Awards case study: The winning traits of the Atos marketing team

Find out how teamwork and collaboration has led Atos' UK&I marketing team to generate £1.149bn of new sales pipeline and £15.8m of closed deals 

Over two years, the Atos UK & Ireland (UK&I) marketing team has undergone a major transformation to become a professional, business-aligned and ROI-driven team which is highly valued across Atos.

Within the last 12 months, the team has become an exemplar globally both within Atos and externally. The team has been restructured to drive greater performance and at the same time a fun, engaging and lively (!) culture has developed. Through clear communication, cross-working and specific B2B marketing up-skilling, the team has implemented new client-leading initiatives, exceeded against its targets and received consistently fantastic feedback from clients and the business.

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With incredible passion, teamwork and growth in confidence, the team has produced outstanding results and continue to shine:

  • £1.149bn of new sales pipeline
  • £15.8m of closed deals generated by marketing – resulting in £4m of in-year revenue
  • £2.5bn of pipeline supported across 100+ bids
  • Sponsored, presented and delivered 94 client events
  • 35 new Atos client advocates
  • New client insight platform implemented across 20 accounts
  • Winners of three B2B marketing awards (shortlisted for eight awards)
  • Five internal accolades
  • 95% of the business stated that we added or significantly added value.

About the team

The Atos marketing team of 16 individuals reports into the sales SVP on the UK&I Atos board. The team went through a voluntary restructure in December 2015, becoming the first region fully aligned to Atos’ global marketing function, while retaining alignment to the UK&I business’ structure.

Each individual has a dotted reporting line into their global marketing counterpart, enabling the global marketing function to benefit from local best practice. The team benefits from greater client reach, budgets and influence over global programmes deployed. 

The team strives to be 'A leading marketing team that is known internally and externally for being pioneers and delivering business value'. All objectives and responsibilities stem from this vision, delivering activities at all stages of the sales cycle with clear ROI associated.

The brand

Atos is a leader in digital services, with annual revenues of €12 billion and 100,000 employees in 72 countries. Serving a global client base, the group provides consulting, systems integration services, managed services, BPO, cloud operations, big data solutions, cyber-security solutions and transactional services. Within the UK&I, Atos is ranked 10th in IT services revenue according to TechMarketView and operates across public and private sector markets.

Commercial challenges

The main commercial challenges faced by the team have included:

  • Atos’ drive towards globalisation
  • Pressure to deliver increased revenue and sales pipeline.

The team has responded positively to these challenges. Fully embracing and driving the alignment to Atos’ global marketing function, they have restructured, set up virtual global working teams, one-on-ones with counterparts and weekly calls to air any concerns and share best practice. Taking on a ‘sales mentality’, a weekly team KPI call is held to discuss progress, share achievements and to maintain motivation. This is led by a different member each week.

Individual contributions

The strength of the team overall is the mix of experience, ages, skillsets, respect and fun that everyone brings. Over the past two years, Atos has used a methodology called ‘Packtypes®’ to understand how each member complements one another. To highlight individual strengths and contributions, the team has provided words to describe each other:

  • Chris A: “Talented, supportive, visionary. Highly creative and brilliantly numerate.” (Denise)
  • Russ: “Worked hard to deliver the manufacturing campaign. Focused, determined and creative.” (Chris A)
  • Chiara: “Extremely passionate, challenge seeker. Determined, new business generator, integral on bids.” (Tori)
  • Tori: “Builds creativity with practicality. Provided invaluable support on the UK&I content strategy.” (Ruth)
  •  Jo: “Understands the BBC account inside out, has a great network. Enjoyable to work with.” (Jen)
  • Denise: “Passionate and great fun! Ability to build customer relationships is incredible.” (Vicki)
  • Vicki: “Bright and enthusiastic. Did such a fantastic job on supporting the Met Police bid, they didn’t let her go!” (Jo)
  • Stacey: “Brings a raw honesty to situations, which is refreshing. Renowned for Eloqua skills and ‘sheepdog’ Packtype.” (Cat)
  • Jeff: “First-class experience, attention to detail, enabled our client insight capability to be intrinsic to the business.” (Russ)
  • Lydia: “Positive energy personified, detailed-oriented professional. The heart of the team - enthusiasm, smile, optimistic nature.” (Chiara)
  • Ruth: “Excellent marketing professional, can-do attitude, wealth of experience delivering large, complex marketing campaigns.” (Mark)
  • Mark: “Clever, detailed, thorough. Always helps with different online options.” (Stacey)
  • Craig: “A natural born supportive leader. Reliable, trend setter creatively, always delivers excellence. A true gentleman.” (Chris M)
  • Jen: “My rock! Supportive, creative, original thinker.” (Lydia)
  • Chris M: “Translates briefs into engaging applications across any digital platform, 16 languages: technical genius.” (Craig)
  • Cat: “Determined visionary, builds relationships to make things happen. Hopeless with numbers while winning additional budget through proven ROI.” (Jeff)

Team working and collaboration

Specific examples include:

  • Brand awareness: One content strategy for all UK&I content has been created as a team involving two away-day sessions since January 2016. The strategy drives efficiencies, ensures consistency in client messaging and utilises the core strengths of individuals within and across the team.
  • New sales pipeline: Three cross-market campaigns delivered in 2015 rather than just individual team members campaigns, enabling greater ROI.
  • Pipeline supported: The team work together across deals, using different skills/experience to support at different stages of the sales cycle.  For example, on a £100m deal in 2015, Jeff supported on delivering client insight throughout the bid, Lydia delivered individual client events, whilst Jen supported in the creative execution of the client proposal.

​Strategic alignment

The UK&I marketing team is fully aligned to Atos’ global marketing function and the UK&I business’ structure in terms of markets and clients. This includes one marketing individual per priority market plus marketing specialists who support across the team.

Rigorous internal stakeholder mapping is undertaken by the team once a quarter to ensure continued buy-in and consensus, particularly from the UK&I Atos board, UK&I sales directors and global marketing. The team’s achievements and new initiatives are discussed and presented regularly by everyone in the team through one-on-ones, weekly/monthly meetings and quarterly presentations/videos/updates.

Team development and retention

The ‘Packtypes®’ methodology revealed the team as creative, delivery-focused and results-oriented, but lacking in insightful, data-led approaches. This has been addressed through recruitment, deployment of a client-insight platform and up-skilling of the team. 

Atos has invested in ITMSA and B2B Marketing membership. There are individual development plans for all team members, incorporating one-on-one training, webinars and seminars/conferences/roundtables. Each individual presents for five minutes on each weekly team call to share learnings from training attended.

The main employee churn was through restructure. In addition, the Met Police account team enjoyed working with Vicki so much she accepted a client engagement role in April 2016 – in true style the team threw surprise congratulatory drinks for her!

“In the last two years, I have seen a significant transformation in the marketing team. They have collaborated strongly to beat their ambitious targets, generating over £1.1bn of new sales pipeline, supporting £2.5bn of pipeline and bringing together best of class expertise. Their campaign, event and bid activities have helped position Atos as a Tier 1 digital services leader. Receiving three external awards in November 2015 is a reflection of the hard work, dedication and leading-edge marketing that the team produce," Mark Ingleby, SVP, sales and marketing, Atos.