Long Nights, Short Sales: How A Truck Engine Supplier Converted More On-the-Go Leads with SharpSpring
Based in Springfield, MO, American Fleet supplies Detroit diesel engines to truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers. Given the nature of their industry, the business had short sales cycles of only a couple of days to satisfy the needs of its customers – often panicked drivers urgently calling in for new engines. They also had limited means to nurture leads to grow their business or recapture previous customers. Meanwhile, they wasted hours failing to align their marketing and sales teams under a cohesive go-to-market approach.
To keep their brand top-of-mind and efficiently close more deals, they turned to SharpSpring. The marketing automation and sales CRM platform allowed American Fleet to finally integrate their website, email, direct mail, and sales efforts — bringing in more reliable business from truckers who had little time to spare
Many businesses find it difficult to align their marketing and sales endeavors. Marketing campaigns may yield tons of leads that appear good on the surface but aren’t qualified based on sales criteria, or may never convert to closed sales. On the flip side, sales reps may struggle to close deals if they don’t know how the lead discovered or previously interacted with the company.
This divide is especially noticeable in transactional businesses, where customers call the company based on need and the reps attempt to make the sale. For American Fleet, this meant the team needed to focus on sales, with marketing efforts continually put on the backburner.
Meanwhile, it was challenging to stay top-of-mind with previous customers. While American Fleet’s sales cycle was short — sometimes only a few hours — they often didn’t hear from customers again for years post-sale.
In addition, they sought a better way to redirect website visitors who had Googled “Detroit Diesel engines Springfield” toward the eager sales team. Knowing how to pitch the product was challenging, as leads would either buy out of desperation or say they’d consider it, then ghost. Many MQLs were not sales-qualified.
With a hectic schedule that involved juggling calls from desperate drivers, the American Fleet team struggled to be consistent with their email and direct mail marketing campaigns. The occasional promo email, which took hours to assemble, might fetch a 10% open rate at best. Direct mailers often bounced back to them, and with many customers whose first language was not English, American Fleet wasn’t sure their messages were even landing.
Worse, there was no way to connect any of those efforts to the CRM.
To grow their business, especially amid pandemic-induced challenges and supply-chain issues, American Fleet was eager to gain more qualified leads and convert more sales — without losing precious time and resources.
That’s where SharpSpring came in.
SharpSpring gave American Fleet the ability to integrate, align, and analyze all their sales and marketing activities. This not only provided new opportunities for lead nurturing but also ensured that the company could quickly respond to hot leads.
“SharpSpring is an awesome bridge to bring all that tracking that you’re doing on the website and your email right into the CRM, allowing you to take action at the right time.”– Mark Patterson, American Fleet
Automatic Follow-ups and Simple CRM Integration
Instantly Linking Intent to Lead Nurturing
With SharpSpring, American Fleet could easily send out automated messages to people who expressed interest. This saved the team valuable time and instilled trust in drivers who often had an urgent need for a solution. As those automated emails aligned with each lead’s buying journey, they were also more effective.
Email campaigns before SharpSpring: 5-10% open rate
1st email campaign with SharpSpring: 49% open rate
The automated campaigns could also play the long game, continually engaging previous leads and customers over time. By nurturing brand loyalty, SharpSpring ensured that American Fleet could stay top-of-mind for their audience. Better yet, these emails could be translated into the lead’s preferred language.
“It’s the speed of delivery and the quality of what you’re delivering. It does no good to send a mass email with 5% opens. With SharpSpring, you send something, and you get 49%, and you’re in. The difference is amazing.”Mark Patterson, American Fleet
Lead Sourcing and Audience Segmentation
Understanding When, Where, and Why Leads Entered the Pipeline
Before using SharpSpring, American Fleet had paid an ad agency to send brochures and run their website. However, they never received reports about how their digital presence was growing, nor did they see any evidence that direct mail was leading traffic to their website. As many leads came in via the site, that was a problem.
It was also difficult to tell where leads came from — and therefore, how to score and nurture them.
That all changed with SharpSpring. The all-in-one marketing automation platform collected each lead’s behavioral data, allowing American Fleet’s sales team to more easily connect with them and analyze their campaigns. This also helped close the gap between MQLs and SQLs.
By partnering with SharpSpring, American Fleet was able to grow their business despite challenges posed by COVID. They attribute their resilience and adaptability to the platform, which allowed them to align sales and marketing, save valuable time, and better understand their audience.
Plus, they could reliably send nurture campaigns without wasting precious time fussing with email marketing providers. All marketing and sales data could be instantly brought into the CRM. The sales reps knew how to respond to inquiries and close more deals — which was easier because automated messages kept the company top-of-mind for their leads.
With SharpSpring, the American Fleet team could grow their customer base without spending hours juggling leads or updating spreadsheets. They knew when to take action, where their prospects came from, and most importantly, how to convert and recapture their best customers — even those who spent 51 weeks a year on the road.