Top B to B Demand Generation Requires Sales

This blog is the second part of a three part series that discusses the difference between sales content marketing vs. other types of marketing and how you can approach creating a successful Demand Generation b to b solution (with or without outsourcing) by aligning sales and marketing.  In this blog we provide a simple framework for driving success.   CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE.

As an outsourced sales organization we firmly believe that every outsourced demand generation b to b effort needs “to start with the end in mind”.  That “end” is closed business. Therefore, b to b demand generation requires sales. As a company we build High Velocity Sales Machines.  The marketing services we provide to support the sales efforts are focused on improving two areas:  Demand Generation and Overcoming Specific Sales Objections.   Our focus when executing marketing services in these areas is to create the feedback loops required for the marketing team to create content (or in many cases to produce the initial necessary digital content ourselves) to ensure that the sales content meets the need of the buyer exactly where they are in their buying cycle. You need to match your sales function to the customer buying cycle.  Typically:

  • B2B Demand Generation – helping the customer define their problem and establishing your credentials as a thought leader to help them.
  • Sales Engagement and Qualifying – helping the customer to compare your solution to other solutions in the market. And to evaluate their alternatives.
  • Closing – sales starts when the customer says “No”.   This content needs to overcome specific objections so that the customer can verify the ROI and confirm what you have already told them so they are comfortable committing to you.

For Gabriel Sales, sales content marketing is not strategic, it is tactical and measurable.  The job of sales content marketing is measured.  And when we make recommendations or create content that content starts by addressing a specific need or objection that we have heard directly from a customer.

Below is a simple framework we use when creating digital content or providing feedback loops to the marketing teams we work with.


We are giving our marketing efforts “A Sales Quota.”   To do this you need  listen and document the conversation with the customer.   As part of our services we map the entire sales conversation to identify the objections, and then create authentic digital content  that addresses those needs and objections specifically to get deals through the pipe.

To summarize, smart sales content marketing is a simple as:

  1. Getting everyone to agree that the Sales Marketing job is to close business
  2. Listening to the Needs and Objections of your customer to understand the “Sales Conversation”
  3. Creating Authentic Content that addresses the client’s needs for where they are in the buying cycle

As an outsourcing b to b demand generation company we are not delusional.  We know what we are the best at, and what other solutions are more effective. We are the best at building outsourced demand generation engines that:

  1. Generate b to b sales leads with cold calling efforts
  2. Take cold call leads and inbound marketing qualified leads, listen to the customer and understand their needs and sales objections
  3. Move deals from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads by:
  • Creating and distributing great “Sales” content that move the deals forward
  • Training reps how to use that content
  • Providing great feedback loops to marketing teams so they can expand on that effort once proven

With a full pipe we then transition to the close by staffing enterprise sales reps or inside reps as the need dictates.

The final blog will discuss how internal “marketing” teams and external agencies can build on smart sales driven demand generation and sales content marketing to put more qualified sales deals in the pipe.

If you would like to learn more about how an outsourced demand generation solution can help accelerate this alignment and scale, please feel free to CONTACT US for a free initial strategy conversation.  Or visit the B2B Demand Generation Resources section of our Website.

To review Part 1 Top B to B Demand Generation Requires Sales Content Marketing CLICK HERE.

To view the final blog in this series on Successful Demand Generation b to b please CLICK HERE.

10 Ways Sales Outsourcing Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

10 Ways Sales Outsourcing Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

In this article we touch on entrepreneur challenges and 10 ways sales outsourcing will help.

James Altucher  an investor and entrepreneur posted a great blog this week at TechCrunch – 10 Things Entrepreneurs Will Fail at.  For any entrepreneur out there its great to remember that you are not alone.   You can find the full blog at  http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/11/10-things-all-entrepreneurs-fail-at/

As a sales and marketing outsourcing company we have worked with well over 100 entrepreneurs building go to market strategies and providing sale outsourcing services for new product launches.  We love working with visionaries.  We appreciate what they do and we are in this business to help them avoid as many of the hiccups on the way to success and wealth as we can.   Below is a quick summary of James Altucher’s blog (we advocate reading it in its entirety).  We personally feel like sales and marketing outsourcing can help you dramatically mitigate the risk and dramatically increase your chances of success in several of the areas mentioned below so we could not resist commenting.

10 Things Entrepreneurs Will Fail At and 10 Ways Sales Outsourcing Helps

1. You will lose some customers. Not everyone will be happy with your product forever.

  • Demand Gen outsourcing keeps the pipe full to replace them.

