MAJOR ACCOUNT LEAD GEN SINCE 1989 - US BASED

GOLD VERIFIED

Strategic Sales and Marketing (SSM) is a lead generation company specializing in B2B lead generation, appointment setting and managing sales leads for major accounts in multiple industry sectors. Founded in 1989 by Al Davidson, Strategic Sales and Marketing is widely recognized as one of the “leading lights” of the lead generation industry.

 
$1,000+
 
< $25 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1989
Show all +
Farmington, CT
headquarters
  • 790 Farmington Ave,
    Farmington, CT 06032
    United States

Reviews

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Tele-Sales for Tech Consultant

“The results that they generate are really far above the standard for the industry.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Strategic Sales & Marketing provides lead generation telesales outreach for the CMO of a consulting company. They work from two established journey maps to optimize conversion depending on the customer.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Scottsdale, Arizona
Mary Anne Keegan
CEO, Etch Advisors
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The calls conducted by Strategic Sales & Marketing have resulted in significant increases in incoming leads, especially in untapped markets, satisfying all project requirements. Their team is communicative and proactive in handling their client’s requests, demonstrating commitment to long-term success.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Etch Advisors CEO, and I do consulting for early and mid-stage companies in technology.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

Being a CEO, I am always working with clients on how to grow their business, which involves lead generation and helping companies scale and find more customers in the marketplace. I was looking for a complementary sales strategy that would allow us to grow certain clients that I’m working with today.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The project’s focus is predominantly on finding customers in untapped markets and industries, as well as leveraging tele-sales for our channel. The work we do has been very collaborative, in which we provide the guidelines around what we are looking for and what our ultimate objectives are, but we also welcome their input and have used a lot of their insights in the past.

We generally sort clients into warm leads and cold leads and then provide two different journey maps depending on what kind of relationship we can establish with them. They have been very helpful with homing in on our target market and appropriate expectations for each campaign.

What is the team composition?

We work closely with 3–4 members of their team, which helps a lot with overall consistency.

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

They were referred to me by another person in the industry.

How much have you invested with them?

The project is paid for on a monthly retainer basis depending on output, but our total investment has been around $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first worked together in 2014 and are continuing to do so on an ongoing basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our metrics for them are based on the number of calls they conduct and then how many of those are converted into potential leads, followed by how many of those are qualified and closed. As far as hitting those metrics, Strategic Sales & Marketing has been absolutely spectacular. I’ve worked with multiple different firms in this kind of work and they are by far the best at converting leads into actual work for our company.

How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team is easy to communicate with and always very responsive to questions or requests. They have a portal that I can go into and check results as they're coming through without having to ask for a report from them directly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The results that they generate are really far above the standard for the industry. I am completely satisfied with the level of work they provide.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t have anything I wish they did differently.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It sounds pretty basic, but just setting proper expectations up front goes a long way when you’re doing tele-sales or any marketing. It can be easy to have inflated expectations going into a project like this, so working closely together and figuring out what both teams need to do to make the project as successful as possible is really important.

5.0
Overall Score The people and the service are awesome.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They deliver on time every time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We’re getting really good value for our money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They meet all of our objectives.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them many times.

Lead Generation for Contract Manufacturing Company

"In the end, they did a great job, winning us many high-quality connections."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. - Dec. 2017
Project summary: 

As an additional resource, the team at Strategic Sales & Marketing provided lead generation services for a contract manufacturer. They did outbound phone calls and crafted scripts with the client.

The Reviewer
 
Morristown, Tennessee
Head of Sales, Contract Manufacturing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team at Strategic Sales & Marketing’s strategic and collaborative approach led to an increase in leads and clients. Their responsiveness is also noteworthy. Customers can expect a transparent team that exhibits integrity and honesty.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the former head of sales of a contract manufacturing company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We had a relatively small outside salesforce, leading us to be consumed with existing accounts. We needed to develop a new pipeline of opportunities with new potential customers.

Without having a lead generating & marketing function or human resources to find new customers, I needed outside help.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When I hired them, they were doing outbound phone calls for our business. When I spoke to Al (President, Strategic Sales & Marketing), he understood my predicament and the support I needed.

