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Business Fitness (im)proves its business with webinars

Staff Writers

Michael Carter knows a fair bit about business efficiency.

Indeed, the Co-Founder and Director of Marketing and Business Development at Business Fitness knows the topic inside out, as the company offers consultancy and software to accounting firms and small businesses on how to become more efficient through enhanced business processes.

One business process it found could use a big improvement was the way it found new customers, a task which it generally accomplished through seminars.

"Our marketing approach at Business Fitness is to educate and impress," explained Co-founder and Director of Marketing and Business Development Michael Carter. "There are a number of principles and concepts that prospective clients need to understand before using our software. Our approach is to educate them and then establish a platform for ongoing engagement."

But using seminars to find prospects was expensive. Each seminar cost $4,000 to conduct and, as the company only staged these events twice a year, the resulting sales pipeline was inconsistent.

The company has instead started to use webinars and Citrix Online's GoToWebinar product.

The immediate savings from the move were easy to count: the company no longer hires venues, books travel or accommodation and has stopped printing marketing collateral to distribute on the day.

Instead, the company now conducts regular webinars that let it explain its products to more people, more often,

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at lesser cost and without sacrificing the chance to explain its products and services in the depth needed to educate and impress.

"GoToWebinar is a great engagement tool that keeps the audience involved," Carter said.

"Online seminars allow us to market our software and services through topics of interest to prospective customers."

Carter and his team used polling and Q & A features of the Citrix software to make each session interactive. "Being able to get instant feedback from Webinar attendees enables us to develop future seminars that interest our audience and deliver value," Carter explained.

Prospects secured through webinars are then followed up using another Citrix tool, GoToMeeting, which Business Fitness  uses to demonstrate its software.

Demonstrating the software in this way removes the need for travel to prospects premises and also shortens the sales cycle by making it possible for all of the decision makers at a potential buyer to attend the same online meeting. Even if a decision maker cannot attend, the software allows a meeting to be recorded for later playback, another way of securing the attention of all relevant personnel within a prospect.

"We've  transformed our sales process, which used to take months to complete," Carter said. "We've doubled the number of one-on-one presentations we can deliver in a day because everything is done much more efficiently online."

Carter now believes that using the Citrix products means that when the company sells business efficiency, it is seen to be demonstrating its expertise.

"We want to show our customers that we practice what we preach [and that we] lead by example because we are using the best in technology to drive efficiencies for our own business."