Case Study: NexGen Storage
NexGen Storage launched as a new company to pursue rapidly growing hybrid flash market
Based in Louisville, CO, NexGen Storage is a leader in enterprise flash storage innovation. NexGen Storage, was acquired by FusionIO and subsequently FusionIO was acquired by Sandisk. The acquisition strategy was to capture economic value for shareholders as quickly as possible. In addition to integrating FusionIO effectively, the plan was to spin out NexGen Storage as a separate entity. Hybrid storage systems are not part of SanDisk’s strategic focus, and allowed NexGen Storage to capitalize on the opportunities in the dynamic enterprise storage market.
NexGen Storage was therefore officially relaunched as an independent organization. With support from Sandisk, NexGen Storage implemented the systems and processes to operate as a standalone entity and complete a data migration of customers and prospects of the NexGen Storage products.
NexGen Storage provides a new class of hybrid flash storage that helps customers guarantee availability and performance of business-critical applications that have intensive storage I/O demands. These include email, collaboration, ERP, CRM, point-of-sales, collaboration, e-discovery and electronic medical records (EMR).
The storage market moves quickly and in the few years since the initial acquisition by FusionIO the recognition of the NexGen Storage name had diminished significantly. To compete with large corporations like Hewlett Packard, NetApp and EMC, as well as newer entrants like Nimble Storage, Tegile and Tintri, NexGen Storage wanted to rapidly build brand awareness in the marketplace and among prospective customers.
NexGen Storage knew that its product was highly differentiated already and that new features would create a compelling business case for new customers, including those that had already deployed competitive flash storage products.
NexGen Storage needed to generate new demand for its products and create an incremental pipeline of business opportunity as rapidly as possible in order to meet the aggressive growth targets in the business plan. They knew that a sales development function would be critical to achieve these targets and wanted to staff a new team and be fully operational within 1-2 months of the launch date.
Early in the project the Chief Marketing Officer, Chris McCall, challenged the demand generation and sales development teams to reach out to every single contact in the database created in the data migration from FusionIO and Sandisk. All contacts had at some point registered interest in NexGen Storage products in previous last 12-18 months so could be potential prospects today.
Led by the Vice President Global Sales, Tony Craythorne, and with support from CMO Chris McCall and his marketing, demand generation and marketing operations teams, Replystream helped deploy the following solutions.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
The team identified, cleansed and appended key attributes to NexGen Storage existing customer accounts, and the business contacts associated with the selection and buying process. This included relevant stories from the customer base by industry, use-case, technology and a range of other attributes. The ICP provides an empirical understanding of existing customers and the personas that NexGen Storage interacts with during the sales process.
- Launch new company in hyper-competitive flash storage market
- Support marketing branding and demand generation programs
- Build predictable monthly pipeline from launch
- Ramp new-hires in days and help them hit quota in the first month
- Developed Ideal Customer Profile
- Deployed Lead and Activity Management Process
- Launched Conversation Guide
- Leveraged Automated Dialing Technology
- Increase awareness and branding of new organization
- Hundreds of pipeline opportunities accepted by sales
- Reliable Salesforce reporting
- Predictable conversion rates from sales meetings to new pipeline creation
- New sales development staff productive in first month
Data Automation (DA)
With the results of the ICP in-hand, the existing CRM database was classified to determine competitors, partners, existing customers, potential partners and new prospects. The classification also ranked people and organizations against the empirical information that was learned from the ICP. This enabled the database to be segmented and ranked in order to reach high-priority contacts first and
Lead and Activity Management Process (LAMP)
By leveraging basic out-of-box functionality of Salesforce.com to log call attempts, record the outcome of live conversations and then record the appropriate next steps, LAMP ensures that the sales development team reached out to contacts that registered interest in NexGen Storage, and that they followed-up appropriately and in a timely and respectful manner.
When a contact requested immediate assistance, the sales development team schedules a meeting and engages the enterprise sales and technical teams to lead a formal discovery meeting to determine how NexGen Storage products could meet the business and technical requirements of the customer.
The Conversation Guide is a new type of application that is designed for users as they are having real-time conversations, so is highly intuitive and easy-to-use. The Conversation Guide dynamically adjusts the content presented to the user based on the attributes of the person, organization, user-role and the replies received from the person during the real-time conversation. The Conversation Guide logs information in Salesforce.com and can be used to determine appropriate next steps for salespeople, sales engineering, services and marketing operations.
With the new process and tools successfully deployed, B2B dialing technology was introduced to accelerate the number of the conversations that the sales development team were able to have with people who had expressed interest in NexGen Storage. Salesforce.com was the single source of record for all activity and was used to ensure all calls, emails, meetings scheduled, meetings completed and new opportunities were accurately logged and completed.
By synchronizing the sales development team with a first-quarter brand awareness campaign and second-quarter demand generation programs, NexGen Storage was able create a immediate traction in the marketplace and inbound interest in the products.
The project started with a new sales development team of 4 staff, a new Salesforce.com instance and the newly migrated data. In 6 months, the team created hundreds of opportunities accepted by the sales team that resulted in huge pipeline growth.
In addition, the Conversation Guide has allowed NexGen Storage to capture critical information about the marketplace, incumbent vendors, top competitors, the timing of storage refresh projects and budgeting process. This is being used to determine next steps for salespeople and is the basis for new nurturing programs being created using the marketing automation system.