Together, we developed the phone opening pitch. We also selected the target accounts to call as well. Al had an interactive CRM in place that I could log into, see the calls they were making, and view the script. Whenever they spoke to someone on the phone, their team puts in a call report and explains what was discussed. I could go to the CRM and provide feedback.

If a question wasn’t answered correctly, I could go in the system and make corrections & suggestions for how to answer it. Al appreciated that, and it worked well for us.

There were four or five different markets we wanted to grow our business in. I gave Al all of the target titles of people, and then he would run the lists that had thousands of names. I would go through the list, crossing out those I didn’t want to be called or didn’t think would be good prospects. I would also look at the CRM to see how many actual connections were made by getting someone on the phone.

The goal for his team was to set up a follow-up call for me or a salesperson.

What is the team composition?

My point person was Al, but we also had two individuals on the account making the phone calls.

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

I searched for B2B lead generation companies that included phone work on Google. A lot of them just offer digital, and it led me to Al and a few others. I liked what I saw on his LinkedIn, and he ended up reaching out to me.

A key reason why I chose them was because of their collaborative approach. Al and I speak the same language, and he understood my position. He knew what I wanted because of his previous sales experience. Right away, I felt that Strategic Sales & Marketing was the perfect company to work with. After researching and interviewing four or five other companies, I selected them.

How much have you invested with them?

The program was going so well, we doubled our investment in it within ninety days.

What is the status of this engagement?

I worked with Strategic Sales & Marketing from April–December 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

In the end, they did a great job, winning us many high-quality connections. I looked through how many hits and phone calls they would get.

Outside of the niche markets that my previous company served, they weren’t well-known. Strategic Sales & Marketing made thousands of calls on the company’s behalf, so we received a branding value out of it as well. The business also won good new programs as a result of the leads.

Another reason why I liked working with them was that they had in-house telemarketers, whereas others I spoke to would outsource that work. Al has his team under one roof, and he remained hands-on. I also liked how they provided the contact lists, while other firms had that as an extra charge.

How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

From a project management standpoint, they were very good. Al would always answer my calls. If he was tied up, he called right back. He was my project manager. Their CRM helped me see everything in real-time. I knew when they would be on the phone, and I could see their success and the connections they were making. It was a highly visible program.

What did you find most impressive about them?

For me, it’s always honesty, integrity, and transparency when working with a company that’s the most important. The team at Strategic Sales & Marketing is easy to work with. Because of them, we were able to convert several new customers with promising programs.

I felt from the start that Al was an honest person with high integrity. It wasn’t a situation where I would be cheated. I knew that Al would put in his best effort. With Al and his business, I knew I could trust him right from the start. Beyond that, they were always open to suggestions and responded well to feedback.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of one thing. When work is being pitched to a business that’s never worked in the industry, there are always growing pains. We had the initial growing pains in the beginning. In an ideal world, there would be staff members that understood each industry implicitly, but I think that’s unfair to ask for. In terms of getting value for the money, reporting, and turning over good leads, I can’t think of anything they can do better.

I’ve done this several times through hiring an internal resource or hiring a third-party. The advantage of hiring someone as an employee is that they can learn your business, but there is a lot of cost and risk when hiring someone. Hiring an outside party means dealing with some growing pains at the start.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Over the past couple of years, I’ve given them a few references. They’re a great outside resource for this type of work. If you don’t put anything into an engagement and just think you’re going to get good results if you turn your back, you’re kidding yourself.

Pay close attention, provide feedback, work hard on the script, and choose target markets wisely. When Al sends a list of 6,500 contacts, be willing to take the time to go through the whole thing so you’re not wasting dollars on calling a company that you have no chance with. What I’ve told everyone is that you’re treating them like an in-house team and put a lot of time into it. The better you do that, the better the results.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Telemarketing & Lead Generation Services for Security Firm

"Strategic Sales & Marketing's work significantly increased pipeline opportunities, allowing the in-house staff to close those leads in key vertical markets. They were flexible and took a customer-centric approach."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2015 - Jan. 2020
Project summary: 

Strategic Sales & Marketing provided scripted telemarketing services to generate more B2B leads and support the internal sales team.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Herndon, Virginia
Todd Pratt
SVP Sales & Marketing, Command Security Corporation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They met all of our needs and were willing to adjust strategies whenever needed for success.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

As SVP Sales & Marketing have Global responsibility for the sale of integrated physical security solutions for Commercial, Local, State, Federal, and International Government.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Strategic Sales & Marketing?