2. You will lose some friends and family. You’re spending so much time on your business that inevitably you will not be able to match all of the expectations of the people who love you.

  • Maintain some life balance and let us do the grinding day to day blocking and tackling so you have time for the wife, kids, partner

3. You will lose the faith of investors. Not all of the time, and hopefully not at the end, but there will come a time when the investors question you.

  • Sales and marketing outsourcing provides hard core third party verified numbers and sales metrics to defend your ability to keep valuation and confidence levels up on the sales front.

4. Your idea. Your idea might be a bad idea.

  • We vet your idea and test it in the market fast with qualitative and quantitative feedback loops so you can improve and readjust.

5. You will fail some of your employees. Employees are there for many reasons. Sometimes they won’t always get what they want.

  • As a sales and marketing outsourcing company working with entrepreneurs we only have understand success is mutual and dependent on closed business.   Not a great deal of grey area or misalignment. We are half way through the 10 ways sales outsourcing helps.

6. You will fail at keeping stress levels low. Sometimes the stress is too much.  

  • Sales and marketing outsourcing can alleviate many of the day to day headaches of headcount and employees

7. Sales. You can’t win them all.

After losing a potential sale there’s a few things you should do:

  • Call the decision maker and say, “Just for my own learning, is there anything we could’ve done better?” Then take sincere notes.
  • Then ask, “Is there anything else we can do for you. Any other way I, personally, can help you succeed at your job.”
  • And conclude with, “Well, it was a real pleasure going through the process and learning about your business. Please call us if you need anything new.” And check in every month after that. Send monthly updates of customers you are winning, new products you are building,
  • Sales and marketing outsourcing is always about knowing why you win and knowing why you lose. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

8. Communication. Some people are just simply going to disagree with you.

  • We manage sales by presenting the facts and the data and then take our marching orders based on your strategic targets

9. Raising Money. I just saw this happen: great idea, great people, revenues, and profitable and…the company in question could not raise money from professional venture capitalists.

  • We focus on driving revenue and giving you bullet proof metrics so you can raise money without a dip in sales

10. Yourself. You will certainly fail yourself during the process. You can’t do everything. You can’t get everyone to like you. You can’t get everyone to buy your service.

  • Sales outsourcing allows you to focus on your core competency

If you are considering sales and marketing outsourcing as a solution and want to better understand the 10 ways sales outsourcing can help you take a new product to market or prove the ratios of your sales process, a Gabriel Sales sales outsourcing solution may be a great option. Feel free to CONTACT US to see what we can do to help.

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What is better sales collateral? Tip from a Top Sales and Marketing Outsourcing Company

The purpose of this blog is to help our outsourced sales and outsourced marketing clients understand how we recommend they think about their B to B demand generation and sales content strategy and what we do as part of our consulting engagements to shape Sales Collateral.

What defines a “better” piece of b to b sales collateral?  Well, in our opinion better b to b sales collateral moves a prospect further into their decision making process and does it at a faster rate.  The goal: close more business, faster.

The first thing to remember is that to create better sales collateral it’s never going to be about you.  It’s about your prospect’s specific sales information need and the type of information they need will depend on where they are in their decision making process.

As a sales and marketing outsourcing company, when we launch a new client we take them through our proprietary discovery process to establish the initial messaging and targeting strategy. Once this is complete we get on the phone and simultaneously accomplish the following functions:

  • We execute immediately to start generating leads to fill the sale pipe
  • We start collecting hard data and metrics
  • We continue to consult creating a content and sales process strategy that aligns sales and marketing

This ongoing consulting based on hard data allows us to frame a repeatable sales process.  Creating this process requires that we listen to and then meet the sales needs of the prospect. Without the correct sales process and the right content nobody wins.  This includes our clients, their prospects and us.  What most sales outsourcing organizations won’t tell you is that no ones content is perfect out of the gate.  The idea here is to talk to the prospects, test, refine and become more efficient to fill the content gaps as quickly as possible. This is what helps us become more effective and more efficient closers.  This is where we gain our advantage.

We realize that content creation can seem daunting.  It does not have to be.  It should be fun.  What we generally find is that our initial immediate needs can be met quickly and created quickly as we are putting the first wave of deals in the pipe. In most cases we find that existing content just needs to be tweaked, reframed, repurposed and/or reformatted.

