Juggling opportunities between inside sales and partners is often a delicate balancing act. Enter The Blitz Clubs. These one to two-day lead generation events bring SAP Inside Sales Executives (ISE) and SAP partners together, allowing them to approach prospects jointly—meaning more sales for everyone.
According to Olivier Thierry, Global Vice President of SAP Indirect Inside Sales Business Development, The Blitz Clubs have drawn over a dozen partners involving more than 50 people, in some countries on a weekly basis. For the first three quarters of 2012, Thierry estimates that SAP Inside Sales has generated approximately €400 million pipeline revenue for its partners, and that Blitz Clubs constituted an important part of this.
When asked about possible sales cannibalization, Thierry emphasizes the mutual rewards of knowledge sharing. “SAP alone cannot touch every customer who would benefit from our solutions. It makes sense to join forces to prepare and make these calls. Our ISEs bring their prospecting and solution experience, while partners have better insights into certain customers and their own solutions. And, with twice the number of people calling prospects, results are higher.”
For Derga Consulting, an SAP partner based in Italy, this translates to 40 to 60 new qualified leads or opportunities per event. Alexander Gallmetzer, Managing Director of Derga, sees The Blitz Clubs as a market demand initiative that delivers tremendous outcomes. Derga Consulting resells SAP Business Suite, analytics, and mobile solutions. Without its own telemarketers, the company hopes the events will support its high volume business. Gallmetzer explains, “Doing The Blitz Clubs quarterly helps fill up our pipeline, sign an average of 25 new customers, and get more aligned with SAP.”
Gallmetzer has been particularly pleased with the three to four-week sales cycles. “If we hold a Blitz Club at the start of the quarter we can bring in that business to improve results in that quarter,” he points out.
Collaboration Pays Off
Derga Consulting recently participated in a two-day Blitz Club held in Barcelona where eight sales reps worked with SAP ISEs to contact prospects for industry solutions including consumer products, analytics, and mobility. Besides immediate leads, Gallmetzer credits the intense engagement between Derga and SAP’s inside sales force providing improvement ideas for future collaboration.
Next Page: Plans for expansion in 2013
Andy Sutton, Sales Director for Edenhouse, an SAP partner based in Birmingham, U.K., agrees, calling the events an opportunity to network with not only SAP ISEs but also other value-added resellers (VARs). He says, “It’s the perfect test platform because you can meet big VARs who are open and collaborative. You achieve a level of intimacy in talking transparently about how tough it is to get a decision made today, what people really think of SAP at the grassroots level, and what we can do together.”
Edenhouse primarily supports UK-based companies in high tech, aerospace and defense, and high performance automotive engineering. It helps customers make the most of their investments in SAP Business Suite, as well as mobile and analytics solutions. Sutton’s team participated in a Blitz Club dubbed “It’s About Time,” held in SAP’s Dublin offices. He explains, “If these small and mid-size companies hadn’t yet considered SAP, it’s about time they did.”
The Team Powers Success for All
Meticulous preparation is foundational to the success of any Blitz Club. SAP helps define the value proposition and target, and puts together the target call lists with quality data. Prizes and rewards add to the excitement of friendly competition.
“SAP did a brilliant job. They spoke to us in our own language – not in SAP speak – and made the event relevant to what we’re trying to achieve, and that made all the difference,” recounts Sutton. Edenhouse finished first in the target competition, contributing €550,000 towards achieving the event’s €2.5 million pipeline revenue objective.
One of the biggest benefits to partners participating in The Blitz Club is having an SAP ISE on the phone with them. “If you say you’re calling together with SAP it’s different than just calling from Derga. We are the number-one partner in Italy, but the SAP brand is known worldwide and that helps a lot,” confirms Gallmetzer.
The events can also be a force factor for timely follow-up. “We need to make improvements in our follow-up, and with SAP colleagues asking us what happened with all the leads, we always follow-up,” he says.
Thierry says SAP plans to increase Blitz Club events in 2013, expanding them to more up-and-coming partners as well. “The Blitz Club events are an ideal way to help our new Partners get on board fast with effective prospecting and selling.”