System Integrator

Development and implementation of a target customer acquisition system
Campaign objective:

Development of a partially automated customer acquisition system


Information technology, building network infrastructure in companies with geographically distributed structure

  • cold email outreach
  • account-based marketing


The client has extensive experience in building network infrastructure for medium-sized companies with a geographically distributed structure. The client's management wanted to further develop the specialization in implementing corporate networks, but the sales team could not set up the process of attracting potential customers. Previously, the company did not engage in marketing, and customers came through referrals and as a result of sales efforts at trade shows. Periodically, the client would send out promotional mailings and run contextual advertising several times. However, none of these efforts were effective enough. The client asked us to help them develop a system for attracting target customers.


A marketing audit was conducted, during which we analyzed the experience of the conducted activities, the work of the sales team and several notable deals from a marketing point of view. It was found that the client did not have a clear understanding of the target audience (ISP). The sales team described the customer as a company with 100 to 1000 employees, with independent branches or production facilities in different parts of the country, and with a multitude of IT solutions (different approaches and IT solutions in different branches), which led to conflicts and limited operability of the entire IT infrastructure.

Based on the audit, it was decided to build a marketing strategy from scratch and then develop activities that would form the basis of the system for regular attraction of target customers. Over the course of several weeks, a go-to-market strategy was developed. Based on the analysis of the customer base and the most profitable deals, an ideal customer profile was created and target industries were defined. As a result of the preparatory work, in addition to the strategy and positioning, the main requirements for the customer acquisition system were defined: costs should not exceed a certain amount, sales should be responsible for customer acquisition, while the main algorithms of their work should not change - ideally, the system should be as automated as possible. The exception, i.e. the readiness for manual and targeted work, is made only for the acquisition of large clients with large IT budgets. Based on this, the following scheme was proposed: creation of a scoring model (criteria for selection and disqualification of potential target companies). Sales decides how to interact with the company, using cold email outreach with maximum automation (if the company is presumed to have typical problems and 1-3 decision makers) or account-based marketing (the company has a large pool of IT decision makers, also presumed to have large budgets for the project).


The preparation phase (strategy development, ICP, value propositions, etc.) took 2 weeks. Once our proposal was accepted, the implementation of the whole system and its testing in a pilot project took another 8 weeks. All tasks were carried out together with the client's sales manager, who simultaneously learned all the operational algorithms, as he would later be responsible for attracting potential customers.
A system of selection and disqualification criteria for target companies was created. The main goal was to match the profile of the ideal customer as closely as possible. For ease of use, the system was transformed into a scoring model during the pilot project. Companies with the highest scores were placed in the first group of companies for account-based marketing with 100% personalization for each key employee. Companies with average scores were placed in the second tier of companies for automated personalized email distribution (personalization at the "pain" level of the position and industry). Companies with the lowest scores were excluded from the activities.
For the pilot project, 200 companies were selected. 150 companies were in the second level group and 50 companies were in the first level group. Cisco SD-Access and Cisco DNA Assurance solutions based on Catalyst 9000 devices were selected as the product with which the customer would "enter" the target customers.
For the second level companies, specific content was prepared (vendor reference materials were adapted and proposals were prepared). Three target positions were identified: CEO, IT Director/Technical Director, and Network Engineer/Network Administrator. Each campaign identified the corresponding employees, their work email, social media profiles, and in some cases, phone numbers. For each position, typical email chains were written with personalized value propositions (trigger + focus on "tasks-pains-solution").
For the first level companies, four target positions were identified: CEO, IT/Technical Director, Purchasing Director (if any), and Network Engineer/Administrator. To attract attention and build loyalty with specific employees, it was decided to use gamification: gifting kits without instructions, engaging recipients on a special landing page that included personalized offers and instructions on how to assemble the kits. Subsequent communication with sales managers was built around this. For each target company, a special set of materials was prepared: a detailed description of the service and capabilities, cases describing solutions to problems similar to the target company, niche use case.


The pilot project demonstrated the high efficiency of the proposed customer acquisition system. In the second group of companies, the positive response rate was 36%. After the project was completed, substantive meetings were held with 22 companies over a three-month period, of which 7 became customers of our client (5% sales conversion; customers agreed to implement not only Cisco solutions initially approached by sales, but also solutions from other vendors). In the first tier of companies, the positive response rate was 56% - meetings were held with 28 companies, of which 4 closed deals within a year (8% sales conversion). Notably, in monetary terms, the four first-level companies generated 2.6 times more profit than the nine second-level companies.
In the end, the client received a step-by-step algorithm for manual search of potential customers and necessary information about them, a scoring model for evaluating potential customers, and a fully automated system of personalized mailings to second-level companies (according to their own scoring model). The client's employee (sales manager) acquired the necessary skills for searching and attracting clients, including within the framework of account-based marketing. After a year of using the implemented system and frameworks, the client's expenses for acquiring new customers were 45% lower than expected (the main expenses were for purchasing souvenirs and gifts, as well as for purchasing tools for working with databases; all actions were performed by the sales department within their salaries).

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