Here are three habits you should expect from and outsourcing sales and marketing team. But first lets define a habit. A habit (or wont) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. … Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habits are sometimes compulsory.
If you are working with an outsourcing sales team you can often predict their success in lead generation, prospecting and the development of real sales opportunities based on the habits embedded in the culture of the organization. In fact having these habits embedded in the culture if they do not exist in your culture can be one of the key advantages of working with an outsourcing sales team.
Here are the habits we believe you should expect from a sales outsourcing team:
Weekly Meetings to Discuss Sales Pipeline
Your sales outsourcing meeting should meet with you weekly to discuss the number of deals moving through the pipe and entering your sales pipeline:
- Highlights of the best successes of the weekly efforts
- What new leads have moved forward into the pipe
- What new leads have entered the pipe
And your team should be prepared to share the following with your outsourcing sales team:
- What deals have closed
- What deals have fallen out of the pipe
You and your sales outsourcing partner should also have a clear scorecard they are working towards on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis that tracks all these goals.
This habit aligns both you and your outsourcing sales team around the most important goal of consistent deal flow because pipeline focus drives production for everyone.
Following Up with Inbound Leads Immediately
In this age of digital education 85% percent of buyers research multiple vendors when they have a business problem they are trying to solve. And the average amount of inbound inquiries they submit when they finally short list the companies they are interested in ranges from three to five..
You have a distinct advantage when you get back to those inbound leads immediately. Especially if you are a small business competing against larger companies (since you are already at a disadvantage with headcount) and need to demonstrate that your size will not impact the responsiveness the buyer can expect. In fact the ability of a sales outsourcing team to provide you with this responsiveness is a nice advantage a sales outsourcing team can provide.
Daily Use of the CRM by your Outsourcing Sales Team
Your sales outsourcing team should be active users of the CRM. If your sales outsourcing team is prospecting you should expect every call to be recorded even if there is no connection. If there is a connection you should expect the results of the calls to be recorded regardless if that call moves forward with a next step or not. This habit ensure that your sales outsourcing team remains accountable on a daily basis for moving deals through the pipe and ensure you have:
- The data you need to forecast and make projections accurately
- Have the visibility you need to coach your outsourcing team on:
- Where to focus their prospecting
- How to overcome objections
- And evaluate what deals they should focus to develop real opportunities
As a company you should also be committed to using the CRM on a daily basis. This is critical because it will help if you need to pass a lead back to your sales outsourcing team for further development.
Gabriel Sales takes a methodical approach to building sales outsourcing teams and marketing programs. To learn more about our philosophy and approach we invite you to check out our outsourcing sales services page.
When a company has a product ready to go to market the next step is taking it to market. While there is no right or wrong answer, there are multiple ways you can kick off a sales and marketing effort and for some companies an outsource sales effort may make sense. This article presents some food for thought for startup companies wrestling with that decision.
Building a Team on Your Own
Facing reality, if you can afford it, building your own in-house sales team can be a great way to go to market for a startup and to scale. You can hand pick, recruit and train your team; you can control the pace of their work from your own office and micro manage what they are working on.
However this can be an idealized vision. Most startup executives are being pulled multiple directions and it’s unusual for the founder of a startup to have the bandwidth to build and then manage what is required for success. And many entrepreneurs that have not been through several startups often struggle building the right initial team. And this error can cost the company valuable time and capital.
Outsource Sales and Marketing Services
For a time-crunched or first time entrepreneur, the attractiveness of outsourcing multiple functions and aspects of their business carries at least some appeal. This include engaging consultants to help with sales strategy, HR firms to help with recruiting, outsourced payroll companies and accountants, technology development firms to build their product, or outsource sales and marketing agencies to assist with inbound and outbound sales efforts.
When it comes to outsource sales and marketing we often find that most startup companies lose a great deal of the data, and direct feedback from customer that the sales effort provides. So while it may seem counter intuitive we often recommend that a startup company leverages an outsource sales and marketing company to address the heavy lifting of short terms tasks to build infrastructure. We also recommend that a startup uses outsource sales and marketing to deal with the grinding tasks of filling the funnel. And that the startup company staffs closer on their team to close the pipeline the outsource sales and marketing company is developing.
The Hybrid Outsource Sales and Marketing Model
In this model a startup company would outsource the following tasks:
- The initial research to target the market and acquire the initial databases
- The initial push to create enough content to support lead generation, lead nurturing and initial buyer development content
- The initial CRM and marketing automation systems implementation
- The initial lead generation campaigns
- The initial sales qualifying and appointment setting
This allows the entrepreneur to hire a seasoned high caliber closer to manage the deal flow or in some cases if high volume sales are not required, to manage the initial close themselves. With all the blocking and tackling of building modern sales and marketing operations off their plate they can focus on more mission-critical tasks like core product development, scaling accounts to higher revenue and building the overall operations, support and customer service teams to retain customers.
