How to Build Relationships When the Buying Power Shifts [Case Study]

Learn what BMC Software did to extend their reach beyond their traditional IT audience.

January 19, 2017

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At a certain point, your sales team has it down pat. You know your audience, you know how to grab their attention, you know how to talk to them, and you know to make a connection. But what happens when you’re not talking to the same audience anymore?

At BMC, we deliver innovative software solutions that enable businesses to transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. And while traditionally that has mostly meant talking to and understanding IT orgs and CIOs, we’re seeing a profound shift lately. More IT purchases are being driven outside of the IT org as business teams and functional heads start to seek digital differentiation. And if you think the same old tactics and messages are going to work on them, think again. You’re telling very different stories to an IT Director or CIO vs. when you’re talking to an HR lead.

This raises a couple of questions: How do we reach beyond our traditional audience? And what do we say to them once we’ve found them?

Reaching a new audience

We all know the traditional way to go about reaching out to prospects. You get lists of names – from events, from your internal marketing org, from a third-party – and then you just cold call. Spray and pray, basically. But we all know how well that works. 3,500 contacts, you’ll get maybe 100 solid connections. Not great. And some you can’t get to whatsoever. For instance, with IT decision-makers in Italy or Germany or Australia or Thailand, there are data and privacy laws that make it hard to reach out to them at all.

So what do you do? We use Sales Navigator to look beyond our usual network, expanding our overall surface area on an account, but in a way that feels more natural or organic. This isn’t some list of names we’ve bought; this is information people are already putting out there about themselves – their industry, their location, their title. With a lot more buying happening in different areas of an organization, our reps need to build relationships with more people than ever. The difference is that with Sales Navigator, we’re able to search through these areas and find exactly the right people who may be interested in the solutions we have to offer.

Saying the right thing

Of course, simply identifying the right audience can only take you so far. An IT org is at least potentially expecting to hear from our team at BMC – the same can’t be said if we’re reaching out to an HR lead, for instance. Our reps now have to build relationships within divisions where they have minimal experience and no existing relationships. And what if we use the same messaging for them as we did for IT? We’ll probably be worse off than cold calling.

So, there needs to be a massive shift in messaging along with the shift in buying power. We’ve made a significant investment over the past couple of years in improving the messaging and content that we have to serve up to those business leaders outside of our usual audience. But Sales Navigator can help with that, too – you can see what your leads are up to, what they’re interested in. You learn what matters to them, and it gives you a more natural, friendly opening. You’re not just talking product – you’re talking to them about their industry, their concerns, and their needs. This approach shows you understand them, and it makes it more likely you’re going to have a better, warmer connection.

At BMC, our Digital Enterprise Management solutions are designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized – from mainframe to mobile to cloud, and beyond. Today, that means going beyond traditional IT and showing what we can do for other parts of the business. Social selling has become a huge part of reaching those other audiences, and tools like Sales Navigator give us the reach and insight we need to make real connections that can lead to strong relationships.


Want to learn how your sales team can reach more prospects and build stronger connections? Get an inside look at how BMC made it happen using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Download the case study.