by Glen Springer | Jun 7, 2017
Many small businesses reach a point in their growth where the owner and/or founders of the small business have:
- Established an effective business model
- Have gained traction with a product or solution
- Have run out of bandwidth to continue to both sell and run the company
- Simply need capacity help and expertise to ramp their sales efforts
This is when many small businesses will start to evaluate if an outsource sales organization will make sense for their business and growth goals. They will measure this against the costs associated with hiring, recruiting, training, and managing their own team vs. going with an outsourcing company that can immediately build modern sales and marketing operations.
Once you have made the decision to outsource sales you will then have a variety of different types of companies to work with. This article will give you some less obvious tips to address what you should consider when making a final decision on what outsource sales company you should work with. In many cases, these issues are intuitive, but they should not be overlooked as a conscious part of your final decision.
Here are tips for selecting an outsource sales company
Decide what part of the sales funnel you want to outsource. Sales outsourcing can entail many functions. You can focus on new awareness campaigns, outbound lead generation campaigns, opportunity development, and appointment setting and closing.
Choose complementary sales partner. Once you have decided what stage of the sale funnel you want to outsource, it’s important to find the right fit. To short list, its important to understand what types of sales processes the outsource sales company has experience in. SaaS sales that can be completed online with no involvement from a sales rep requires a different type of expertise than more complex sales that require a sales rep to manage the transaction of the sale. Short sales cycles function differently from sales cycles that are 90 to 180 days. Understand what type of experience the outsource sales company company has, to ensure you’re making the right decision on your sales partner.
What technology do they have experience using. One of the keys to long-term success is getting the right sales and marketing technology stack in place. At a minimum, this now requires a CRM and marketing automation technology to stay top of mind with buyers not ready to purchase immediately. It’s important to understand if the company will be:
- Using systems
- What systems they will be using
- Will you have access to these systems during the engagement
- What happens if the partnership ends – will they transfer the system or will the system go away?
Are they willing to start slowly and build gradually? Outsourcing all of your sales and marketing activity can be high risk immediately. Costs can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if you staff marketers, lead gen reps and closers immediately. As discussed above, you should find out if the sales outsourcing company is willing to start with developing the front end of the funnel, and then as the volume of leads increases, are they willing to add resources as needed. This will allow your business to establish relationships and build the working rapport to grow the partnership organically within your organization.
How will you monitor and evaluate your progress? Once your sales outsourcing activities begin, depending on your sales cycle, it can take months or even a year to evaluate how many deals it produces to measure your true ROI. It is important to keep track of meaningful measurements prior to this to understand the relative short-term success or failure of your sales outsourcing strategy. It’s important to understand how and at what frequency your sales outsourcing will provide these metrics – what they will be measuring and why?
About Our Outsource Sales Services
Gabriel Sales helps small business and start-ups build modern sales and marketing operations.
If you need assistance scaling your company’s revenue, building modern sales and marketing automation or just need to put more sales qualified leads in your closer’s sales funnel, Gabriel Sales may be able to help. To learn more about our approach to outsourced sales, we invite you to check out our sales outsourcing services page.
by Glen Springer | Jun 5, 2017
Outsourcing your company’s sales and marketing efforts is now a more mature and viable decision for many businesses in many industries. An outsourced sales and marketing solution addresses the early part of your pipeline development. And for technology and professional services firms this is now more than a trend. Outsourced sales and marketing is now mainstream. Many business now understand when they outsource sales and marketing to generate qualified sales opportunities, their sales team will have a consistent flow of business, so they can focus their energy on closing deals and scaling account revenue. Here are some reasons for outsourced sales and marketing:
Outsourced Sales and Marketing Gets You to Market Faster
When you outsource your lead generation and development efforts, your outsourced sales and marketing company has all the best practices and resources available to get your team, your solution, and your sales story to market quickly.You save time because your team is hired and trained faster, which means your pipeline is growing.
Immediate Sales and Marketing Infrastructure
One of the keys to success in selling to the new digital buyer is technology to support revenue generation. This requires both experience and expertise – but it’s often overlooked by the decision makers. An outsourced sales and marketing solution provider will have both the experience and expertise of multiple implementations. More importantly, they will have professionals that run and manage these sales and marketing tools everyday. This means you will spend less time and money experimenting, and your team can focus on scaling your business and growing accounts.
