“Elkem went from 6% conversion for inbound leads to 10%, which was their goal and high for their industry. “Low-intent leads, that were not worth a follow-up before, are now engaged at scale and with persistency”.”
Quentin CLAIR, Head of Digital Marketing – Elkem
A well-established raw and advanced materials company, Elkem was founded more than 100 years ago and enjoys an extensive customer base spanning markets across the globe. But with over 7000+ leads a year, and an overwhelmed sales team struggling to differentiate between unknown intent and promising inbound leads while balancing attention to existing clients, the company needed a way to take the burden off sales without losing out on new opportunities.
Elkem was able to qualify 700+ initially engaged leads, creating some 70 opportunities worth more than 1 Million Euros in revenue for the company, via Exceed.AI’s lead qualifying solution.
Here’s how it happened.
The Challenge: Qualifying thousands of leads based on intent
Quentin Clair, Head of Digital Marketing at Elkem, was looking for a way to help align sales and marketing teams after low conversion rates for inbound leads. As the sales team primarily focused on demand generation among existing customers, the marketing team’s hundreds of new, unknown intent inbound leads were viewed by sales as cluttering their CRM.
“Our sales reps kept saying they were polluted by a lot of leads that actually weren’t leads,” Quentin said. With no way to filter and understand the leads’ intent or how relevant they actually were, marketing and sales clashed around the best way to manage the new leads.
Lead nurturing also posed a major challenge, as Elkem’s marketing automation solution (Pardot) capabilities like all Marketing Automation tools are incapable of conducting two-way conversations, and can not reply to a potential lead inquiry, understand and analyze the comment, and recommend an appropriate next step based on that information.
Teams had to sift through both high and low-intent leads and manually decide whether or not it was worth their time to engage in follow-up, a tedious and time-consuming process that left their CRMs and inboxes cluttered.
Elkem looked into numerous options for lead qualifying and considered using Conversica. But because the company was branching out into automating lead scoring for the first time, it needed a flexible, affordable solution that would be the right choice during this “test and learn” phase, Quentin explained. Exceed.AI’s client-first, competitively priced model made it the best fit for Elkem.
Ready to see Exceed.ai in Action?
The Solution: Exceed.ai’s Automated AI Assistant
“Exceed.AI’s biggest value for Elkem was helping qualify intent and properly score leads,” Quentin said. Pre-written sequences gave Elkem’s sales and marketing reps a valuable template and guidance on what to do with their unknown intent leads. High-intent leads are passed along straight to sales reps, while low or unknown-intent leads are engaged and nurtured via Exceed playbooks.
Exceed.AI’s lead qualifying process “purified the relationship between sales and marketing by removing waste,” Quentin explained. Sales and marketing goals and processes were aligned, which “definitely” helped improve conversion rates and higher closures for sales.
Elkem went from 6% conversion for inbound leads to 10%, which was their goal and high for their industry. “Low-intent leads, that were not worth a follow-up before, are now engaged at scale and with persistency,” Quentin said.
Part of Exceed.AI’s solution is to qualify unknown intent leads with a follow-up query, determining if they are just browsing or have a specific question. This helps clue in sales teams into whether a lead should be handled by them personally or by Exceed.ai.
More than 70 business opportunities, totaling a potential of more than 1 million Euros in revenue, entered the funnel due to Exceed.AI’s nurturing sequences.
Beating the fear around AI automation
Some veteran employees were reluctant to automate the relationship with customers because Elkem’s differentiator among its competitors is their personal touch. But Elkem quickly discovered that most of the customers engaged by Exceed believed they were interacting with a real person, and “even asked the bot if she had a good weekend,” Quentin said with a laugh.
Elkem’s experience with Exceded.Ai has been “quite successful because we can automate things while keeping a personal touch,” Quentin said. By streamlining the scoring and qualifying process, sales teams were freed up to do what they do best – nurturing and developing strong relationships with high-intent leads and existing clients.
“The “decluttering” around leads helps marketing and sales teams work together in harmony, making priorities and processes clearer and boosting morale, as well as operational efficiency. With everyone on the same page, the path to hitting benchmarks and accomplishing goals is clearer and more understandable to all stakeholders.”
Results: Maximized Conversion Rates and Increased Funnel
- Elkem went from 6% conversion for inbound leads to 10%, which was their goal and high for their industry.
Low-intent leads, that were not worth a follow-up before, are now engaged at scale and with persistency.
- More than 70 business opportunities, totaling a potential of more than 1 million Euros in revenue, entered the funnel due to Exceed.AI’s nurturing sequences.
Elkem Silicones has more than 4,200 employees dedicated to delivering your potential by providing innovative silicone solutions with a personal touch. Elkem Silicones, a division of Elkem, is a global leader in fully integrated silicone manufacturing, operating 14 multi-functional manufacturing sites and 13 Research & Innovation centers around the globe. Elkem Silicones offers a full range of silicone technologies for diverse specialty markets including aerospace, automotive, construction, renewable energy, healthcare, paper coatings, personal care, and textiles. Elkem Silicones is committed to creating new, innovative, and green solutions and business models that promote a sustainable future.
To learn more, please visit the Elkem Silicones website.