How Tech Data Built Thousands of Customer Relationships for its Resellers Through Complex Workflow Automation

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Today, your existing customers are one of your biggest opportunities for business growth. But building strong customer relationships at scale can be a challenge, especially at enterprise level.

This was the precise challenge faced by global IT distributor Tech Data, when it recognised a phenomenal opportunity in its resellers’ extensive databases early last year.

Marketing development manager Jeni Taylor understood that as the digital space has become more and more crowded, it is increasingly important that she can retain and maximise the value she receives from their existing contract database.

Achieving this required a combination of strategy and technology to support timely, personalised communications with their resellers’ customers on an international scale. HubSpot’s workflow automation software met these requirements, so Jeni approached us to help set up and implement workflows for a specific line of products. Her goal was to reduce churn across a one-year lifecycle while also adding value to their resellers in order to improve the strength of their partnerships.




Effective data management crucial to complex workflow automation

‘We wanted to be able to send out a mixture of external emails to our customers throughout their subscription, from the initial adoption phase right through to renewal’, said Jeni. ‘Mixed into this was a need for internal emails to be sent to a telemarketing agency who would also be calling at set points during the year as the reseller to check up on the health of the contract.’

As a marketer, you will recognise the crucial role data management played in the success of such a programme. The complexity of the project only reinforced this.

The growing number of subscriptions, as well as case-by-case changes like revised end dates for renewed customers, meant the database needed to be updated daily. Meanwhile, the highly specific wording of subscription communications (‘Your contract runs out tomorrow’, for example) meant that each email sent out needed to align correctly with a recipient’s stage in the subscription lifecycle.

The initial database also needed segmenting to ensure that only appropriate audiences were included in the programme, in this case customers with two or more contracts and larger, more complex business requirements, who would benefit from being approached by the resellers in a more personalised way.


Working with the automation experts

Our experience working with large corporates on automation projects meant we quickly recognised the need to augment the format of the data with a piece of middleware in order for it to integrate with HubSpot’s workflow automation software effectively.

By working closely with Elixir Solutions, an integration specialist, we were able to map the HubSpot contact properties and troubleshoot the more complex needs. One of our Senior HubSpot Consultants, Gem Latimer worked closely with Jeni, the integration team and HubSpot to manage the end-to-end process. From the initial setup to monitoring ongoing engagement with the workflows, Gem's expertise with HubSpot (sitting alongside a handful of others globally with all certifications and daily experience) enabled BabelQuest to provide valuable insights into the performance of the external emails and the welcome webinar recording, in line with the objectives of the programme.

It was also important that we tracked the impact of the telemarketing company’s calls on the health of the contracts and the customer experience. Drawing from our expertise as one of the first agencies in the UK to proactively explore the market for sales enablement services, we set up custom contact properties that the telemarketing agency could update each time they made a call:

  • Call Unsuccessful
  • Call Unsuccessful—issue flagged (e.g. telephone number was invalid or the person had left the business)
  • Call Successful—all good
  • Call Successful—upsell opportunity
  • Call Successful—issue flagged

The important element here was that we would be able to see emerging trends in the data regarding which call was most likely to improve the chance of an upsell or flag a problem. In fact, over time we would even be able to move calls around or add an extra piece of content to an external email, if it would help reduce the churn rate.

BabelQuest were one of the first UK agencies to proactively explore and execute on the market for sales enablement services. They have since excelled in the space, driving measurable results and providing additional value for their clients. It’s great to see them achieve HubSpot Diamond status as one of our premier partners in the UK.’ - Aidan O’Leary, Senior Sales Manager, HubSpot International Partner Program


Building better relationships using workflow automation software

Within one month of going live with one reseller, email had a 30% open rate and a 2% CTR, leading to seven upsell opportunities and 11 issues that needed resolving to ensure retention. Without the programme those would have been overlooked. Furthermore, the telemarketing team was able to speak to the right person at the right time, ultimately improving the customers’ experience with both the reseller and the product.

‘Rebecca and her team have been patient and amazing in helping us create an automated marketing program. I would highly recommend and trust BabelQuest for any complex marketing automation. They understand our complexities and they have helped us build a 12-month campaign that we are rolling out across Europe to drive software subscription renewals for our partners.’ Jeni Taylor, Marketing Development Manager, Tech Data

We are now working on improving the reporting to be able to provide deeper analysis of the results being generated in HubSpot so that we can start to create predictable and measurable growth on the level of renewals across the resellers offering this product.


'Having spent many months working through the complexities and dealing with more than a few curveballs, it's great to see the programme finally working in line with what we set out to achieve. This programme so far involves over 50 complex workflows, lists and hyper-personalisation along with middleware to manipulate data in multiple ways. This was in no way an out of the box configuration for HubSpot and the project has taught me more about the tool than I ever thought possible. Now we can really start using that learning to improve the programme.' Gem Latimer, Senior HubSpot Consultant, BabelQuest

While it can often be easy to mark a deal as closed once the sale is done, it is incredibly important to remember that the relationship you continue to have with them can leave a positive impression and encourage renewal and future purchases.

Are you maximising the value of your database? To start more meaningful conversations with your customers, get in touch.

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Eric Murphy

About the Author
Eric Murphy
Inbound Marketing & Sales Strategist

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