The company’s decision to forego a traditional sales pitch in lieu of free-flowing conversations already has paid dividends, and company representatives expect it to deliver even more.
Boardroom presentations at the Total Tech Summit allow sponsoring companies the opportunity to connect with integrators in small groups, generally between 15 and 20 people. The approach these companies take during their 35 minutes can make or break the effectiveness of these opportunities.
Representatives from ConnectWise had a game plan heading into their three boardrooms with integrators, particularly those with an audio-visual focus. John Fry, the business development director for the company, had a slide deck ready to go to show guests the benefits of the ConnectWise Sell software, which is its quoting and proposal automation platform. But, instead of heading directly into a one-way presentation, he initiated a conversation with the group.
“I generally kick things off and get a couple topics flowing,” explains Fry. “A lot of times the people in that room, especially if it’s a more intimate setting of 20 or 30 people or less, start throwing ideas back and forth and they start talking about the problems they’re having. So, it becomes a very productive and interactive discussion, which I think helps separate the look and feel of what ConnectWise does at these shows.”
Fry has found this less formal, conversational approach to these meetings often leads to more of a dialogue with the guests, allowing him to learn about the issues plaguing them. Sometimes, the free-flowing format even brings out spur-of-the-moment endorsements.
“Toward the end of the presentation,” recalls CCI Solutions VP of systems integration Duke Dejong, “One of the guys said, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt, but everybody, we just spent $2 million over the last two years developing our own system and we’re idiots. This would have been way better. Buy this.’”
It was a nice show of support from one of the guests, but there were integrators who were able to recognize ConnectWise’s benefits on their own, too. For Master Video Systems, the choice was clear.
“We had looked at many different CRMs and different process management systems, and ConnectWise fit the most for what we do,” says Master Video Systems president and CEO Michael Lawshe. “It is a pre-built business management software that allows us to easily configure it to fit our specific business processes.”
“The main thing was we wanted a cloud-based solution that fit our revenue streams,” adds company vice president Brandon Lawshe. “We had purchased some others, but they presented some challenges for us. ConnectWise is user-friendly, has a very good platform and is the only one that fit our needs of being cloud-based, Mac-friendly and supporting our business processes.”
“I knew we had something special for them with the time they spent in the booth and with the immediate follow-up emails I received from them,” Fry remembers. “They spent their own money to fly to Tampa, Fla. to meet with us for about eight hours over two days. We worked together, and they laid out their entire business process. They brought stacks of paper of all their workflows. We just mapped everything out for them, and they wanted to get things going quickly and expedite the process. It worked out great.”
And, Fry still anticipates even more business to come from the connections he made at the event. He broke down leads into multiple categories allowing him to prioritize those whose interest was more immediate and set himself up to revisit with those who needed more time.
His categories include deals that could close within two to four weeks, deals that were more likely to close within a couple months and deals that needed more long-term nurturing because there is more business process consideration.
But it all was because of those real conversations with the integrators that Fry set himself and ConnectWise up with the potential for such success.