Webinars for strengthening relationships and shortening sales cycles

Overview

LINBIT is an established name in the block storage industry, especially with its DRBD system, a renowned distributed replicated storage system for the Linux platform. In addition, the company has developed a range of other products, and our role was to assist in popularising the products and increasing the sales, short and long term.v

LINSTOR, a block storage management software for containers, was LINBIT’s second most popular product. It’s the perfect option for companies of all sizes looking for container management, saving businesses money in various ways – for example, the product is open-source, safer, and simple to use, thus reducing the need for hefty investments in both equipment and personnel.

Although notable partners and clients were using the software, the demand for the product didn’t come close to DRBD. Nevertheless, LINBIT broke an IOPS world record with LINSTOR in 2020. The achievement helped drive the popularity and sales of the product and established substantial marketing leverage for future campaigns.

The Challenge

LINBIT had a range of open-source software products that needed better marketing to contend with the challenging competition in the block storage industry, which was competent, experienced, and financed for digital marketing and advertising. However, the world record aside, LINBIT hadn’t focussed on marketing efforts over the years and needed to increase sales.

The Covid pandemic caused businesses to embrace remote and flexible working. LINBIT planned to use the momentum of the shifting workplace conditions to reach new clients under pressure to perform and transform during the 2020 lockdowns. The last quarter of 2020 was when many organizations pushed to improve their performance and make the best of a challenging year.

LINBIT had a range of products that improved the performance of a business. Our challenge centered around ensuring that our marketing efforts reached the decision-makers who needed the software, increasing sales.

Solution

Navigating the software industry requires good technical skills and education. However, it’s essential to consider that not all clients are engineers, and it’s common to have a non-technical manager or administrator involved in the decision-making process.

Our strategy identified the benefits of directly targeting individuals responsible for the storage needs of their company, being as direct, transparent, and conversational in tone as appropriate. Between 1 and 3 people within a company are usually responsible for the critical decisions for storage software – the head of an IT department, an engineer, and a CEO. In smaller companies, these roles can be performed by a single person.

Pushing through with paid advertising wasn’t something we considered, partly because it is a short-term measure that wouldn’t have brought any lasting effects that LINBIT desired. Instead, our chosen format was a series of online events – several days of webinars and talks explicitly targeted to our clients. During the lockdown period, online discussions have already become the norm. We helped LINBIT capitalise on the trend to allow prospective clients to better understand LINSTOR through a series of demos, presentations, and Q&A sessions – all live and with the names and faces of the people who built LINSTOR.

Even in the B2B sphere, the personal approach is fundamental. When everyone was isolated, online communication brought people together, and our product was also a solution for companies in dire need of change.

Project management

Running a multi-channel marketing operation demands proper strategy, execution, and coordination while also remaining flexible. It requires looking at the big picture while at the same time keeping your eye on the details. Communication within all the different teams – marketing, creative, and sales is vital to achieving such balance.

Using data, we calculated realistic objectives for each team member and scouted for potential issues or difficulties with deadlines. We drafted all of the different sections of the campaign – web, social, and PPC – in advance within a master plan. In such cases, even a slight delay can cause huge repercussions down the line – for example, if the web development takes more time than necessary, all of the other members can only sit and watch. Therefore, good planning and teamwork helped us overcome such obstacles and started the campaign right on time.

Results

We popularised the series of events as LINSTOR DAYS – with six online webinars, including one live Q&A session, scheduled for the end of October. We also included several rewards for those who have registered and attended the event. It provided just enough to encourage people to leave their email and check in to see and learn more.

We used the social media channels of LINBIT for an extensive campaign with posts, news, and videos about the upcoming event more than a month and a half in advance. All of the LINBIT staff were involved in popularising the posts. Our team had also targeted critical points of online communities such as groups for storage and open-source software to promote the event.

We executed about ten different mailing campaigns during the promotion campaign, including collaborations with our partners with 5014 sent emails to prospective clients. Our efforts brought about 305 visitors to the events; the team contacted 61, and 32 deals were successfully closed with a revenue of more than $344,000, of which roughly $100,000 came from new business.

The event also brought a substantial interest towards LINSTOR, and LINBIT is reaping the rewards of having established the event as a regular one in its yearly marketing calendar every six months.

Attendees

305

SQLs

61

Revenue

$304k

New business

$100k

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