Utilized SSM for B2B lead generation and scripted telemarketing services that was customized per industry and geographic marketplace. Results were increased sales, and significant pipeline/forecast development for CRM.

What were your goals for this project?

Increased sales, and long term pipeline development.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Obtained 5 proposals from lead generation/telemarketing firms. Eliminated the bottom 2, and chose from the 3 finalists the firm/solution that we felt best worked for us.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

SSM basically became an inside sales support team for our sales reps through customized telemarketing and lead generation campaigns.

What was the team composition?

Worked closely with SSM Principal and representatives that were assigned to our sales reps. Each sales rep had their own account type representative and ongoing dashboard of metrics to work from.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Significant increase in pipeline opportunities, and closing of generated leads in key vertical markets. (ie.) Transportation/Logistics/Distribution marketplace.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Working relationship was excellent, as SSM employees became an Inside Sales Support mechanism for our organization.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Very flexible and customer centric approach. They met all of our needs and were willing to adjust strategies whenever needed for success.

Are there any areas for improvement?

Everything was great and a pleasure to work with.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Lead Generation for Global Software Engineering Company

“They built a very trusting relationship with us and understood our business.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2018 - Feb. 2020
Project summary: 

Strategic Sales & Marketing focused on outbound marketing calls for a software engineering services company looking to increase incoming leads. They developed a script and tracked their progress collaboratively.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
East Peoria, Illinois
Chris Dewitt
Executive Director, ARi
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Over the course of their two-year engagement, the team brought in about $2,000,000 in revenue to their partner. That provided them an ROI of about 300%, exceeding expectations for results. Throughout the engagement, they were clear and transparent about their marketing capabilities.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I formerly ran sales and marketing for a global embedded software engineering services company. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We didn’t have a huge marketing team, so we were trying to find ways to quickly and effectively bring in leads and opportunities into the organization.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had weekly calls with them where we’d talk about weekly targets and industries. From there, we would devise strategies and solutions to grow our marketing. They took it from there, but we were in constant communication. Additionally, we had a system that tracked metrics, which allowed us to move or adjust on the fly. 

They conducted outbound calls for us. In that effort, we collectively came up with a script together. We put in some technical information from our engineering team but kept it pretty high-level. 

What is the team composition?

There were between 4–8 people on their team. I worked directly with Jason (Sales Director, Strategic Sales & Marketing). 

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We chose them based on their pricing structure and their past successes with other companies. 

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $70,000–$75,000 each year. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with them since 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We tracked monthly calls and revenue from them. Our total ROI was about 300%, which was fantastic. They helped us close almost $2,000,000 in revenue over the course of our two-year collaboration.  

How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicated with Jason over email and phone calls. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

They built a very trusting relationship with us and understood our business. We always knew what they could and couldn’t do. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything. I’d give them an A-plus. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They’re only as good as the information that they’re provided. If you demonstrate a strong, effective communication with them, you’ll be successful.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The communication and attention to detail were wonderful.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We interviewed three companies, and they offered the lowest price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The revenue and communication provided were great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d definitely recommend them.

Outbound Sales Outreach for Cost Reduction Consultant

"Their services were worth the expense."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - Apr. 2016
Project summary: 

The team at Strategic Sales & Marketing performed lead generation services through cold calling and appointment scheduling. They gather data within a CRM to deliver to the client.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Robert Giamboi
President, Giamboi Partners
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Strategic Sales & Marketing’s top-notch services led to an increase in clientele. Their predictions for success were spot-on. Their collaborative approach complemented their efficient workflow. Customers can expect a team that delivers high-quality results.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president and founder of Giamboi Partners. We work with businesses across different industries to help them reduce their overhead without changing the way they do business.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We hired Strategic Sales & Marketing for lead generation services.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Along with providing cold calling services, their team set up appointments for my business. For the calls, their team would try and speak to a mid-level manager first, building a rapport that would grant them access to owners, controllers, and CFOs. They would then place a call to one of those individuals, testing for interest.

