Outsourcing Sales and Marketing


Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Sales and Marketing

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Sales and Marketing

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Sales and Marketing

For many businesses ready for growth, it’s fairly typical to consider outsourcing sales and marketing and various other functions including: human resources, accounting and IT. And historically, when it comes to growing sales, most companies initially consider building a team of dedicated sales and marketing professionals. The conventional process was to hire lead gen reps and a senior sales professional, and then assign an existing employee with multiple marketing and demand generation functions.

But over the past several years, the requirements of buyers have significantly changed. First, they expect to be able to educate themselves digitally online, and they expect continuing education. Then, they expect to engage with both thought leaders and sales professionals as they make their purchase decision.

So, sales success in this new buyer-driven market now requires a team of sales and marketing professionals with a variety of skill sets, all focused on making it easy for the buyer to buy. These skill sets can be time consuming and difficult to assemble effectively and quickly. As a result, many companies are discovering the old model of hiring and building a sales and marketing team on their own is just not enough to generate what they need to produce sustained sales growth and success.

Consequentially, businesses are increasingly discovering that outsourcing their sales and marketing team is an attractive and smart business decision for growth and many other reasons as well. The different justifications for outsourcing all result in reducing costs, increasing results and lowering risks.

7 Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Sales and Marketing

  1. Access to strategists who craft an effective plan quickly – Companies that outsource get immediate accesses to integrated sales and marketing strategists. With all the shifts in buyer behavior, companies can work with experienced strategists who will help craft a plan that works for their business and their budget. And these strategists are experienced, they understand the trends and have access to benchmarks and research tools to help get the most out of their budget.
  1. Access to the right talent for both sales and marketing – Outsourcing sales and marketing provides businesses with the ability to source all the talent needed, quickly. On the sales side, this includes access to lead gen reps, closers and, in some cases, sales engineers. On the marketing side, it includes access to content producers, email marketers, inbound specialists and marketing technologists.
  2. Outsourcing sales and marketing is more cost effective with less risk – Outsourced sales and marketing gives you access to a team of blended resources. This eliminates the need for paying top dollar to multiple vendors for specialists, or having to carry full-time talent that’s underutilized. This, combined with removing the need for additional office space and eliminating the costs of recruiting and management, results in lower startup costs to get the team off the ground in the short term, and reduces ongoing overhead in the long term.
  3. Speed to market – Outsourced sales and marketing gets you to market two to three times faster because you gain access to a team that already works well together and has already generated business successfully.
  4. Immediate systems infrastructure – Selecting, purchasing and assembling all the tools you need for successful growth is expensive and time consuming. Outsourcing gives you access to the databases, automation tools and CRM, with both the technical talent and best practice expertise you need to get the most from the system.
  5. Operational efficiency – Effective sales growth requires efficient use of budget and talent. Combined with the right systems infrastructure, outsourced sales and marketing allows you to execute cohesive strategies with all the data and measurement you need for effective management. It also provides the middle management layer required for success.
  6. Proven stability – If you have been involved in sales and/or marketing for any period of time, you will have experienced sales teams and marketing teams that are not always unified and that don’t always “play” well together. When you outsource sales and marketing, you’ll be working with an organization with one shared goal of putting deals into your sales funnel. And this team will have a proven track record of success.

If you would like to learn more about outsourcing sales and marketing, contact us for a FREE consultation and to see if it’s the right fit for you. Give us a call at (720) 279-7511.

Outsourcing Sales to Improve Small Business Sales

Companies of any size can benefit from outsourcing sales. Outsourcing sales for small businesses can often have the most significant impact because these companies often need it the most – especially if success requires modern sales and marketing operations. Below are just a handful of ways a small business can benefit from outsourcing sales.

Immediate sales and marketing infrastructure

Many small businesses don’t have the most critical infrastructure for modern sales and marketing operations in place. In today’s market success, especially if you are competing against larger companies, they require multiple pieces of infrastructure and technology to compete against larger competitors including:

  • Access to databases
  • Marketing automation platforms
  • A CRM solutio

An outsourcing sales company will have both the tools and the expertise in place to give you access to these tools immediately.

 

Professional sales recruiting and management

Most small businesses don’t typically have professional sales recruiting and management in house or a process to recruit sales talent. This may lead to hiring the “wrong” sales personnel. Even if a business does hire the “right” sales person, without effective and daily sales management, that individual has a higher propensity to fail.

