Outsourced Sales


5 Situations in Which Outsourced Sales and Marketing Helps Small Business Thrive

5 Situations in Which Outsourced Sales and Marketing Helps Small Business Thrive

Should you build a strong internal team, or consider outsourced sales and marketing helps small business grow operation? The question commonly arises for growing businesses with limited resources. Accounting, production, and other department face the same general question. So naturally, the same is true for sales and marketing.

Some vendors will tell you that outsourcing is always the better idea. That’s not necessarily the case. While working with an external partner is undoubtedly beneficial in some situations, others may actually benefit from an in-house approach. Don’t be seduced by a vendor that pushes sales outsourcing simply because they want your business to build their own revenue.

Instead, approach the question strategically. Determine whether or not you should outsource your sales and marketing operations based on your unique business situation. Evaluate your environment, capacity, business goals, and priorities. The fewer variables remain, the better your final decision will be for your situation.

Make no mistake: outsourced marketing can help your small or medium-sized business thrive. And yet, according to one recent survey, only 3% of SMBs actually work with an external marketing vendor. Should you be part of that exclusive group? Your business finds itself in one of the below five situations, the answer might just be yes.

Here are 5 Situations in Which Outsourced Sales and Marketing Helps Small Business Thrive

1) Your Business Lacks Marketing and Sales Integration

The age of cold calls is long gone. Too often, business owners and decision makers consider marketing and sales to be two distinct operations. The problem is that your target audience doesn’t see it that way.

Whether they read your website content or receive a sales email, they’re thinking of the same brand. That means your messaging and strategy has to be consistent, regardless of whether you’re writing about industry trends to build credibility or delivering a sales pitch.

That means the two efforts and teams have to match up. The goal of both is to acquire and retain customers, with marketing providing the initial brand awareness and leads that your sales efforts are designed to close. Align your marketing and sales team, and the results can be astounding. Consider the statistics:

  • 56% of aligned organizations met their revenue goals, and 19% beat their goals.
  • Sales and marketing alignment delivers, on average, a 36% improvement in customer retention and 38% higher sales-win rates.­­
  • Aligned organizations achieve up to 19% faster revenue growth – and 15% higher profitability.

And yet, too often, the opposite is the case. Sales and marketing operate as distinct entities, with their own unique goals. As a result, they often become isolated, and the organization fails to reach business goals. When that happens, you might need to consider working with an external marketing and sales vendor.

Through this type of partnership, the alignment becomes more natural. Rather than having to spend time managing both units on your end, you can work with a partner who builds a wholistic, strategic approach that encompasses both. Especially to begin the integration process on your end, this can be a crucial step.

2) You Lack the Capacity or Resources to Manage an In-House Team

Managing a sales and marketing team can be difficult. Sales especially faces common obstacles, as you need to keep the balance of a confident staff not overburdened by challenging goals that still is motivated enough to meet these goals.

Beat them up too much about your sales goals, and they lose confidence. Fail to hold them accountable, and the sales pipe built by marketing never bears fruit. When you cannot hold that balance, while folding marketing into the mix, it might make sense to delegate your sales and marketing management to an external partner.

Through that partner, you can set firm goals that are both strategic and ambitious. Both the chances of hitting these goals and the satisfaction of your organizational team will increase drastically.

Resource limitations pose a similar problem. Organizational expertise takes time to develop, because it tends to be driven by measurement and verification against feedback loop. You need the historical data to benchmark your performance against, which can be impossible when you’re starting from scratch.

Plugging your sales goals into an existing sales process and operation means you can save your resources for other organizational priorities. That’s especially crucial if you need to focus your talent and executive leadership on those aspects of your core business.

Is your time better spent in business development than sales? Does your delivery, client satisfaction, or product development need more attention? Outsourcing your sales may be the key to focus on your core business needs without neglecting the growth of your customer base.

