TOPO – Research Support


TOPO is a research and advisory firm that helps sales, marketing, and sales development teams grow revenues faster. Its analysts deliver playbooks, training, advisory support, research, and consulting that power over $20 billion in revenue for more than 240 clients. Founded in 2013, TOPO has grown rapidly and has emerged as the go-to market analysis firm for sales and marketing professionals.

Business Problem

A significant part of TOPO’s business consists of one-off custom research and consulting projects for its clients, and while for the most part these projects are performed by its on-staff team of analysts and consultants, on rare occasions TOPO finds it helpful to needs to supplement its research and consulting capacity to support demand for specific projects. One such project arose in 2017, in which TOPO was asked to do a large custom research project to understand and characterize best practices in customer relationship management. Wanting not only to outsource the data collection and research for this project, but also to add project facilitation skills unique to Callan Consulting, TOPO reached out for help.


The project consisted of several phases. First, Callan Consulting led a kick-off session with TOPO and its end client, with the goal of unearthing spoken and unspoken project objectives, identifying core research hypotheses, and developing a research approach to address them. Based on the outcome of this kickoff session, the Callan Consulting team developed a quantitative survey and fielded it. The survey was conducted into 250 B2B buyers and 250 B2B sellers in the U.S. and was designed to develop a deeper understanding of buyer perspectives and buyer engagement at different stages of the buying cycle, and to look for disconnects between the two audiences. Callan Consulting then developed


The study yielded a number of surprises and busted some common myths, such as that the majority of the buyer’s journey today is digital; in fact, the study identified that many buyers actually want direct, personal engagement with sales reps, and want to engage with them early in the process. The client used the data to fuel its messaging and product direction, and based in large part on the success of the project, over the next 12 months, TOPO received a three-fold increase in investment from the customer.