Using a partner for outsourcing sales will allow you to access sales recruiting, management and culture/environment that most of your larger competitors have. .

Quickly focus on specific gaps to accelerate your sales funnel

Most small business owners are wearing multiple hats, and in many cases the owners are also qualifying leads, creating the marketing material, and closing business. They are doing this on top of delivering the solutions and running day to day business operations. They have the knowledge and skill to run sales and marketing but they simply lack the bandwidth.  An outsourcing sales and marketing solution can help the small business owner cover specific gaps at specific stages of the sales process. This includes:

Lead Generation – An outsourcing sales and marketing company can quickly turn on a multiple tactics for lead generation including:

  • Email marketing
  • Outbound calls
  • SEO and SEM
  • Social Media Marketing

Lead Development – An outsourcing sales and marketing company will be able to implement a content marketing strategy and marketing automation platform to help you develop leads in your funnel digitally.

Lead Qualification – An outsourcing sales organization will be able to staff an outsourcing sales rep or outsourcing sales team to help you qualify and educate early stage buyers and set appointments for your senior team.

Depending on your sales cycle, an outsourcing sales and marketing company can help improve small business sales in as little as 90 to 180 days.  A small business can retain an outsourcing sales company and get access to a pool of talent and tools with less risk and more certainty.

To learn more about the problems we help small businesses solve with sales outsourcing and marketing services and how we approach building modern sales and marketing operations we invite you to visit our Resources page.

How Outsourced Sales and Marketing Impacts Calling Efforts

Solutions are first Bought and then Sold 

All culminating in the ability to score leads so your callers are focused on buyers most likely to transact

Ten years ago the number one way to generate new leads was through the proven method of targeting the right market, picking up the phone, telling your prospect a great sales story and setting an appointment.    The more calls you made, the more appointments you could set.  But times have changed and you can no longer throw bodies at the problem.

According to Forrester Research over “70% of buyers now prefer to receive an email and be educated digitally before meaningfully engaging with a sales rep.”  Couple this with the fact that buyers now pick up the phone 50% less than they did several years ago,  you can see why you and your outsourced sales and marketing company now need to approach cold calling and their phone approach to sales and lead generation differently.

A Changing Market 

So now when you outsource sales and marketing in 2017 you can expect your outsourced sales and marketing team to generate leads through a combination of the integrated process including  Email Marketing Campaigns, Content Marketing, PPC Campaigns and Cold Calling

When cold calling your outsourced sales callers will start by introducing content

If buyers prefer to learn about new solutions through educational content this is where your calling efforts will start.  You should use your callers to target customers that fit your ideal customer profile – buyers that are in the right vertical, buyers and influencers that should have a need for your solution that can help them hit their own personal annual bonus this year, and buyers that you have a proven ability to serve.  Your goal of that initial call should be to get to pitch your solution in under 30 seconds, confirm that they have at least a little interest in your solution and that they are the right person at the company to share the information with.   Once these goals are achieved you should share the information and get off the call and move on to putting more early stage deals in the funnel.

Your outsourced sales team should focus on helping and not selling

You callers initial focus needs to be more customer service and buyer education focused.  Not trying to set appointments immediately with closers.   Your callers need to shift their mind set to discover if there is a real possibility of a fit.  Your initial aim needs to qualify, not force or convince.   Forcing a fit is a waste of your buyer’s time and your time.

One of the primary innovations of automation technologies is that it gives you’re the ability to observe a buyers digital footprint so you can see what buyers are most curious and interested in your solution.  Once the lead has been generated your outsourced callers should focus on these leads first.

Your callers should focus on understanding your buyer’s needs

If your callers are calling on buyers that are highly scored this means the buyer is educating themselves about you digitally. Your callers don’t need to pitch, they need to understand what the buyer’s specific needs and goals are.  Your callers need to change their language from “sales speak” to natural language.  You need to ask smart questions, then listen. Doing these two things will immediately set yourself apart as someone who is patient, open minded and willing to listen.   Ask what more educational material the buyer would like to see.