Diverse Sales and Marketing Expertise
Companies who manage outsourced sales and marketing team will be able to supply a blended team of sales and marketing experts. They will also have experience selling multiple solutions with multiple sales cycles and sales processes, giving you access to a diverse experience set, that will allow you to innovate faster.
Sales Reps with Experience
When hiring and outsourced sales and marketing team, they will know who to hire, how to motivate, and how to train your team to use the tools and effective selling techniques. This results in a better return on investment and a reduced sales cycle as your closers are focused on buyers most likely to buy.
An Alternative Sales Growth Strategy
Like any outsourcing solution, when you outsource sales, it can be a great option to erase the need for additional office space, capital, and management layer. It will also remove the soft costs of hiring and recruiting an in-house sales team. You can focus your internal sales budget on closers and your outsource sales partner will take care of the rest.
About Gabriel Sales Outsourced Sales and Marketing
Gabriel Sales provides sales consulting & outsource sales and marketing services to companies to help them build modern sales and marketing operation that continues to produce results. To learn a little more about our approach, how we can help, reasons for outsourced sales and marketing and how we help you build a sales and marketing revenue engine from start to finish, please visit our new approach to outsource sales page.
by Glen Springer | Jun 2, 2017
Gabriel Sales builds modern sales and marketing operations for B2B companies with solution sales that require a senior sales rep to manage the transaction of the sale. Over the past several years, we have seen the effectiveness of cold calling decrease substantially, but when executed the right way, it can still yield results. Here are some tips for companies that have worked for our B2B outsourced sales lead generation clients that you can implement on your own, or with our outsourced sales and marketing support.
B2B Outsourced Sales Lead Generation Tips
First, invest the time upfront to ensure you’re calling the right buyer. Spend as much time as you can, building databases of the right type of buyers at the right types of companies. A recent Gartner Group Study show that a typical business with less than 500 employees has an average of seven to ten people who are responsible for most buying decisions. Connecting with the right people is critical to your success – a simple, but sometimes overlooked, first step.
Try to start with calling at least a warm lead – ideally the phone call is a conversation. A conversation is much easier to have with at least someone that is slightly aware of your company. Whenever possible try to introduce yourself in advance. The most cost effective way to do this is with an email marketing campaign prior to the call.
Keep the first call educational, and share value first. Cold calling doesn’t mean that you are cold selling. The goal of the first call is to get your prospects attention, and you will only have 10 to 15 seconds to do that. When you call, be armed with something of value – it could be a webcast, a white paper, or a video to share. Sharing is caring and you will set yourself up for success downstream.
Use a marketing automation platform to prioritize leads. One of the most under-used feature of a marketing automation system is its lead scoring function. You can use marketing automation platforms to see what content your buyers is engaging with. Calling time is precious time, so you can use a marketing automation platform to prioritize it.
Remember that the first two to three calls are not going to result in closed business, especially for more complex sales. Studies continue to show a typical sales cycle requires at least five to seven customer touches from the sales rep and engagement with at least that same amount of digital content. Use these calls to build value, not to sell features.
Qualify early. You should also use the first couple of calls to qualify the buyer. Is the company the right size? Do they have a need for your services? You can be blunt and direct here as it saves both you and the buyer time – and a no is as good as a yes early in the sales process.
Ask questions, especially open ended questions. Sales relationships and qualified B2B sales leads are built through conversations, and conversations are started when you ask questions. You should be asking questions at least three times more than you are pitching.
Do your homework for the second call. LinkedIn is now only a quick search away, and marketing automation systems will allow you to see what content interests your buyer most. Both these are invaluable tools for a second and third call to help you move your conversation forward.
About Gabriel Sales B2B Outsourced Sales Lead Generation
We specialize in building modern sales and marketing sales operations. We combine sales strategy and modern B2B marketing and sales best practices with a blended team of email marketing and content production specialists, marketing technology experts, and a team a sales development and market execution professionals to help with companies with B2B outsourced sales lead generation results. To learn more about our approach visit our outsourced sales case studies or our approach to B2B outsourced sales lead generation page.
by Glen Springer | May 31, 2017
Successfully Outsourcing Sales for Start Ups and SMBs
Successfully outsourcing sales as a business strategy can provide benefits and cost-savings for your company with process improvements, expanded talent pools, cost containment, improved focus on core business, and reduced time-to-market, to name a few.
