Global hardware maintenance provider supercharges sales team with relationship selling
When Park Place Technologies expanded its hardware maintenance business globally, business boomed, deals got larger and more complex, and its internal systems were challenged. The company used Microsoft Dynamics 365 to prepare for the future with modular sales, marketing, and financial tools. Using Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Park Place Technologies salespeople shortcut their sales efforts with relationship selling and, soon, high-touch, personalized engagement at scale.
If you own datacenters filled with hundreds or thousands of servers, you want to extend that capital investment for as long as possible. Server original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) want you to upgrade every three years, conveniently timed to their warranty expirations. But if you can get a few extra years out of your investment, you can save millions of dollars.
Park Place Technologies can make that happen. Since 1991, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company has provided post-warranty storage, server, and networking hardware maintenance for government agencies, businesses, universities, and other owners of enterprise datacenters.
Too many manual sales processes
The post-warranty maintenance business is good—so good that in 2016, Park Place Technologies faced a pressing need to modernize its core business systems to keep up. Its aging applications couldn’t handle the complex transactions that transpired after the company expanded into international markets and began a spate of acquisitions.
Further, salespeople turned to social media sites such as LinkedIn to enrich prospecting, but they still had to copy and paste data about these online interactions into sales systems. “Our salespeople were frustrated, and our growth was on the line,” says Jennifer Deutsch, Chief Marketing Officer at Park Place Technologies. “When we went global, we went head-to-head with big international OEMs, and we were under tremendous pressure to compete effectively. Our systems were unable to keep up with our pace of growth. We needed to do something fast.”
One seamless process, from lead to loyalty
Deutsch worked with Chris Adams, President and Chief Operating Officer at Park Place Technologies, to identify a new integrated software suite that would manage customer data from lead handling all the way to customer service.
They chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 over Salesforce, Oracle NetSuite, and Oracle ERP Cloud. “We felt that Dynamics 365 had a more complete feature set, with modular business apps that we could turn on gradually as our business evolves and grows at a rapid pace. It was the best solution to future-proof our company,” says Adams. The company is deploying Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
A supercharged sales force
Park Place Technologies is particularly interested in rolling out the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, which combines Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Salespeople can engage in relationship selling by seeing complete relationship data inside Dynamics 365—an individual’s LinkedIn profile, news, connections, activities. This gives the sales team a comprehensive view of the prospect: professional interests, professional network, and previous interactions between Park Place Technologies and the prospect’s company—all of this right in the CRM where they work. Relationship selling makes it easier to personalize engagement with contacts, prioritize the right connections, and know next steps to move the relationship forward.
Deutsch is excited about the potential and is working with partner NuSoft Solutions to take full advantage of Relationship Sales. “By using a Microsoft and LinkedIn solution, we can supercharge and empower our sales team and shorten the sales cycle,” she says. “Our salespeople will become more knowledgeable and powerful in a shorter amount of time.”
That will lead to a lower cost per call and higher close rates. Already, the company’s ability to tie leads to marketing efforts has skyrocketed because it can now link inbound calls to specific marketing campaigns. Salespeople can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to learn more about these inbound callers before contacting them.
“Our new sales hires are part of the LinkedIn generation,” says Adams. “They expect to have access to social media information in their business tools, and that’s what they get with the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution. Instead of switching between Outlook, Dynamics, and LinkedIn all day, they stay in one application and get everything they need.”
More innovations to sell smarter
There are even more groundbreaking efficiencies on the horizon for Park Place Technologies. The company is using Microsoft services to enhance sales efforts with bots and other automation technologies. The Relationship Insights feature in Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights helps sales teams find critical opportunities, manage email communications, identify actionable email messages, and determine next steps to maintain relationship health.
“We’re getting to the future faster by working with Microsoft,” Deutsch says. “We’ll be able to create a category-killer offering that delivers unprecedented uptime for our customers and puts us leagues ahead of the competition.“
This Q&A with Park Place Technologies leaders highlights the company’s approach to using technology to help build meaningful sales relationships.
By using a Microsoft and LinkedIn solution, we can supercharge and empower our sales team and shorten the sales cycle.