There is not one approach that is right for every startup. Every startup has a founding team with different skillsets. But if your team lacks the experience and/or bandwidth to get a sales effort off the ground a hybrid model may be right for you.
To learn more about the areas Gabriel Sale can help you launch a go to market sales effort we invite you to learn more about us on our outsource sales and marketing services page.
Startups and small businesses are always stretched for bandwidth. So startup and small businesses outsource multiple functions today like product development, bookkeeping and HR. Eventually most companies will consider what sales and marketing functions can be outsourced. Here are the 8 functions that can be considered for sales outsourcing and outsourced marketing.
Outbound Lead Generation
This is one area where a sales outsourcing and marketing company will help you gain quick traction. They will have the database marketing, email marketing and outbound calling reps you need and will be able to turn them on in a matter of weeks. You will not need to invest in the recruiting, hiring training and management of this team.
Inbound Lead Generation
If you have a large audience to target this is an important part of any strategy. Inbound leads are a combination of SEO, social media andSEM. One of the keys to inbound lead generation is a consistent effort and a constant monitoring of spend. This is where an outside company that specializes in this one particular area can be a huge advantage to keep you on track. It is also an area where the rules are always changing and most startups and small business will benefit from working with a company that lives and breathes inbound marketing all day and every day.
Buyer Development Reps
Buyer development reps are there to manage the leads that have been generated. Not as senior as closers, they will be able to educate the buyer about what you do and qualify the leads for your sales reps and closers. Many sales outsourcing companies can provide this person as a part time resource until there are enough leads in your sales funnel to develop.
Products and solutions are getting more specialized and more niched. Because of this we believe it’s important for the executive of a start up to steward their business through the early sales efforts. There is critical learning for founders that can help define the solution and improve the product. The executives will also learn more about the key selling points and direct feedback from customers will help them to position the company.
For startups (after those initial sales are closed) and for small businesses it then typically makes sense to hire a full time closer but only after you have a process for filling that closers funnel with deals. We find that it the expense doesn’t make sense for a dedicated closer unless there are deals for them to close (i.e.. you won’t be able to hire top talent without providing a process to fill their sales funnel). This extra sales rep walking into a full funnel will accelerate your revenue and be a huge productivity and time saver for startup executives and small business owners.
Marketing Leadership Outsourcing
Marketing is now a requirement for any company. Creating a marketing strategy that is aligned with sales is one area where sales outsourcing and marketing companies shine. Creating a marketing strategy hand in hand with a sales outsourcing plan will ensure that all your efforts are focused on driving the right deals into your pipeline. A sales outsourcing and marketing company will give you the access you need to marketing strategy when you need it and will be able to scale back those costs once your sales outsourcing efforts are launched. You should expect your sales outsourcing to provide a marketing leader to monitor the effectiveness over time and to optimize that strategy from time to time when necessary.
You may need the part time support of a marketing automation and CRM specialist. A sales outsourcing company will be able to provide this part time support.
There are many different marketing tactics that will need to be managed; including database management, content marketing support and the day to day management of your marketing automation system. You will also need reporting on all of your efforts on a regular basis. A sales outsourcing and marketing company will be able to provide this support.
For most companies short term and long term success requires sales oversight. An outsourcing sales team will have senior oversight as part of their package. They will keep your sales lead generation and your callers on task on a daily basis and keep them focused on your revenue and marketing goals.
Sales outsourcing does not need to be an all or nothing proposition. Most sales outsourcing companies will be able to provide a hybrid model if you have some of the team, talents and tools in house.
To learn more about how Gabriel Sales can help you craft a custom sales outsourcing and marketing team we invite you to check out our sales outsourcing service page.
This article is a quick overview of the step by step process we go through as an outsource sales team to build an effective and impactful targeting and messaging strategy for companies that leverage us as an outsource sales team and marketing partner, and for marketing automation implementations.
Building this Ideal Customer Profile with an outsource sales and marketing company can help you to accelerate your strategy.
If you have not read what is an Ideal Customer Profile you can find it here. But as a quick recap it is a profile that allows you to determine, based on hard and soft criteria, what type of buyers:
- Have the greatest need for your product
- Will transact the most quickly
- Will help you to drive sustained revenue
An Ideal Customer Profile allows your outsource sale partner to find and target your potential customers based on a number of hard criteria related to both the company and the specific decision maker type.
