Two Buckhead companies were among the 2013 Excalibur Award winners announced today at a Technology Association of Georgia special ceremony at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel.
Mercedes-Benz Buckhead and AchieveIt were winners in two of the five categories.
More than 400 leaders from Georgia’s business and technology community attended the event.
The Annual TAG Excalibur Awards celebrates Georgia companies and organizations that demonstrate the best use of technology, typically developed in-house or provided by a third-party, to solve complex issues and processes that impact their operations.
AchieveIt won an Excalibur Award in the Small Companies category. The company automated its marketing content and sales lead efforts through the unconventional use of an email marketing solution.
In the Mid-Sized Companies category, Mercedes-Benz Buckhead was honored for its use of RFID technology to instantly recognize and service incoming customers, as well as give them "Star" treatment by projecting their name on flat screens throughout the facility.
AchievIt has left the old way of selling behind, as making phone calls and leaving messages was not hitting the mark.
"We just couldn't afford to do that in a smaller business," said Chief Sales Officer Andrew Somoza.
When potentail customers download white papers on different topics or comment about them, AchieveIt learns a lot about those companies. The timing is then right for a phone call and the sales and marketing team will know that what they will discuss is relevant to that business.
AchieveIt's open rate is now almost 100 percent. They are "watching our quality leadings coming from 150 to almost 1,400 in six months," Somoza said. That's an 800 percent return, he said.
"There's somebody we believe to be a warm, quality body versus just me cold calling and leaving a message," he said.
The company's revenue has quadrupled this month from last year. And they've grown to 20 employees, which is double the staff.
AchieveIt looked for a way to emulate Pardot's interactive sales marketing model. Pardot sold a year ago in to Exact Target for $95 million. Salesforce.com aqcuired ExactTarget in July for approximately $2.5 billion.
Automated emails go out to prospects and customers that have allowed AchieveIt sales executives hit the mark and even meet unmet needs, according to Somoza. Those prospects that interact with the interactive marketing message, especially when they add their own comments, let sales executives know who should be contacted and when they should make that contact.