E7 Solutions is an award-winning Atlassian partner — Cloud Partner of the Year: 2019 and Rising Star: 2018. They guide medium-sized companies in the Midwest in setting up, deploying, and effectively using all of Atlassian's broad suite of tools to help them be best-in-class in their industries. E7's greatest challenge was growing their business to the next level.
E7 Solutions spent months searching for a marketing partner who could help them build an effective inbound marketing channel to help increase sales. E7 receives educated and qualified referrals from Atlassian. And while these leads were excellent (E7 closes them 80% of the time), the volume wasn't enough to grow E7's business to the goals they wanted to reach.
E7's marketing efforts were scattered. There was no clear marketing road map nor any metrics and tracking to help them tweak strategy or tactics.
Based on their EO (Entrepreneur Organization) colleagues' experiences, E7 decided to find a HubSpot expert who could re-platform their CRM and their website. They also wanted to work with a digital marketing agency that had expertise in building sales pipelines and understood the Sandler Sales Method.
Search for an Inbound Marketing Partner
E7's CEO Edmond Delude researched and reached out for referrals. "I got two referrals from our EO colleagues," said Delude. "But I also did my own research." In searching online he found OverGo Studio (OGS). "No matter which search terms I used, OverGo came to the top three different ways." Delude stated. "I thought if OverGo could find a way to get to the top of three searches, they must know how to do that for us."
In the end, "OverGo stood out because Rick was direct, he didn't beat around the bush. He was specific with recommendations about our tone, message clarity, and things like that. Everyone else was so general and was interested in just selling me. Rick listened and was proactive and said 'here's how we could help you....' Culturally, talking with him was so natural — we hit it off immediately," Delude declared. "He knew where we were and how we could grow. And a big plus was his deep knowledge of the Sandler Sales Method, which we were in the middle of learning and implementing."
OverGo Studio (OGS) recommended a sales and marketing integrated approach. OGS knew from experience the benefit of harmonizing Sales and Marketing efforts into one "start to finish" process rather than partition them out into silos that don't talk with each other.
OGS started with understanding the newly established Sales process. Since E7 was using the Sandler Sales method, OGS was able to speak the same language and designed the workflows to match what E7's new sales process was becoming. Because OverGo knew how it worked, capturing it in the HubSpot CRM went faster and more easily than they expected.
Michael Abdelnour, E7's Client Solutions Director confided,"Rick brought a no-nonsense approach. He'd make recommendations about how to structure the pipeline, and what processes should be applied. We were only about two-thirds of the way through Sandler's training. But because Rick already knew Sandler so well, he anticipated and recommended what we needed to do before we could even articulate it. He filled those gaps and made everything go smoothly."
Once the CRM analysis and workflow design began, OGS focused their content, brand, and web design teams toward developing a clear and compelling messaging architecture, page content, and design layout on the HubSpot CMS. "This is where things began to get confusing for us," said Delude. "We didn't feel confident that the process was well-organized in a way that we were used to. We asked OverGo if we could bring in one of our project managers to run the project. This is what we do for a living — we help companies use Atlassian tools to manage projects of all kinds, not just software design. We were thrilled when they agreed to do it."
Rick Kranz, CEO of OverGo said, "Every client has a different set of tools and processes. We've learned to be flexible and willing to try and adapt new tools and processes. Knowing how expert E7 was, we felt it was an ideal opportunity to learn Jira Cloud and see what it could do."
Once E7 and OGS began using Jira Cloud to collaborate, the process went more smoothly. E7 was delighted with how the messaging, content, website turned out, and how the CRM sales processes tied in so they now had a complete picture of the entire sales and marketing pipeline, complete with tracking, metrics, and reporting.
As they began to wrap up the CRM workflows, OGS brought in the next step, which was using a video strategy to develop brand awareness and cultivate a thought leadership position. This is a strategy that, prior to COVID-19, wasn't widely adopted, although it was used extensively by the early adopter leaders in E7's industry.
"OverGo helped us define the format, establish the structure, and recommended the timing. They even gave us suggestions for how to brand it as a video series, and what technology to use. Rick still coaches us on our performance, being direct, and helpful so we are constantly improving. We know it's working from a branding/thought leadership standpoint because customers and clients constantly tell us how much they like the videos," smiled Abdelnour, "My fifteen minutes of fame moment was hearing from a prospect, 'I recognize you from that video on cloud migration strategy.'"
Delude chuckled and said,"It took us awhile to get used to doing this, we're not TV personalities. But once we moved from a talking head format to a two-way conversational one, it just clicked. We felt comfortable because it was fun and we were able to provide great information so much more easily."
- Successfully re-platformed website, and re-platformed and retooled the CRM
- BONUS - moved email marketing onto HubSpot from previous platform (not part of the original road map)
- All sales and marketing tools are now fully integrated, no more disparate systems
- New contacts entering the sales funnel has dramatically increased by 10 times
- More consistent stream of appointment requests coming in
- E7's team members are being viewed as thought leaders, helping enhance the brand's position
- The CRM now matches E7's sales process, making the sales team's lives much easier
- Full visibility into the sales pipeline including goal attainment, forecasts, and activities
OverGo helped E7 set SMART goals and metrics for each quarter about account types and marketing channels. For the first time, E7 now has a clearly defined marketing road map that is no longer focused on structure and tools, but instead will leverage the machine that's been built to increase traffic and lead volumes, as well as fine-tuning the integrated sales and marketing processes to increase efficiencies and improve results.
Why E7 likes working with OverGo
- Stayed on budget and on time, bringing great ideas about how to implement an inbound marketing strategy
- Easy to work with
- The camaraderie
- Their direct communication
- Insights on improvements they provide
- How well OGS blends in to E7's culture
- Available via same communication channels as E7's employees
- OGS has become an extension of E7's team
"OverGo values working with experts. They trusted us to show them how to do project management more effectively. They eagerly adopted our lead. As Atlassian experts, we don't want to be second-guessed," declared Delude. "So we give OverGo the same courtesy. We let them do their job, we don't micromanage them. We want them to run with their sales and marketing expertise. They're definitely not ticket takers. They don't wait for us to tell them what to do. They are far better than that. They play a much bigger role than that for us."
Stated Abdelnour, "We do rely on them — I view them as a wing of our organization. It's their responsibility to manage E7's marketing efforts and campaigns. They don't wait for us to tell them what to do and then they go do it. They drive and manage all of our campaigns — the strategy, the content, the launch — they act as if they were a de facto member of our org chart, as though they were one of our in-house teams. They fit in seamlessly with our culture, and the results we've had to date prove it."
"The proper framework is in place. Now we need to see the machinery pay off. We're seeing good numbers. And this coming year, we've set higher numbers to reach ROI. As long as we hit our numbers, we'll be in good shape," said Delude. "And I believe we'll achieve it together."
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