However, there are risks in an unsuccessful sales outsourcing engagement that can diminish the benefits. How do you minimize those sales outsourcing risks? First, don’t expect a magic bullet at the beginning of the engagement. Number two: make an informed decision.
If your company is initiating an outsourcing strategy for the first time, the following set of five steps will help you to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities for outsourcing success.
Define clear objectives. Successfully outsourcing sales strategy starts with clearly defined objectives and measurable goals. Objectives state the reasons for a sales outsourcing program, define its business value, and provide a functioning framework for making decisions about which outsourcing company to work with, which model to use, what stage of the funnel development to outsource, and what levels of risk to assume. Measurable goals are the events and functional metrics by which management can monitor progress, take corrective action, and project future performance.
Count the true costs. Just as important as setting realistic expectations is, your expectations reflect all related costs if you both build and internal sales and marketing organization, or go with an outsourcing marketing and sales firm. These hidden costs and savings need to be evaluated:
- Selecting an outsourcing partner vs. building one on your own: Selecting a vendor could take 5 to 40 hours depending on how long it takes to find the right fit – but this pales in comparison to recruiting a team of sales reps and marketers.
- Transitioning work and sales processes: Knowledge transfer can take time. Make sure your outsourcing sales company has a process well defined to transition sales from your team and/or organization to theirs.
- Technology costs: A CRM and marketing automation platform are now critical for success. Understand who will implement, integrate, and manage those technologies.
- Managing: How will the engagement be managed on both sides? Does your outsourcing sales partner make reporting and managing the engagement easy? The costs of maintaining a finished contract can be surprisingly high.
Manage Risk. Another critical factor in executing a sales outsourcing program is deciding how much of your sales process you want to immediately shift to your outsourcing sales process. For companies with mature products and a mature sales process, it may make more sense to outsource your sale from lead generation to closed deals. The sales process and the marketing process will already be well defined with a script, technologies, and content to support it. But for many small businesses and start-ups, it may make more sense to focus on filling the pipe and developing qualified leads before staffing a team of closers, because closers are the most expensive resource to staff both internally, or with an outsourcing sales partner.
Lead Generation and Content Marketing Outsourcing: this function is often the most effective way to manage risk for a small business, as it can be executed with a fixed start date and will include hard and measurable results. It will also include a hard and tangible process, as well as the construction of modern sales and marketing operations that will be a valuable asset for years to come. Most importantly you will have hard data and success metrics to measure on a monthly and weekly basis to track progress.
Gabriel Sales builds modern sales and marketing operations including, sales outsourcing of your lead generation and lead development. We have been successfully outsourcing for SMBs and Start Ups for 20 years. We provide both full service solutions and point solutions. To learn more visit our approach to successfully outsourcing sales page.
by Glen Springer | May 29, 2017
Dealing with the new digital buyer is now a requirement for most businesses. And keeping your sales and process flowing daily is now critical to a sustained flow of sales opportunities. So a wise choice now may be to look for an outsourced sales and outsourced marketing automation service provider.
This article will address what you can expect by combinining outsourced sales and marketing automation company.
Top four issues addressed by an outsourced sales and marketing automation service provider to help you get started
Issue #1 Sales and marketing automation technologies are constantly evolving. Marketing automation is designed to generate leads and develop leads not ready to buy. Some campaigns can take more than six months to develop the digital buyer, so it takes both time and experience to learn how to do both well to optimize the tools and campaigns. An outsourced sales and marketing automation service provider will have both experience and skills to boost sales while nurturing leads throughout the buying process.
Issue #2 Sales and marketing automation technologies come in multiple product stacks and many price points. Some technologies are better for B2C campaigns. Other technologies are designed for B2B campaigns. Some tools are designed more for inbound lead generation and others are designed for sales development. Finally, tools are now offered at a wide variety of price points and some features of the pricier tools are overkill for a small business, while other, larger companies with large sales teams can use additional features. If you are not familiar with the landscape, you could under spend or over spend and not get the results you need at the right ROI. You’re not familiar enough with the ecosystem of solutions to assemble a seamless optimized revenue engine.
