Privately owned, Caterleisure are a contract catering business with a national presence and over 300 employees, including a network of senior managers operating on-site dining facilities within a range of businesses such as Factories, Call Centres and Local Authorities.
Established over 40 years ago, the business has built a reputation for excellence, efficiency and value when delivering tailored or ‘bespoke’ catering solutions, designed for companies with highly specialist requirements, like menu diversity, ethical sourcing, fresh food, healthier eating and recycling. This proven capability and ‘sweet spot’ are increasingly effective and relevant as more businesses place staff wellbeing and social responsibility higher on their corporate agenda.
Despite this proven capability and ‘sweet spot’, several challenges had presented themselves in terms of sales growth. Previous efforts at outbound sales campaigns had not delivered the required results and leads were not being generated at a high enough volume to deliver a consistent pipeline of new business opportunities.
Having been invited to work alongside the management team to address these concerns and develop a more effective, overall approach to sales, we identified several key areas that required immediate development to ensure success.
Using customer insight to strengthen positioning.
By managing a comprehensive, competitor audit and customer interview process, we discovered that many aspects of the service that customers truly valued were not being communicated through sales and marketing channels.
This included attributes such as a highly consultative and caring approach to relationships, a problem-solve attitude, commercial transparency, flexibility and a deep level of expertise around staff management that was often lacking elsewhere in the market. Furthermore, customers recognised and appreciated their direct access to senior management when dealing with any challenges during a contract as well as a strong reputation for being able to ‘turn declining units’ around.
These insights led to a review and refresh of the business’s website copy, as well as the creation of on-point email marketing content for forthcoming campaigns.
Implementing effective tools & processes.
Meanwhile, the existing prospect data set being used was not sufficient in terms of identifying the right profile of companies to target and tracking procurement cycles and key decision makers. So, we implemented an ongoing process to collect and monitor tender dates and supplier portals and add new prospects on a continuous basis that met commercial criteria.
Building trust through thought leadership.
Given the high levels of competition in the category, even with these processes in place, cold sales approaches alone may not deliver sufficient results. Therefore, we established a content framework that would enable the business to discuss thought leadership around key contract catering topics, building trust and credibility in the market and reaching a wider audience through channels such as social.
Topics within this framework included; ‘establishing a new canteen’, ‘managing menus for ethnically diverse workforces’ and ‘encouraging staff to stay on-site instead of leaving for the high-street’.
Right message, right person, right time…
Through the improvement of existing offers, introducing franchises such as COSTA, or by creating new, own-branded dining experiences unique to their clients’ business and culture, Caterleisure offer a range of solutions to improve staff experience and financial performance across workplace dining venues.
So, our activities were supported by an ongoing email and telemarketing campaign that referred directly to the offer most suited to each audience, driven by our understanding of the key decision maker’s business function (HR, Facilities, Procurement) and size of the operation and sites (200-1000 employees) concerned.
This process has delivered a regular and consistent volume of tender opportunities to the business for the past five years and remains one of our longest standing relationships.