Why choosing to outsource sales and marketing might be the wisest option
When many small business founders eclipse their bandwidth capacity they ask themselves the question, “Why outsource sales?” It is obviously our belief that it can with the following caveat. The founder should have a rough idea of the steps required to take a deal from the first sales conversation to transaction. If you are considering outsourcing the sales and marketing function and you understand your basic direct sales process, here are three reasons why it may make sense to outsource sales and marketing.
There are three top reasons to consider outsourcing any function: saving money, freeing up time to focus on core strengths and more mission-critical functions, and gaining access to specialized skills.
When you outsource sales and marketing, you first need to decide what it is you need. In most cases we find that the founder or business has plenty of time to close business. What they lack is the time to develop and qualify leads. So, when you outsource its important that you don’t think of this by simply replacing one internal hire with another internal hire. Instead, you need to thinks of it as replacing one hire with a blended team with experience in both sales and marketing.
With that stated, let’s look at each of these three reasons why outsourcing may be the smartest option:
Outsource Sales and Marketing to Save Money
Expense is the primary reason why most companies consider outsourcing over hiring sales reps. If the current market for a quality business development rep is, as an example, a total compensation package of around $10k to $12K per month then outsourcing at $8k to $10K per month will be a substantial savings.
Instead of looking at this as one FTE vs. another outsourced employees you can look at it as getting a team of multiple employee that are part time. An outsourced sales and marketing company will provide phone reps, content marketers, database marketers and management. Most small business could not afford to staff and manage a part time team (let alone full time employees in this function). So depending on your lead volume needs and growth targets, a blended outsourced sales and marketing team often represents a substantial savings..
- Outsource to Focus on Core Functions
There are two goals and functions in most business: gaining clients and adding value to those clients. Most of the remaining jobs to be done are the support functions of finance, human resources, and information technology are the obvious candidates for outsourcing. We also believe that introducing the business to new prospects is also a function that makes sense to consider outsourcing. This is true now more than ever because sales and marketing success now requires understanding:
- Inbound lead generation tactics
- Outbound lead generation tactics
- Phone skills
- Automation technology
- Content marketing
Outsource to Gain Access to Specialized Skills
Most companies’ closers have specific domain knowledge and sales expertise. There is no way this knowledge (especially domain expertise) can be easily replaced. However, a seasoned outsourced sales and marketing company will be able to extract this knowledge and add their expertise in the marketing tactics mentioned above to allow your organization to automate and increase the volume of conversations you are having through digital channels and over the phone.
Gabriel Sales specializes in building moderns sales and marketing operations for companies that already understand the core steps in their sales process. We help small business build scalable engines that address the new digital buyer. To learn more about how we work with companies to build these engines we invite you to learn more about our team and our new approach to outsourced sales and marketing.
As we have discussed on other articles in the past, when a small business or start up is considering scaling sales and marketing operations for the first time, we believe that the function of closing business should remain in-house and with the primary responsibilities of the principal, founder or senior staff on the client’s team. We believe this because the in-house team typically has a track record and the domain expertise to do this quickly.
However, successful sales also requires generating leads for the closer to close which includes introducing the firm to prospects and determining where that buyer is in their buying cycle. This is an area where companies that are just get started scaling a sales effort can get the quickest bang for their buck using an outsourced sales and marketing company.
This is because an outsourced sales and marketing company will be able to help you implement a repeatable and scalable lead generation process that will anchor you in the following 5 pillars required for a sustained flow of sales qualified leads. You should expect your partner to apply these 5 pillars to your outsourced sales lead generation efforts.
- Targeting. The first step in building any successful outsourced sales lead generation effort is to ensure you are targeting the right buyers for you solution. This becomes the foundation of your lead generation efforts. Think of your database as this foundation. Without the proper data management and hygiene in place, your marketing operations and sales lead generation will suffer. It’s nearly impossible to generate meaningfully leads for your closers without the right database of targets that can both buy and have a need for your solution.
- Engagement. Successful outsourced lead generation requires that your marketing is centered on the customer. Your marketers and sales reps can no longer relegate communications to more general company conversations. To engage a prospect, you need to focus on their needs first in a meaningful way. You must also develop content and messages that can be shared both in phone conversation, email marketing campaigns and on your website. An outsourced sales and marketing company will be able to help you develop tactics to address customers with content and messages across all these channels.
