Building the best target account selection tools for sales teams is something we pride ourselves on here at EverString. And it’s not everyday we get a few minutes with an Executive Vice President of Global Sales at a multi-million-dollar company. Bruce Ackerman, EVP of Global Sales at Acuant, is one of our newest EverString Audience Platform customers. To better understand why Bruce felt EverString was a good fit for his sales team, we asked him a few questions about his role and his priorities in leading a world-wide sales team.
In this post, we’ll recount some of our conversation with Bruce and provide insight into the mind of a proven sales executive.
A Salesperson’s Job is to Sell, not to do Lead Generation
Sounds simple enough, right? In reality, it never is that clear cut. Bruce provided some insight on how they use EverString to align with marketing and support their own prospecting efforts.
Bruce explained that the Acuant lead gen strategy boils down to two parts: inbound programs/ campaigns from their marketing team, and sales-staffed conferences. Acuant did 70 conferences in 2016, and anticipates doing a similar number in 2017—that’s a lot of shows! Regardless of your current budget, Bruce’s point is that events are worth the effort to get new leads into the sales pipeline.
Absent from the lead generation strategy? List buys! With a global sales team, it would seem reasonable for some list buying to be involved. To that point, Bruce mentioned that he is regularly prospected about buying lists (up to 10x a day!). Neither he (nor his team) has time to scrub 20,000+ contacts per list. Knowing that there was a gap to be filled, he started a search for a more accurate solution to support targeted prospect discovery.
Making The EverString Connection for Audience Expansion
Discovery of new and similar targets within a market segment is the fundamental challenge challenge of sales expansion. This is precisely why Bruce took the time to explore EverString Audience Platform. With EverString, he can search for new companies based on factors that he knows are important to his business. He was impressed by the level of detail and control he had with defining expanded audiences similar to Acuant’s current customers.
Acuant customer list includes a number of big players in the healthcare industry. EverString identified good-fit healthcare organizations that weren’t on Acuant’s radar – often smaller companies than his team wouldn’t typically prospect. While these smaller organizations do not yield as large of a revenue opportunity, if Acuant successfully targeted a group of them, there is a potential $1.8 million in net-new revenue!
Bruce said, “we’re a multi-million dollar company. My job is to identify tools that work, and I have to believe something out there does, and so far, this is the only one that really works”.
To learn more about Bruce Ackerman and Acuant, follow him on LinkedIn.
Bonus Material: Insight into Prospecting an EVP of Global Sales
For SDR’s still reading, we have a little treat for you. Bruce provided us with a little tidbit on how to successfully (and unsuccessfully) get his attention.
As EVP of Global Sales at Acuant, Bruce oversees all sales in the business. Say you’re prospecting into someone like Bruce. How do you get his attention? Bruce says he will listen to everyone once, whether a cold call or an email. Be genuine and don’t bother sending him a blast from a fake email alias. He told us that once he was genuinely interested in talking with someone after receiving an email, and when he called back looking for ‘Sue’, there was no Sue.
Dead deal. Lost opportunity.
One of our account executives got Bruce’s attention by writing a personalized email and thoughtfully talking through the problems that Bruce and his team are trying to solve. The lesson here is if you are pursuing an executive level prospect, it pays to spend quality time researching the business needs/challenges, and drafting something personal and relevant to that individual.