Finally your callers need to close on the sales appointment

When you follow this process that allows the buyer to buy the way they want to buy you will know that:

  • The buyer is a fit for your business
  • What the buyer needs
  • That the buyer is educated

At this point your outsourced sales team is ready to hard qualify the deal for your closer and ask for the appointment. At this point the buyer is either ready to buy or not ready to buy.  The buyer will trust you so you will be able to ask hard qualifying questions and expect accurate and truthful answers because trust will have been established in both directions.  And most importantly when you pass to your closer they will have all the information they need to service and close the buyer for a mutually beneficial long term relationship.

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Gabriel Sales builds outsource sales and marketing teams for Start Ups and Small Businesses.  We help companies build modern sales and marketing operations for buyers in this new digital landscape.  If you think this may be a fit for your company we invite you to visit our outsources sales and marketing services page to learn more about what we can do for you.

 

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What is an Ideal Customer Profile?

This is part one of a two part series that explains how being strategic in planning how you target customers will produce significantly better results on the back end. Part two can be found here, How to Build a Winning Ideal Customer Profile.

An Ideal Customer Profile is a process for identifying what customers you should be targeting to get the best return from your sales lead generation efforts.  As an outsourcing sales organization this is one of the key areas we focus on when providing our initial sales consulting during the launch of a client. We believe this aspect of the sales process deserves careful attention because what goes into the sales funnel is going to have a huge impact on what comes out of the funnel.   It is also the critical first step in building an aligned sales and marketing effort, so you can create a sales machine.

Ultimately, an Ideal Customer Profile should allow you to find and target your potential customers based on a number of hard criteria related to both the company and the specific decision maker:

  • Annual revenue of the company
  • Number of employees
  • Level of Contact – C-level,  senior Manager, middle manager
  • Functional Area –  business Area, technical Area
  • Title
  • Revenue Responsibility – budget maker or budget spender
  • Geography – global, national, local
  • Technology Adopted –  in some cases knowing what  ERP, CRM, and if they have virtualized may be critical
  • Their Clients – e.g.  are they doing business with a Procter and Gamble, Federal government, education (local gov.)  Walmart, Intel,  EMC etc.

In addition, there well could be some softer qualitative criteria:

  • Business Pain/Need
  • Vertical Industry Trend –  established or in transition,  growth or decline
  • Competitive –  large competitors or a volume of competitors
  • Psychographics – company culture, leadership style, corporate values

It is also important to know who you don’t want to sell to:

  • Decision makers whose jobs could be threatened
  • Internal Support Functions – for example, if you are selling data analytics you may want to avoid MR groups, or if you are selling operational efficiency services you may want to stay away from operations managers and start with supply chain directors

The purpose of this type of hard and soft segmentation is to establish clear, hard criteria that can be leveraged across your sales and marketing machine to:

  • Purchase  direct dial contacts for cold calling
  • Purchase direct mail and Electronic direct mail contact information
  • Filter leads from publishers
  • Leverage for a “Cost Per Click Campaign” like Google Adwords
  • Decide where to place your online advertising budget
  • Instruct your social media outreach program

We realize this can look like a daunting task.  But, as an outsourcing sales organization with 10 years of data we can guarantee that if you give this the attention it deserves upfront, you will see significant returns within 6 -12 months. You will see exponential returns in months 12-18 when your first wave of nurturing deals start to fall out of your pipe as closed deals.

For additional information on how to build and Ideal Customer Profile, we recommend you check out our companion piece entitled, interestingly enough, How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile.

Outsourced Sales and Marketing Requires Strategic Commitment

Outsourced Sales and Marketing can help you to achieve your sales targets faster and at a reduced operational cost. This is especially true if you are just getting out of the gate. In a previous blog we discussed the time and money it can save you in recruiting, sales management and marketing management.  However you cannot expect to under fund your sales and marketing efforts and still compete in the market. This is especially true if you are a young company, a technology start-up or new to the market. An outsourced sales and marketing solution has the advantages of a fully functioning organization that is already in motion but you need to consider your competition and understand that if there is competition in the market that you need to invest enough to allow your sales and marketing team the ability to compete and win.

Some Strategic Issues that Shape Successful Outsourced Sales and Marketing

Here are some of the areas you should expect your outsourced sales and marketing company to explore with you:

Market dynamics – What is your understanding of the market and selling dynamics of other companies –  Do you understand your differentiators.  What is your core value proposition? How deep is your understanding of the competitive landscape?

