EBQ’s Appointment Setting and Sales Departments drove significant pipeline growth for FirstClose.
The situation FirstClose found themselves in prior to becoming an EBQ customer is a common one. The company had recently hired a group of sales representatives with the goal of closing new business while simultaneously building a robust sales pipeline to supplement the company’s wide range of sales initiatives.
However, after several months, it became apparent that lead generation was not their new sales reps’ strong suit. “We weren’t getting the bang for the buck, so to speak,” recalled FirstClose’s Chief Revenue Officer Tim Smith. “Without decent lead gen, the pipeline doesn’t grow and we had to fix that.” This lack of pipeline growth was especially troubling given the company’s somewhat long sales cycle. FirstClose needed a bench of potential future deals in order to generate signiﬁcant long-term revenue.
FirstClose had never tried to outsource operational needs before, so initially the idea wasn’t considered to be a viable option. “At first,” Mr. Smith said, “we planned to just hire new reps like we had before.” Luckily, a well-timed email from EBQ introduced the idea that outsourcing could be the answer.
The FirstClose executive team, also located in Austin, met with EBQ including the individual who would eventually serve as one of their dedicated resources. They felt the relationship was a ﬁt and decided to bring an EBQ Lead Generation team onboard with the goal of setting more meetings for their reps and growing their sales pipeline. EBQ consistently hit their lead targets and over time this created a need for even more FirstClose sales reps in order to keep up with the new inﬂux of opportunities.
As a result of the success in the lead gen realm, FirstClose again decided to go the outsourcing route, increasing their EBQ investment to include both a sales and marketing department. Despite being a third-party vendor, EBQ effectively became a fully functioning branch of the FirstClose sales division and eventually diversiﬁed to include other product offerings under First Lender’s Data, Inc.
As a direct result of EBQ’s efforts, FirstClose saw dramatic results with regards to their pipeline which exploded with over one hundred new opportunities within just a few short months. At the same time, FirstClose’s EBQ sales team focused on ﬁelding the barrage of incoming meetings from the lead generators and nurturing them all the way to close. And on the marketing side, EBQ worked to draft press releases, create marketing content and administrate & execute the FirstClose Pardot marketing automation account – providing a foundation of marketing support for the sales engine.
For FirstClose, a company that had never considered outsourcing before, this was nothing short of a sea change and proved to be an effective way to augment and expand their existing sales efforts quickly and efficiently. At one point, the EBQ project manager for the FirstClose sales department was promoted, resulting in a new manager taking over. Thanks to EBQ’s “department experience” approach, this change occurred seamlessly with the new manager stepping in without the need for additional training and with no momentum lost, something that would be impossible if FirstClose were forced to hire internally.
Looking ahead, Mr. Smith had this to say: “We forsee this being an ongoing, long-term relationship. The future looks bright.”
We’d never tried outsourcing when we decided to go with EBQ, but they have fundamentally changed the way we do business. We foresee this being an ongoing, long-term relationship. The future looks bright.