- Conversion. Outsourced sales organizations are now using technology that makes it easier to have a digital conversation with buyers and then scoring the buyers actions in real-time. This allows them to identify buyers most likely to buy, and then pass them to a closer or an inside sales rep to start to engage in qualification discussions. Automated campaigns with smart phone engagement have much higher conversions rates and are much more cost effective to maintain. And by automating your campaigns, you can improve the buyer’s experience and develop deeper relationships faster.
- Analysis – Success requires accountability. And accountability requires analysis. Successful outsourced sales lead generation requires you to track and analyze the different tactics and different messages you will be using across tactics. An outsourced sales and marketing company will have these benchmarks in place to help you understand what you need to measure. They will also be able to help you implement systems to better understand the impact of each of these tactics. This level of insight helps you refine strategies and develop repeatable processes for success.
- Marketing Technology. Organizations across all sizes and industries are leveraging tools to simplify business processes. Successful marketers understand the importance of aligning marketing automation, and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms in the cloud. An outsourced sales and marketing company will quickly extend your lead generation capabilities with cloud applications by integrating other key technologies to connect the dots of internal efficiency to maximize prospect and customer interactions.
Gabriel Sales mission is to help companies access all the tools and talent they need to transform sales and drive real revenue growth in this new buyer driven landscape. We combine a combination of technology, marketing tactics and lead generation staff to help companies build modern sales and marketing operations.
To learn more about how we approach build scalable and successful outsourced sales lead generation engines we invite you to check out our modern approach to outsourcing sales.
When companies need to get a quick burst of new leads to accelerate their sales funnel and increase the productivity of their internal sales reps they often turn to outsourcing sales and marketing as a viable solution. And that outsourcing sales company will use:
- Lead Gen Reps
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Lead Scoring
- Content Marketing
These integrated campaigns give you the ability to generate leads using a combination of outsourced sales reps and modern sales and marketing technologies. And with the advent of these integrated campaigns a lead may be ready for your closers without having spoken with your outsourced sales rep. This is done with marketing automation systems that score leads. You can download our leadscoring whitepaper here.
Below is quick summary of how we recommend you classify leads at different stages. It is also representative of the different type of leads you can expect from an outsourcing sales partner using modern technologies.
Lead Gen and Early Stage Leads – These are the earliest stage leads. They are typically leads that are the right type of decision maker in the right vertical. They can be cold lists or leads that have opened one email in an email campaign. They are not cold leads but they have not demonstrated any interest in your solution. All other leads are transitioned during a weekly meeting.
Marketing Qualified Leads – These are leads that have started to engage with your company. They may be opening emails consistently and looking at your early stage educational content. They are demonstrating early stage interest either by accepting additional information from a buyer development rep, or by reading blog articles.
Tele Sales Accepted Lead – If they are engaging with buyer developments reps and are agreeing to follow up calls (but not formal appointments). They are not volunteering what there pains or problems are yet.
Sales Accepted Leads – These buyers are starting to engage with your content in meaningful way. If you are scoring them in your marketing automation system that are watching demo videos or looking at your solutions page or even looking at pricing. If they are engaging with buyer development reps they are answering probing questions and discussing their existing solution or their problems.
Sales Qualified Leads – These buyers understand the problems your business solves and the problems you can help them solve. They have expressed a need, and agree to an appointment with your senior sales reps. Finally in many cases they have acknowledged that they have a budget, a path to budget of a timeline for making a decision.
Finally when should I take a lead over from my outsourcing sales team?
An outsourcing sales campaign will generate multiple types and stages of sales leads so there is no right time to take a lead over. When to take a lead over is your decision and depends on how much time your senior reps have on their hands. Over time, most leads will be either Sales Accepted or Sales Qualified but early in the campaign you can take leads sooner rather than later.
Long term we find that the best leads have both a high lead score in the marketing automation platform and are agreeing to next steps or appointments with your buyer development rep after being probed for need and other qualification criteria. In short, they are moving through a process. So by outsourcing sales you can take leads over at any time especially if your closers are cold calling because leads at any stage that are engaging will be more productive than a cold lead. A client will sometimes cherry pick the pipe early in the sales process if closers have extra time to develop leads or there is a great deal of pressure for early revenue. But over time you can expect your outsourcing sales rep to take them through sales ready to appointment setting.
To learn more about our new approach to outsourcing sales and how we can help you build sales and marketing operations we invite you to check out our approach to outsourced sales and marketing.
