B2B Outsourced Sales


Sales Tactics for a New Product Launch

Do you have questions about the right sales tactics for a new product launch?

Are your executives squeezed for bandwidth? Is sales or product development your core competency? Do investors and executives want to see closed deals and metrics they can forecast against? If you are like most companies you are probably under resourced and under pressure to close business while continuing to develop your product and service customers. As a sales outsourcing and B2B demand generation company we have been involved in 100s of new product launches. Below are some of the best practices and tactics Gabriel Sales recommends and tips from some of the thought leaders we work with.

Things to Consider

Top 10 Sales & Marketing Strategies for a New Product Launch

Sales outsourcing for new product is about closing business, so it’s paramount you have a solid stable of new product launch sales tactics. However, with the right feedback loops, insights and B2B digital content you can align your inbound and outbound efforts to build exponential sales growth and drive market intelligence back into the entire enterprise. Here are our Top 10 strategies and tactics for a successful new product launch.

 

Close Faster

How to Integrate Sales Team, Marketing  and Digital Content

Successful new product launches now require you to align sales and marketing and to integrate inbound marketing and outbound sales efforts to get the most out of your sales and marketing budget.  Winning is now about getting the right message, to the right prospect at the right time. You can make it easy for you and your buyer with straight forward video content.  Visit this landing page to check out video that works for every stage of your sales process and your buyer’s journey

 

Higher Velocity

How to Build a High Velocity Sales Machine

A quick 3 minute video overview of the unique sales challenges faced for new product launches. This video discusses the part you need to build a scalable high velocity sales machine designed to close your first round of deals and to build on that success for exponential growth at a decreased cost of sales and marketing.

Learn how the right sales outsourcing partner can integrate inside sales reps, B2B digital content, social media and technology to augment and increase the performance of your existing team to drive your sales, your inbound marketing and your sales pipe velocity.

Sell Money to Sell Faster

In this economy “nice to have” no longer gets deals done. One of the key’s to creating a repeatable and scalable sales process is crafting a Return On Investment (ROI) value statement that gets the attention of CFOs and P&L owners. This blog shares our formula for crafting an ROI statement that hits both top line and bottom budgets to get deals done.  Read here to learn the basics

 

 

Compare Tactics

Where Does Outsourcing Fit?

No two product launches are the same.  Team skill sets are different. Markets and products are at different stages of maturity.  Some go-to-market budgets are larger than others. And revenue, deal and strategic goals and targets vary.   Below are a couple examples of how company’s integrated sales outsourcing or outsourcing demand generation to help exceed their goals.

Social Media Analytics SaaS Sales Outsourcing  – Company needed to close business and document sales metrics for new product to close Series B round.  Sales outsourcing drives 2M in annual run rate.

Fortune 500 Sales Outsourcing for New Product Launch –  Middleware Software and Hardware Solution needed to lead score and map demand generation sales process and turns to sales consulting and demand generation outsourcing to avoid disrupting existing sales team.

VIEW MORE CASE STUDIES HERE

 

Better Intel

The Right Feedback Loops and Market Intelligence for a New Product Launch

A 3:00 minute video interview with Nielsen’s VNU Global Media SVP of US Sales, James Miller. He discusses how the right feedback loops implemented at the front end of a new product launch save critical time to beat the competition with product innovations, by making a business case based on hard data that ultimately increases sales success and the valuation of properties for successful exits.

 

Improve Targeting

How to Improve Targeting and Close the Right Customers

Smart targeting leads to faster deal flow and higher revenue.  Smart target starts with Pareto’s Principal. This principal is also known as ‘the law of the vital few’, or the 80:20 rule, it states that 80% of your revenue is going to come from 20% of your customers.   These are the customers you want to go after.  However targeting does not stop here.  You also need to consider who the right customers are for your business long term and at what level your customer service will need to increase and if you are a young company where the early adopters and champions will sit.  Read article to learn more

 

 

We Are Passionate About Helping Entrepreneurs Committed to Sustained Sales Growth 

 

We Specialize in Building Outbound Marketing Engines To Consistently Fill Your Funnel with Real Sales Opportunities 

 

Contact our team and evaluate in detail if our solution can help drive your success and remove barriers to growth.

 

 

 

 

B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2014: Co-Creation

B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2014In one of our blogs last week, we made the argument that regardless of whatever 2014 turns out to be the year of, content is going to be the fuel that will take us where we want to go. Whether we want to improve our social media presence or invest more in lead nurturing, content is the driving force that will lead us to either success or failure.