3) You Need to Control Your Operational Risk

Especially as a startup grows, but also throughout your growth cycle as a business, managing operational risk is crucial. Outsourcing your customer growth initiatives will almost always help to accomplish that goal.

Put simply, working with an external sales or marketing partner will remove a significant chunk of your fixed costs and move them to a variable expense, for a number of reasons:

  • You won’t need hard infrastructure investments n technologies and marketing platforms.
  • You won’t need to hire a full-time sales and marketing staff.
  • Your investment will be more closely tied to output, rather than becoming an inevitable expense.
  • Total costs of a fully functioning sales machine, including talent, managers, executives, and marketing support will range around the cost of a single senior enterprise representative.
  • You will not need to invest in ongoing training and development to keep your own sales and marketing staff active and successful.

In most cases, outsourced sales organizations are bound contractually to hit their targets, report on progress and benchmarks, and provide feedback that can improve your organization. The result is a more informed, data-based sales strategy that is more likely to succeed.

Managing your risk also becomes a qualitative function. Over the past few years, sales execution has become more buyer-focused, moving from the relatively linear ‘traditional’ process to a more fluid, credibility-based alternative. You either have to add new resources to account for that trend, or risk wasting your resources on an outdated, ineffective model.

But if you hire for this shift to a buyer-centric environment, you run into another risk. Adding full-time executives to your sales and marketing team might mean you begin to accumulate too many strategists, and not enough soldiers. Pulling together the strategic side and tactical execution of both sales and marketing is expensive, and can incur significant uncertainty. In an outsourced approach, that is not the case. The same partner will account for both sides of the coin, building an initial and ongoing strategy that tightly integrates with its execution.

4) You Have to Reduce Your Time to Market

The time to market for your business or product may matter for a number of reasons. You might need to contend with a highly competitive environment, satisfy your investors, or ensure the fulfillment of pre-orders. A number of factors influence that process, but don’t forget about your marketing and sales operations.

Even the most well-built product or service cannot effectively reach the market if you don’t know how to unlock your future customers. You need both an understanding of your market, as well as a strategy and a team ready to leverage that understanding into actual sales results.

When you outsource, you get the benefit of plugging into an existing mechanism to achieve those goals:

  • Your sales strategy can be built even as you’re still developing the product.
  • The technologies and platforms needed for an effective sales and marketing execution are already in place.
  • You can tap into a sales and marketing team that is already aligned and works well together.
  • You don’t have to spend time onboarding a new team for your business.
  • You can leverage existing, real-time market intelligence to keep a pulse on the market and adjust your strategy as necessary.

Time to Market is not always an important consideration. But when it is, outsourcing can quickly become a crucial step. You save valuable time in getting your product ready for and in front of your audience. Recruiting, building, and training your sales force can take months if not years. External marketing and sales can help you avoid delays that could otherwise devastate your competitiveness.

5) You Need to Scale a Growing Operation

Time to market, of course, is only one consideration. As demand grows, your business needs to keep pace. Even if you’ve built up a reliable internal sales operation for a startup, that operation may no longer be effective as you grow into  a mid-size business.

The same is true on the opposite end. In fact, downsizing your sales and marketing may be even more difficult than upsizing the same process. Thanks in part to the fixed costs mentioned above, you will be saddled with investments and resources that cannot be effectively deployed.

Now, consider the alternative of working with an external sales partner. The right provider already has the ability to manage any increase or decrease in scale built into the system. The technology platforms account for both growth and declines. The phone systems and workforce are in place to adjust as needed.

The same is also true if you want to grow to a specific size and revenue, then stabilize. During your growth phase, it might make sense to work with an outsourced vendor. As you reach majority, you can work with the same vendor to transfer the earned infrastructure and expertise in-house, and establish your own sales operations. As long as you’re open and honest about that intent from the beginning, you can find a vendor that helps both in the build-up and the transfer.

Should You Outsource Your Sales and Marketing Efforts?