If there were interest, they would send them a piece I created regarding the service we were leading with. The team at Strategic Sales & Marketing would call back after a few days and see if they were interested in an appointment. During that initial discovery call, they took notes and put that information into a CRM that allowed us to view the notes from our end. Before their next call, I viewed the notes and gave them insights to help them tailor the call.

What is the team composition?

I had two dedicated individuals that worked on my campaign.

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

A competitor referred them to me. I’ve used other companies in the past with dismal results.

How much have you invested with them?

The services cost between $10,500–$11,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Strategic Sales & Marketing in January 2016, and the campaign concluded in April 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Their services were worth the expense. I received three of my largest clients because of Strategic Sales Marketing. Everything that Al (President, Strategic Sales & Marketing) discussed with me before engaging with them was spot-on. This was in terms of how many meetings I would get and how many deals I would close. The numbers were almost perfect for what he figured would happen.

How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

I was delighted with everything Strategic Sales & Marketing did. A lot of work went into the campaign to make sure we were on the same page and going after the right companies. Before the campaign started, we had to come up with a script, ensure we had the right lists, and targeting the right industries and spaces.

We had several strategic sessions that looked into the services I offer. The way they maintained their data was perfect. Everything I needed was there, and it was broken down well within the CRM. It was all categorized.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The numbers that Al predicted were almost 100% accurate. More than likely, I’ll be reengaging with Strategic Sales Marketing within a month or two.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I tell Al all the time that he should offer a smaller package. Fifty hours a month at the price point was a bit high for me. It looks that he will actually provide a smaller offering, so I’m glad he listened to my suggestions.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I’ve referred a number of people to Al. That’s how confident I am in their services. I’ve had awful experiences working with prior companies, which made me skeptical about making another big investment. I don’t have anything bad to say. It was a great experience working with Strategic Sales & Marketing.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was expensive, but worth it in the end.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Lead Generation for Corporate Training Company

“Their effectiveness and follow-through was the best part of the relationship.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2018 - Jan 2020
Project summary: 

Strategic Sales & Marketing offered marketing and sales support to an agency-related online development and training company. They conducted a discovery phase and wrote a script before starting outreach.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Bill Townsend
Co-Founder & President, CVC Communications
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Successfully bringing in an estimated 500 prospects to their partner’s business, the team demonstrated professionalism and expertise in their sales skills. They performed on an accelerated timeline while tailoring their call scripts to meet the needs and positions of different audiences.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder and president of a video and event planning company. Later, we transitioned the business to online development and corporate training. We offer sales, marketing, and agency-related training. CVC Communications has been in business for about 38 years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We reached out to them after negative experiences with our former lead generation company. Our sales staff is small, so we wanted to boost our lead generation through an outside source.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They sourced a list of our audience demographics, companies that go to market through dealers, reps, and distributors. From there, they helped us write a specific call script to accurately explain our services. Then, they called hundreds of potential customers, pitching them on our company. 

What is the team composition?

Greg (VP Sales & Marketing, Strategic Sales & Marketing) was our primary contact. We worked through others in the beginning stages of development, but he was our main contact. 

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

I believe that we did an online search and interviewed them. We vetted them pretty thoroughly before selecting them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent roughly $3,500 each month for their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started our contact in November 2018 and stopped our engagement around January 2020. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Their calls were very successful. Within a year’s time, we had about 500 leads and prospects. That’s about ten prospects each week. They were working on a very short timeline, with 20 hours dedicated to this effort each week. We ended up with so many leads, that we needed to set the effort aside to address them.   

