As a charter member of DVIRC’s growing Sales & Marketing Group, John had a chance to meet twice each quarter with 12-15 business owners and sales executives. Collectively, they weighed best practices and worked to understand what techniques work—and which ones should be avoided.
“For me, signing up for the Sales and Marketing Group was an investment in benchmarking and networking through DVIRC with other local manufacturers,” Liberatore says. “Through that I got to know DVIRC’s Sales and Marketing Program Director, Chris Scafario, and I picked up some of his ideas for stimulating our market growth.”
Applying a “walk-then-run” approach, participating in the Sales & Marketing Group, and getting to know DVIRC and its capabilities ultimately made Liberatore comfortable enough to engage DVIRC for a Voice of Customer project to survey his current, former, and prospective customers.
“We had been struggling to grow sales revenue for about two years. Sales had flattened around $20 million, and we were looking for growth amid a host of organizational changes,” Liberatore says. “I was looking to improve my understanding from a leadership perspective, and the ESOP brought some new energy to the organization, so I wanted to see what opportunities were out there.”
As the primary market research project began, DVIRC designed a Voice of Customer survey to help TaraTape identify organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. DVIRC conducted its market research using telephone-based interviews, and its callers uncovered ways TaraTape could penetrate deeper in order to grow sales.
“The Voice of Customer project hit home with us. We needed to understand what our customers think about us and then use that to pursue leads,” Liberatore says. “Chris Scafario and Sylvia Wower, DVIRC’s Director of Market Research, worked together on the project and did a very good job keeping us informed along the way.”