I can see how many proposals have been uploaded … and how many presentations we’ve shown on a daily basis, So, when I have less insight into where we might end the month, having the activity data helps me paint a picture of what’s really going on.
Ensuring clients can make meaningful connections with readers
The Economist maintains a global salesforce of 50 professionals who work closely with a lean marketing team. “Our marketing team is one of our most important partners in the sales process,” says Valerie Williamson, vice president of business development and integrated media solutions for The Economist. “They are the idea generators [who] help us deliver some strong proposals back to our clients.”
“We are really a sales and marketing organization,” explains Suzanne Hopkins, vice president of client strategy for The Economist. “We put a lot of time and effort into crafting proposals and presentations.”
However, having clear insight into whether those well-crafted materials were actually resonating with the publication’s audience, and being able to refine strategies quickly based on audience interest, were challenges for The Economist’s sales and marketing organization — until they started using Bigtincan Engagement Hub.
We are really a sales and marketing organization. We put a lot of time and effort into crafting proposals and presentations.
Real-time visibility into how the audience interacts with content
Williamson notes that it is impossible for The Economist’s small marketing team to be on every proposal call or involved in every sales pitch. But she says the “feedback loop” that Bigtincan provides gives the marketing team immediate insight into how clients are engaging with content.
“My big ‘aha’ moment as a Bigtincan user was when I sent out my first proposal,” Williamson says. “I got the email alert that said, ‘This has been opened.’ It’s like wow, that’s amazing. I just sent this five minutes ago and it’s already been opened and [the client is] really focusing on slides 5, 10, and 11. That allowed me to pick up the phone and call the client and say, ‘Is there anything I can help you with as I walk you through this?’”
Hopkins adds that Engagement Hub also helps ensure that every professional working in sales or marketing for The Economist has access to the content and strategies that are most effective at engaging customers. “Having some visibility into what [customers] are interested in, or when they’re showing interest so we can follow up, has been a real advantage,” she says.
More accurate sales forecasts, more sharing of best practices.
David Kaye, chief revenue officer for The Economist, says using Engagement Hub to track sales activity is helping him deliver more accurate sales forecasts – even when he’s lacking insight from other sources.
The analytics from Engagement Hub are also proving to be a valuable tool for driving improvement in The Economist’s sales team, according to Kaye. For example, if “Rep A” is experiencing much better open rates and engagement statistics with the material he or she is sending out, Kaye says he will encourage Rep A to share best practices with “Rep B” so that person can improve.
Engagement Hub is also enhancing the overall effectiveness of the sales and marketing teams by preventing them from wasting time — including clients’ time. “Anything we can do to remove unnecessary work on the salesperson or marketing professional, and create an ease of use for the client, is of great business value and benefit,” says Williamson. “Bigtincan is a great solution and I highly recommend it.”