In addition to improving content development skills and learning to act like a publisher, B2B companies also need to be aware to two broad trends that I believe will be important in sales and marketing in 2014:

B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2014: Co-creation

The first trend is co-creation. ‘Co-creation’ is a relatively big philosophical idea that has recently been applied to many business contexts and situations.

In the B2B world, the concept of ‘co-creation’ can be applied in a few ways; the first is in regards to sales and marketing integration. If your sales and marketing teams are still working separately, it is not likely that you are doing everything you can to create a smooth and easy buying process for your prospects. The situation at many B2B companies is this: marketing creates content that they think is cool, and sales thinks it is worthless, so it doesn’t get used.

By having sales and marketing instead listen to implicit and explicit feedback from your audience, they can work together to co-create content that will be more effective on both sides of the table. For example, have your marketers listen to the objections that your sales reps hear on the phone everyday. Then, have your marketers create content with your sales team that is focused on answering those objections in digital format. With everyone listening to feedback and working together toward a shared goal, efficiency and effectiveness of all of your tactics increase dramatically.

Another way the concept of co-creation can be applied to B2B is in the creation of social proof. 

B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2014: Social Proof

In B2B sales and marketing, social proof is essentially digital evidence of your customers’ satisfaction with your company, product or service. This could be in the form of a customer testimonial, a Facebook ‘share’, a LinkedIn ‘recommendation’, etc. Each time your prospects/customers share one of your blog posts on Facebook or gives you a written testimonial to be featured on your website, they are co-creating your marketing content with you.

The power of this type of co-created content should not be underestimated. In a recent survey of B2B marketing professionals on the value of different types of content in convincing prospects of a company’s value proposition, it was found that content sourced from existing customers was not only more effective than internally sourced content, but also more effective than content from 3rd-party analysts. This shows that as we go into 2014, co-creating content with your customers (case studies, testimonials, video testimonials) is going to be an increasingly high-value activity.

To continue reading the second half of this blog on B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2014, click here.

Soft vs. Hard Lead Generation for B2B Sales

lead generationMany B2B companies try so hard to generate more leads that they do not come up with a clear strategy for how to do so most efficiently and effectively. What these companies do not understand is that a successful campaign requires clearly defined goals and a well-articulated strategy.

This blog is meant to educate those with less experience in B2B sales and marketing about the fundamentals of lead generation. Specifically, we will address the difference between soft vs. hard lead generation for B2B sales and when each is most appropriate to use.

The first step in creating a strategy for lead generation is to formulate your overall goals. You should ask the following questions:

• Who are you trying to target?
• What is the number of leads you want to generate?
• What do you want to achieve in terms of sales?
• Are you willing to pay for a lead? How much?
• Where do you want your leads to be in the sales cycle?

The answers to these questions become essential in determining which lead generation technique will be most effective for your business. Depending on what your goals are, you will usually choose either a soft or a hard lead generation strategy. Hard techniques usually generate a higher quality lead, while soft strategies tend to produce large numbers.

The soft offer:

Using an incentive with an apparently low risk factor, soft strategies will give you huge numbers of leads. For example, if you offer free tickets to the World Series, you are likely to get a massive number of responses. The downside of the soft lead, however, is that most of these respondents are more excited about baseball than learning about your business. So, while the soft lead may give you the numbers you want, most leads generated in this way do not progress any further in the sales cycle.

However, in our experience as an outsourced sales and marketing company, we have found that offering an iPad or a gift card can be quite effective, especially in terms of generating a quick opt-in database. We have also seen that the soft lead generation strategy is most effective for businesses trying to target leads early in their sales cycle. This method will take much more time because of having to sift through large numbers and so should be used primarily when attempting to generate activity or jump-start your sales.

The hard offer:

In a hard lead generation strategy, you offer something that is relatively higher risk than free tickets or an iPad. When you make this type of offer, which may require some type of commitment from your prospect, the leads you generate are usually going to be much further along in their sales cycle. Some things you can use as hard offer incentives are free consultations, preliminary audits, invites to webinars, etc.

When engaging with these types of leads, you should be aware they have a much greater chance of becoming closed deals. We have found that a hard lead generation method is most effective for businesses that have little time to weed through huge numbers of leads and are therefore looking to talk to leads much closer to making a purchase.

