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ATS Global, manufacturing consulting company, reached their growth targets

ATS Global is a large international player in consulting on automation, quality and IT to suit customers across a broad range of industries, with a particular focus on the manufacturing industry. Founded in 1986, ATS Global has grown both organically and by leveraging the complementary strengths of some acquired companies. This gradual expansion has helped them to create a durable presence across key geographic locations. At present, ATS has 1200 employees, across 25 countries.

Challenges

ATS Global has grown strongly over the last years and developed a strong momentum by nurturing an optimal portfolio of products, solutions and services to serve the industries of today and tomorrow.

This growth puts additional challenges and pressure on the organization. To continue their target organic growth rate of 10%, ATS felt they would need more effective and efficient marketing and sales processes. This would allow them to:

  • Generate and nurture more high-quality leads
  • Increase the win rate of opportunities 
  • Improve transparency, visibility and predictability across the end-to-end sales pipelines

This case study explains how ATS Global has addressed their challenges with the support of Elixir.

Why ATS chose HubSpot and Elixir

To achieve further growth, ATS Global was not only looking for a new CRM tool to support the marketing and sales processes, but also for a supplier that could assist them implementing HubSpot in an efficient way, based on best-practices from the professional services and consulting industry. With many years of experience in this industry, Elixir quickly turned out to be the best-fitted HubSpot partner.

On top of that, ATS had an existing tech stack in place including Exact Global and Synergy to support their key back-office and financial processes. It was crucial that the new CRM would be integrated with the back-office ERP systems for data governance reasons and to ensure data quality. With their experience in integration and based on best-practice processes, Elixir was well positioned to assist ATS Global as well in this critical aspect of their digital transformation journey.

Solution

As for all our projects, we started with a thorough functional and technical assessment to uncover the priorities and detailed requirements. We conducted interviews with key stakeholders from the sales, marketing and IT teams to understand better the strategic ambitions and potential implementation challenges, as well as the existing data and technology infrastructure. Based on this assessment, a project roadmap was proposed that outlined how ATS Global could tackle the challenges mentioned above, with the help of HubSpot and Elixir.

Generate and nurture more high-quality leads

The marketing teams of ATS Global were working with different tools for different channels and countries. To improve the lead generation and nurturing, it was crucial for ATS’ marketing teams to collaborate better on a centralized and powerful marketing platform.

By onboarding all divisions of ATS on HubSpot Marketing Hub, the marketing team received the toolset to manage marketing campaigns via different channels and to different segments from one central platform. This has increased the alignment of marketing teams across multiple countries and harmonized the lead nurturing approaches. 

Through HubSpot’s extensive analytics tools, ATS gained a much more complete view on the buyer’s journey and on which marketing assets their leads are interested in. Because the sales people are working on the same HubSpot platform, they also gained better insights in their prospects which enables them to do a more personalized follow-up. 

Through weekly onboarding sessions, Elixir helped ATS to set up their first lead generation campaign in HubSpot, so they could learn how to work with the frameworks and tools to become independent for the set up of their next campaigns.

Increase the opportunity win rate

Another challenge for ATS was to improve the marketing and sales processes in order to increase the average win rate of opportunities. With HubSpot as the new CRM tool, a big leap forward was taken compared to the old CRM, because: 

  • HubSpot is very user-friendly, making data entry fast and easy. This helped to reduce the administrative burden and leave more time for sales reps to interact with prospects and customers.
  • HubSpot has extensive sales automation capabilities, like automated tasks to notify sales when they should follow-up on leads and opportunities. This way, the sales process velocity was increased.
  • The data of all commercial teams becomes centralized, giving sales reps more insights in which marketing campaigns their leads engaged with, or which emails and documents they opened. This ensures a more relevant outreach.

Together with ATS, Elixir designed a new and thorough qualification process for new leads and defined the handover between marketing, internal sales and the external sales reps. Additionally, workflows for proposal approval were created to ensure proposals make sense from a technical, commercial and financial perspective.

All of this resulted in a more efficient and aligned sales process with a focus on the right leads and deals to increase the win rate. 

Improve transparency across the pipeline

Being a large organization with divisions in multiple countries, these divisions were often working with different systems and processes. Therefore, it wasn’t easy to get a clear view on the pipeline and to do forecasting.

Elixir has helped ATS to align processes across different divisions and to unify the sales pipelines. This made it easier for management to gather and structure data for reports and dashboards, gaining more transparency and better forecasting. The new CRM was also integrated with the back office systems to ensure a smooth financing processing of the won deals. 

Next to that, there was more transparency on information across functional teams, with feedback loops for the marketing and internal sales team on how the leads they generated progressed through the buyer's journey. Consequently they could learn from this information to optimize their way of working. 

ResUlts 

Introducing new processes and systems is only a success when the people actually adopt them. For this, it was crucial to appoint champions within the ATS Global team who were the internal point of contact and who shared an understanding of the importance of this systemic change. They had the authority to secure additional resources and were responsible for maintaining buy-in at the client’s organization. During the user trainings, it was then also key to train them first following a train-the-trainer principle. 

In that way, ATS Global managed to implement the new tool and processes and provided a solution which the different commercial teams were quickly able to adopt, and that was working well for them.   

The solution provided by Elixir helped to solve their challenges by: 

  • Delivering a state-of-the-art marketing platform
  • Aligning processes across divisions and teams
  • Centralizing customer and deal data in one system to increase transparency

In the end, ATS Global left a nice review on our HubSpot Solutions Directory page:

“It has been great working with such Team. Deep knowledge about marketing, sales and business, as well, technical know-how. Always proving the necessary best practices to succeed. Never afraid of challenging and asking why. A true business partnership.”

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