- Companies without an outbound marketing strategy put greater pressure on their sales reps, who should be focusing on closing sales instead of researching and prospecting.
- Trying to create an outbound strategy from scratch can be time-consuming and complicated. By bringing in lead generation experts, companies can save a lot of time and money.
- When designing outbound messaging, it is important to keep prospective customers’ pain points in mind.
WEX is a leading financial technology service provider that specializes in fuel cards for commercial fleets. Companies provide these cards to their drivers, who use them to purchase fuel at a discounted rate. Driver IDs are entered for every transaction, which enables companies to track spending and prevent fraud.
Founded in 1983, WEX pioneered the fuel card industry. It was responsible for the first-ever fuel card transaction that took place in Portland, Maine. Today, WEX’s fleet cards are used by approximately fourteen million vehicles and are accepted at every major U.S. fuel station. With operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Japan, and Latin America, WEX has matured into a well-recognized worldwide brand and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Story of WEX
As a multi-national company with a market capitalization worth billions of dollars, WEX had a robust and well-funded internal sales team. WEX’s marketing team was skilled at inbound marketing, using multiple marketing channels, such as direct mail, paid search results, and organic web traffic, to drive leads to the inbound sales team.
These leads, however, weren’t passed on to the field sales representatives, who were responsible for researching, prospecting, and building their pipelines. As WEX was looking to increase sales of its Chevron and Texaco fuel card, it wanted to develop an outbound marketing strategy that actively booked qualified appointments for WEX’s field sales representatives.
It was a simple online search that led WEX to CIENCE. It looked into several different lead generation companies yet CIENCE stood out from the competition. LinkedIn and Medium posts demonstrated that CIENCE had strong social media skillsets. Furthermore, CIENCE clearly had a well-established track record of successfully orchestrated outbound campaigns with global companies.
Challenges & Scope
Given that WEX was largely unacquainted with outbound marketing, the company faced a steep learning curve. Trying to create a strategy by itself would be inefficient and time-consuming. Thus, WEX decided to bring CIENCE onboard as an extension of their sales team to manage the top-of-the-funnel activity.
Because WEX did not have an outbound marketing strategy in place, its sales representatives had been responsible for researching and prospecting. No matter how skilled they were at these tasks, this invariably kept them from focusing on closing sales. WEX’s lack of bandwidth here was negatively affecting profit margins.
The decision to create an outbound marketing strategy created a lot of challenges: Building such a strategy from scratch is a tremendously difficult proposition. A lot goes into this process, such as managing copywriting, putting together email templates and phone scripts, and creating a web landing page. These processes are complex and quite different from inbound marketing. WEX realized that it didn’t need to reinvent the wheel and create an outbound strategy from scratch. Instead, it chose to lean on CIENCE’s expertise.
WEX needed a third-party company already versed in outbound outreach to help them create a predictable, repeatable marketing strategy. Determined to learn as much as possible about the process, WEX wanted to work with a partner who could walk them through the campaign and was open to sharing ideas.
Furthermore, because WEX was working with Chevron and Texaco—companies that are incredibly protective of how their brand is used—there were some contractual and legal challenges to manage. WEX needed a partner who understood and could successfully navigate these concerns. CIENCE was sensitive to these concerns, as it has worked with many larger organizations, such as Microsoft, Google, and Uber, and understood the importance of protecting brand reputation.
By partnering with CIENCE to help layer outbound outreach atop its pre-existing inbound marketing strategy, WEX took the first step toward unshackling its sales representatives, allowing them to fully concentrate on converting new customers. This partnership presented a real opportunity for WEX to maximally grow its revenue.
At the start of this campaign, CIENCE spent ten days onboarding WEX. During this time, the companies worked closely together to better understand WEX’s ideal customer profile (ICP). The teams decided that for this campaign, WEX’s ideal customer maintained a fleet of twenty-five or more vehicles.
This is because, as a general rule, the more vehicles there are, the more conscious the fleet manager is of the money spent on fuel. CIENCE knew that these fleet managers would be more receptive to the fuel rebates on offer. It was also decided to focus only on companies based in regions with high concentrations of Chevron and Texaco gas stations.
CIENCE wanted to ensure that its outreach efforts would be as effective as possible. Having defined the ICP, CIENCE then contacted prospective customers in a carefully orchestrated manner.
Based on considerable data research and practical experience, CIENCE discovered an optimal sequence in which to reach out to prospects, involving personalized messaging, social media, and phone calls. The orchestrated outbound approach proved to be incredibly successful and help secure many qualified appointments for WEX.
WEX began working with CIENCE in September 2021. The partnership has already yielded impressive results. Over fifty qualified appointments have been booked for WEX’s sales team, with CIENCE achieving several triple-booking days, a great boost to the campaign.
“The work that they’ve created is awesome,” said Dawn Wiggins, director of commercial fleet sales at WEX. “CIENCE is doing a great job, and we love everything we’re seeing so far. We also appreciate that we have been working with the same team of people throughout the engagement.”
Another important result of the campaign was the amount of valuable data CIENCE was able to collect, allowing WEX to gain greater insights into its market and buyer group. This data could easily prove as valuable as the dozens of qualified sales meetings CIENCE has booked for WEX.
Importantly, CIENCE provided WEX with regular updates of the results that had been achieved, an integral part of the campaign’s success. The team shared daily campaign metrics, such as the number of emails sent, LinkedIn activity, and landing page visits, providing analytical data for review every week. CIENCE’s transparent and regular communication gave WEX’s team greater agility to take action based on these insights.
CIENCE’s partnership with WEX has been remarkably straightforward and extraordinarily successful. “The traction of appointments just made the relationship easier,” said Peter Calcagno, account manager at CIENCE. “Once we started booking sales appointments, it’s been smooth sailing ever since.”
The campaign never required an overhaul in strategy, as sometimes happens, but instead only required only minor refinements. CIENCE managed the contractual and legal challenges with delicacy and skill. “It’s just a really happy story,” said Dave Phillips, campaign strategist at CIENCE. “We never had any moments where we needed to make major revisions.”
WEX’s decision to partner with a lead generation company has been a wise one. CIENCE had the experience and know-how to quickly build a winning outbound marketing strategy for WEX, which has already resulted in dozens of high-quality sales meetings.
Part of the campaign’s success can be attributed to the excellent working relationship which developed between the two companies. WEX has been a great partner, totally committed to the process. “WEX gave us the information we needed to help us do our best job,” said Holly Sauer, sales executive at CIENCE.
Similarly, CIENCE’s efforts to work alongside WEX were appreciated. “Their excellent communication skills and their willingness to learn and collaborate with us have been impressive. Their response to feedback is superior to any third-party vendor I’ve worked with,” said Dawn Wiggins. “On top of that, when they meet with our staff, I see immediate changes in their work.”
Together, they were able to effectively build a strategic plan to win more sales in a fully saturated market. In light of these results, both companies look forward to productively working together on future campaigns.