The chart you see at the top of this post is the simple framework we use as we create your long term content strategy during the consulting portion of our initial client launches.  What drives the efficiency in this approach vs. a typical marketing firms approach is that we are not guessing.   As we are filling the pipe we are measuring what is successful and what is not successful.  We are learning when we lose and improving what works. We are making decisions based on real customer data and real customer feedback that creates a content strategy that fuels a sales process has a real impact.  We are simply listening to your customers and giving them what they need to transact.  This is not rocket science but it does require following a specific process, road map and framework, and then supporting the effort with proper tools.  This approach creates a scalable sales machine.

Depending on your stage of sales and marketing maturity, there are multiple sales and marketing strategies and tactics Gabriel Sales can leverage to drive sales growth.   A strategy or tactic is most effective when anchored in real numbers tied to realistic targets and measureable goals.  The best sales and marketing operations outsourcing company will help you to create a unique plan to create this strategy and set real metrics if you are just getting started.  If you have an existing sales history Gabriel Sales can fix what is not working and build on what is.  Contact us for a free consultation to see what we can do to improve your sales performance and pipeline velocity in 2012.

 

Sales Outsourcing Can Help When Investors Want Sales Metrics

Multi-Channel Strategy and B2B Marketing Outsourcing

Choosing to Outsource instead of hiring illustration design

This blog explains how you can use an outsourcing sales and marketing company to quickly increase sales, in order to secure investments for a new product or technology.

When trying to convince someone to invest in a new product or technology, businesses will likely be asked to show why the investment is worth the money.  Investors are looking for sales metrics, often by specific target markets and sales verticals.  In other words, an investor wants proof that you can deliver, so they can feel secure in investing.  However, if your recent sales do not impress, you are unlikely to establish trust and secure investments.

So, what can you do when you have a great idea, and not enough sales traction to get solid investment terms? One solution to this problem is to turn your sales  over to an outsourced sales team to quickly increase revenue and implement the use of sales and marketing tracking tools, and performance metrics that report and measure dollars in and dollars out.

Without extensive sales knowledge and sales experience, these tasks may seem daunting.  An outsourcing sales company can help make this process much easier and less painful.  An outsourced sales team can help you attract the capital you need and quickly get your product or service to market.

Benefits of Sales Outsourcing:

  • Experienced sales professionals work to understand your specific business pains and needs
  • Outsourced sales teams use their experience to quickly devise and execute business plans
  • Outsourced sales teams understand what strategies and sales methods will work best for your business
  • Experienced sales professionals work directly towards achieving your goals efficiently and effectively
  • You can target your most successful markets, while simultaneously building new markets and securing new leads

When your sales process is running smoothly and effectively, turning out consistently closed deals at the end of your pipe, you should have no problem obtaining investments for a new product or service.  The team at Gabriel Sales can help make that happen.

If you’d like to see how sales outsourcing could benefit your company, contact us for a free pipeline velocity review.

Holding Sales with a Shared Quota

This blog builds on a previous blog titled Sales and Marketing Alignment Requires Agreement on Lead Definitions.  It describes a metric driven approach to get sales and marketing excited about working as a team to put qualified deals in your sales team’s pipe.

Whether you are building your sales team, outsourcing sales, outsourcing lead generation, outsourcing sales nurturing or sales qualifying, all the focus needs to be closing business. As we discussed in Sales and Marketing Alignment Requires Agreement on Lead Definitions, there are three steps in sales and marketing alignment that that will ultimately give your marketing team a sales quota:

The first step in building Sales and Marketing Alignment is to agree on your Ideal Customer Profile.

The second step is to agree on definitions for early stage leads, which are:

  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) – Accepted information.
  • MQL Hot  – They are actively digesting the right message and content in multiple ways.
  • Sales Accepted Leads (SAL) – There is a fit between the customers pains or needs and your product or solution.  It makes sense for telesales to invest time in.
  • Sales Qualified Lead  (SQL)  – Established decision making process, budget and/or path to budget
  • Nurture – Have expressed interest and legitimately not yet ready to buy.

The third step is to make sure that the marketing team and telesales team understand that they have a shared job, which is:

  • to put deals in the pipe that can eventually close
  • to keep as many leads in play until they are ready for sales
  • to get deals out of the pipe that will never transact
  • to avoid generating leads that will never transact
  • ultimately to keep the steady state pipe at a volume that keeps the sale team at maximum effectiveness

The way we frame the jobs for our outsourcing lead generation and marketing teams is they always need to be creating measurable momentum with a focus on moving deals towards qualification and ultimately, the close.  The different jobs are:

  • MQLs = Momentum Makers – have the effect that starts momentum
  • SALs =  Momentum Builders –have the effect that increases momentum
  • Nurture =  Momentum Sustainers – have the effect that prolongs momentum

The other positive outcome is the lead generation reps stop filling the pipe with leads for lead volume’s sake and they become self-critical of squandering time, energy and resources on tactics that they deem as:

  • Momentum Breakers- have the effect that stop momentum
  • Momentum Takers – have the effect that sap momentum
  • Momentum Fakers –have the effect that stage momentum

The lead generation reps, inside sales reps and marketing coordinator’s collective scorecard is based on Sales Qualified Leads. What emerges are statistics the team can leverage on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to identify what’s working vs. what isn’t working. . Here is what the early stage metrics would look like specifically for an aligned marketing and telemarketing organization following up on a Webcast.