Issues #3 You and your team have your hands full already. You could be developing product, serving customers, creating content and recruiting. If you are too busy to implement the technology, run the technology, build the database or run campaigns and even following up with the leads, an outsourced sales and marketing automation company can do this for you if are too busy to do all the legwork that goes into campaigning and lead development.
Issues #4 If your company’s sales team has never sold to leads that have been generated by marketing automation, your sales reps may lack the skill and the training to deal with well-nurtured leads. Well-nurtured digital buyers do not typically have the same needs in the sales journey that cold leads and inbound leads require. Well-nurtured leads need to be treated with a softer touch, while at the same time more aggressive touch. A company that provides both outsourced sales and marketing automation sales talent will have the skills and/or the ability to train your team in the best practices of both using the software to find scored leads, and how to best qualify and develop those leads.
If these issues are familiar, you may already be thinking about an outsourced sales and marketing automation company. If this is the situation you find yourself in, an outsourced solution on a temporary basis may be worth exploring.
About Gabriel Sales’ Outsourced Sales and Marketing Services
Gabriel Sales builds moderns sales and marketing operations for small businesses and technology companies that execute a solution sale and requires a closer to manage the close of a deal. To learn more about how we help you address the new digital buyer to close more business faster we invite you to check out our new approach to outsourced sales and marketing.
by Glen Springer | May 26, 2017
There are multiple reasons to consider an outsource sales company for lead generation and lead qualification to help you grow your revenue and shape your company’s growth strategy.
For example, a tech start up that has a proven product may need to accelerate its sales efforts prior to a round. Or an established business may need to test a new market. Employing an outsource sales company will help you get to market faster – an experienced sales outsourcing and marketing firm enables the startup to hit the ground running with an experienced sales team, rather than wait six months or longer to recruit and train an internal team.
Another typical reason involves testing a new solution or a new process or strategy. An outsourcing team can take on the blocking and tackling of generating leads and sales opportunities for the new product. This allows your existing sales force to stay dialed in on the established product line. With an outsource sales team, you can fine-tune your process for the new solution, document the process and lay the groundwork and infrastructure for a full-scale roll out with your existing team.
Sales outsourcing can also immediately improve a company’s targeting capacity, cold-calling efforts, email marketing tactics and inbound lead generation approach. All this will increase your capability and capacity to identify qualified leads and drive deals into the sales funnel.
So once you’ve decided hiring an outsource sales company makes sense for your company, here are 3 tips to help ensure you make an intelligent decision about which company is right for you:
Evaluate the outsource sales team’s credentials
When choosing any vendor, it’s important to understand who they have successfully worked with in the past. Most sales outsourcing companies will have case studies online and will also have testimonial videos available. And before you make the final purchase, they should be OK with you checking references from other clients. Ask questions about the specific sales and marketing gaps you would like them to cover.
Determine if there is a strategic fit
A solution only works if the vendor’s capabilities meets your organization’s needs. When you outsource sales this means different things to different companies. Ask direct questions about their areas of strength. Some focus primarily on lead generation. Some focus end-to-end sales services. Others, like Gabriel Sales, build modern sales and marketing operations that can be transitioned over to the company. It’s also important to consider a firm’s flexibility in adapting to changes in your sales needs. Will they transition teams or systems to you?
Examine processes expertise
Take a close look at what they are best equipped to service. Can they help you implement a process for pure transactional sales? Are they experts in solution sales where a senior rep needs to manage the close of the transaction? Examine how they report on sales metrics and if they can help you forecast. Will they share data or hide data? Do they help you grow your business? Or do they just put deals into your pipeline? Do they do both?
Assess the sales outsourcing and marketing technology stack
An outsource sales firm’s technology capabilities and expertise is now a key factor in the selection process. What type of demand-generation technologies does the firm employ? Are they using marketing automation? How will it make use of CRM and analytics to achieve your objectives? Are they tied to a set of platforms or are they flexible?
Other factors when selecting an outsource sales company
Other issues evaluate a potential an outsource sales company:
- Experience in your industry
- Experience with your decision maker type
- What type of feedback do they provide?
About Gabriel Sales Outsource Sales Solution
Gabriel Sales helps companies build modern sales and marketing operations to help small businesses and start ups build a consistent and sustained flow of qualified leads. To learn more, please visit our outsource sales approach page.