Tripling Growth Over 8 Years
“….Results [are] insightful, surprising and actionable…. And she has this group of people that have these specific skills to perform the very specific tasks we need done.”
In 2008, Electric Guard Dog, the market leader in electric security fences in the U.S., was acquired by new investors with the expectation of rapid growth. A crisis emerged the day before CEO Jack DeMao arrived. “We lost our largest national customer,” Jack recalls.
A quick fix with a call center didn’t produce the hoped for result.
Jack explains, “I immediately visited all the top national accounts to determine what their needs were. But there was no way I could get to thousands of small accounts and I needed to check if their interests were different from my national customers.” Having known Anne Mayfield as a fellow alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Jack contacted her. “I asked Anne to quickly do a survey of my smaller accounts.”
Mayfield Consulting’s market research team got to work, utilizing the company’s signature open-ended question technique. Anne performed the analysis on the data they unearthed and talked to Jack. “I found her easy to understand and she understood me.”
The results were insightful, surprising and actionable, and the information could not have been identified in an online “check the box” survey.
- New Branding and Messaging
- CRM and Marketing Automation Tools to Measure Results
- Hiring Outside Sales Representatives & Structured Sales Process
- Press, PR, and Content Marketing
DeMao opted for all proposed solutions and to have Mayfield Consulting assist with the implementation:
Branding & Messaging
While the company’s “7000 teeth and no conscience” motto and snarling shepherd evoked a positive emotional response from small business owners suffering from relentless theft, enthusiasm turned out to be inversely proportional with the size of the customer. The bigger the company, the more problematic the branding became, as legal departments fretted about liability.
It was time for new branding. The same research study provided the strongest motivating factors for their vertical markets: a full 95% of EGD customers cited “No external theft after installation.” “We became the #1 Theft Deterrent Service™” Jack explains, “And messaging about how “safe and effective” our technology is helped to answer liability concerns.”
Mayfield Consulting rewrote the EGD website content to reflect the new branding and messaging, as well as the content on all existing print materials.
CRM & Marketing Automation Tools
Jack explains, “The first time Anne and I talked, she asked me for all this data. But very little of it existed at Electric Guard Dog when I got there. I knew I needed SFDC, but I needed help implementing it. EGD is a missionary sale – many of our prospects are not even aware electric security fences are available as an option. So, our sales cycle is very long, and our core customers are very specific: they store valuables outdoors. Those aren’t the easiest things to define in SFDC to ensure it’s actually useful on the level I want it to be.”
Katie Carswell, Senior Project Manager at Mayfield, was brought in to define the customers and the process, and customize SFDC and define metrics and reports so EGD’s sales team and management could operate in concert. Katie’s customization had the added benefit of allowing Katie to review longstanding SOP procedures at Electric Guard Dog.
Jack recalls, “In the very early days, we would send an installation technician to the site of a new customer to do a very precise drawing of the site: identify exact square footage and what was required so there would be no waste. Katie was able to show us from the data that what we were gaining in savings was insignificant compared to the cost. She organized and implemented a new system utilizing Google Earth so measurements could be done remotely.”
“Katie would work with me on the weekends and I really appreciated that. Many times, some of the more intricate work is accomplished much more efficiently on the weekends, when I don’t have lots of people interrupting me. I found that if I had plenty of Diet Cokes on hand, she would work forever.” Jack reflects with a hint of remorse, “I think she’s given up the Diet Cokes now.”
Hubspot was added several years later and incorporated into the SFDC contact base, so all content and other marketing efforts by Mayfield, as well as other parties, could be initiated, measured and analyzed together.
Jack recounts, “Katie and I customized SFDC and drove proper implementation amongst the team. The latest thing we have done is add Ideal Customer Profile scoring. We have identified the characteristics of our ideal customer and, using Hubspot, we can score every lead and opportunity in our funnel: scores for target markets, geographic concentration, etc. This helps us work on the top opportunities, those most likely to close.”
Outside Sales Representatives & Structured Sales Process
Having set up SFDC, it was time to populate the database. Anne Mayfield and Katie Carswell proposed hiring an Outside Sales Team to compliment the Inside Sales solution EGD already had. An outside sales team could raise awareness and aggressively reach out to businesses that had been victims of theft, as well as those in close proximity. It would have the added benefit of being able to assist enterprise and national customers on a regular basis.
Jack expains, “Our customers are high value targets for theft. If they are hit, they tend to be hit again within weeks, so our customers frequently make immediate investments in additional security. More businesses needed to be aware our deterrence solution exists before they are robbed, so they won’t make the mistake of immediately investing in additional cameras and alarms, solutions which hadn’t prevented the theft in the first place.”
DeMao hired an initial team of six regional outside sales representatives, while Mayfield Consulting used the market research to devise a Sales Playbook and a structured sales process for all the new reps to follow, devised maps and cluster data, as well as sales coaching, training and data management.
“Katie structured a BBS call format with 4 attempts before letting the lead go dormant. My new staff reacted very positively to her structure and her training. She’s easy to work with, clear in her direction, knows her stuff, and her follow through is fantastic. They really liked working with her, and I liked that she’s not a pushover. She gave me hints when someone was going in the wrong direction so I could correct it.”
Press, PR & Content Marketing
Mayfield Consulting also proposed a publicity campaign to build brand awareness that included press, traditional marketing materials, online marketing materials and pursuing industry awards to raise brand awareness.
DeMao recounts, “We’d made a heady investment in expanding our sales resources and that left a very modest marketing budget for a brand that was relatively unknown. But Kathleen Hannon [Senior Communications Consultant at Mayfield] made persistence pay off. She’s managed to obtain a number of features and editorials, and convinced us to be at the forefront of our industry in terms of adopting social media platforms. We’ve built up a great library together.”
The first content for traditional media appeared in 2011 and in 2012. Hannon convinced DeMao to expand into social media. Blogs, case studies and white papers soon followed.
“The ‘Lifting LaTour’ series she proposed was a real Tour de Force,” DeMao acknowledges. “So was the ‘Junkyard Planet’ double feature on opening day of ISRI. ‘The Security Guy’ radio show was great too. Major amounts of readership.”
Hannon also proposed adopting a number of measures that not only assisted with publicity, but with recruiting and company culture as well. “Kathleen introduced me to Glassdoor when I wanted more resources for recruiting and encouraged me to maximize our presence there. I did that, and we've since discovered Glassdoor is not only a way to communicate with new recruits, but also employees. It offers our employees a way to communicate directly with management and let us know what their concerns are. We just recently achieved Open Company status there. She also proposed a corporate leadership program supporting non-profits and that’s really taken off with my staff.”
Mayfield Consulting also occasionally assisted with public relations challenges produced by compliance campaigns, competitors, as well as frequently assisted with award applications.
The partnership with Mayfield Consulting has assisted in:
- Tripling growth over a period of eight years
- EGD attaining ‘Honor Roll’ status on the Inc. List 5000 after being named to it for 5 years
- EGD being named Dealer of the Year 2016 in a leading trade journal
- DeMao being named a Finalist for EY’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2016
- EGD rising 7 rankings on the SDM 100 List of the Top Security Companies in America
- The company selling for an undisclosed high multiple to Snow Phipps in 2016
“We have so many awards now we don’t even have room for them all,” DeMao admits.
“I like the ability to work with Anne on strategic issues. Periodically, she and I stand back and say, ‘What could we do better?’ And she always has ideas grounded in the data. You know, CEOs are sometimes hard to talk to, or hard to get to listen. Anne has an ability to deliver a message that I hear. And she has this group of people that have these specific skills – Katie, Kathleen and others – to perform the very specific tasks we need done.”