This blog addresses the common misunderstandings about B to B sales outsourcing, and explains how an outsourcing sales company uses their services to find business solutions and increase sales for their clients.
Because outsourced sales and marketing is an industry still in its infancy, many business owners are wary and apprehensive when approached about sales outsourcing their sales. Choosing whether or not to outsource sales is not an easy decision, and there are multiple risks and concerns to consider, these are often confusing to those without experience in the sales industry.
To clear up at least some of the confusion you may have, here are five of the most common B to B sales outsourcing misconceptions we have seen from business owners here at Gabriel Sales.
- 1. “I don’t need a full-time rep.”
While many clients originally only want to staff a part-time sales representative, we have found this seldom works long term. Even if a company starts out with a part-time person, it often becomes necessary to scale to full-time. Sales outsourcing companies are flexible in this regard, and work with their clients to find the most effective balance possible. Gabriel Sales offers temporary, part-time, and full-time options for lead generation and inside sales.
- 2. “I already have a sales team. I don’t need outsourcing.”
Having an existing sales team does not automatically exclude you from the benefits of sales and marketing outsourcing. In fact, many of our clients have sales teams of their own. We improve upon what you already have, and can act as an extension to your current sales and marketing teams. We often employ a sales representative exclusively for setting sales appointments, sales qualifying or B2B lead generation. Other times, we are taken on solely to aid in a new product launch. There are many sales services an outsourcing sales and marketing company can provide to an existing sales team; to see more of them, check out our services page.
- 3. “I want to do my own recruiting.”
If you’re considering outsourcing your sales and marketing, your current sales recruiting process most likely isn’t working. If you don’t have years of experience finding people who can execute successfully, an outsourcing sales company can definitely help. Many companies end up coming to us because of the lack of success of their own recruits. Recruiting takes time and money; outsourcing sales saves both. By outsourcing sales and marketing, businesses can take advantage of the vast sales expertise experienced sales personnel provide to them.
- 4. “I want to remain in control of my sales process.”
We know choosing to outsource your sales and marketing can seem like handing the keys to your convertible over to a complete stranger. This can no doubt be unnerving. However, we have found open communication between both partners in an outsourcing sales relationship to alleviate this anxiety. At all times and in all situations working with our clients, we keep them informed of our activities and progress. You, the client, finalize any decisions.
- 5. “I want to build my brand, not my outsourcer’s brand.”
When you hire a B to B sales outsourcing company, their job is to sell you, not themselves. Here at Gabriel Sales we understand this, and constantly put the client first. Our sales representatives make calls and act as your employees in all business interactions. Our job is to help you succeed. Only then, do we succeed.
This blog discusses cold call sales scripts, and how to craft one into your overall B2B sales content strategy to make your sales process as efficient and effective as possible.
As an outsourcing sales and marketing company, we have found that a good sales script for cold calls does not begin, as many often assume, with intent to sell. A cold call script should aim to introduce your company’s service/product as a possible to solution to the specific customer’s needs. A cold call sales script should also set out to help determine any and all possible objections that may stand in the way of closing the deal.
At the beginning of the call, ask for the person you wish to speak with, and once you have them on the phone introduce yourself by name and the company you represent. You then need to make the potential buyer understand who you are and how you could help them. This works best when the conversation is focused on how your company solves problems or fills needs.
In order to sell your company’s product/service as a solution to someone’s needs, you first have to know what those needs are. This requires research on the company you are trying to sell to, as well as their competition. You can only position yourself as an industry expert if you actually know the industry.
Another way to position yourself as an industry expert is to list any of your previous clients whose name your potential buyer may recognize. This helps build confidence in your company, and also gives you a chance to direct him/her to case studies that show the success of your relationships with those clients.
Your sales script should also have answers prepared for any objections you might face. This means you need to know what those possible objections are before you make the call.
A good cold call sales script can also help you speed the decision making process. Early in the sales process you want to give your potential buyer your ROI statement. As an outsourced sales company with over 10 years of sales experience, we have found the following formula to be effective:
▪ My company /service will create an X (month, quarter, year) program that over the life of that program will produce and estimated $X dollars (go for the big deal upfront).
▪ This will mean an estimated % increase in profitability or % decrease in cost.
Once the potential buyer understands the overall picture of what you want to do for them, they can decide if that is something they might want or not. If the customer is still interested, you can then offer to do a more detailed analysis of the specific return after you have determined their specific needs.
Overall, you want your cold call sales script to work for both you and your potential buyers. While the main intent behind any sales process is to close deals, the goal of the cold call sales script is to assess whether or not the deal is closeable, and how to proceed if it is.
For more information on cold call sales scripts or B2B sales content strategy, please feel free to contact us.
Gabriel Sales is a top sales and marketing operations outsourcing company with years of experience in cold calling. Here are ten B2B sales strategy tips for effective cold calling:
- Prepare. Understand the overall goal you would like to achieve with the call. Plan it all out and know what actions you need to take to meet your goal. What needs to happen by the time you hang up? Are you looking to set an appointment? What information do you need from them? What do you want them to understand about you? What do you want the results of the call to be?
