How could Adobe Systems significantly increase the sales of support contracts when most of its customers were unaware that these programs existed?
Adobe Systems, one of the world’s largest PC software companies, had achieved a very high penetration rate among creative professionals for their industry-standard design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Due to this, it was increasingly difficult for Adobe to maintain the consistent revenue growth they were looking for as a company.
One area that Adobe identified to help fuel this additional growth was the sales of support contracts. However, this was a place that Adobe hadn’t really concentrated on in the past and most Adobe customers were unaware that these programs existed.
Real Marketing Solutions partners participated in the development of a new set of support offerings – Adobe Expert Support. Then they helped build and implement a customer communication strategy designed to raise awareness for the support plans. In addition to email marketing and updates to the Adobe.com web site, this included the creation and delivery of sales training for telesales, customer service and technical support that allowed the agents to make the most of the sales opportunities they were presented with.
Step One: Determining Customer Needs
Adobe surveyed its customer base in order to learn more about the support needs of the creative pro community. Based on those findings they made extended days and hours, priority queuing and unlimited access to Adobe product experts for how-to help the cornerstones of the new support programs.
Step Two: Raising Awareness
Getting the word out about Adobe’s new Expert Support programs came next. This was accomplished through a combination of email, direct mail, online marketing and changes to Adobe.com that were designed to make the new support plans more visible. Then Real Marketing Solutions partners began working with Adobe’s call center personnel to make sure they were able to take advantage of the activity generated by these marketing efforts.
Step Three: Making the Most of Sales Opportunities
Customers calling for technical support (“Point of Pain”) were targeted first. From entitlement through issue resolution, Adobe’s customers were informed about the availability and benefits of the new Adobe Expert Support plans. From greeting to close, a call flow was outlined that would allow the agents to build rapport with the customer, analyze the customer’s needs, provide a solution and ask for the order. The program was further expanded to include customer service where customers where calling to purchase Adobe software. These agents used the same approach to upsell support plans to product sales.
Over the course of the last year, the size of the support contract customer base has more than tripled and Adobe is now selling more contracts in two weeks than they used to in an entire quarter.
Adobe Service Product Manager, Timothy Deggendorfer said, “Generating increased support revenue has been a significant focus for us and Real Marketing Solutions partners work in the development, roll-out and sales of our new Adobe Expert Support plans has been invaluable.”