Do you have realistic goals –   Do you have any existing conversion metrics and sales pipe history to support those goals? Is one of the top priorities of your sales and marketing outsourced vendor to help with this?

Key events in your sales cycle – What are the key events that occur during your customers buying cycle?  What is your win loss ratio? Do you need your sales and marketing outsourcing solution to help you figure this out.  In that case you may want to position this as a consulting engagement to your board.  If any of the past several issues has left you wondering what is the difference between outsourced sales vs. sales consulting here is a quick overview from a past blog post…Sales Consulting vs. Outsourced Sales.

What does your existing customer set look like –  The prospects an outsourced sales and marketing company like Gabriel Sales  will be targeting for you will want to understand who your current buyers are.   Prospects will want to know what vertical markets you are in and you will need to be able to provide your outsourced sales partner with reference clients in other verticals if they are opening a new vertical or market for you.

Do you have the budget and the patience to successfully execute to a successful plan –  While an external sales and marketing company can get you into the market faster and more effectively, a well executed plan takes time to ramp. Obviously using an outsourced sales and marketing company will allow you to gain traction quickly but they will not be able to dramatically change a company’s typical buying cycle for your product.  If your typical sales cycle takes 6-12 month you can expect an outsourced sales and marketing company to shave a month or two off that cycle at best but you need to account for the initial 90-120 days to ramp the initial pipe.  Do you have the patience to wait for the sales engine to ramp?  We typically see our efforts take significant hold at 9-12 months. We do have some tactics to gain traction with key accounts quickly.  To help on this front you need to have an ideal customer profile but realistic timing needs to be factored into the overall strategy.

The right level of funding  approved– All this boils down to the right level of funding.  Sales and marketing outsourcing help get you out of the gate faster and cheaper but it does not absolve you from the need to fund your efforts at levels where you can compete.  You need to make sure that senior management and your board are aware of this and do not set false expectations.  As with any strategic initiative you need to have buy-in and appropriate funding from the senior management team, and sales and marketing outsourcing is no exception.

There are many strategic decisions that you need to consider in executing a successful sales and marketing strategy.   This blog addresses a handful that we work through with you.   For additional tactics we use to ensure your long term success we invite you to check out a couple of our education series here:

Selling Smarter and Selling Faster White Paper

Build a Successful B2B Sales and Marketing Engine – Educational Resources

For more information on how Gabriel Sales has helped dozens of companies enter a market successfully  please feel free to contact for us an initial review.

Can a Sales Outsourcing Company Accelerate Your Sales?

sales-outsourcingContent Marketing is now required as ground cover for your sales team.   If you haven’t started you need to start now. As a sales outsourcing company working to successfully launch sales content marketing efforts for multiple clients we often hear that “it take to much time, or I am not ready to commit.”  Our position:

  1. Content marketing does not need to be complicated for B2B marketers to meet the needs of sales. As a thought leader you have tons of little snippets of value to share on a regular basis.
  2. You don’t have a choice if you want your sales reps to successfully compete and win.

As a sales outsourcing company we understand that, especially for company’s new to content marketing,  it may seem daunting.  But it’s easier than you think.  We are experts and thought leaders in sales and marketing tactics and strategies.  You are experts and thought leaders in your product and solution area.  One of the values we bring as a sales and marketing outsourcing company is that we have a methodical system to quickly turn your thought leadership into tools that will empower your sales and marketing efforts.

Below is our framework for content marketing that will help empower your sales team with the tools they need to be successful.

Using our framework we help our clients to quickly determine what specific content is required at specific stages of the sales cycle.  We implement Digital Demand Center™ our proprietary Content Management System to accelerate this process.  As the survey below indicates the majority of the content required can be initially distributed with blogs.   When combined with our expertise in sales storytelling, educational webcasting and sales video content production we can get your sales team (or our sales outsourcing and marketing effort on your behalf) to market with a winning sales content marketing strategy in a fraction of the time you may be able to achieve on your own.

Can Sales Outsourcing Help Your Company?

To check out what your peers are already doing check out this previous blog post.   To discover how we can help accelerate your sales integrating multiple tactics and strategies please feel free to reach out for an initial conversation.