How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

We met with each other weekly, and they proved to offer a very organized service. They were great at adapting to the audience markets we were focusing on. For instance, we targetted a medical audience for awhile. During that time, they tailored their calls to fit that need. We’ve worked with several other lead generation groups, and they were the best at follow up and follow through. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their effectiveness and follow-through was the best part of the relationship. I’m after results, and that’s what they gave me. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

The brought an expertise that we didn’t have. I  can’t think of an area of improvement for them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Ask them for real case studies and success stories for the field in which you’re working. They offer that in most fields and can find sales opportunities in different industries across the board.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They exceeded our expectations.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were competitive with their rates.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were most-excellent.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They were excellent, and I’ve recommended them before.

Lead Gen for Reports Generation Tool

"I was expecting better customer service and value for the money paid."

Quality: 
0.5
Schedule: 
0.5
Cost: 
0.5
Willing to refer: 
0.5
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Sept. - Nov. 2019
Project summary: 

Strategic Sales & Marketing was hired to provide lead generation services for a reporting software product. This review includes the vendor's response.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Charleston, North Carolina
Hugo Morales
Manager, Info-Arch
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal stakeholders were dissatisfied with the level of service provided. Broken promises and a lack of knowledge were hallmarks of the partnership.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I'm QA manager and IT manager at Info-Arch. We develop software, one of our products is d'Reveal, this is a reports generating tool which can be embedded into your application.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We hired them to get us a meeting with decision making professionals like VPs, Directors, CEOs, etc.

What were your goals for this project?

We were promised 4-6 per month. Our goal was to get at least 4.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Found them online.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

Originally we hired them to promote our professional services but later we asked them to focus on dReveal. We were told it was going to have a week of delay which we agreed to. During all this time meetings were held in order for them to understand the business.

What was the team composition?

Two people on their side, 4 on ours (CEO, Dev Manager, QA Manager, Project Manager).

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

We lost USD 7500 and got nothing out of it.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

It was arranged via online conferences, sometimes video. We thought it was effective because they would take good notes and seemed to understand our business.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

I was expecting better customer service and value for the money paid. Instead, they said things like: "Payment is not connected to our level of success", "Your second payment will satisfy the terms of the Statement of Work".

Are there any areas for improvement?

  1. Fulfill your promises. We were promised four to six leads per month, we only got two in a period of two months which were not even what we had discussed.
  2. Deliver first before asking for another payment. We would get billed before even the due date, they apologized for doing this because they were charging a second payment with "0" results at the time.
  3. Don't get into Software Development, it's not your field. Maybe they are good at finding leads in other areas, but no knowledge in software development.
  4. We practically re-wrote their script entirely because it was going to damage our reputation they way questions were going to be asked.
  5. They should care more about customer satisfaction and their money too. A customer is glad to pay when he sees results.
  6. Show empathy. If I see that my job is not as good as it was expected, I don't charge more money even if it was part of the agreement.
  7. Don't waste too much time when you're getting paid so much money. We wasted a lot of time on meetings and waiting on their answers. To buy time they would ask questions that were already discussed and just a lot of time was wasted.
0.5
Overall Score Terrible experience. Time wasted, money wasted.
  • 0.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 0.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 0.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Judge for yourself: "Payment is not connected to our level of success", "Your second payment will satisfy the terms of the Statement of Work".
  • 0.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Maybe they are good at other areas but DEFINITELY NOT for software development.

Company response

The vendor responded on February 19, 2020.

My name is Al Davidson, Founder, and Owner of SSM. We have been providing lead generation services to technology companies for over 31 years, and we are the longest-tenured, US-based firm of our kind.  I apologize on behalf of everyone at SSM if we failed to better level-set expectations for results on this program. As you can see from other reviews, we are known for taking ownership and caring deeply about our clients.   

There are many inaccuracies in this review, and it's not possible in a 250-word response to discuss everything. Most importantly, the client exercised their right to exit the program after just 3 weeks and pay an early termination fee. As a part of our program management duties, we came to them with constructive recommendations that would further improve performance and rather than hear what we had to say, and they canceled. At that point in the program, we had developed our first two leads. With just 3 weeks under our belt, the SSM team was just getting out of “startup mode,” and all indications were pointing to us being on goal. 

