Changing the approach and method of sales for new business success

Brilliant Noise was founded in 2010 and has since become a leading marketing transformation partner for global brands for whom they drive growth by optimising marketing operations and building new capabilities.

In this case study we hear from Brilliant Noise founding partner and CCO, Maddy Cooper, about their sales transformation story under the guidance of Waypoint Partners.

The challenge: going for growth

Brilliant Noise had recognised the need to change its approach to sales and marketing to stimulate incremental top-line growth and support the ambitions of their growth plan. So, in May 2021, they collaborated with Waypoint Partners to create a structured five-year growth plan to accelerate their development.

Waypoint tailored their proprietary Sales Transformation programme for new business and client growth to the specific requirements of Brilliant Noise, focusing on the acceleration of sales performance and delivery of top-line revenue.

The programme looked at:

  • Re-positioning Brilliant Noise to the market and industry based on the commercial and strategic value that they bring to clients through their marketing transformation programmes
  • Devising a proactive approach to segmentation and pipeline development of target client prospects
  • Developing an end-to-end sales process and value-led methodology to increase win-rates and qualified lead conversion
  • Securing higher value, longer-term contracts to bolster the accelerated growth plan
  • Applying a value-led account development approach to stimulate additional growth and revenues from existing clients

The result: what changed for Brilliant Noise?

Maddy Cooper describes their transformation:

  • Proactive pipeline development
    “Our time with Waypoint has shown us how to develop relationships directly so it’s not a competitive process – we control who we sell to, and we run the brief and sales process. Tender requests can be seductive but there are so many risky unknowns in the process, so we’re really selective about what we do and don’t go for. Our pipeline development involves specific events for senior marketers, and our own thought leadership and events to support the sales cycle.“
  • Positioning
    “It’s hard to be known for many things. Prior to working with Waypoint, Brilliant Noise offered an interesting combination of agency and consultancy services. But it was quite a broad offer, and brands already have network agencies with many services – if they’re going to consider extra partners they want true expertise, edge and pace. Now we focus on the sweet spot between what big brands need in this economic context, and what we’re really good at, for the sectors where we have proven impact and advocacy.“
  • Embedding value in sales engagements and conversations
    “For every sale, we now obsess about running the full Waypoint sales method throughout the process to maximise the odds of winning, rather than risking an expensive waste of time and energy.”
  • Establishing needs and wants
    “Each sale focuses on asking deep questions and then playing back the client’s needs, the risk of them not taking action, and the prize to be gained by going ahead with our programme.”
  • Positioning solution + value
    “We are partners to the leaders of the world’s best brands and the main value we create is making marketing transformation actually happen for our client’s businesses (we provide a change management team as an extension to their in-house team). So now we have shifted from charging for time and materials for specific outcomes, to charging for change management programmes instead.” 

The delivered outcomes and metrics:

  • £1.1M in contract value from new logo sales, a 42% increase YoY following completion of the Waypoint Sales Performance Programme
  • Increased its win rate by 20%
  • Average deal size has increased by 37% to £360K per annum
  • Secured new high-profile wins, including – BMW, Nike, Alliance, Sanofi and Molson Coors

Key client wins secured with advisory support from Waypoint Partners

BMW Motorrad – (won in December 2021)

Brilliant Noise was one of 12 agencies competing to be the lead marketing agency for BMW Motorrad across Europe. To prepare their proposal, they incorporated the new value-based sales approach from Waypoint to identify the individual needs of each decision maker involved and clearly identify the downstream impact (commercially and strategically) of successful programme implementation.

Brilliant Noise was able to use this enhanced understanding of the underlying needs of BMW Motorrad and, through a clear understanding of the measures and quantifiable metrics of success, was able to position itself both as a value-creator and strategic partner to solve key business challenges.

This understanding and positioning of the agency and solution differentiated Brilliant Noise clearly from the competition (many larger, network agencies) to win the multi-year contract and embark and a highly successful pan-European marketing transformation programme delivering outstanding results to BMW Motorrad. One year in, the clients are delighted and the partnership goes from strength to strength.

Nike  – (won in September 2022)

Brilliant Noise met a senior Nike marketer at a CMO conference. In preparation for the meeting, the team applied the new sales method from Waypoint and researched Nike’s sustainability and annual reports in such depth they were armed with insights, ideas and structured questions. The client was so curious about Brilliant Noise’s knowledge and effort that they wanted to hear more.

Brilliant Noise instigated the opportunity and was seen as the expert in sustainability marketing so a competitive process wasn’t required. By building a clear understanding of the measures and quantifiable metrics of success, Brilliant Noise was able to position itself both as a value-creator and strategic partner to solve Nike’s business challenges.

The relationship quickly evolved into a long-term partnership to elevate Nike’s “Move to Zero” sustainability story across Europe.

Hear more about the Brilliant Noise story in our Waypointers Podcast:

Selling solutions, not services: a new model for agencies