I know I don’t have to sell you on the fact that response time affects sales.
But I’m going to anyway – because it’s that important.
- Up to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
- The average response time of sales reps is 38.5 hours – yet the odds of making successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when the contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes.
- 50% of leads never receive a response from a sales rep. (Source)
This data isn’t surprising. You know from personal experience – both as a sales person and as a buyer yourself – that making a customer wait is a surefire way to kill a deal. In that time, a competitor could call. Or the customer could simply change their mind.
This was the situation that Craig Ayres found himself in as a market manager for IXOM, a global water treatment and chemical distribution company.
IXOM had hundreds of different product information sheets and procedure manuals to support their myriad offerings – and Ayres was never sure which to bring to sales meetings.
“You just never knew what questions the prospect would ask,” explained Ayres. They could ask anything from Which chemicals should I use for our meat processing facility? to Why should I consider buying your latest piece of chemical dosing equipment?
While he did bring some printed sales assets with him to each meeting, Ayres almost always had to follow up with customers to send them the right sales materials when he got back to his desk – which could be days later.
Those days cost him.
An Expense in Dollars and Sense
Not having the right sales and marketing assets on-hand cost Ayres in three ways:
It cost him customers. In the time between a sales meeting and when he was able to locate, print and mail the right sales materials, often the prospect went from white-hot to luke warm … or ice cold.
It cost him budget. The printed sales assets caused financial waste. Ayres was meeting with customers on-site at processing facilities – so when he did bring printed materials to sales meetings, they often got wet, dirty or mistakenly left behind.
It cost him time and energy. Trying to remember which sales materials to send to each customer once he returned to his desk was resulting in a cognitive cost for Ayres. He had to devote a portion of his mental bandwidth to managing documents, rather than making sales.
Luckily, Ayres found a solution that solved all three problems.
A Content Library Suited for the Field
When Ayres discovered Showcase, he knew it was the perfect solution. “As soon as we saw Showcase, we knew that we needed it, and we signed up,” he said.
To get started on the right foot, he hired Stun, one of Showcase’s creative partners, to create an integrated presentation design.
“I’m not a designer, so I was glad to have Stun’s support creating our showcase. They made the whole process simple. We told them what we wanted, and they gave us the final presentation in less than a week. I was quite impressed by how quickly they turned it around. Most importantly, their work complements our professional, organized image which is essential to making a good impression.”
As of this writing, Ayres’s team has 438 files. Having digital access to all of that content in the field – and no longer having to lug around a bunch of printed sales materials – was a godsend. “I can email prospects any materials they request, without interrupting our meeting, or having to remember later,” he shared. He especially appreciates the search feature!
The Idea Spread … and Grew Wings
Ayres’s department, Food and Beverage, was the Showcase guinea pig – and the app caught on fast.
Today the FarmGuard and Transport departments at IXOM are also using Showcase as their go-to sales content solution.
The Transport department in particular has gotten creative with their use of Showcase. These chemical tank drivers deliver to over 100 sites – and each site has their own delivery procedure documentation. Instead of hauling folders around with them, the Transport team now uses iPads loaded with Showcase, the delivery procedure documents stored neatly in easy-to-navigate digital files.
The IXOM teams are great examples of thinking outside the (print) box to bring customers the content they need to make smart buying decisions.
And of course, we here at Showcase love to see how creative our customers get with their showcases! We’re taking notes from the IXOM Transport team.