Coming out of the downturn, and in combination with Tim Ferris’ (now almost classic) “4-Hour Work Week” and automation technologies to help businesses measure success, business are now open to outsourcing most functions. However, Tim Ferris’ painted a slightly rosy picture of how easy this could be. This is especially true when outsourcing sales. As any executive who has attempted sales outsourcing will tell you, outsourcing sales is not always a quick path to profitability or as straightforward as advertised. This is especially true when dealing with companies that have hung their shingles over the past 3-4 years that are now proliferating in Google Adwords.
Here are several perspectives to consider as you consider outsourcing sales for your company:
The One Eyed Man is Not Necessarily King in the Land of the Blind
As an outsourcing sales and strategy consulting company we are experts in sales processes, and all the tools required for outsourcing sales successes. However if you do not have a sales process already in place it will take us at least one or two sales cycles (taking buyers through their buying process and your sales process) to refine our collective approach. Sales outcomes will not change overnight because buyers don’t change the way they buy overnight. We typically let our clients know that the more they can stay engaged through the initial 3 to 6 months the smoother and faster outcomes we will be able to collectively produce (more on this below). Most companies are successful for a reason and that typically starts with the sales knowledge in their executive’s brains.
If you do not understand why your buyer buys we can help you nail this down with some consulting workshops and then real time feedback from buyers. But it will take time before the path to growth becomes clear and concrete because our most successful outsourcing sales are a result of building a repeatable process.
Can you stay engaged especially during the initial 90 days of launch?
Numerous entrepreneurs see outsourcing sales as a one time deal – you sign an agreement with an outsourced sales company, and afterward sit back while your new outsourced sales reps start closing deals. Obviously, as we all know, closing business is never that easy.
We have found that executives that stay engaged during the initial 90 days will accelerate success stories. You don’t need to stay hands on daily but we do recommend that you attend the weekly meetings and digest the data. There will be insights you can provide and rabbit holes you will be able to help your outsourcing sales partner to avoid.
We love the feedback, because feedback allows us, as a team, to fix issues quickly to get the best results.
Embrace the Pareto Principle when Creating Content to Support Outsourcing Sales
As an outsourced sales and marketing company we are trying to build a repeatable communication process. What we find across 100% of our engagement is that 80% of your deals are going to care about the same 20% of the information. It could be the same objections that need to be overcome. It could be the same business pains you solve. You should expect your outsourcing sales partner to have a process to help document what 20% of information needs to be shared to drive that 80% of your engagement. You should then expect to create content that will give the buyers the ability to educate themselves digitally in these areas.
Embrace the Pareto Principle when Following Up with Leads
As an outsourcing sales company we have embraced automation technologies for one reason. Once an outbound lead has been generated (agreed to accept additional information either through an eMail campaign or cold call campaign) we use this technology to help us score a leads propensity to buy. Because what we typically see is – of the leads that do agree to engage only about 20% have an immediate need (next quarter or two) and the remaining 80% are interested but nowhere close to being ready to buy. Success in the age of digital buyer education requires that you use an automation technology to score leads. You should expect your sales outsourcing partner to be adept in the use of these tools.
To learn more about how a business with a 15 year track record can help your business contact us here. Please feel free to check out our sales consulting and sales outsourcing services page to learn more about a full sales outsourcing engagement and if you have your process buttoned up and are simply looking for more sales ready leads we can help with a sales ready lead campaign.
Content is now a critical piece of the puzzle to drive sales conversations for your business development rep. In fact, buyers now typically engage with 7-12 pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep, and they continue to engage with content as they make their purchase decision. So you need to support your sales professionals with the following content to ensure maximum success. This is even more important when you are involved in B2B sales or B2B outsourced sales. Below is a table that details the type of content your sales reps will need to help move deals forward.
Prove You Understand and Empathize with Your Buyers’ Needs
When you are developing your buyer’s interest, you need thought-leadership content. This content takes the shape of blog posts, checklists, and short headshot video clips that are educational and easy to consume. Keep these short and easy to digest in two to three minutes.
Outsourced Sales Engagement
As a buyer starts to engage, you need to make it easy for them to understand your solution. If you are just getting started, you don’t need to break the bank creating this content. We find that most companies have the features and benefits content they need on their website already. So after most content audits, that we offer as part of our strategy consulting, we typically only recommend:
- A short animated power point presentation converted into a succinct video overview
- Video demo screencast of the product or solution
- Organized microsites that aggregate your thought leadership and solution oriented videos that make it easy for the buyer to buy.
Finally, we find that most companies have the content they need to convince clients to buy covered. Typically this content is found in existing PowerPoint decks, proposals, RFPs, and contracts. Or for professional services firms, it is found in the deliverables. In some cases, you may want to simply consider digitizing some of this content and making it accessible online.
