After twenty years, the American Payroll Association needed a fresh approach to sales…and increased their sales 11% with Write2Market’s unique approach.
After years of continued growth, advertising sales for the 22,000-member American Payroll Association (APA) were at a plateau. Recent mergers among payroll software and service providers created a smaller pool of prospective advertisers for the APA to attract. In addition, a slow economy was forcing many companies to cut back on their marketing and advertising budgets, leaving less money to invest with the APA. APA’s Senior Director Eileen Gaughran, in charge of several departments including sales, was faced with a very specific challenge.
How could APA capitalize on a terrific traffic record and encourage the existing sales team to new heights?
- Interfacing with a cumbersome database drained staff time from pure sales efforts.
- Salespeople were spending extensive effort composing custom emails, proposals, and quotations for prospects.
- Many on the sales staff felt that with their paperwork burdens, they didn’t have time to truly cultivate existing relationships and develop new ones.
- Increase sales over last year by at least 10%.
- Improve morale for the sales team.
- Give the sales team a few more hours a week to develop relationships by automating some of their most time-intensive tasks.
Write2Market studied the sales process and determined that composing pitch letters, emails, and proposals for distinct products was a disproportionate investment of time for the APA sales staff. Write2Market wrote specific sales letters and emails for each product line the APA presented that year–over 70 unique sales templates in all. To make it easy to use these templates, they were delivered in a “sales dashboard” Web-based environment so they could be downloaded as needed. Training and background material was included in the dashboard so each salesperson was able to self-direct how they used the suite of sales support materials.
- Sales people reported their workload decreased by several hours a week because they no longer had to draft original emails and sales letters for each product.
- Morale increased significantly–in fact, another department saw the templates and sales letters used in the department and requested their own.
- Advertising sales in the APA’s flagship magazine are up 11% so far this year, and banner ad sales in its sister e-magazine are up 27%.
Gaughran notes that the more streamlined approach and professionally written marketing materials supplied by Write2Market have contributed significantly to this success. She points out that other APA efforts, such as improvements to workflow within the department, as well as achieving a qualified circulation audit by BPA International in 2006, also played an important part in APA’s sales success.