If you are still having trouble deciding between soft vs. hard lead generation for B2B sales, a good place to start is deciding who you are trying to target. If your goal is to reach marketing teams, a soft offer may be the most appropriate. On the other hand, if you are looking to speak to buying executives, you may want to go with the hard offer. Once you decide the kind of lead you desire and determine what will be of value to them, you will be able to come up with a successful strategy for generating leads.

Gabriel Sales has over 12 years of experience as an outsourced lead generation company. For more sales basics, please feel free to visit our Blogs on Sales and Content Basics.

Core Competencies Required for Highly Qualified B2B Lead and Demand Generation

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we discussed how buyers have changed the way they buy and why your approach to  sales and marketing needs to change if you want more deals, to grow revenue, and to increase profit.   We also discussed why your strategy needs to align sales and marketing around a pure focus on the customer “buying” cycle.

We pointed to the fact that companies who:

  • Are ready for a longer sales cycle
  • Educate their buyers first
  • Create a shared scorecard to align sales and marketing
  • Embrace emerging sales and marketing technologies
  • And budget appropriately

We have grown revenue 157% over the past 2 years while also reducing the total cost of sales.

In Part 3 of this series, we will discuss the core competencies and disciplines you’ll need to support to make this type of growth a reality.

What is B2B Lead Generation vs. B2B Demand Generation?

Before we get started it’s helpful to understand what we mean by b2b lead generation vs. b2b demand generation.

B2B Lead Generation – For Gabriel Sales, lead generation is about putting targets into your sales funnel at the very front end of the pipe.  Adding a lead is simply finding a qualified person from a particular company that is interested in learning more about your product or service.

B2B Demand Generation – Is the process of moving that lead through a sales and marketing process to educate the buyer, bolster interest, and prepare them for speaking with the sales team.

Once you have a team in place that’s able to get the “B2B Demand Generation” process right, lead generation will become much easier.

1)     Content Strategy:  First, you’ll want to talk to your best sales reps to understand who your ideal targets are by decision maker type.  Next you want to clone the sales process of these top sales reps to figure out what is the best thing to say to early-stage targets, what are the best early-stage offers, and what are the most frequent objections or questions in the early-stage sales cycle.  You then need a content mapping tool and calendar to prioritize educational content based on the needs of your buyer and your sales team.  We have developed a simple tool using Excel that is then shared in the cloud so it’s a live, agile marketing document. Someone will need to manage this document. It’s important that your content ultimately supports the sales script so the two work together to move deals into the pipe in tandem always focused on moving the buyer to the next step.

2)       Content Production: It’s cliché but content is king.  It drives traffic, provides value and converts visitors to subscribers and customers.  Producing quality content is essential. Creating content is not the place to cut corners or try to shave costs.  If done well and consistently, you’ll become recognized as a thought leader in your industry.  This is a fantastic opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from your competition, because most companies don’t commit the time and resources to actually produce regular, quality content.  Content then becomes quite literally an asset.

You’ll also want to leverage each piece of major content at least 3 times.   So for example (and why we love webcasting) –  if you commit to 1 to 2 webcasts per quarter you can typically turn that webcast into a white paper,  create 3-5 shorter 1 to 2 minute video clips, and generate 7 to 8 blogs all from that initial piece of thought leadership.  Take the content that you already know is engaging and working for your sales reps and product specialists in a live context and convert it into alternative, digitized pieces of content to distribute and share with your larger, not-yet engaged audience of early-stage buyers.

3)       Content Management: Selecting a quality Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is the first step in the content management process.  You’ll also need to staff a resource to maintain your content schedule, add and edit content, and publish it into the right channels.  Ideally, this same someone would also know how to contextually repurpose and publish your content.  You also need to have the capability and capacity to create landing pages at will for specific verticals and decision makers to aggregate and focus your content for specific markets and buyer types.  Gabriel Sales Digital Sales Base Camp™ was created to make this part of your content management seamless and efficient.

4)       Email Management: Learning the rules, regulations and best practices of email marketing and management is not a core competency of many companies.  A ‘Ready Fire Aim’ approach that doesn’t work when doing email marketing.  Proper messaging, design (e.g. smart-phone compatibility), list segmentation, privacy/spam rules, auto-responder optimization, and more are all major factors in doing email marketing correctly.  Many companies just blast their entire list and hope for the best, time and time again.  Many others simply don’t do email marketing at all! The discipline is still required as a B2B lead generation tactic.