- Use your manners. Poor phone etiquette is an easy way to lose a deal before it has even started. Show personality in your voice when you speak to avoid boring your prospects to death. Don’t chew anything while you speak, you want to sound professional, energetic and articulate.
- Sell using a script, but don’t sound scripted. If you are fumbling over your opening statement, you can come off unprepared. You only have a few precious seconds at the beginning of a call to “hook” your client’s attention. Show confidence. Give them a reason not to tune you out.
- Don’t create extra objections for yourself. Good planning on your part, creating a solid opening, can head off objections simply by instilling confidence in your prospect. Make sure everything you say after is as equally planned out. Don’t say anything that does not direct apply to solving your prospect’s problems.
- Ask questions that sales qualify. Have the questions you need answered to sales qualify a prospect prepared ahead of time, and have them in front of you to reference. This is extremely important; in most cases, you need to learn as much about your prospect as they do about you. Good questions lead to better information and more appointments. Order your questions in sequence of priority, and ask them in that order.
- Listen to their answers. This may seem obvious, but listening is key when making a good sales call. By asking the right sales qualifying questions, you can be sure you will get the right answers, if you simply open your ears. Listen attentively to their needs, do not interrupt and wait for them to say everything they want to.
- Do not mistake negative answers for rejections. The two are not synonymous. While an unfavorable response (such as a prospect claiming to be too busy) may be a sign they are not interested, it should not be assumed this is always the case.
- Do not push unnecessary content. Many times, a request for additional information is simply a guise to get off the phone. Don’t let this happen to you! If your prospect asks for more information, make sure you know why. Ask them what kind of information they want; this will increase the odds of them actually reading it.
- Get what you want. Show no fear, be confident and ask for it! Whatever the goal of your call is, the only way you’re going to achieve it is to ask. Just like with your opening, you should have a planned out way of asking for what you want. If your goal is an appointment, set the date and time immediately.
- Show your value. Talking about how great you are rarely impresses anyone. If you want to keep your prospect engaged, you always have to remember the client’s perspective. The best way to show your value is to ask smart sales questions, and then listen to the response and follow up with another great sales question.
For more information on cold calling or B2B sales strategy, please feel free to contact us.
Why should you choose our sales outsourcing services over Rolodex?
This blog discusses the pros and cons of using a sales outsourcing organization like Gabriel Sales vs. hiring a Rolodex Rep specifically for new product or service launches.
Gabriel Sales is an organization to work with when outsourcing sales. In short, what we do is build sales engines. Those sales engines are usually for new product launches and new service launches but we also work with companies looking to turn around under performing sales teams, improve effectiveness of cold callers or anything else you can think of that has the end goal of generating sustainable revenue through a solid sales process. Because we are not a rep company, when we take on clients launching a new product, we are required to wear many hats – sales consultants, marketing consultants, lead gen rep, inside sales rep, closer, sales manager and market research (so we can accurately forecast and create an aligned sales content strategy).
One question that comes up frequently when discussing a new product or service launch is: “Should I hire a Rolodex Rep or hire Gabriel Sales?” There is no clean answer to that question because it depends on:
- Short term and long term strategic needs
- Short term and long term revenue goals
- Maturity of the market
- Maturity of the solution
We can make recommendations once we understand all the specifics with relation to the bullets above but here are some general thoughts (based on experience) for boards and executives to consider when evaluating Rolodex vs. Sales and Marketing Outsourcing.
Pros of hiring a Rolodex Rep
- Rolodex Sales Reps have established relationships.
- They can generally get you in front of a handful of decision makers quickly- By quickly we mean they should be able to spend 2-4 weeks reaching out to their network and another 2-4 weeks doing the first round of meetings. So within two months you should have 6-10 meetings completed and if the product or service is the right fit you can get some quick deals in the pipe depending on the sales cycle.
- If it works you are a hero. If it does not work you are no further along than when you started and you will have lost two quarters (1 quarter waiting for that rep to produce and another putting another solution in place).
- If it does work you can show investors traction but not scale.
Cons of hiring a Rolodex Rep
- The ability of a Rolodex Rep to penetrate the market is limited. Studies have shown that the average Rolodex Rep can maintain 7-20 really strong relationships with senior buyers and another 15-30 plus friendly relationships. If you have a finite market this could be a great solution.
- In most cases you have no visibility into what a Rolodex rep is doing for you until they actually produce something.
- It has been our experience that Rolodex Reps with valuable relationships (20 strong relationships with senior buyers and 30 plus friendlies) are not cheap.
- An experienced Rolodex Rep with genuine value in their network are often reluctant to take on a product until its proven unless you are willing to give them an exclusive for a period of time.
- Rolodex reps rarely sell using a script (process in not necessarily repeatable and sometimes does little to convince investors you can scale) and do not provide and significant sales ratios for future pipe forecasting.
- If it does not work you are no further along than when you started and you will have lost two quarters (3 months waiting for that rep to produce and another 3 months implementing the next solution).