There is no simple answer to that question. Instead, you should evaluate your current situation, and determine based on your existing infrastructure as well as forecasted sales whether finding an outsourced provider makes sense. If you find yourself in any of the above situations, the answer will probably be yes.

In that case, you still need to find a reliable partner who can actually accomplish everything that outsourced marketing and sales are capable of. That provider should not just possess built-up expertise in your core area of need, but also the desire to become a true partner who is invested in your business success.

We can be that partner for you. Outsourced sales and marketing helps small businesses grow. In fact, our integrated approach to modern marketing and sales makes us the perfect fit to help your business grow and optimize its sales efforts. Contact us for more information, and to start discussing a potential partnership.

 

About Us

Gabriel Sales specializes in helping SMBs and Startups grow their business with modern outsourced sales and marketing operations.

Our team can augment gaps in your existing sales and marketing operations or we can be leveraged for full-service campaigns that include:

  • Integrated Sales and Marketing Strategies
  • Database Research and Targeting
  • Automation and CRM Systems Best Practices Implementation
  • Inbound Lead Generation
  • Outbound Lead Generation and Lead Scoring
  • Sales Qualification
  • Closing

To learn more about how we can help you grow your business (or decide if we are the right fit for you), we invite you to visit our page that details our integrated approach to sales and marketing outsourcing. Or feel free to contact us for free initial consultation and discovery session to see if our approach is the right fit to help you hit your revenue targets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales Outsourcing and Inside Sales

For decades the typical sales organization was comprised of sales reps cold calling and working in the field.  They set their appointments and then meet face-to-face with potential buyers.  And in recent years we have started to see a transition to those outside reps getting support from “inside reps” who assist in setting the appointments.  And once again typically a company would build this organization internally.

However over the past several years both CRM and marketing automation technologies have become technology staples of most modern B2B sales operations. These technologies enable companies to control visibility of each stage of their sales process.  These same technologies now allow companies to seamlessly consider sales outsourcing for their inside sales activities. Here are a few of the advantages to evaluate to help you decide if an inside sales outsourcing team is a good fit for your company:

Sales Training – There are multiple benefits that can be realized from shifting to an inside sales outsourcing model. One of the biggest advantages is that your sales training will become more effective with inside sales outsourcing.  When a company uses an outside sales model, sales reps do not come into contact with each other on a regular basis. But with an inside sales outsourcing team your reps will be working in the same office space. It’s much easier to quality control sales training for new reps, share “best practice” sales tips, and disseminate new information.  For smaller businesses that only have the need for one or two inside reps this advantage can be even more significant because your inside sales outsourcing team will be surrounded by other reps selling other products.  You will gain access to a part time sales manager that will keep your team on track and well trained without the expense of staffing a full time sales manager.

Scaling Faster – As an inside sales outsourcing company we believe when a company is just getting off the ground it makes sense to staff a closer on the client side to gain insights into the entire sales process start to finish. An internal sales executive also allow you to more effectively build the personal relationships a company just getting off the ground needs. In many cases this resource is also one of the executives in the company, often the founder.  And then as the company understands its sales process an inside sales outsourcing company can craft a repeatable sales process to generate the lead, develop the lead and qualify the lead using content and well trained business development reps. Switching to an inside sales outsourcing model may make sense, since it provides the ability to integrate new staff more effectively and allows for more rapid growth.

Complexity of the Sale Another highly influential factor that determines how to deploy an inside sales outsourcing team is the complexity of the company’s sales cycle – how many buyers and influencers are involved, deal size and value, and the complexity of the product itself.

For example – an enterprise sale is a long cycle involving multiple individuals at various levels of the organization. In these cases, external sales reps are required – again, because selling extremely high-value products over a long period of time is something that relies on the development of more personal business relationships.  If this is the type of sale you need we typically recommend using inside sales outsourcing for the initial lead generation and the early stage introduction of your solution to multiple buyers across the target organizations.  Once the buyer becomes engaged your outside sales rep should take full ownership of the sale.

