimeAdvantage's client base from 10 in 1998 to more than 100 today -- and never lost a single active account to a competitor.
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