How to find an alternative way to continue to building pipeline in a pandemic
Our client, Palo Alto Networks, largely relied on in-person events and sales call out days to generate new business opportunities. These stopped instantly as a result of the pandemic and lockdown creating an urgent need to find alternative ways to generate the sales leads required.
Traditionally sales call out days are run on the sales floor of the channel partner’s office. The sales reps are hitting the phones, sending emails and posting to social media to try to generate as many sales opportunities as possible. They are highly competitive days with prizes on offer for the highest number of calls made, the most leads created, and the highest quote generated.
We had already been working with our client on a PAN European campaign to launch a new programme to its channel partners. Sales call out days were included as they were proven to create pipeline. When the pandemic hit, and the country went into lockdown this element of the campaign was no longer possible. Our client asked us to come up with an alternative solution that would generate the required sales leads and pipeline but had to run virtually as everyone was working now from home.
Creation of a virtual call out day to continue generating revenue and sales engagement
We created an entirely new concept of a virtual call out day that used a social wall to generate engagement and fuel competition with the remote sales team, whilst enabling us to track all the leads generated to prove the return on investment.
We branded this solution Buzz Days and positioned it as a virtual call out day centred around a social wall with the objective of increasing team engagement and competition, even whilst working from home.
Our Buzz Days:
▪ Create focused sales activity with pre-defined target data, objectives and metrics.
▪ Raise awareness of our client and participating channel partner through targeted call outs, emails and social media activity.
▪ Generate tangible results which are proven through comprehensive tracking and reporting of leads generated.
▪ Enable our client and participating channel partners to determine a clear return on investment.
▪ Provide an activity report for each sales rep enabling management to identify the most engaged individuals and any that may need some extra support.
Exceeded on the estimated ROI with continuation into FY22 and futureproof for hybrid working
We successfully ran 15 Buzz Days in Palo Alto Networks’ FY21 with a variety of channel partners across Europe.
Our Buzz Days have allowed Palo Alto Networks to continue to win new customers and build new pipeline through their channel partner community in the most challenging of times.
In FY21 the 15 Buzz Days we delivered for Palo Alto Networks have generated 140 leads and over $2 Million in pipeline.
Our Buzz Days overachieved on the estimated ROI and Palo Alto Networks are continuing to use this solution in FY22 following the strong results delivered in FY21 with two Buzz Days confirmed for September 2021.
The solution has also proven to be futureproof in that it can also be used in a hybrid way for companies that are starting to return to work but for whom some staff are still remote working. It can also support a fully in-person call out day as the social wall can be displayed on the large screens on the sales floor. This ensures the sales leads are all properly recorded and reported on, which was often a challenge on in-person days.
"The Buzz Day virtual events I have run with The Essential Agency have resulted in a positive outcome and exceeded the estimated number of leads generated. The partners that I have been working with have been very happy with the results."
Maria Ferrara | Palo Alto Networks
"We are so pleased with the results generated that we are now working with Essential on creating a hybrid version that can be run at the channel partner’s office for those with hybrid sales teams."
Miranda Allen | Palo Alto Networks
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