Small Business Sales Outsourcing


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.

Outsourced Sales Tip – How to Amplify Quality Content

Companies with even a limited amount of quality content now have some distinct advantages in generating more sale ready leads with specific outbound tactics.  As an outsourced sales company, we often combine our client’s content, with some specific outbound tactics, our reps and software to produce qualified sales opportunities at a lower cost. What follows are a handful of quick tips and best practices to help you amplify your existing content to:

  • Effectively leverage eMail marketing for more cost effective top of funnel lead Generation
  • Amplify your existing educational articles and videos to score leads
  • Generate more Sales Ready Leads at a lower cost

Pendulums swing back and forth as do sales and marketing strategies. According to Marketing Sherpa, with the advent of content marketing, more B2B buyers now prefer to be introduced to new products and solutions through email. This is a financial windfall, especially for SMBs, and needs to be taken full advantage of while it lasts. For less than one month of the fully loaded costs of a cold caller (not to mention the cost of buying their calling list) a company can now generate 2000 to 6000 early stage top of funnel leads.  For more info to evaluate the economics, you can visit our eProspecting educational microsite and video here.

Target the Decision Making Unit

According to the Harvard Business Review, 90% of Buying decisions now require both a technical and business buyer (HBR – 2010). The same article goes on to state that the number one purchase criteria for  C-Level decision makers was the buy-in of their managers  – and the number one criteria for middle management was approval by senior management. This risk aversion and need for consensus is a lasting legacy of the 2008 downturn. Most solutions are now made by committee so it makes sense to initially introduce your solution to everyone in that Decision Making Unit. The takeaway is if your solution hits a hot button with middle management, it will gain traction.

While we appreciate that all marketers want to segment more because different buyers have different needs – when it comes to top of funnel lead generation and email marketing, the economics of this may not make sense. If you can target/engage 25,000 buyers/influencers for $4,000 and 75,000 for $5,000 it just makes sense to introduce your solution to 3X the buyers/influencers for an incremental investment.

You can diversify your messages with your automation platform once you have generated the initial top of funnel leads.

No one ever buys a solution after reading one email

B2B products and solutions are not impulse buys. So you should not expect to send one email and instantly have the phone ringing off the hook. For email marketing to work effectively, it requires multiple emails spread out over a period of time. We typically recommend a three-step integrated approach:

  • Generate your top of funnel leads with a rented, opt-in e-mail list from a certified vendor
  • And then leverage a marketing automation platform with lead scoring capabilities for continued digital communication
  • Then focus your callers on the most highly scored leads that are showing a propensity to buy

The content framework below will help to illustrate that point.

First things first – Educational content works better than a great “offer”


eMail marketing is no different than the early stage job that is done by an inside sales rep. The first job of an inside rep is to establish trust and empathy. This can often take 2 to 3 phone conversations – which may take 30 attempts to connect to the buyer to get them on the phone.  You can use the same approach with your early eMail communications at a much lower cost.  As an outsourced sales and marketing company, we have seen the best results with:

  • Leading with a few simple educational blogs, intro videos and articles (especially for top of funnel and early nurturing)
  • Then moving to more solution based content like demo videos, webcasts, case studies and testimonials

There are no short cuts to building a relationship and we see that offering more info beats “sign up now” 85% of the time. In most cases, your buyers want you to prove you can be helpful before they want to know the details of how you can help. Don’t sell the product, but rather the content – because in this age of digital engagement, more and more products are first “bought’ then “sold”.

One final note – If you have video, use it! The video doesn’t have to be Clio Award winning.  In fact, we have seen the opposite – once the lead has been generated, simple, straightforward headshots, screencast demos and videos that stress benefits rather than features that are substantive are some of the best ways to score buyer propensity.

 

As an outsourced sales and marketing company that supports SMBs and Start-Ups, Gabriel Sales has a somewhat unique view of the world.  While as marketers – impressions, reporting and top of funnel leads are important to us as an outsourced sales company, we are more interested in generating sales ready leads as cost effectively as possible. We believe SMBs initially only need two key features from an automation system – The ability to sell one to many digitally and the ability to prioritize who to call first. To achieve these two goals marketing automation platforms allow you to:

 

  1. Build trust with the buyer digitally through nurturing email campaigns
  2. Score the leads based on a buyers engagement with specific types of content

Ironically, according to the Marketing Automation Strategy Survey published by Marketo in 2016 (see graphic above), the lead scoring function is often the most overlooked by marketers. As an outsourced sales and marketing company, our suspicion is that automation tools are often so focused on inbound marketing efforts that the sales function is overlooked. Don’t forget to score your leads! This is the number one way to optimize your outbound calling efforts. Our best practice is this simple to use formula to the left.

Why is video so important? Because, according to Forbes magazine, video is preferred over text by 59% of Middle Managers and Executives as a way to understand a solution. And 50% typically move onto another piece of information after viewing. So:

  1. Buyers prefer it
  2. It demonstrates authentic interest beyond initial early education
  3. It shortens your sales and development cycle (they move onto another piece of content)

It has become easy to have optimized and easy to digest on your mobile device.

Design for Mobile

More email is read on Mobile than on desktop email clients.

  • Stats say 48% of email is now opened on a mobile device and it jumps to 55% for executives – Litmus “Email Analytics” (March 2016)
  • 65% of Media Time is now spent on mobile (comScore)

What does this mean for you and lead development? For effective use of content:

  • Keep your videos clean and simple
  • Landing pages and microsites must be optimized for mobile first
  • You should not over design and over code your emails with heavy graphics and complex design. Make getting to your message clean and straightforward.  Get them to the website and get them to mobile enabled content

Conclusion

For most SMBs, generating sales ready leads and improving the effectiveness of your callers  is not as difficult as it may first appear.  This is especially true if you are already starting with a well-designed website, a couple of solid educational offers and a handful of videos  and blogs to help with lead scoring.  A marketing automation system helps and if you have not invested in a system yet, Gabriel Sales has two cost effective solutions that can be leased on a month to month basis to help you get started and avoid the annual commitment most providers now require.

 

Who We Are and How We Can Help

Gabriel Sales is a full service outsourced sales and marketing consulting and execution firm that provides outsourced sales and marketing services. We combine sales strategy consulting, digital content marketing, marketing automation expertise and sales execution in order to produce self-sustaining, scalable, and measurable sales engines – all designed to put more sales qualified leads in your closers hands to generate revenue.

We have been building repeatable sales processes with automation tools for long enough to understand that companies are at different stages of sales automation maturity. So we offer solutions for companies at different stages. Solutions include:

  • Top of Funnel Campaigns
  • Sales Ready Lead Campaigns
  • Thought Leadership and Sales Automation Content Production
  • Tradeshow Support
  • And Full Go-to-Market Packages

To learn more about Gabriel Sales we invite you to check out the About Us section of our website

If you are still a little uncertain if eMail is even right for your business you can check out our eProspecting educational microsite and solution video to learn a little more about how eProspecting  can fill your funnel fast.

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.