Summary of hiring a Rolodex Rep
When a Rolodex produces it’s a huge win! Hiring a Rolodex Rep is generally high risk and high reward. Gabriel Sales is often brought into an organization after this approach has been attempted unsuccessfully. We are also often brought in simultaneously to start the lead generation engine so when the Rolodex Rep’s pipe runs dry we are filling it to sustain the sales momentum.
Pros of hiring an Outsourced Sales Company (like Gabriel Sales)
- Outsourcing Sales Companies sell using a repeatable sales process. They generally get on the phone to start filling the pipe leveraging a scripted and repeatable sales process.
- Outsourced Sales Organizations staff blended teams so you get the advantage of being able to hit 1000’s of decision makers with their dedicated telemarketing staff, leverage direct marketing campaigns and still have senior inside reps and part time enterprise reps to close business.
- Unlike a Rolodex Rep, Outsourced Sales Companies are collecting critical market data for long term strategy and growth, creating a sales content strategy (and in our case producing digital sales content ).
- When Outsourcing Sales and Marketing you don’t have to deal with all the database management and acquisition work. You get the advantages of a dedicated sales team without the 100K-200K of technology and support team investments required if you were to build your own technology stack. In addition you get rid of some of the fixed costs you would incur by hiring a Senior Sales Executive and Senior Strategist to frame your own engine. The savings is usually in the 100K -150K+ range.
- With an Outsourced Sales and Outsourced Marketing Organization you get accountability, market intelligence and transparency on a weekly basis.
- You get into the market fast and you get infinitely smarter faster.
- Unlike a Rolodex Rep with a Sales and Marketing Outsourcing Company your sales momentum is just starting to build heading into months 3 and 4 which is generally when a Rolodex rep is starting to run out of steam.
Cons of Outsourcing vs. a Rolodex Rep
- The same principle applies here as with a seasoned Rolodex Rep: The better the Sales Outsourcing Organization, the more expensive they can become. (On the plus side neither comes close to the sunk cost of building and managing your own team).
- These organizations can get you into the market much faster than you could get there on your own but it will still take a little time to customize your sales machine and build a process that is both sustainable and repeatable.
The best solution if you can afford it is to hire both. However in this market you are better off walking away with something if you can’t afford to risk walking away with nothing. Good Rolodex guys are not cheap and you don’t know if you are getting anything back on your investment unless guarantees are made up front. With an Outsourced Sales Organization you are guaranteed call volumes, weekly reports to help you shape future metrics, market intelligence, a sales pipe with multiple stage deals that you can at a very minimum if the product you are taking to market does not quite hit the mark.
At the end of the day everyone is looking for the fastest cheapest way to fix their problem. While you might be able to get something in the short term from a Rolodex Rep you will not get anything for the long term. Building a sales engine is like building house and you have to do it the right way, build a strong foundation and lay the groundwork for success, or you will end up dealing with repairs on a consistent basis and wishing you had invested that extra effort up front.
For more background on the type of consulting you can expect and to understand some of the additional options you have we invite you to check out our blog post on Sales Consulting vs. Sales Outsourcing. If you are looking to drive sales faster while building a sustained foundation for a high velocity sales machine we invite you to contact us for a free consultation to see what we can do to help.
This blog outlines the role of white papers in today’s B2B sales content strategy and how to craft a white paper so that it best serves both you and your customer.
Today’s digitized customer often researches potential purchases using the relevant media content provided to them. One way to provide educational content to your customer is to use a white paper. White papers, in the business sector, are used to persuade the reader that a service, product, technology, method, etc. is superior to others, and that it will fill the client’s needs. Its goal should be to influence the decision making process of current and potential customers.
A good white paper is aware of its clients’ specific problems and addresses this early in the paper. Instead of simply explaining what your service or product is, phrase the information as solutions to needs you already know your client has.
For example, instead of:
“Gabriel Sales provides full-time sales and marketing operations.”
“Gabriel Sales’ full-time sales and marketing operations helps to identify winning strategies for your specific goals and objectives, navigate the new intricacies of today’s complex sales process and close deals.”
Time has become one of the most valuable resources in today’s digital environment of instant satisfaction. Potential customers do not spend as much time with your content as they used to and need to be entertained as well as educated. If your white paper is too text heavy, it is unlikely to be read in its’ entirety. It will also probably bore your reader into clicking on something more interesting.
Having clear summaries at the beginning and end of your white paper, as well as throughout, helps keep your reader focused on the messages you are trying to deliver. It also helps to ensure that if your reader does not have time to read your entire white paper, they are still spending some time with your overall message.
Also, the use of graphics, such as charts, graphs, or fact boxes, helps retain the reader’s attention. These graphics can also be used to summarize the key messages you want your reader to take away from the white paper.
To learn more about white papers and how to incorporate them into your B2B sales content strategy, please contact us. For more information on how White Papers can be included in an overall digital content strategy learn a little bit more about a holistic approach by checking out “What is better sales collateral?”