As a B2B outsourced sales company, we are committed to supporting our business development reps with:
- Content that supports your B2B outsourced sales process
- The ability to score client engagement with that content to help you score and prioritize leads
As you can see from the content we described above creating this content does not need to be overwhelming. For a quick examples you can check out what we are talking about by checking out our own:
Sales Ready Leads Program
Tradeshow Support Package
It simply requires authentic thought leadership that is professionally produced (not over-produced). We find that we can typically create the content we need to be successful as a B2B outsourced sales company with a 1 to 2 day onsite content workshop. If you think we can help we make evaluating that for yourself easy. You can get started with a free assessment, and you can start that process by contacting us today.
This blog was created in order to help companies that are considering outsourcing to determine when sales consulting is necessary to improve long-term results and effectiveness.
Gabriel Sales is an outsourced sales company in the truest sense of the word. Outsourced sales is not always cheaper (at least in the short term). It’s about guaranteeing your investment works harder and smarter. Outsourcing sales should make you more effective, provide access to shared tools, sales and marketing expertise, sales management expertise and processes required for success.
Organizations typically don’t come to us because they are wildly successful on their own, but because they want to close more business faster. In many cases, this requires consulting upfront. This blog is designed to help you be as honest as possible about the potential need for consulting prior to starting a sales outsourcing relationship.
There are many options for companies to drive sales other than simply building on their internal team. Wikipedia has great overviews of your options – from channel sales, to resellers, to manufacturer reps, to outsourced sales companies. When discussing outsourcing sales, where we like to start the conversation is with the word “outsourcing” itself:
Outsourcing involves the contracting of a business process – previously performed in-house – to an external provider.
Outsourcing = Process previously performed transitioned
With this definition in mind, very few companies are looking for pure sales outsourcing, which is why we define Gabriel Sales as a sales execution, sales consulting and sales content marketing company. We execute alongside consultation.
During our initial conversation with potential clients looking for “outsourced sales,” what we discover is that some of what they are currently doing works well, and some of it does not. We look at these issues separately, and discover what they really need. This typically presents itself in a combination of 2 to 5 of the areas below:
- Sales Scripting
- Outsourcing Lead Generation
- Outsourcing Lead Nurturing
- Outsourcing Sales Qualifying
- Outsourcing Sales Closing
- Sales Consulting
- Commission Only Reps
- Contracted Sales Reps
When a prospect is looking for a contracted rep or commission only, they are really not interested in developing a repeatable sales process, which by our definition, is not outsourcing.
When we talk to most companies we work through a formal process to identify how much consulting is needed, so that we can figure out how fast execution can start filling their pipe. Generally, we can start executing and consulting concurrently. We have a formal process called the Gabriel System™ that makes this simple and easy for clients. We can generally get through the discovery process within the first week of launch and be on the phone, filling the pipe within two weeks. What follows below is an abridged overview of what information we extract during the Gabriel System™ discovery process. Unless you are a pure start up launching from scratch, you must have found some successful process. It’s our aim to figure out what is working, so we can improve on that for exponential growth.
Our first set of questions surrounds how mature your sales function and process really is:
- What is the historical sales cycle?
- How accurate was last year’s forecast?
- How many meetings does a typical sale take?
- What is the material presented in each one of those meetings?
- What digital content is being consumed are part of the sale?
- How many cold calls does it take to put a prospect into the pipe?
- How many prospects are currently in their nurture pipe?
- What are their typical conversion metrics?
- Do they have cold call scripts? First call scripts?
- Is the pricing model fixed? When was it last changed?
- Who are the top three direct competitors? Indirect?
- Why do you win? Why do you lose?
- What markets have you targeted?
- What decision makers do you sell to?
- What technology platforms are you utilizing?
- Do you work with a creative agency?
Our second set of questions (really just one question):
- How much of your current process is documented?
- Fully documented? Ready to outsource
- Needs work? Some sales consulting may be required
Our third set of questions is specifically about each stage of the discrete part of the sales process, and whether or not they need improvement:
- Lead Sourcing and Targeting?
- Lead Generation?
- Sales Qualifying?
- Sales and Marketing Alignment?
- Sales Engagement and Sales Pipe Velocity?
- Sales Metrics?
- Sales Closing and Sales Upsell?
Our final set of questions relate to message and content readiness and effectiveness:
- Do you have a positioning document?
- Do you have a messaging document?
- How much collateral do they have and of what type?
What does this all distill down to? The more honest you are upfront with an outsourcing sales partner, the faster increased efficiency and production can be achieved. We encourage you to be honest and clear about what is broken and needs fixing.
The value Gabriel Sales creates for our clients as a sales outsourcing partner is that we don’t hesitate to begin execution. We lead with execution, support, and consulting. Our efforts shorten sales cycles while simultaneously improving your strategy. Doing both in conjunction gives everyone access to the hard data, metrics, and qualitative insights required to create a winning, repeatable, competitive sales engine. We consult and execute in order to double sales growth.
If you are interested in getting to the market with speed and would like to learn more about how we can help, please CONTACT US for a free pipe velocity review.
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