How Knapheide Bridged the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

August 28, 2019
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Many dealerships tend to treat their sales and marketing teams as two siloed entities even though both teams are working toward the same goal of bringing customers to the business. Even the sales and marketing teams that work together don’t always know how to get the best out of the partnership. An efficient partnership can be difficult to develop when there isn’t a clear picture of what that partnership should look like.

So to paint the picture of how to successfully integrate sales and marketing, let’s look at how Knapheide accomplished this:

The Client: Knapheide

As one of the top truck body manufacturers in the nation, Knapheide has been providing high-quality products to their customers since 1848. Their products include service bodies, forestry bodies, water trucks, mechanics trucks, and more. One of the greatest contributors to Knapheide’s success is their distributor network which is one of the largest and most effective in the industry.

Client’s Challenge

Knapheide had been struggling to integrate their sales and marketing and the biggest contributing factor was their limited digital and analytic capabilities. Without the necessary technologies, it was difficult to align marketing strategies with sales strategies which was causing them to miss out on an opportunity to increase efficiency in their business.

How did they overcome their challenge?

The first thing Knapheide did was set goals they wanted to accomplish:

  • Keep qualified visits at less than $25 each
  • Connect marketing data and sales
  • Create a better strategy to manage sales territories

To achieve these goals, Knapheide worked closely with Randall-Reilly and an agency partner to build a strategy that called for the capabilities of both marketing and sales.

The strategy was broken down into the following goals:

  • Finding the target audience
  • Capturing leads & distributing to sales
  • Measuring & communicating results

GOAL #1 – Finding the Target Audience

STEP 1: Define Your Audience

For Knapheide to know who to go after, they needed to know what their ideal customer looked like. This also helped to avoid targeting people who weren’t the right fit for Knapheide’s products. So the data on Knapheide’s current customer base was examined to draw out common characteristics. With these characteristics, a customer profile was created. The data examined included:

  • Fleet Size
  • Revenue
  • Equipment Ownership
  • Location
  • Seasonality
  • SIC Codes
  • Routes
  • Used Vs. New

STEP 2: Create a Custom Audience

Now that Knapheide’s ideal customer had been defined, it was time to narrow down the new prospects provided through Randall-Reilly’s databases. Using the prospects’ SIC Codes (Standard Industrial codes) which revealed the prospects’ primary type of business and by adding the necessary filters and parameters to the search, Randall-Reilly was able to find 33,000 prospects that matched Knapheide’s criteria. A broader search revealed 250,000 companies.

STEP 3: Target Custom Audience

Once the custom audience had been created, two targeting methods were used to reach the customer audience:


The email addresses of the custom audience prospects were matched to Facebook profiles to find thes prospects on Facebook. These prospects were targeted with Facebook ads. One of the ads led to Knapheide’s website while a Facebook lead ad was used to capture prospect info.


A whitepaper on safety and one on finding the right product for your job were created and sent through email by Randall-Reilly. Prospects were prompted to fill out a form to access the downloadable whitepaper. This allows prospect info to be captured.

GOAL #2 – Capturing Leads & Distributing to Sales

This was where Knapheide’s distribution network came into play. Whenever sales would receive a notification for a lead, the salesperson would decide on the most suitable distributor to send that lead to. This would require the salesperson to be knowledgeable on Knapheide’s distributors. Knapheide relied heavily on marketing automation at this point in the process. Using marketing automation, they were able to handle a large volume of leads while increasing the efficiency of managing these leads.

GOAL #3 – Measurement and Tracking Strategy

Knapheide used analytics to expose the current state of their processes and strategies. They depended on what the data was telling them and used that knowledge to refine their approach. A simple measurement strategy was created so there was clear direction in the phase of the process:


This factor played a huge part in ensuring cohesiveness in the partnership between sales and marketing and even the partnership between Knapheide and Randall-Reilly. It helped to ensure everyone was on the same page.


Knapheide began the process with clear goals so it was clear what everyone was working toward.


Once the results were in, it had to be decided who needed to view these metrics. For Knapheide, it was their executive team and, of course, sales and marketing.


This entailed deciding what metrics were most important here. Knapheide looked at key performance indicators (KPIs) that linked to ROI like Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), number of leads, leads won, leads lost, average number of days to close a lead, etc.

Knapheide knew their customers but their process for reaching them wasn’t efficient. They recognized the potential to better their business by honing the partnership between marketing and sales. But to do that, they had to work closely with a dependable partner who had expertise in the industry.

Through their partnership with Randall-Reilly, they were able to build a strong strategy, accomplish their goals, and strengthen the partnership between sales and marketing.

How to Get Started

You may wondering how you can apply Knapheide’s strategy to your own challenge. Here are a few quick ways to integrate marketing and sales:


Bringing your marketing and sales teams together in a workshop allows them to learn more about the industry alongside each other. Having in-depth sessions on topics like the different segments of the industry your business caters to, understanding each segment, and knowing the state of the industry can help to put both teams on the same page.


A great way to gain access to prospects outside your CRM is to invest in outside data sources. Knapheide needed a better understanding of their customers. Infusing their CRM with additional data insights paint a clearer picture of who their customers were, and how to find more.


This goes hand-in-hand with marketing automation. What are the data points that tell you what you need to know about prospects and leads? What are the KPIs that give you the best picture of your ROI? Answering these questions is an important part of moving forward.

Getting started with these simple steps positions you to get the best out of the partnership between your sales and marketing teams.