The power of measuring it this way is manifold, but quickly here is how I would read this:

  • Total calls to contact means the list is solid.  Good phone numbers.   A momentum sustainer.
  • The ICP profile is solid as is the initial script because 65% of the conversations we are having are moving forward and that’s a momentum builder.
  • The content is a winner because over half of the conversations we are having are accepting additional information.
  • Voice mail as a tactic is definitely a momentum maker because we have a 3% return.
  • Finally, Voice Mail is now a strategy that we need to totally commit to because 67% of those return calls are hitting the pipe.

Bottom line with this approach: you can measure both the team and the individual tactics so both the individual and the team successes are acknowledged simultaneously.

How to Build a Winning Ideal Customer Profile

How to Build a Winning Ideal Customer Profile

This blog outlines the steps we take to build a successful outsourcing lead generation strategy and the sales consulting options we provide, as well as the steps you may be able to take on your own if you have the sales bandwidth.

In What is an Ideal Customer Profile we talked about why the sales consulting step is critical to our success as an outsourcing sales company.  To recap – It allows us 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 launch, the first step we generally advocate as part of our initial sales consulting (especially when selling Professional Services or launching lead generation for a highly complex sale) is to apply Pareto’s Principal to your existing customer list.   Also know 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 we want to go after.  You can then score the customers based on the hard criteria discussed in What is an Ideal Customer Profile with a specific focus on

  • Title and Level of Contact
  • Functional Area
  • Annual Revenue and Number of Employees
  • Vertical Market

We also recommend that you look at the customers that you don’t want, which means looking at your failures.  Who makes up the 80% of your customers who are driving 20% of your revenue?    Here we recommend that you look at:

  • Functional Area
  • Level of Contact

If there is a trend here, as an outsourcing sales and outsourcing lead generation company, we will avoid them like the plague and label them WCP (Worst Customer Profile).  You then make a decision about what you want to replicate and don’t want to replicate when you do your new lead targeting.

If you are starting from scratch with no history you need to start making intelligent guesses.  We recommend that you start with determining what percentage of someones budget your solution would qualify for.  You then need to target companies that will produce large enough size revenue deals to cover the costs of sales and marketing and determine who in that company will own the P&L for your product or service.

The second step is to understand the size and scope of the market to see where the biggest opportunity is.  Gabriel Sales we recommend the following three-part approach:

  • We take your internal Ideal Customer Profile and map it against our historical data to examine connect ratios.  This helps us to determine how many calls it typically takes to get the decision maker.  From this we can do a semi accurate forecast of how often the will to actually pick up the phone or open an email.  This lets us determine the ease of reaching.
  • We do a deep dive leveraging Hoovers and other Database Research Tools to match SIC codes of your existing ICP to determine the target market size based on the hard criteria and get a hard decision maker count by vertical and determined ease of reach.
  • You look at Social Media including Linked In, You Tube and Influential Blogs to do a preliminary landscape of ancillary tactics to determine Social Media Adoption.

The third step (and the one often skipped) that we recommend is an honest assessment of where you are best equipped to Sell Money and provide Success Stories for these new targets. Essentially it’s about selling to the customers you are better equipped to service than anyone else.  Where there is alignment is where you will win.  So, ask yourself where does this customer alignment meet existing sales and marketing alignment too, so I can win and the customer can win faster. (Both of these tactics are detailed in other blogs).   This step will make your outsourcing lead generation or internal lead generation more effective.  It will also accelerate your ability to sales qualify and increase your pipe velocity.

Bottom line is that an Ideal Customer Profile is (in the words of Steven Covey) starting with the end in mind.  It will drive sustained and exponential returns by helping you to:

  • Find deals faster
  • Close higher volume and higher deal size
  • Build a strong pipe to nurture for future deals
  • 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

Other blogs we suggest checking out if all of the above makes sense:

What is an Ideal Customer Profile

Selling Money -ROI Statement Early

A Successful Sales Script Starts with Building a Winning Sales Story