Your company is ready to jump on your lead generation opportunities and use sales to quickly increase your revenue. The problem is, you don’t know how to make it happen.
As a sales outsourcing company that specializes directly in solving this problem, we can offer some insight as to how you should proceed. The new digital marketplace has changed the way business, especially the sales process, gets done. If you want to beat the competition, you need to understand how you can use this new way of doing business to work as effectively as possible. To do this, you first need to evaluate your current process to look for your strengths and the areas where you need to take action.
Sales outsourcing may be able to augment sales gaps and increase sales pipe velocity. Three things to look at when evaluating how to proceed are the efficiency of your current sales team, your strategy for marketing and your ability to execute.
Sales Team Efficiency
- Look at the structure of your team. Is it set up to achieve your goal of increasing revenue and developing new prospects? Can your sales manager organize and encourage your team to close deals in a time efficient manner? Does your team need extra training to make this happen?
- Evaluate your sales process. How do you monitor your sales process and evaluate its effectiveness? Do you use marketing automation or sales force technology? Do you have a way to understand changing market conditions and respond accordingly?
- Look at how you spread information about your service or product. Are you using social media to your advantage? Do you have digital educational content available to customers to help in the sales process? Is your website capable of finding new leads for you?
- Evaluate your message. Is everyone at your company sending out a consistent message? Are your sales and marketing teams aligned? Do they work with each other to create an effective lead generation strategy?
- Look at how you deliver your service or product. Is your team set up to make this process go as smoothly as possible? Do you have people who are constantly available for customer support? What might it take to make this happen?
If these questions expose some holes or deficiencies in your current business process, it may be time to look into possible solutions. If you are willing to devote time and resources to finding solutions and building a scalable sales machine, Gabriel Sales, as an sales outsourcing company, can provide you with tools, strategies and people to make it happen. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in learning more.
Is it harder to put leads in your pipe? Are you spending more time educating and less time closing? Do you build a pipe and then abandon it, starting from scratch every quarter? Do you over or under forecast your revenue?
The professional services sales industry has its ups and downs. On the plus side, professional services sales are forecasted to grow at over 2.5X of the rest of the economy for the next 4 years. On the downside, it’s getting more competitive and there are new rules of engagement. Below is a quick outline of how you can build a sales machine that addresses those new rules and will double your revenue.
A high velocity sales machine for professional services requires a different approach to the typical professional service sales and marketing method. It takes commitment to continually improve the process. It takes a commitment to becoming a “digital publisher” and learning how to use new technologies. It takes a commitment to managing inside and junior sales reps on a daily basis, and most professional services professionals love solutioning and would rather not spend their time managing junior employees.
Make Your Product Accessible Digitally. Your Top Producers are Your Product! As a top B to B professional service sales outsourcing company, we map all the sales objections we get during the sales process. We measure what wins deals. Once we understand these objections, we work with our outsourced sales clients to create content that demonstrates their intangibles—their thinking style, their approach to solutioning, their character, their personality—and create content that is authentic, and allows them to enter into dialogue with the prospect one to many. With or without us you need to create content that clones your Top Producers. Once we start working with a client, we generally find that over 50% of the content we need is already lying around in one form or another in past presentations, RFPs and speeches they have given.
Use an Inside Sales Team. You cannot afford to have your high-end sales resources, or professionals, that could be billing clients instead generating leads and selling to early stage prospects. To make this work you will need a hands on VP of Sales who has prior experience running an inside sales team. The team needs to be able to sell strategically over the phone, qualify prospects and understand both their business need and how they will budget for the solution. Open ended questions and smart probing questions go a long way. Once the lead is engaged, bring in your senior resources and then pass back to the inside rep to manage the logistics of the close.
Start by Leveraging Digital Content on the Back End of Your Sales Cycle. Start with your close when creating content and then work backwards to share that content. This means you need to approach your B2B customer by taking more of a consumer approach to marketing. Once they are engaged, you need to sell to them digitally. Any presentation you give more than one time a quarter needs to be turned into a webcast. Any objection that comes up more than once a quarter, you need to write a blog about. You can then repurpose that same content for SEO and have your inside team use it for lead generation downstream.
Leverage Technologies. If you have a complex sale (and most professional services sales have some level of complexity) and the prospect is moving through your pipe, they will be actively looking at your content and will be sharing that content. You need to track when people are looking at your content. All the Fortune 1000 have these technologies in place, and they will win if you do not compete. Prices have come down dramatically in 2011 and you can now have equal footing.