On the other hand if you have a short and simple sales cycle this is where an inside sales outsourcing model can take the sale further.  Inside sales outsourcing can generate the lead, develop the lead and educate the buyer.  In some cases you can simply staff a sales engineer with technical or business domain expertise to answer technical or deep domain questions and your inside sales outsourcing team can manage the final close of the sale.

If outsourcing sales makes sense for your business then choosing the right inside sales outsourcing model is key to ensuring it sales outsourcing will help to grow your business. In many cases a hybrid model may make the most sense.  To learn more about how Gabriel Sales approach sales outsourcing and marketing feel free to visit our sales outsourcing services page.

Things to Avoid in Email Subject Lines to Improve Outsourced Sales Results

Since email is now preferred by 70% of buyers who want to learn about new products or services, email marketing is an important feature in an Integrated Outsourced Sales and Marketing Campaigns and Sales Automation Engines.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will publish several articles to help companies just getting started with sales automation and email lead generation, to improve results. The articles will address:

  • Why using a Whitelisted Service Provider Makes Sense
  • How to Design and Code Your eMails
  • What Offers to Make

To kick it off, we will start with the basics of subject line writing to avoid filters, or if you are marketing to small businesses or consumers, Google’s Promotion Box. If you are not familiar with what this is, we have attached a screenshot below (and avoiding this box will also be addressed in articles down the road).

What to Avoid in Subject Lines

  • Don’t use spammy and some not so spammy words like “Free”, “Urgent”, “Call”, “Marketing”, “Now”, “Income”, “Sale”, “Discount”, “Month”, and “You’re”. As an outsourced sales and marketing company, we have identified “words to avoid” when running campaigns for our clients. You can download a PDF of these words to use for future reference (and we have also included an image). If you have a question about other words, you can also run it through spamassasin.com. This is a free online tool.

DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS AND exclude MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! Not only is this obnoxious, but you’re more likely to end up being flagged by a spam filter.

Try and keep the first 40 characters of your subject lines as impactful as possible for visibility, not delivery.

  • Don’t use symbols or strange characters – $$$, <>, ###, ??? and Emoji will hit the filter immediately.
  • Finally don’t oversell in the subject line – The goal of your email campaign is to get the buyer to open and engage. Do not expect one open and buy. This is the first step in a process. You will get more opens and more conversions with education vs. selling.

Don’t worry about number of characters and try to keep subject lines impactful. Remember, email platform users may only see the first 40-50 characters, or even less, and your email subject lines are even more compressed on mobile devices. Despite all the information about subject line length, studies show that length doesn’t actually affect open rates. Below are two examples of how an email could look in Outlook and how much of the subject line a buyer could see on an iPhone.

Try and keep the first 40 characters of your subject lines as impactful as possible for visibility, not delivery.

  • Don’t use symbols or strange characters – $$$, <>, ###, ??? and Emoji will hit the filter immediately.
  • Finally don’t oversell in the subject line – The goal of your email campaign is to get the buyer to open and engage. Do not expect one open and buy. This is the first step in a process. You will get more opens and more conversions with education vs. selling.

 

 How Gabriel Sales Can Help with Outsourced Sales

Gabriel Sales specializes in Outsourced Sales and Marketing Campaigns that helps buyers buy through integrated digital campaigns and sales automation engine implementation.  We make all this easy and you can learn more about our point solutions following the links below.

Trade Show Marketing Packages – Outsourced Sales & Marketing

Make Every Lead Count! Outsourced Sales Turnkey Tradeshow Support Package

90% of tradeshow attendees are looking for new solutions and 87% of purchase a new within 6 months of the event. But 60% of companies do nothing to fill the booth, and they never follow up with 85% of their leads. We help you maximize your investment with the incremental:

  • Capacity to generate booth traffic
  • Capacity to follow up with leads
  • All the tools to control costs and increase ROI

Watch our educational video to learn more or visit our educational resources and case studies below. Also, feel free to check out our recent blog post here.

