An American service provider involved in the domestic equipment leasing industry for many years approached The Alta Group about providing strategic market research that would enable the company to target its message and reach more actual decision makers. Results from a double-blind survey conducted by Alta consultants opened this provider’s eyes to a fresh and already rewarding approach to expanding business.

Situation

The service provider was concerned about whether it was reaching the right people when making sales calls. They wanted to know if there were any hidden barriers to sales not being realized. Alta was tapped to do deep market research. The objectives included identifying likely sources of business, and providing direction for new messaging that would help grow their business.

The project team included two Alta consultants who had actually managed the type of departments in leasing companies that this service provider wanted to reach. The team also had access to the decision makers because of the team members’ past roles in major companies and within the industry’s leadership.

The team met with the client for discovery, and to review current marketing materials. They also examined the client’s sales list and discussed who might be the most likely targets.

Alta and its client developed a master list of 33 companies and then divided it into two tiers. They personally reached 19 of the 20 contacts on what was deemed their “A list,” or the most likely people to have interest in the service. The goal was to talk to 10–15 executives to gain a firm understanding of the acceptance levels.

Solution

A major finding for this client was learning that acceptance of their service was higher than the client realized and this was encouraging news.

They also learned how their target companies interact with third parties, and how they were structured, so that they would move forward with a fertile contact list for business development.

“In our research we uncovered who was best to receive sales calls. We also learned about their internal processes, the various responsibilities, and what types of corporate policies might affect the service providers’ sales process,” said Andy Mesches, an Alta consultant who was involved in this project, along with Joe Nachbin. He added, “Our research was presented in a way that was easy to absorb and understand, and the client remarked that the information was valuable and well presented.

“The participants were not known to each other and the responses were not individualized. This was the reason so many company representatives were willing to respond. In addition, we said we would give the participants in our survey a summary of the information. Alta’s positive reputation within the industry and its vast industry database were instrumental in the project success,” said Mesches.

One of our key recommendations was for this provider to become more active in industry trade groups to raise the company’s visibility. They were also advised to adjust market positioning and message.

Success

“We know that we were a catalyst for positive change, because our client has already implemented some of our key recommendations such as becoming more visible and active in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. This provider’s more visible marketing messages are refreshed, and we understand they already have developed new business as well as strong leads,” he added. We believe they can now be more confident in their approach since they know more about their audience, and they are forming new and potentially lasting business relationships within our niche industry.