Telemarketing & Lead Gen for Engineering Software and Services Firm

“They are the best telemarketing company I know of.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2002 - 2011
Project summary: 

Strategic supplied telemarketing services focused on lead generation during a 7-year engagement. They qualified leads before categorizing them, scheduled appointments, and adjusted scripts as needed.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Connecticut
Terry Davis
Former Director of Sales, Engineering Software & Services Firms
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Strategic’s thorough preliminary work and qualification methods made for an efficient process, procuring lucrative business throughout the relationship. Their involvement resulted in several triumphs—a $2.5 million client, $1 million per year in growth, and a sales cycle decrease of 9 months.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m part owner of a mechanical engineering consulting company that began with 3 employees in1994 and currently have 38 full-time personnel. We’re in a specialty market in engineering automation using a special software called Knowledge-Based Engineering (KBE) which was developed at MIT. The software involves a non-procedural coding language which we use to develop custom mechanical engineering automation from design through manufacturing. A typical sale is between $300,000–$1 million.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

The owner of the company brought me on board and suggested I would need to spend 100% of my time prospecting. I suggested a more efficient use of my time would be to engage a telemarketer so 80% of my time would be spent closing business. The remaining 20% working with a telemarketer responsible for cold calling. The owner liked the idea, so we engaged with a telemarketer. They gave us more leads than I could count, but none of them developed into a closed sale.

SOLUTION

How easy was the integration?

The first step with SSM was to jointly iterate on a script that would clearly provide a detailed profile for what was needed to develop a next step with the prospect.  Strategic started calling and giving us leads. We performed a follow-up call with those leads and discovered that Strategic had clearly defined the person and their issue as part of their qualification process. Additionally, they clearly defined if the customer had a fiscal budget for engineering automation and what engineering issues they needed to overcome in their engineering development.

After two weeks, I called Strategic and told them they were doing a great job and allowed them to start making appointments for the DAA sales team. I asked that they be geographically cautious in doing so and SSM suggested they would set up a Google Calendar for us. In addition to sending a Google calendar invite to DAA and the prospect, the SSM team performed an additional follow-up call to the customer to confirm the visit or conference call a day before the call occurred. We also gave them access to our database. They started developing their call script notes and putting it into our database so we could access the information when we called the leads. They always made sure they were working in an area where they could get me two or three appointments. We did this for almost one year during 2001–2002.

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

The owner of my company ran into Al (Owner, Strategic Sales & Marketing) at a management meeting in Connecticut. Our owner told Al that we had a poor telemarketer, and he suggested we come meet with Strategic to see if they could do a better job.

We had a whole-day meeting with them at their office where Al laid out his telemarketing process, which I thought was unique. They did a lot of preliminary work to clearly understand what drove the sales process. They worked through scripts to clearly convey messages to potential clients. There was also a Q&A sheet that they provided which gathered all the information we needed to make an actual call.

I felt uncomfortable with all of this in the beginning due to past experiences. I wanted them to have the contacts call us so we could requalify them. Strategic was okay with that. I hired another salesperson in the first four weeks and the two of us started distributing leads. We also wanted to only do 80 hours per month because we thought it would be too overwhelming to have so many leads to follow up on.

How much have you invested with them?

We started out with 80 hours a month at $20,000, but it increased to $50,000–$70,000 per year when we moved to full time.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

In the first year, they introduced us to a client in New York who was wary to invest his $2.5 million Engineering R&D budget into anyone because he didn’t believe they could complete the job. He wanted an entire plan written up for the whole year for his budget and also wanted very clearly defined terms with a cash flow analysis to send to his junior management. We’ve retained that customer and they’ve been doing between $750,000–$2 million per year since 2003.

This resulted in us moving to a full-time engagement with Strategic the next year. We had them continue to develop leads for us for six or seven years. Our owners decided to bring in a marketing person at that time who was also involved with telemarketing. We were growing so fast and didn’t need any more leads for two years. We backed off around 2010–2012 and hired someone on-site.

They provided us with enough new customers throughout the engagement to yield over $1 million per year in growth. In the five years we were with them, we went from $370,000 to almost $4 million. In addition to that, we went from having 8–10 employees to having 30.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are the best telemarketing company I know of. Their thinking is unconventional and open to outside-the-box approaches. They broke the leads down into three categories: leads who they gave directly to us, leads who were missing information or critical telescript requirement, and companies who weren’t interested. They also gave me and my other employee a connection into their database. We could go in and look at the categories to determine if a company was a good fit or not.  Their open, transparent and joint teamwork methodology made this relationship a winner for us.

