Solita enriches its marketing automation with Vainu company information ensuring the legitimacy of every sales lead generated.
Solita is a digital transformation company with offices in 4 different countries. Initially, Vainu was used as a sales prospecting tool, but during the last year, Solita has integrated Vainu company information into their lead validation mechanisms, dramatically decreasing the lead response time and improving lead quality to the extent that "every lead we send to sales is relevant."
Solita is a Finnish group offering services ranging from strategic consulting to service design, digital development, data, AI & analytics and managed cloud services. Established in 1996, Solita employs over 800 digital business specialists in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Germany. In 2018, the group generated 90+ million euros in revenue.
Previously, Solita sales and marketing collaboration wasn’t perfect. As the head of marketing operations at Solita, Heikki Sivonen recalls, they used to send an excel sheet of accumulated leads to sales department on a monthly interval. Each lead was scored, but the score was based merely on the behavior of the individual and didn’t include whether the prospect company was a fit for Solita. The sheet was then processed by salespeople, who - based on their intuition - contacted the leads they felt were worth checking out.
This way of doing things - to which Sivonen aptly refers as "the manualization of marketing" - is quite common and unfortunately results in missing a lot of opportunities. According to real-time sales principles (Read more about Real-Time Sales here), the shorter the response time to a lead is, the better the hit rate. In Solita case, the lead response time was up to one month! “During that time, the customer had discussed with 5 competitors, and we had lost the game,” Sivonen recalls.
Until summer 2018, Solita used Vainu solely for sales prospecting. During a routine meetup between Vainu and Solita, it was discussed whether the marketing department could also benefit from Vainu's company information. The decision was made to develop the lead scoring formula to include the fit of prospect organization as well. To identify the sort of companies Solita should go after, defining their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) was required. Essentially, ICP is a type of customer that has a maximum customer lifetime value (CLV): Generates grand revenue while remaining as customer for a long period becuase they're pleased with the service.
Vainu identified Solita ICP by revealing common characteristics from their current customers. These characteristics included firmographics such as revenue and industry, but also more advanced attributes, such as the technologies the prospect organization is using. Based on the ICP, the existing lead scoring mechanism was updated to include, not only the behavior and enthusiasm of the individual that downloads - for example - an eBook, but also the fit of the prospect organization based on Vainu company data.
Now, Solita was able to determine whether they should spend their sales resources on a company, but the time lead reaction time was still an issue. Proper channel that would automatically inform sales of ripe leads was required. For this, as recommended by Vainu, a Slack-channel was created to which all the leads are now forwarded as soon as they emerge. "Before Vainu, our lead response time was up to one month. Now, it's [during office hours] roughly 3 minutes," Sivonen praises.
"Before Vainu, our lead response time was up to one month. Now, it’s [during office hours] roughly 3 minutes, and every lead we send to sales is relevant."
Head of Marketing Operations
"Our job at marketing is to create opportunities, and previously when the lead response time was up to one month, and the lead scoring didn't account the fit of the prospect organization, we didn't succeed in it very well," Sivonen admits. With the help of Vainu's data and expertise, the lead response time has decreased from up to one month to a maximum of 12 hours. Most times, it's less than a few minutes.
The quality of leads has also witnessed a notable improvement. Solita marketing now generates fewer leads than they did before, but Sivonen is confident enough to declare, that "every lead we send to sales is relevant." Previously, the monthly excel sheet contained 100-150 leads of varying quality. Now, sales receive 25 leads monthly, as they emerge, guaranteed to be actionable.
Sivonen's team also uses Vainu for a surprising purpose. A fight for IT-professionals is intense, and when a developer from a company with particular characteristics leaves their contact information in exchange for Solita's content, the lead will be forwarded to human resources. "It was a positive surprise that we could use Vainu's data to investigate 'the other side of the coin' as well," Sivonen praises.
Vainu is becoming an even bigger part of our growth, because we’re expanding to new markets. Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands are all countries where we don’t have existing relationships or knowledge about the company landscape.