MarketSharp Builds Customer Sales and Satisfaction With Easy Online Events

People are putting more money into their homes than ever before, and as a result, the home improvement industry is booming. MarketSharp, headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin, offers software and services to help home remodeling businesses acquire customers and improve operations. Today, more than 1,600 remodeling businesses in the United States use MarketSharp as their all-in-one solution for direct marketing, lead tracking and business management.

Challenge: gain qualified leads and educate customers from a distance

Generating qualified customer leads and reaching more prospective customers are tough for most businesses. To gain new prospective customers, MarketSharp salespeople routinely traveled to distant cities to conduct in-person sales seminars. “To have direct interaction with potential customers we had to rent a location, fly there, and conduct a live presentation for the group,” explained Tim Musch, founder and director of business development for MarketSharp. “We’re not in a major metropolitan area, so any time we travel it could be a three-day ordeal for a one-day event. The travel costs and productivity losses were terrible.”

Furthermore, training distant customers on the company’s products was difficult. “Training had been a challenge for us since we started. Customers relied on the manual or paid us to do on-site training,” said Musch. Because on-site training cost as much as $995 per day plus travel expenses, customers opted not to pay for it, and as a result, didn’t utilize the software to its fullest. “Customers were only scratching the surface of the software’s potential because there was no cost-effective way to train them.”

Solution: implementing GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting for online events

MarketSharp now uses GoToWebinar to conduct powerful online sales seminars remotely from the company’s headquarters. GoToWebinar helps the company reach more prospective customers and generate new customer demand because the marketing team can conduct more events without traveling. For customers who purchase its software, the company offers MarketSharp Online University, a readily available and cost-effective way to attend online training classes through GoToWebinar.

“GoToWebinar makes it very efficient for us to get our message out to hundreds of people at once. Our sales efforts are now nationwide.”

- Tim Musch, founder and director of business development, MarketSharp

After each seminar, salespeople deliver personalized online software demonstrations to interested customers using GoToMeeting. Included together on their GoToMeeting Corporate account, GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting provide MarketSharp with a complete collaboration solution for both online events and personalized sales demonstrations.

Reach more customers through online seminars

Through GoToWebinar, MarketSharp extends its geographic reach to find new customers without the costs and lost productivity of travel. “GoToWebinar makes it very efficient for us to get our message out to hundreds of people at once. Our sales efforts are now nationwide,” said Musch. “We now have new opportunities to penetrate market areas that we just haven’t been able to reach.”

Now the marketing and sales teams can do their jobs more efficiently. “GoToWebinar helps us deliver the same seminar experience without having to leave our office. It’s not only more convenient for us, it’s more convenient for our prospective customers,” said Musch. Further, as a small business directly affected by rising fuel costs, MarketSharp appreciates the savings provided by GoToWebinar. “GoToWebinar saves us about $30,000 a year in travel for sales seminars. When you add in the productivity gains, those savings rise significantly.” Because the company can conduct sales seminars more rapidly, it has reduced the cost and time required to generate leads. “GoToWebinar slashed our cost per sale by 50 to 75 percent without question,” said Musch.

Improve customer satisfaction with cost-effective online training

After a new customer purchases MarketSharp software, the company offers six months of free training courses taught using GoToWebinar. By learning online, customers avoid the high cost of onsite training. When the company first started offering training using GoToWebinar, customers enrolled in the courses enthusiastically. “The response was awesome,” said Musch. “Every month the enrollment snowballs and we end up with happier customers. The most important thing is that more of our customers are getting trained properly and using the product the way it’s meant to be used.”

All You Can Reach events optimized for small business

MarketSharp considered other online event products, but found their steep cost to be more than the small business could handle. “Their pricing model just didn’t work for a small company like ours – we couldn’t afford to conduct online events no matter how much we wanted to,” said Musch. With the All You Can Reach™ licensing of GoToWebinar, MarketSharp can conduct unlimited online events with hundreds of participants for one low flat rate. “GoToWebinar is a fraction of the cost of other solutions.”

With GoToWebinar, MarketSharp gets the first do-it-yourself Webinar solution that is optimized for small businesses. Anyone in the company can set up and conduct an online event without training or production support. “I found GoToWebinar to be very easy and intuitive. It’s three basic steps to set up a seminar. I installed it and conducted an online seminar the next day. GoToWebinar just flat-out works,” said Musch. Because MarketSharp can brand all Webinar communications with the company logo, the firm can present a consistent message to prospects and customers.

Powerful functionality for effective presentations

During a sales seminar, the GoToWebinar Presenter Dashboard provides Musch with at-a-glance information about audience attention and satisfaction. “The dashboard tools help me understand whether people are paying attention and if I’m on the right track,” he explained. GoToWebinar includes powerful features such as integrated polls and surveys to keep an audience engaged. “Polls and surveys are two features we love about GoToWebinar. The instant results help us know if it’s time to adjust our presentation.” After a seminar, the one-click reports help the company determine whether the event was successful. “The reports are a great mechanism for me to gauge our performance,” he said.

“Polls and surveys are two features we love about GoToWebinar. The instant results help us know if it’s time to adjust our presentation.”

- Tim Musch, founder and director of business development, MarketSharp

Key benefits

  • Reaches more prospective customers to improve sales
  • Educates customers to improve product use and satisfaction
  • Cuts annual sales travel costs by $30,000

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