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:
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.