Courtney Eckerle

How SAP Engaged Its Best Customers to the Close of $27 Million

October 28th, 2016

What do you do when optimizing customer engagement means transforming the way an entire organization thinks and functions?

Making a transformational shift in any company is a huge undertaking of thousands of details. In the midst of all of those details, you absolutely cannot forget to ensure that everyone, company-wide, is on the same page and focused on a unified value proposition.

When I spoke with Eric Martin, Vice President of Marketing, North America, SAP, the company had just undergone a transformation to account-based marketing, specifically in North America.

“It was a matter of bringing together a lot of existing marketing resources, and creating some new ones, and focusing them on a sub-segment of customers, a small group, that really you could consider the most strategically important customers,” he said.

Eric and teams across the company worked to put together individualized marketing plans across these accounts, building up the processes that ultimately lead to greater ROI. Goal alignment between primary stakeholders, in this case sales and marketing, was paramount to this process. But most of all, “keeping the customer first and foremost,” he said.

Eric and his team took a few steps in this review:

  1. Review account plan
  2. Look at growth initiatives for individual customers
  3. Ask customer how they’re using technology to meet those growth initiatives
  4. Align SAP resources around helping customers meet those goals

“The transformation has been fairly dramatic … to the extent that we’ve expanded the program and we’ve looked at it on a global scale as well,” Eric said.

After shifting significant portions of the organization’s spend and resources to increase customer engagement, Eric and his team ultimately generating $27 million in new pipeline creation and $57 million in progressed pipeline in 2014.

The best part of this transformation?

“We didn’t require additional resources. These were resources that already existed and were doing essentially some good marketing activity already, and it was a matter of aligning them, focusing them, having one goal for all of these marketing resources in support of individualized objectives at an account,” Eric concluded.

See Eric’s full presentation from MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, and visit this year’s page to see SAP speak on-stage at Summit 2017.

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Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

With a focus on aspirational, customer-first marketing, Courtney’s goal has been to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. This has included writing over 300 case studies, moderating live event interviews, and producing video content. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and was a correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS Institute.

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