A popular carrier had established success with Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs), but aspired to move up-market with sales outreach initiatives to reach more mid-market and large enterprise opportunities.

Marketing materials and strategies were available—but were not enough. The carrier’s existing content could only go so far to explain the new capabilities, and several content gaps were identified as the carrier’s sales team worked to build awareness and create engagement.

Further, the carrier’s existing marketing tactics were overly broad and without defined targets or initiatives. Messaging was written with only SMBs in mind, and it was product-focused rather than customized to Decision Making Units (DMUs) and their business challenges.

The carrier knew if it was going to find success in new target markets, new marketing materials and strategies were crucial. The carrier partnered with Ciena to tackle the project.

Customized solutions for success

Through the partnership success model, the Ciena Partner Network (CPN) created  a Marketing as a Service (MaaS) program* to directly engage and collaborate with client partners and their marketing teams.  Ciena sought to understand its customers’ specific goals and objectives to create customized marketing solutions tailored for long-term business success.

Through collaboration, the carrier and Ciena team identified business goals and created a 360-degree engagement plan, deploying several tactics:

  • Narrowing the target demographic. The teams researched and  defined targets at mid-market and large enterprise Tier 1 accounts with multiple locations. They decided to target near-net accounts within 1,500 feet of the carrier’s network footprint.
  • Creating custom messaging. Once key roles and DMUs in the sales process were identified, the group created custom, role-based materials and assets for each DMU. Then, they developed new messaging focused on pain points and considerations for each DMU role, including technical and non-technical executives as well as engineers.
  • Revising the sales outreach approach. The teams transformed sales outreach methodologies from transactional to strategic by revitalizing the carrier’s sales staff training and improving the sales and marketing assets. They created sales outreach playbook to support the sales team with day-by-day account engagement plans—they also leveraged templates and scripts across defined sales strategies, including LinkedIn, email, direct mail, and phone activities.
  • Developing a robust content library. The carrier’s sales team obtained new support from a comprehensive library of new short- and long-form content oriented to all DMUs and all stages of the sales cycle.

Wielding tools from the sophisticated marketing technology stack offered through the MaaS program, the carrier’s sales team achieved effective cross-channel engagement with key prospects at large enterprise opportunities.

Retooling sales and marketing strategies to reach untapped business opportunities

The campaign’s successes included engaging five Tier 1 accounts across various sales and marketing touch points, and multiple leads delivered to the client partner.

With the new tactics in place, the carrier was able to attract a major national account that had been previously impenetrable by the carrier's legacy outreach strategy. It also re-energized several missed prospecting opportunities with the new campaign support.

Ciena invested considerable time in discovery sessions with the carrier’s sales and product leaders to truly understand the carrier’s story, competitive landscape, and opportunities for differentiation. By taking the carrier’s existing content to a deeper and more relevant level, Ciena was able to build multiple tracks for engagement and create helpful sales cadences to reach a variety of target audiences.

Together, Ciena and the carrier built custom content, digital assets, sales cadences, email campaigns, and tactics from the ground up. Now, the carrier has a strategic sales and marketing toolbox for long-term use—not just for a single campaign.

About the MaaS program

Through the partnership success model, members of the CPN can leverage a dedicated MaaS support team, resources, tailored services, and a suite of third-party sales and marketing technologies to support their unique business goals. The MaaS program’s marketing technology stack ensures clients get the benefit of the latest sales enablement and marketing tools and intelligence—without the heavy price tag and long-term contracts. With MaaS, Ciena partners have access to an unparalleled marketing strategy and tactical resources, along with detailed success reporting to monitor how marketing investments are driving business success.

Learn more about CPN’s Marketing as a Service offering


*The products and services described here are available only to participants in the Ciena Partner Network (CPN). For more information about CPN, contact cienapartnernetwork@ciena.com