During an outsource sales team and marketing launch our first step is to research the size of the market. This is a critical step because as an outsource sales and marketing company we need to understand if the market is large enough to even merit targeting. We typically share information that details:
- Number of Companies in the vertical segment
- Number of companies that can be reached by direct dial phone calls
- Number of opt in emails we can access
We run a Buyer Journey Workshop. During that Buyer Journey Workshop we will walk through each step of 5 to 10 deals that our outsource sales client has closed: We then highlight:
- The decision makers that need to be engaged
- The influencers that need to be engaged
What we typically discover is that there are generally a specific set of decision makers and influencers that consistently have a need for your product and have the ability to drive that decision forward. So we know where to focus our efforts based on:
- Title and Level of Contact
- Functional Area
- Annual Revenue and Number of Employees
- Vertical Market
- Functional Area
We combine the information from Part 1 and Part 2 and decide on a finite market to target based on:
- Number of potential buyers
- The needs those buyers have your product
- Your ability to reach that market
And these buyer become the Ideal Customer Profile where we focus your outsource sales and marketing efforts.
An Ideal Customer Profile is (in the words of Steven Covey) allows an outsource sales and marketing company to “Start with the end in mind” focusing all of your investment on targeting buyers that will drive the right type of deals for your business so you:
- Find customers that will transact
- Close at a higher volume
- At the right price point
- Eliminate customers that do not scale or take too much time to service
- Increase your profitability
- Create a focus that drives sales and marketing alignment
To learn more about our outsource sales team services we invite you to visit the outsource sales team and marketing services section of our website.
Why Outsourced Sales and Marketing Makes Sense for Marketing Automation Implementations
So you have decided that you want to transform your sales and marketing operations. This means you need a lead scoring system and marketing automation platform. However, you are still a little leery because of the sizeable investment in the software and team of marketers this commitment will represent. You have the following concerns:
- You want to test a marketing automation platform but you don’t have the internal resource to run it
- You want to limit your investment until you know it will work before you make that commitment to both talent and software
- You have enough content to generate leads but not to nurture leads
- You don’t understand the best practices or how to baseline that return
Essentially you want to get started and prove you can get a return on your efforts before you pull the trigger and build your own team.
Below are 5 ways outsourced sales and marketing can help with Marketing Automation as you execute this strategy.
Automation Platform Selection
Most outsourced sales and marketing companies will have deep expertise across the platforms. They will have preferred providers but you can expect them to make solid recommendations based on your needs, sales cycle and budget.
Try Before You Buy
You can always contract directly with a marketing automation software supplier if you wish. And once you have decided that marketing automation works for you that is what we typically recommend. However almost all the software providers require at least an annual commitment and in some cases an annual payment. They want you to commit because it takes marketing automation about six months to a year if you are building a team on your own. Most substantial outsourced sales and marketing companies will be able to negotiate shorter commitments or in Gabriel Sales’ case will be able to provide solutions on a month to month basis until you prove concept. This frees up budget to spend on generating leads to help you produce an ROI from your marketing automation process faster.
CRM Data Integration
Key to successful marketing automation is connecting the automation system to your CRM so you have one clean buyer record. This makes it possible for your sales reps to see the value from the automation platform without needing to learn another system. An outsourced sales and marketing company will have processes to clean your data and will be able to connect all the data required. This makes the system useful to your sales team immediately.
An outsourced sales and marketing company will have the technical skills to deploy a campaign through your platform in a fraction of the time it would take to learn these systems on your own. This includes: customer and prospects segmentation, best practices for how to launch your campaign, how to scale, and the frequency of your email communications.
Lead Scoring Best Practices
Lead scoring requires a combination of sales and marketing alignment, a strong content matrix, and a strong definition of both implicit and explicit qualification criteria. An outsourced sales and marketing company will be able to work through these issues in a fraction of the time ensuring that your engine identifies buyers most likely to buy.
Sales Team Adoption
Your automation platform only has value if your sales reps follow up with leads. An outsourced sales and marketing company will be able to train your sales reps how to leverage the system and also provide appointment setting support if your team lacks the time to follow up with your new volume of leads.
Many of the marketing automation platforms give you the ability to run hundreds of reports. Most executives only want to see dashboards and a handful of reports that demonstrate how many contacts you’re marketing to, how they’re segmented and what scores are leading toward pipe velocity and sales conversions. An outsourced sales and marketing company will be able to cut through the noise and provide these reports to you for ROI measurement out of the gate.
Gabriel Sales helps companies transform their sales and marketing operations by providing the team and tools you need to generate score and qualify leads faster at a lower cost. To learn more about our outsourced sales and marketing approach and philosophy visit our About Us page.