Case Study Lesson: Finding Internal “Champions” for Site License Sales

If you’re selling site licenses for your online subscriptions, your best marketing person probably isn’t on your team – it’s someone within the organizations you’re targeting.That’s one of the big lessons from this week’s exclusive Subscription Site Insider Case Study on BuildingGreen.com, which offers a suite of subscription products for architects and designers in the sustainable building industry.BuildingGreen President Nadav Malin told us that site licenses account for 30% of the company’s subscription revenues, with 40% of the top-10 architecture firms in the United States paying up to $15,000 annually for firm-wide access to the company’s websites.Most of those site licenses were sold thanks to long-standing relationships with individuals within those firms who rose to positions of prominence as the sustainable-building trend has taken off.It’s a great example of a classic site-license marketing strategy: Look for an internal “champion” at your prospect companies who can make the case about the value of your products to his or her bosses.In response to the growing movement toward energy-efficient and sustainable building practices, many architecture firms have added an executive-level position, such as a “Director of Sustainability,” to develop their firm’s expertise in that discipline. These individuals had the most experience in the area — and were also likely to be longtime subscribers to BuildingGreen’s flagship newsletter, Environmental Building News.Malin says that conversations with those individuals, either through specific outreach to them or by the individual proactively calling BuildingGreen to ask about firm-wide access, led to most of their site-license deals.So if you want to expand your own site-license sales, look for your own “champions” within organizations. Start by making a list of high-value target accounts for site licenses and check your existing subscriber database for individuals at those companies who are current subscribers. Also study your industry to see if there’s a particular title or job description that’s likely to make decisions on subscription resources to help the company do its job better. Depending on your product, this could be a director of research, an HR executive, or a high-level marketing or operations specialist.Then, develop an outreach approach to promote site-license options first to these individuals. You can start with email or telemarketing outreach just to let individual subscribers know what options are available to expand access throughout their companies. If there’s real interest, you can offer resources that help them make the case internally — such as educational whitepapers, video demos, even a PowerPoint deck that the champion can customize for their own internal presentation about the benefits and value of your site-license option.Finding an internal champion can make your site-license selling process a lot easier — but in turn you need to make it as easy as possible for that champion to make the case on your behalf.

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