“The Silver Bullet Group’s World-Class Sales Support Training for Product Managers provided us with the right mindset and the appropriate skills to communicate a succinct value proposition and deliver engaging training. The impact was a meaningful improvement in the execution of sales programs.”

Mohamad Afshar, Ph.D.Vice President, Product Management, Oracle Corporation
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Success Stories

Agilent Case Study


How Agilent Technologies’ EMG Is Dominating the Info Wars:
Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Sales


Electronic Measurement Group (EMG) salespeople love Agilent’s new competitive training and marketing materials, especially how the innovations bridge the age-old divide between Sales and Marketing. EMG competitive materials are now concise, well organized, fact-based, and customer value focused. The new competitive intelligence helps Sales close more deals.

Highly persuasive competitive messaging increased our products’ win rate by 30% and reduced the time we spent supporting the field by around 50%.

– Nigel Mott, DCA-J Product Sales Manager, DVS

Agilent’s EMG discovered that winning in the fast-moving and highly competitive test-and-measurement market requires you to know your competition better than your competitors do. The Silver Bullet Group’s proven persuasive messaging process enabled Agilent to deliver competitive intelligence that accelerated their sales cycles. Clear, straightforward messages differentiated Agilent from the competition, focusing on customer needs and value to keep the salespeople better informed and more responsive than their competitors.

The EMG is now much more competitive – its new messaging process produces training materials that are exactly what Sales needs.

[It’s] valuable to hone down to the top things [you need] to talk about and teach from the 1-pager instead of showing 50 slides. 

– Karl Kachigan, DTD Signal Integrity Program Manager

The Challenge

In the fast-moving and highly competitive market for test-and-measurement instrumentation, knowing your competition and how you stack up against them is frequently the difference between making the sale and being second best.

Agilent knew that its products were extremely competitive, yet Field Engineers (FE), Agilent’s Field Sales team, were finding it more difficult to win in highly competitive sales situations. Agilent needed to improve in the development, understanding, and dissemination of competitive information.

FEs and their managers were complaining that Agilent competitive information was complex, difficult to understand, and didn’t communicate the company’s excellent value propositions. It was taking too much time for the salespeople to turn this information into messages that were meaningful to customers. How could the Marketing and Training departments give the sales force what they needed to close more deals, accelerate their sales cycles, and be more responsive in this highly demanding market?

The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet Group’s proven persuasive messaging process helps marketing teams describe their product’s advantages and what they mean to the customer. They can more readily describe how Agilent equipment is better at solving customer problems than the competition and delivers greater business value. This deeper understanding of the customer’s needs and the competition’s capabilities also enables competitive claims to be effectively countered with factual, meaningful information.

The resulting materials are concise, value-focused, and easy to understand and communicate. Rather than concentrate on product features, such as wide frequency range or low signal-to-noise ratio, Agilent competitive intelligence now focuses on key capability advantages, and the value they deliver to customers.

The Silver Bullet Group has made our competitive information much more concise; it is information that the salespeople now use. It has taught them how to ask the right questions to steer customers our way. The Silver Bullet Group was the “glue” that attached our field to our factory

– Ed Sullivan, District Manager, Field Sales, Americas

Today the sales staff is considerably happier. It has the competitive information needed to win more business – materials that are aligned with the buyer’s needs and used in one-on-one customer meetings.

The Results

Agilent FEs can now respond quickly in competitive sales situations. Armed with easy-to-understand, fact-based concise sales tools, they are winning against the competition much more frequently. And because the new tools are so much easier to use, the productivity of the field personnel is better than ever; the entire group has substantially grown its revenues.

In fact, in the most recent internal poll, 56% of the field sales organization said that the quality of the recent competitive intelligence enabled them to close at least one additional deal each during the last quarter.

The FEs are so thrilled with the new competitive materials that the project team was highly commended with an Agilent 2007 Innovation Merit Award, and the latest competitive training was given the highest accolades by the toughest audience of all — the Agilent sales force.

The Electronic Measurement Group is using the lessons learned as a model for future marketing efforts. EMG is using persuasive messaging as a tool to improve its marketing deliverables, helping position the company to make even greater gains in market share.

It was clear, both from the feedback from the field and the financials of that group, that they needed a better way to compete. The Silver Bullet Group gave us two things; competitive marketing that effectively communicated both to the field personnel and to their customers, and the process for developing this for future products. From a financial and strategic perspective, the Silver Bullet Group gave us just what we needed.

– Roberta Lycette, WW Field Operations Quality and Training Manager



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