Business And Account Development
A Minnesota mechanical construction company was looking for growth. They were well known as a mechanical constructor in the region, but they were looking to expand their portfolio into the industrial construction space. The corporate / parent construction company was experienced in the Power & Energy, Gas & Oil, and Commercial industries, but primarily as a mechanical constructor versus an industrial constructor. They had recently acquired an industrial ammonia refrigeration company that was experienced in the Food & Beverage industry.
The parent construction company was unsure how to promote their value as a stand alone and/or more robustly with an ammonia refrigeration division.
The owners were looking to grow market share and geographic reach and to become a more well known ‘industrial constructor’.
The construction side and the acquired ammonia refrigeration side of the business operated separately in all facets except accounting.
There was no roadmap about the client base, top strategic accounts, account assignment, forecasting or pipeline management. There was no research or documentation in place for the ‘target’ audience for either company individually or combined.
Their desire to expand geographically and become more of an ‘industrial constructor’ was limited due to their lack of a clear directive for industry segment and geographic area focus, as well as a sales process and trained personnel.
They had subject matter expert engineers on the front lines selling, with no experience on how to position, present or align with their target audience. There was no CRM and no way for leadership to understand there may be gaps. They lacked a unified approach and education for enterprise account development, and there was no clear reporting in place to provide metrics for proper planning and budgeting.
The project began with a full confidential employee survey to gain understanding of each of the leaders’ knowledge base in order to understand the breadth and depth of the work needed to take place.
Phase I: Build the Basics
- Research was completed, and for each of the operating divisions, the market segments and target audience was defined.
- Descriptions were created of the ideal customer(s) profile (per industry) and defined differentiators for each channel was documented.
- A defined sales cycle for every service and every channel was created, along with a playbook outlining the average deal size per service and market segment.
Phase II: Build the Cohesive Brand
- A financial analysis provided the knowledge that the food & beverage industry would be the most impactful direction for the combined company to focus. This focus would include the industrial and refrigeration business expertise they had just acquired.
- Quantitative market research was provided for the food & beverage industry to solidify the direction and specific segment focus.
- The two company brands were brought together in general creative marketing materials. A cohesive business proposition and message were created that both of the company’s employees could embrace and utilize in targeting the food & beverage market.
Phase III: Build the Team and the Geography
- An analysis of the cost of new customer acquisition versus existing customer expansion was provided to leadership to solidify the work being done with key large accounts.
- Revenue goals were set up for all channel segments, with combined goals for the ammonia refrigeration division, and a process to document all opportunities and projects was implemented.
- Enterprise accounts were researched and mapped out to create a top 20 list identifying the lowest hanging fruit, and to create clear account teams and assignments. Training and tips were also created to drive an ongoing cadence of regular meetings and reporting for leadership.
- Geographic research for expansion included: cost of goods, transportation, workforce agility and current client mix. These were the top areas that we ensured would not cause hurdles for expansion. We outlined an expansion plan into the state of Iowa where the company had yet to establish strong roots.
Business initiatives became crystal clear for leadership since they now had a deeper visibility into all areas of the company. The practice of understanding who they were to the market, who they served and how they could be different created a stronger and more sustainable position for the company.
The internal enterprise account teams learned to manage key accounts with critical care. This led to solidifying their client loyalty and they were able to not only increase their revenue through client expansion, but they also increased their testimonials and referral.
Due to the increased visibility, their accountability was front and center which quickly established a healthy pipeline. The regular cadence of accountability dramatically increased the close/win ratio on substantial projects over the 6-8 month period. They were able to attain a monthly $10mil close/win ratio over the 6 operating divisions. They quickly learned the actual length of the sales cycle in each of the business segments so they could adjust their efforts accordingly across the segments. The top 20 strategic accounts were clearly identified with annual and lifetime values, and the increase in millions of dollars of new revenue from those accounts solidified the work to continue on all fronts.
The Iowa expansion was rolled out successfully, with very specific initiatives so the company could realize projects in the first 6 months that aligned with their overall efforts to combine the construction and the ammonia refrigeration brands.
The overall engagement drove a clear and accurate forecasting model that allowed for specific budgeting to be allocated for M&A and other capital expenditures to go forward.
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