Most small business owners grow their business by developing a solution, delivering a solution and selling a solution. And then the business owner eventually reaches a stage where the business plateaus and growth requires adding sales and marketing talent.
At this point most business owners consider taking on the role of sales manager. They have experience closing business and no one knows the product better than they do. In some cases it works, but in most cases it’s a bad idea. In even the best of cases when it leads to successful growth, taking on the dual role of sales manager and business owner can lead to frustration, needless effort, wasted time, and multiple false starts. And in the worst of cases it can lead to unhappy existing customers, lost business, lost revenue, and lost profit.
Below are 6 reasons a business owner should think twice before taking on the day to day sales management role, and why they may want to outsource sales management to grow their business.
Not enough bandwidth
Most small business owners are experts in their business sector because they have taken their business idea from adolescence to adulthood. As part of that process, the responsibilities across the business continue to increase. Finance, HR, Operations, Product Development, and Customer Service, even if you are staffing more and more managers, takes more and more time incrementally on a weekly basis. This is because as the business grows each area of responsibility also grows. And the sales and marketing function of the business is often the most daunting aspect for the following reasons:
- Sales management needs to take place on a daily basis every day to ensure success and because sales is so critical to the business.
- The business owner’s time is better spent on sales strategy not managing the day to day blocking and tackling of sales, knowing that sales management can quickly cause other areas of the business to suffer.
Gain sales technology expertise when you outsource sales
Over the past three years with the advent of cloud applications and SaaS solutions, a new wave of technology has swept through many industries to make modern sales and marketing a much more efficient and process driven function. Sales still ultimately comes down to a sales rep picking up the phone to close business, but in this digital buyer education environment, the ability to make smart decisions about what marketing automation, CRM and social media platforms to use, and more importantly, how to use them without going down rabbit holes that burn resources and time is critical. A business owner’s time is better spent shaping strategy and goals of the system and leveraging an expert to implement and manage the technology.
Desire to lead with limited sales management skills
The talent, vision, leadership and expertise required to launch, scale, build, manage and conduct the day to day operations of a growing business are not the same repetitive and process driven skills required to manage a sales and marketing team on a daily basis. When companies and owners are ready to scale, sales becomes a very repetitive and habit driven process. Sales is required to hit the right “notes” day in and day out. A company needs a sales manager that fosters sales efficiency and production on a daily basis. This often requires getting in the weeds to nurture mentor and motivate employees (often less senior employees) on a daily basis. It also requires the sales manager to have the experience to hire, recruit, and train the right resources at the right price. A visionary founder and leader working on all areas of the business has often not developed the right tool set to manage employees at this level, and the owners time is better spent leading the manager when it counts.
Not good at it or not the right temperament
As an outsource sales and marketing provider, we see that most successful business owners have sales in their blood. Its why they have been successful. But over time they end up being engaged in higher value activities and they often lack the patience of the daily grind of sales management. And because they are engaged in every function of the business they also continue to be the best sales resource in the company, because they have a comprehensive working knowledge of every area of the business including the sales management function. But knowledge and intent don’t always equate to aptitude and talent. It’s very likely that an outside expert that has managed different types of sales in different types of environments that has taken companies through multiple growth stages will have broader mix of skills, and innate talent for sales management. And where a business owner will get frustrated with the mundane, an outsource sales manager will flourish.
Business owner doesn’t really want to manage sales
Business owners are different from most of the population in terms of perception and persistence but they are still human beings. And most human beings, especially successful individuals, have a tendency to want to spend their time doing what they enjoy. Once the sales effort is on the right trajectory, the challenge of sales management turns into detailed analysis, daily blocking and tackling, constant tweaking of comp plan, resetting targets and regular reporting. Most business owners are better suited and enjoy sales leadership but if they don’t love daily management sales will eventually suffer if interest wanes or the business owner is distracted for even several weeks. If the owner to fully commit the company’s overall success can suffer. So it often makes sense that they continue to lead sales but outsource sales management to a more dedicated resource.
Business owner’s passion will accelerate business when they outsource sales management
Most entrepreneurs wear multiple hats and if they examine why they were successful it’s because they put their energy into areas that they loved and some areas they did not love. But the constant thread is that they loved the challenge of building and developing something new. After years of hard work with a product that successfully launched, the business owner probably has a love or passionate interest in some specific areas of their business. If sales management is not that area then the marketing, finance, delivery, business development or product development probably is. Whatever the business owner is truly passionate about is where they should focus for two reasons. First is that their full on engagement in that area will produce the most value for the company, and second they have earned that right and deserve to follow that passionate. In most cases the result is a trifecta of personal, professional and business wins for the company.