5)       CRM Integration and List Acquisition: Making sure that all of your communication and analytic tools are synchronized with your CRM is an under-utilized practice, but one that can be the defining difference between converting a hot lead and losing a deal. Without conversions, b2b lead generation efforts mean nothing. You also need to make sure you are not spending money acquiring lists that don’t make sense or are redundant.

6)       Landing Page Optimization: Use landing pages to deliver your critical content in an organized way that also promotes a compelling, ‘easy to take’, and singular call to action. This is an essential but usually undeveloped practice in many businesses’ web marketing/lead generation efforts.

7)       Analytics and Database Management: The tools and methods of data discovery go into greater depths than ever before, but solid logic for how business decisions are made against all of this data are still lacking for many organizations.  Companies spend incredible amounts of money for the tools but lose out on much of the ROI by not investing in the staff and education to actually use them to demonstrate meaningful insights.  See Analytics Expert, Avinash Kaushik’s often-cited blog article on the 90/10 rule of web analytics success.

8)       Graphic Design and Video Production: Having quality graphic design at the right times can set you apart from many competitors. Having the ability to take your existing presentations,  customers and thought leaders and allowing them to get their best material circulating digitally will save your team 100s of hours annually educating customers.

9)       Social Media and Reputation Management: Creating active engagement with your potential customer base in the major social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) is an ideal to which your business should strive.  Getting these profiles going is a step that many businesses have been reluctant to take and is necessary for mature b2b lead generation.  Further, setting up tools to manage your company’s on-line reputation (e.g. creating alerts anytime your product, brand, management team is mentioned online) is becoming increasingly important to properly leverage positive feedback from brand champions and limit the influence of detractors out to destroy your business’ reputation.

10)    Marketing Automation: This is the wave of the future for marketers and sales people, alike.  Aside from investing in one of the top marketing automation tools (such as Pardot or Marketo), making an equal or greater investment in human resources to optimize your marketing automation is the next logical step. The added intelligence gained (e.g. lead scoring, real-time visitor analysis) and the powerful tools available (e.g. automated rules, logic-based drip campaigns, page actions) will transform your lead generation and sales prospect prioritization beyond anything you’ve done before.  If you are unfamiliar with marketing automation, now is the time to educate and get on board. GS is an authorized Pardot Agency Partner (among several other technologies) so we have a bias for Pardot and we can offer unparalleled ability in implementing and optimizing these tools to quickly accelerate marketing results for any business. If you have never checked out a marketing automation demo don’t hesitate and take the time for a 5 Minute Overview of Marketing Automation right now!

11)    Phone Resources: Effective lead generation and lead nurturing still requires people to pick up the phone.  You need to strongly consider attaching reps to your marketing team and not your sales team. In terms of demand generation there is a difference between ‘educating’ buyers vs. ‘selling’ buyers.   Getting this part wrong can destroy your entire investment up to this point.  Getting this part right will give you a huge leg up on your competition because:

  • 70% of leads are passed to Sales Reps before they are ready to engage (Marketing Sherpa -2012)
  • 80% of mishandled leads will buy from a competitor (Forrester -2011)

And if you have the other pieces we’ve described above in place, like quality content production, marketing automation and social media management, your phone reps will have an easier time with b2b lead generation and creating engaged, meaningful discussion with prospects and the end results will be far more beneficial to your conversion goals. 

Summary

The seismic shift we are seeing right now essentially means that marketing now needs to own the prospect much earlier in buying process and take them much deeper. The goal is to connect the buyer with the sales rep when the buyer is ready to buy.  This approach leads to faster transactions and maximizes the sales reps time.  The line between sales and marketing as it applies to demand generation is getting blurred and this trend is not going to abate any time soon.  You need to softly press  for next steps with both your reps and your content.  This is why its key to pull in a marketing automation platform will accelerate your ability to pull it all together to score a prioritize leads.  In Part 4, we’ll discuss in more detail how marketing automation can help your sales and demand generation process.

The job and landscape is getting more complex. So who is going to actually do all this work?  How do you find marketers that understand sales and sales staff that understand marketing?  This is where considering to outsource to a b2b lead generation company with expertise in outsourced sales and marketing  may be able to help.  So feel free to request a free consultation if you are curious how we can help.