We decided to have monthly meetings with our primary telemarketer to make corrections which Al sometimes participated in. If there were any prospects they sent us that didn’t work, we gave them feedback and they adjusted the script. They also went through the uninterested companies to decide who we wanted to approach. Our relationship felt like more of a partnership rather than someone just selling to me.

We were trying to sell something that was intangible to these engineering managers. Our typical sales cycle was between 6–18 months. In working with Strategic, we were able to cut that cycle down to 6–9 months because the leads were so qualified. We kept track of people even if the sale wasn’t successful, which resulted in people returning to us in the future.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Strategic could’ve made the transition smoother when they changed out telemarketers. We sometimes didn’t find out for three or four weeks. There was also one telemarketer who we had to switch out. Once we learned about it, we were able to train them and they did fine. Strategic was probably just growing too quickly at that time.

Do you have any advice for potential clients?

It took them some time to work on the script because they wanted to make sure we approved of it. Having patience through this script development paid off in a big way.  There were a lot of conversations back and forth—as well as a lot of script revision—before we finalized everything. Some companies may get frustrated with that long of a process. I know they’ve changed a lot since we stopped working with them. Strategic needs to make sure the company is aware of the process and how long it takes to get everything right.

5.0
Overall Score I’ve never seen a telemarketing firm as good as them in my 40-year career.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their cost was more than other telemarketers, but the previous telemarketing firms didn’t produce for us.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them to seven or eight friends already.

Lead Generation for Systems Engineering Consulting Firm

“If they did their job any better I wouldn’t be able to handle the number of leads.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Strategic provides calling services aimed at generating leads on an ongoing basis. They also assist in script creation to ensure alignment with marketing strategies and business objectives.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Washington
Recruiter, Systems Engineering Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Strategic’s guidance has ultimately helped bring the company forward. Their tailored approach is highly effective in obtaining leads without revealing external involvement. Dependability, consistent quality, and the ability to work independently continue to make them valuable resource.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re an engineering consulting firm. My job focuses on business development.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We were looking for a way to generate more leads for our company. It’s a difficult business to just start cold calling and talking to people. We decided that we would like to do some form of lead generation along with our other marketing strategies.

SOLUTION

How easy was the integration?

They took the time to understand what we were trying to sell and what type of business we are. They then helped us build the script which they now represent fairly well. It wasn’t seamless at the beginning, but that was probably more our naivety than their company. We’d never worked with a firm like them before so we thought we had to be more involved in a lot of things that they could’ve taken care of independently.

Did you have to train them on your specific business?

They gave me samples of scripts which we worked on together. We had a very specific campaign that we wanted to run for security assessments which they were familiar with. We integrated their solution into what our delivery.

Do they provide any other services for you?

I give them target areas, a market, and job titles which they in turn send me a list to review. They do cold calls and send me the leads.

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

Strategic showed up in a website’s top 10 list for lead generation firms. I reached out to five of those companies, but only three got back to me—including Strategic.

They explained the process to us. We’re a fairly immature sales organization and their project manager had a lot of tips and ideas to help us move forward. He’s been very helpful from the beginning and he’s also why we chose to work with them.

What is the team composition?

They have a call center where they handle training. It could be a variety of people working, but they act and sound like they’re working for us when they make calls.

Do you work with a project manager?

Yes, and our project manager does a great job—he’s the reason I’m giving a review. He’s been wonderful. I didn’t know a lot and had no idea how to work with them. Our first campaign went well, but when I tried to manage the second one myself, it fell flat. I listened to the project manager about changing the campaign a little bit and we’ve since gotten a lot of calls. They do what they say they’re going to do.

We communicated more often in the beginning but have since moved to an as-needed basis after campaigns start.

When did you begin working with them?

We started working with them in April 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We get anywhere from five to eight leads per month or more. We now have multiple campaigns running with them. We were able to close two new deals in the first three months, which was huge for us. The process has been seamless for the companies we’re contacting. They don’t know it’s an outside service who contacted them in the first place.