Can a business owner that is ready to scale sales manage the sales function? Absolutely. But should they? Unless they love sales management and want to let go of other areas of their business probably not. Especially if sales is not where there true passion resides and there time and energy can be deployed in other more critical business functions. A half-hearted and distracted effort will not benefit the business.
About Gabriel Sales’ outsource sales solutions
Gabriel Sales, has been helping small business and start ups committed to sales growth outsource sales and marketing since 1999. Since that time, we have built modern sales and marketing operations for multiple founders and small business owners. We have then executed and managed thousands of campaigns for hundreds of products and services,
We believe that the business to business market is in the middle of a massive disruption, that most solutions are first “bought” by making it easy for the buyer to self-educate, and then “sold” by customer service oriented business development reps. Success requires telling your story in an honest and authentic way through the seamless integration of content marketing, marketing automation systems, a buyer education content management system, and sales reps that know how to use these tools as part of their calling efforts.
We help make the shift to modern sales and marketing operations easier, fast and efficient. We help company’s build and manage sales engines and we provide full service and point solutions for companies ready to scale.
We can help:
- Craft Your Repeatable Strategy – This includes, how to tell your sales story powerfully to as many buyers as possible, the tools, content and processes you need to support your inside sales reps with a consistent flow of sales qualified opportunities.
- Design and Implement Your Infrastructure – Integrate the technology required to automate your process, score leads, and measure the success and ROI of specific tactics
- Thought Leadership and Sales Automation Content Production – Digitally clone your founders and executives to help you tell your story simply, authentically and powerfully.
- Run and Manage Your Sales Campaigns – We can staff the marketing coordinators and sales staffs you need to cover gaps in your existing team.
- Build and Transition Your Engine – Once a sales engine is launched and proven 80% of our clients pull all or some of the functions in house. We can help you train and build your own internal team, or continue to run your sales engine operations for an extended period of time.
We invite you to check out our outsourced sales and marketing services. Or feel free to contact us for a free preliminary benchmark assessment by filling out this form here.
Finally if you are curious how we address the new digital buyer you can check out our new approach to outsource sales here.
If you have been in business for more than 3 years it should now be abundantly clear that we all are experiencing a dramatic shift in sales and marketing where outsourcing sales can help you quickly address these issues:
- Buyers are now in control of the sales process and solutions are first “bought”— with digital content that proves you understand your buyers’ needs and pains—then “sold” by closers, once buyers feel educated enough to engage in deeper discussions.
- Buyers want to understand how you solve their problem, and then want to understand your product features. So your reps need content and tools to tell that story.
- You can no longer just throw callers at lead generation to solve your early stage funnel issues because buyers simply don’t pick up the phone as often as they used to.
Success now requires a team of sales and marketing professionals running integrated campaigns and technology to successfully sell to the new digitally driven buyer.
And once a business owner reaches this conclusion they will often decide to consider outsourcing sales. They will consider outsourcing sales as a solution to help them cover some of the talent and expertise gaps they have in their existing organization because they don’t have the time or the expertise to recruit, hire and train a team with the experts required to sell to the new digital buyer.
Below is a quick list of the sales and marketing talent an outsourcing sales company can bring to the table in less than 30 days.
- A senior strategist – Your outsourced sales campaign will be guided by a strategist that understand how to tell a powerful sales story using digital marketing and sales reps.
- Content producer – An integrated campaign will require content production. A sales outsourcing company will be able to supply a team of video producers, copy writers and graphic designers on a part time basis to support your efforts.
- Sales technology specialist – You will immediately gain access to a marketing automation and CRM specialist to make sure your systems are implemented with best practices to produce the results you need.
- Marketing manager – You will have a marketing manager to manage your inbound and outbound campaigns and reporting, and ensure your digital marketing and lead gen success.
- Database specialist – Managing an early stage pipeline requires clean and updated data. You will have a specialist that understands how to build and manage a database of leads.
- Buyer development and inside sales reps – Even if you can drive all your leads with inbound marketing you will eventually need someone to qualify your leads or manage the close of the sale. An outsourced sales company can provide and scale that team.
To learn more about Gabriel Sales ability to help you quickly build and staff a repeatable sales and marketing process please feel free to visit our outsourcing sales page.