Contact Us
Drive More Booth Traffic with Turnkey Outsourced Sales

According to data from the CMO Council, Fortune 2000 and large companies are much more effective in how they allocate resources and approach tradeshow lead generation.

Large and enterprise companies expect a 4:1 return on their tradeshow investment and typically spend as much as 17% of their annual lead gen budget on tradeshow and event marketing. The first step in a successful tradeshow lead generation campaign is to drive traffic to your booth prior to the event and during the event. Learn how to create and manage a smarter approach with, automation systems, temporary callers, lead scoring, email marketing, and outsourced sales reps to help you achieve the same results.  Read More

Generate More Sales Opportunities with Outsourced Sales Support

tradeshow-graphic-blogIn this age of marketing automation, with content marketing and increasing competition, simply showing up at a tradeshow and then blasting every lead with the same, tired email message instantly upon your return from the show no longer works (and dialing every lead is simply too cost prohibitive). If you execute your tradeshow strategy correctly, you can ensure:

  • You never miss a hot lead
  • You don’t let warm leads slip away
  • Everyone knows who you are and how you can help
  • You maximize your ROI for the remainder of the year

In this article we focus on how to maximize your post-show follow-up with outsourced sales to make every lead count!  Read more

Download Tradeshow Marketing Whitepaper

tradeshow-whitepaper-graphic1Enterprise companies expect a 4:1 return on their tradeshow because 92% of tradeshow attendees say they are looking for new products. But 70% of SMBs exhibiting at tradeshows don’t have any tradeshow lead gen strategy. As a result 80% of leads that are generated during a show are ignored after the show.

Download this educational white paper to learn how to:

  • Drive more booth traffic
  • Identify immediate sale opportunities
  • Score leads to prioritize and automate follow up

Download Whitepaper Now
Tradeshow Support Package Case Studies

magnify-3We invite you to visit two concrete examples of what a Tradeshow Package Produces:

Case Study #1 –  SMB technology and service provider with no booth increases their sales pipeline by $760K

Case Study #2 – Mid-sized technology start up builds awareness,  generates new database of over 6000 early stage leads and sets over 2 dozen demos after the show

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How an Outsourced Sales Team Can Help Your Marketing Team

outsourced sales teamThere comes a time for every B2B business owner, where they must decide how to approach their sales and marketing. There are many different routes you can take: hiring part-time or full-time staff, purchasing consulting services, hiring an outsourced sales team, or some combination of these.

The best option for your company is going to depend on your resources, your specific situation and your goals. If your goal is to dramatically increase revenue through your sales efforts, an outsourced sales team might be your best option. By leveraging a B2B outsourced sales team, you gain access to sales talent that you generally could not afford to hire internally. Additionally, the experience and expertise that comes with an outsourced sales team will help support and optimize your marketing efforts for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

Here are 5 ways an outsourced sales team can help your marketing team:

1. Content development

There have been a few articles recently that talk about the need for B2B companies to act like publishers in terms of their marketing content. For many companies, coming up with fresh content on a regular basis (that provides real value for prospects) is an extremely time consuming task.

At Gabriel Sales, one of the ways our sales outsourcing services support marketing teams is by providing detailed feedback from prospects on the value or effectiveness of different pieces of marketing content. Based on our analysis of phone calls with prospects and marketing analytics data, we provide recommendations for content that your prospects will find engaging and valuable (we can also produce the content for you if you have the need).

2. Augment your under staffed sales team

In recent years, budget limitations and other factors have left many B2B sales teams understaffed. In addition, cold calling just isn’t as effective as it used to be—making it much more expensive to succeed with this tactic. By going with an outsourcing option, you can gain access to an entire sales team for approximately the cost of one internal rep.

Despite how incredible an individual may be in terms of talent and skill, that person can never match the combined training, experience and established relationships that an outsourced sales team can provide. So, instead of spending money internally to hire someone new, it may be more cost-effective to outsource a whole team.

