Customers are changing, and business must absorb the meaning of that change. The customer has evolved, researching a purchase in different ways while also searching for ideas to take their business forward to the next level.
Alinea Partners has launched Demand Generation Assessment workshops that allow clients to discover how to better align their sales and marketing machine with this changed buyer behaviour and retain their interest as they take steps through research and assessment. This is often long before a final purchase.
The Demand Generation Assessment workshop relies on a structured approach that is tailored to each individual business and helps to examine the current state, setup and alignment of the client’s key building blocks for creating demand.
Senior leadership members from across the entire organisation will participate representing Sales, Marketing, Customer Services, IT, Human Resources and Finance. These are all key contributors for building and maintaining an effective Demand Generation and Sales Engine.
Finding out how the buyer thinks was a top priority for two Italian partners who attended recent workshops. Comedata and Proge Software are among 60 partners who have now participated in this programme.
With offices in Rome and Milan Comedata keeps customers abreast of the latest developments in business technology via events including webinars and meetings. The subjects Comedata’s 70 people discuss at these events range from malware to financial services. Comedata deals in business applications and is dedicated to helping its customers deal with contemporary challenges such as the EU GDPR regulations. These are serious concerns for its clients, and they bring Comedata into direct competition with large players in the IT services market.
So the Demand Generation Assessment workshop represented an important step for Comedata as it wrestled with the broad concerns of customers while facing relentless competitive pressure.
Simona Piacenti, Marketing Manager at Comedata, recognised that change comes when you have buy-in at the highest levels. “You get the best results by having senior management aware of the topic. I knew that Demand General Assessment meant more than just marketing, so I made sure that my senior colleagues, including our President, were all engaged.”
How has the workshop changed things for Comedata? Sales and technical staff are being trained in social media approaches that engage with client concerns rather than resting on previous wins and relationships. A new communications plan has emerged, and the company website is changing. What had been a very product-centric approach has been ditched in favour of addressing problems the customers face. The workshop guided Comedata through the gaps in its demand generation process and highlighted fixes for those gaps.
Looking back at the workshop, Piacenti notes that the whole company is now better aligned with the buyer’s search for solutions to business problems. Industry sectors are less important to Comedata than the issues that confront buyers. So Comedata’s whole approach has come into line with customer problem-solving. Piacenti is now contemplating another workshop specifically for her colleagues in product marketing and Comedata is looking to expand its social media presence and also considering other Alinea programmes.
At Proge Software’s Rome head office General Manager Marco Menea is familiar with a host of critical projects Proge has managed for high-profile clients. Building Alitalia’s corporate intranet and managing a large-scale software migration at the Italian Ministry of Defence are just two recent contracts fulfilled by Proge’s 97 staff. In addition to seeing such projects to a successful conclusion Proge also supports and maintains applications while offering Microsoft Gold level competencies for Cloud Productivity and Cloud Platforms among others.
Menea was very happy with the Demand Generation Assessment workshop, recalling “a very good experience with high quality conversations.” This half-day of talking and learning pointed Proge in the right direction.
“We have now identified areas where we can improve our lead generation process and attract new leads” says Menea. He divides the results of the workshop into two categories, ideas that can be applied quickly and moves that will result in strategic changes for Proge. The latter align with Proge’s intention to expand its presence in Northern Italy while capitalising on a growing ability in healthcare products. “Since the workshop we have made progress on strategic planning, have mapped the customer journey and set clear objectives for activity.”
The company now has a much clearer idea of the journey prospective clients undertake and has just launched a process to track and follow-up on sales leads as well as social media programmes. This is a demand generation engine in action with Proge benefiting from a new awareness of how marketing must evolve to capture the emerging generation of buyers.