Leverage Social Media. Once you have the content created, you simply need to push that same content into Social Media. This means YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. The average B2B customer goes out on the web looking for you once they are sales engaged. Make sure that they find you. This is ground cover for your inside sales team.
Nurture Prospects. Take the same digital content you use as part of our sales cycle to engage, develop and close prospects that are actively buying; and cut it up into much smaller chunks – 90 second videos—and use that same content to stay in front of prospects that are not ready to buy. Staying top of mind will win you deals when they are ready to buy. Let the longer term prospects engage in the sales cycle with your content, and use your inside reps to touch them so they know you care. Technologies like Pardot (our vendor of choice) and Marketo automate this process. Hit them with a monthly blog and a quarterly newsletter via these tools. Your inside team will be watching.
Metrics are Critical. Gabriel Sales top management executive team members are all endurance athletes. This approach is not a sprint. The high velocity sales model for professional services is an endurance sport, and you need to have your handle on every step of the process. You get stronger over time. This model is designed to get deals that are ready to move moving, and keep deals not yet ready to buy engaged until they are ready. With more content and more inside sales touches you get more results; and you need to measure what starts momentum, what sustains momentum and what builds momentum.You also need to understand what fakes momentum and what takes momentum. We build custom metrics for every client because generally a professional service sale (with both a business buyer and a technical buyer) is a 5 to 7 touch sale. Our experience is that about 70% of these touches can be done with inside reps.
SEO and SEM Focus. Within six months to a year, you will start to see a lift in Natural Search, Organic Search and SEO. You will have the metrics and the insights to start to give your Marketing efforts a Sales Quota. If the content is crafted carefully, you will be able to niche target and save a ton of money executing your SEO strategy.
For more information on B to B Professional Service Sales Outsourcing, please feel free to contact us. You can also visit our Knowledge Center for more tips for Professional Service Sales.
It’s almost 2017, and the economy is continuing to incrementally improve and show signs of picking up momentum. If you have not already started your sales planning, now is the time to start thinking about how to increase your sales performance in the coming year.
As a sales outsourcing company, here are our top outsourcing sales strategies you may want to examine in the coming year to increase sales.
- Build an ideal customer profile. Look at your current customer mix and decide what companies make you the most money and are the easiest to service and scale the quickest.
- Improve the quality of your lead targeting. Build on your ideal customer profile and improve the quality of your leads. Step one in building a pipe is to improve the quality of what you are putting into it.
- Analyze your sales process. Look at what worked for your top performers in 2016 and share those sales processes across your organization. As a sales outsourcing partner, a great deal of the outsourcing sales efficiencies we drive are replicating what works for top sales producers and sharing those both internally, and externally, with our sales clients.
- Start measuring your sales pipe velocity. Part of analyzing your sales process is putting the metrics in place to measure the velocity of your pipe. Understand what message and content moves your prospect from one stage in your sales pipeline to the next stage faster.
- Look at marketing automation software. If you have not already implemented a marketing automation platform, you need to start looking at them now. As a sales outsourcing organization, the insights and efficiency gains are critical for us to compete in the new sales engagement model.
- Nurture your sales pipe. Do not ignore past prospects, especially for complex sales. From our own data and other studies, in some industries we have seen over 50% of purchases are coming from prospects we educated last year.
- Sell money. You need to be able to demonstrate the Return on Investment you can drive with your product or service. The more complex your sales, the clearer you need to be able to explain how your buyer can measure their return.
- Sales and marketing alignment is critical. You need to give your marketing “a sale quota’, and create a team environment. Don’t just measure what marketing puts into the pipe and then what sales closes. Create shared success metrics so everyone has their eye on closing business with customers ready to buy and also nurturing prospects that are not quite ready. Create content that supports the sale across its lifecycle.
- Collaborate with partners. With the advent of social media, digital content, marketing automation, webcasting and SEO tools, it might make sense to look at how a top sales outsourcing and marketing operations company can help you augment capability and increase capacity, to increase your sales in the coming year.
Depending on your stage of sales and marketing alignment, there are multiple sales and marketing strategies and tactics with the potential to drive sales growth. A strategy or tactic is most effective when anchored in an overarching strategy based on real numbers as well as targeting specific sales goals. The best sales and marketing operations outsourcing company will help you to create a unique plan to improve what is not working and build what is working based on hard sales targets. Contact us for a free consultation to see what we can do to improve your sales performance and pipeline velocity in 2017.