In the past three or four weeks, I’ve had about 22 companies express interest in our company that didn’t even know about us before. I actually don’t have time to handle more leads.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Having not worked with anyone else, it’s hard for me to say if there’s anything unique about them. We’ve built a good relationship. Other organizations contact me all the time to see if we would be interested in their services, but I just delete the messages. I’m not interested in them because I’m very happy with Strategic.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I’m very happy with what they do for us and it meets our needs. If they did their job any better I wouldn’t be able to handle the number of leads.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I didn’t compare them to others but I know that they provide great service.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They do a great job and have done everything I’ve asked.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred two clients to them and the marketing firm we use has also referred them.

Customer Acquisition Services for Product Security Company

"They’re not just a pitching service but they truly are building relationships with new customers."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Strategic Sales provides outbound marketing services, generating leads through phone calls, follow-up emails, and calendar invites. Reporting and analytics round out the engagement.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Silicon Valley, California
Peter Chan
Director of Business Development, iTrace Technologies
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Strategic Sales offers the flexibility of a temporary staffing agency with the personal touch of an internal sales team, and the increase in leads speaks for itself. The team is always friendly with an uncompromising commitment to getting the job done.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of business development for iTrace Technologies. We provide an anti-counterfeit and anti-grey market solution to brand owners and companies to protect their products and services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We’re a small company with a lot of remote operators. We were looking for additional help with outreach and customer acquisition, and it made sense for us to outsource that role.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They do phone calls and emails for us. They actually present themselves to customers as individuals working for our company. We provide a targeted list of prospects and a script for phone calls and they follow up with emails, attachments, and appointment requests. As opposed to inbound marketing that drives customers to a website, outbound marketing really requires a personal touch to reach out to individuals. It's more of a relationship management and internal sales role rather than simply telemarketing.

What is the team composition?

There are one account manager and three people making calls and sending emails.

How did you come to work with Strategic Sales & Marketing?

We started with a Google search for outbound sales and marketing firms. We used reviews and ranking sites to narrow down the list to a few companies. From phone interviews, we learned that many firms utilize third-party call centers. We liked that Strategic Sales provides a personal touch and that the people making the phone calls are actual employees of their company.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started around August 2017 and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Strategic Sales really provides us with the flexibility to grow our team when necessary. It’s like a temp agency where you can hire them and then pause the engagement and then restart it later. Their team really helps us by setting up appointments and sending calendar invites. It’s very efficient and saves us a lot of time not having to do that ourselves. We're getting a lot of leads so they're clearly doing a good job.

How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

They use an online dashboard that constantly communicates their progress, success rate, and metrics. We have a quarterly phone call to check-in on how the work is progressing and a monthly check-in via email with the account manager. At the beginning of the engagement, there was a lot of communication via phone conference in order to get the marketing message and the correct assets in play.

The project management is very dynamic. If at any point in time we felt the marketing wasn't directed or crafted correctly, they’re flexible and willing to work with us to refine the messaging.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're both personable and tenacious. I've gotten feedback from several customers that Strategic Sales team members are very persistent about scheduling a follow-up appointment but do so in a pleasant way. There are a number of prospects that I would never have connected with if they hadn’t kept sending them information and scheduling calls. I consider that to be a third-party validation of their value. They’re not just a pitching service but they truly are building relationships with new customers.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Some leads didn't pan out at the beginning of the engagement. However, they followed up and were able to reschedule many of those appointments, turning a negative into a positive. There's nothing to criticize.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t treat them as an outsourced service but rather consider them fellow employees. Make sure to share any potential criticism of your product or solution with them so that they know how to handle questions that might come up.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    No problems at all.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Value will differ based on the amount of leads that come in.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
Verification

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GOLD VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
STRATEGIC SALES & MARKETING, INC.
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Connecticut
Id
0284175
Date of Formation
Mar 4, 1993
Source
Connecticut Data Collaborative
Last updated
Jan 19, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
Yes
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last updated
Jul 22, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
17
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.6
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
February 21, 2020