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SimpliVity Case Study

How SimpliVity crushed it and grew from $0 to $1 Billion+ valuation in less than 2 years

How SimpliVity captured $100 Million in Marketing Funnel Value in their first 7 months

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Profile

  • Campaign Setup Time: Two (2) Days
  • Industry: Technology
  • Products: Hyper-converged computing platforms
  • Average Monthly Leads: 300+
  • Average Monthly Lead Value: $25 Million+
  • Product Price Range: $25,000 to $100,000+
  • Engagement Timeline: From Pre-launch of the Company

 

Business Challenge

SimpliVity was scheduled to launch in the Spring of 2013 in a relatively new “hyper-converged” storage market. It’s hyper-converged products simplify IT management and improve performance of virtual applications. LeadLifter was brought in by the VP of Sales, Rich Shea, to assist with the launch.

Business Capture Strategy

LeadLifter was engaged pre-launch and was given two primary business objectives:

  • Surface and capture as many SimpliVity prospects as possible using EchoQuote
  • Tie-in SimpliVity’s sales representative(s) to follow-up and drive online demonstrations

 

Using Budget Curiosity to Engage Early and Drive Demos

sherpa_slide2_websiteCustomers typically begin planning for IT infrastructure projects months in advance. One key element of planning is gathering ballpark budgetary information (not specific pricing) as early as possible. Unfortunately, many prospects do their own research instead of contacting a sales person.

In fact, according to the Marketing Sherpa B2B Buyer Study, serious prospects deem Budgetary Pricing as the #1 piece of information they need early in the planning process but can rarely find on their own. They resist contacting a sales person because they are not ready to buy.

The prospect’s curiosity about pricing in SimpliVity’s case was enhanced because of the complex nature of the products. Like most high-end technology, prospects had no “baseline” for understanding different offerings and price points.

This meant our EchoQuote™ call-to-action would be extremely attractive for early stage prospects.

Finding and Engaging Prospects Without Giving Away Pricing

B2B clients are very careful about disclosing their pricing for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, partner relationships, different sales channels, geographical location, named accounts, volume discounts, etc.

SimpliVity decided to use EchoQuote™ in the “Approval Required” mode which meant it would operate as a “middleman” for inbound quote requests. In this mode, the customer is never shown pricing until a sales person approves the request and a quote is sent via email. Think of it as a “shopping cart with no pricing”.

EchoQuote_middleman_manual

Since responding to the prospect’s request quickly is of the utmost importance, LeadLifter personnel actually handled the inbound requests on behalf of SimpliVity (this is not always requested by the client). Our inside sales team qualified inbound prospects via online searches (google, LinkedIn, etc.) to make sure the requester was 1) a valid potential end-user or partner and 2) not a competitor.

If the requester checked out, a no-obligation, budgetary estimate (no firmed fixed pricing) was sent building trust with the potential customer. The estimate and email were carefully designed (our secret sauce) to ensure it could not cause any conflict with existing deals and/or partner relationships. The sales team would be notified and would follow-up immediately to open the discussion, qualify the prospect further and schedule a demo.

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Implementation

Approximately one month before the initial company launch, LeadLifter personnel consulted with SimpliVity’s marketing and sales teams. LeadLifter personnel then:

  • Setup and configured the EchoQuote™ tool based on the flagship product; the Omnicube CN-3000 (approx. 1 day)
  • Provided a mock-up of recommended website enhancements (see below) to launch the EchoQuote™ tool
  • Coordinated with the VP of Marketing to design the lead flow into the Marketing Automation and CRM systems (1 hour)
  • Coordinated with the VP of Sales to map the sales follow-up process to include the field sales representatives (1 hour)

 

Website enhancements

There were only 2 website enhancements made to SimpliVity.com. The first was the creation of a “Pricing” page to launch the EchoQuote system. The recommended strategy was to provide both a Self-Service option (via EchoQuote™) and a Full-Service Contact Sales option. This dual-offer method has been proven to maximize conversion efficiency.

 

New Pricing Page

Here is the original Pricing Page mock-up for SimpliVity. Note how the language encourages and compels the end-user to select at least one of the engagement options.

simplivity-pricing-highlighted

 

Feeder Links Driving Traffic to the Pricing Page

The second enhancement was to create “Feeder” links through the website and blog to drive interested prospects to the Pricng page. Note in the following picture the Pricing tab in the upper part of the screen. This was a sticky link that showed on every page and linked directly to the Pricing page.

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The choice of just using the word Pricing (versus many variations like “Request Pricing”, “Request a Quote”, etc) was because the single word is a much stronger call-to-action. It compels visitors to go to the Pricing page to see what is there.

Lead Count Results

The EchoQuote™ lead count results are shown in the following diagram from the first day of the company launch. April was the first full month with the website enhancements in place. Activity increased consistently with 2 events spiking lead conversions. First, in July, an email blast was sent with a call-to-action about the new EchoQuote tool as an offer in the email. Secondly, SimpliVity was formally unveiled in early September at VMWorld and received quite a bit of press attention.

 

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Highlights

  • 1,000 Marketing Qualified leads were captured from inbound traffic in 6 months
  • The captured leads were closing at a rate of 9%
  • EchoQuote™ has the highest ROI of any marketing campaign

 

Marketing Funnel Value based on MQLs at List Price

In addition to the quantity of leads being captured, another interesting measure was the VALUE of the requests. Since EchoQuote™ uses a company’s actual products and their MSRP price, it is fairly easy to gauge a rough marketing funnel number.

The chart below shows a summary of the actual EchoQuote requests and their associated List Price values. Of course, this does not correlate directly to closed deals but gives a good indication of how and why SimpliVity grew so quickly using this lead generation method.

statimage_simplivity_mqleads
Highlights

  • $100 Million in marketing funnel value was captured from inbound traffic in 7 months
  • The monthly average marketing funnel value was approximately $12 Million
  • Both new and existing customers used EchoQuote™ extensively to plan their new projects

Summary

SimpliVity is an American success story about one of the fastest growing IT companies in history. With an innovative product and aggressive marketing, SimpliVity was able to grow from $0 to a $1 Billion valuation in less than two years. We believe one of the core reasons behind SimpliVity’s dramatic success was the use of EchoQuote™ to ramp up the quantity and quality of initial sales opportunities.