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The first online educational company of its kind, ComputerPREP became a success when its products demonstrated vast improvements in knowledge retention, transfer, and application. Aiming at the corporate marketplace, the company amassed a strong sales force which suffered from lack of marketing material and conflicting sales approaches. A widely diverse set of market segments and customer levels within its primary umbrella market also confused the sales team.
MHG partnered with Parker Madison, a small creative house in central Phoenix, to produce marketing communications and sophisticated tools in which to help the sales team identify leads and decision-makers, help qualify these into sustainable prospects, and grow their accounts into ongoing and active purchasers.

To do this, MHG conducted primary research with the goal of deeper understanding of the users and decision process within corporations most suited to online education. Additional efforts within the research work yielded a comprehensive database of customers willing to try-and-buy the products. Concurrently, MHG discovered that three sales people used a formulaic approach with much better results than their colleagues. We set out to benchmark these approaches as a best practice that, with improvements, would help the entire sales team perform at much higher levels.

Next, MHG worked to build collateral materials which spoke of the simple, yet sophisticated approach to online learning within the corporate culture, which at the time, was groundbreaking and new. Benefits messages told buyers that use of the product would increase worker productivity, not incapacitate it as the then-current belief held. Other communications served as white papers for the more engineering-inclined purchasers.

The sales team used the myriad collateral materials to share with their prospects as they went to each account on a daily route. Unfortunately, lack of sales organization meant sales people didn’t know what materials to bring for each customer, and many received materials inapplicable to their specific needs. MHG solved this by creating a color-coded, online sales matrix, in which all main customer types were grouped into categories, then into subcategories according to their level of decision-making. Once the matrix was installed on salespeople’s laptop, it became the go-to tool which instantly showed salespeople what to offer to each customer-prospect, how to cross-sell successfully, and the best practices likely to lead to a more immediate close.

  • ComputerPREP gained popularity in local, regional and eventually, national sales territories by effectively drawing support from a marketing and sales engine created by MHG.

  • The marketing and sales initiatives contributed to the company’s 120% annual growth for three years running, with sales skyrocketing in the 3rd and 4th year. Sales turnover dropped to zero.

  • ComputerPREP’s success led to a successful acquisition within 3 years, followed by a highly successful IPO in 1999.


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