3. Leverage your investment in CRM and MA software

For many B2B companies, technologies like marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) software may still be relatively new and confusing. For an outsourced sales team like we have at Gabriel Sales, navigating these technologies is now second-nature. By leveraging an outsourced team, you can therefore bypass months or even years trying to figure it out on your own.

Additionally, one of the top two reasons for dissatisfaction with marketing automation is poor integration with sales. By leveraging an outsourced sales team with over 10,000 hours of marketing automation experience, you gain access to best practices and tips for better sales and marketing alignment. In other words, you let the experts show you how to succeed and what to avoid without having to go through all the headaches of learning on your own.

4. Provide qualitative and quantitative feedback on all tactics.

Every outsourced sales team needs to provide evidence of the value of their work. At Gabriel Sales, we provide our clients twelve different types of reporting on our efforts—from data on conversion ratios to verbatim transcripts of cold calls. We also have weekly meetings with each of our clients to discuss our successes and areas for improvement.

This much transparency and visibility allows your marketing team to easily understand how best to support sales with content and determine what campaigns would be most effective. With the detailed reporting of an outsourced sales team, determining how and where to optimize is greatly simplified.

5. Convert quality inbound leads to qualified prospects

Even when inbound leads come in with a high level of perceived interest, they still need to be qualified. By using an outsourced sales team, you can follow up on inbound leads and nurture them until they are sales qualified for a much lower price than handling it internally.

With a dedicated and experienced outsourced sales team at your service, your marketing team gains the data, technological skills and overall expertise they need to do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

You can learn more about the value of a B2B outsourced sales team here. To learn about the outsourced sales solutions we offer, visit our services page. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Using Marketing Automation for B2B Lead Nurturing

Photo of green plant between male hands on a black background[/caption]B2B marketers today face a complex landscape.

Old marketing tactics have dropped in effectiveness (cold calling, trade shows) while technological innovations have created an entire new way of buying and selling (digital content marketing, customer relationship management). Buyers now control the sales process and selling to them now requires the ability to reach and interact with prospects in an entirely new way.

Evidence of this shift can be seen in the findings of a February 2013 eMarketer report that lists the top challenges from B2B marketers today. Apart from not having enough budget (59%), marketers largest struggle is the ability to “reach the right target at the right time in the buying decision” (39%).  This shows that B2B marketers have started to recognize that the buyer needs to be the main focus of all marketing efforts.

This also helps to explain why from 2011 to 2012, there was a 233% increase in the portion of marketing budgets allocated to marketing automation solutions (eMarketer).

Marketing automation platforms allow marketers to manage of all of their prospects from one database and track their prospects digital behaviors to help understand where each prospect is at in their buying decision at any given time. Within the platform, you can assign different numerical scores to each piece of marketing content you create—with lower scores assigned to early stage content and high scores assigned to late stage content like pricing pages or product comparisons. By looking at prospects consumption of all marketing efforts (website, blogs, email marketing, social), you can determine what “next step” is going to be most appropriate for each prospect.

This is why using marketing automation for B2B lead nurturing is so effective, as some of the prospects that come into your pipe are not ready to buy right away. You will know this because your marketing automation solution will tell you that the prospect is not engaging with any high-scoring digital content that signals he or she is near a purchase decision, which tells you the prospect needs to go into a lead nurturing stage.

B2B lead nurturing consists of sending your ‘not-yet-ready-to-buy’ prospects marketing content that educates them on your solution and industry in a non-threatening way. A quarterly company newsletter or educational email campaign are good examples of this. By tracking consumption of your nurturing efforts using your marketing automation platform, you will know when a prospect moves out of the nurturing phase and is ready to be engaged by sales.

When done correctly, lead nurturing helps to build trust and keep your company top of mind when your prospect is finally ready to make a buying decision.

To learn more about the importance of B2B lead nurturing, click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.