Whitepaper: Sales Resourcing and Outsourcing

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Competitive pressure, coupled with current economic conditions is causing companies to …

Competitive pressure, coupled with current economic conditions is causing companies to
drive down costs and optimise performance in every department including sales.
Traditionally, small and medium sized companies have recruited their own, in house, sales
force or used third party distributors, VARS and resellers as routes to market.
In recent years, companies have started turning to a relatively new alternative – contracting
out elements of their sales function, be that limited to a specific area such as Sales
Management or Director where an interim resource is provided or perhaps just
Telemarketing/Lead Generation through to full outsourcing.
Contract sales resourcers are specialist organisations who provide a highly focused and
efficient sales function. They are often viewed as a bolt-on sales force, existing to generate
revenue, increase profit and reduce the overheads associated with the employment cost of
the sales function.
Contracting out is a well established trend with many organisations outsourcing functions
such as helpdesk, HR or marketing. However, the sales department is often seen as a key
business process that usually ‘owns’ the relationships with the end client, so can this be
contracted out?
Organisations considering outsourcing their sales to any degree need to weigh up and
understand the risks and how to avoid them. They should calculate the total cost of
ownership and return on investment of comparative options, and finally, ensure that the
sales solution is tailored to their detailed business requirements.
This paper discusses the various functions and options of sales outsourcing from full
outsourcing to contract and interim.

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  • 1. November 17WHITEPAPER: SALES RESOURCINGOPTIONS 2012SALES RESOURCING: THE OPTIONS FROM FULL OUTSOURCING TOCONTRACT AND INTERIM HIREBY JULIAN POULTERSMDI LTDNOVEMBER 2012WWW.SELLINGPEOPLE.BIZ
  • 2. White Paper – Sales ResourcingContent1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................... 32. CONTRACTING OUT OPTIONS ........................................................................ 33. FULL SALES OUTSOURCING METHODOLOGY............................................. 44. OUTSOURCING CAPABILITIES ....................................................................... 55. CONTRACT AND INTERIM OPTIONS .............................................................. 56. FULL SALES OUTSOURCING .......................................................................... 87. MARGIN CONSIDERATIONS ............................................................................ 98. BENEFITS ........................................................................................................ 109. INVESTMENT ................................................................................................... 1010. SUMMARY .................................................................................................... 1111. ABOUT SELLING PEOPLE .......................................................................... 1112. APPENDIX 1 - FULL SALES OUTSOURCING METHODOLOGY DETAIL 12 Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 2 of 16
  • 3. White Paper – Sales Resourcing1. Executive SummaryCompetitive pressure, coupled with current economic conditions is causing companies todrive down costs and optimise performance in every department including sales.Traditionally, small and medium sized companies have recruited their own, in house, salesforce or used third party distributors, VARS and resellers as routes to market.In recent years, companies have started turning to a relatively new alternative – contractingout elements of their sales function, be that limited to a specific area such as SalesManagement or Director where an interim resource is provided or perhaps justTelemarketing/Lead Generation through to full outsourcing.Contract sales resourcers are specialist organisations who provide a highly focused andefficient sales function. They are often viewed as a bolt-on sales force, existing to generaterevenue, increase profit and reduce the overheads associated with the employment cost ofthe sales function.Contracting out is a well established trend with many organisations outsourcing functionssuch as helpdesk, HR or marketing. However, the sales department is often seen as a keybusiness process that usually ‘owns’ the relationships with the end client, so can this becontracted out?Organisations considering outsourcing their sales to any degree need to weigh up andunderstand the risks and how to avoid them. They should calculate the total cost ofownership and return on investment of comparative options, and finally, ensure that thesales solution is tailored to their detailed business requirements.This paper discusses the various functions and options of sales outsourcing from fulloutsourcing to contract and interim.2. Contracting Out OptionsOne of the main issues we see when talking to organisations about sales outsourcing istheir desire to have an ‘out of the box solution’ that requires little or no input from the client.Sales outsourcing offers several advantages over traditional recruitment, but it is rare thatan organisation can view it as ‘fire and forget’. Unless there is a mature establishedrelationship between the parties, with a self contained product and sales process, the clientis still likely to need to be involved with many aspects of the sales process, if not the day today operations.Organisations thinking sales outsourcing is a low risk, low commitment, easy way togenerate sales are likely to be disappointed.A sales team will always need attention and support to compliment regular ‘reporting’ to amanager or director. A sales team cannot be recruited, trained and left to ‘get on with it’.Sales resources can only be effectively outsourced with sufficient management input fromthe client. Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 3 of 16
  • 4. White Paper – Sales ResourcingIn this paper we now discuss a proposed methodology for sales outsourcing and look at thecapabilities an outsourcer should provide. Each of the three major capabilities/functionswithin the sales outsourcing solution is then examined.3. Full Sales Outsourcing MethodologyAn overall approach to a full outsourcing engagement typically consists of four main phases: a. Preparation – Scan & Plan b. Test & Review c. Initial operations d. Full operationsThe Preparation phase consists of some rapid market research typically using seniortelemarketing resources. This allows the proposition to be quickly tested in the market.Input from this test is used in producing a details sales strategy and plan. Usually 5-10 daysof test calling is made and on average 10 surveys (discussions with senior decisionmakers).Then a longer Test period is undertaken where the emphasis is on getting in front of asmany prospects as possible to test the proposition in detail and build pipeline.The results based approach would mean that if in two months (40 days) making 10 Surveysper day up to 400 Surveys could be undertaken. This will give excellent feedback on theacceptance of your proposition in the market. The positive results (10%?) are leads for the Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 4 of 16
  • 5. White Paper – Sales Resourcingnext phase and potential sales, however the analysis of the feedback of the 90% that arenot interested is also important.At the end of the test the results are reviewed and a decision can be made on progressingto the next phase and the sales plan can be updated if necessary.The Initial Operations phase is now all about generating sales orders.The Full Operations phase can be an extension of the Initial Operations or the client maywish to set up their own subsidiary or distribution channel and the outsourcing be phasedout or be used to support certain aspects of the sales function.These phases are described in more detail in the Appendix.4. Outsourcing CapabilitiesThe diagram below shows graphically the main functions required in an outsourced salesfunction.The key functions are now discussed in turn – sales people, sales management and leadgeneration.5. Contract and Interim OptionsSales PeopleFront line sales personnel are clearly at the heart of any sales operation. Sales resourceshave traditionally been recruited on a full time employment basis. The upside is quiteapparent but the downsides are often less obvious. For example, there is a high cost andhence risk if full time sales resources fail to give the required return on investment,particularly in the often, overpaid IT sector. The worst acquisition a business can make is anexpensive sales recruit who does not sell anything and leaves after six months, resulting inwasted time, effort investment, salary payment and hefty recruitment fees.Sales contracting and interim management is a relatively recent form of ‘recruitment’,particularly in the IT Sector. Sales contractors, often self employed are much more commonin other industries such as financial service and pharmaceuticals and manufacturingindustries often utilise self employed agents.A sales contractor usually offers increased flexibility and lower risk for a number of reasons: Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 5 of 16
  • 6. White Paper – Sales Resourcing  Sales contracting is usually based on a simple, daily rate charge plus commission and expenses (phone, travel). This compares favourably to a 20- 25% of salary recruitment fee, typical in permanent IT sales roles. The total recruitment fee typically equates to around eight weeks of an effectively working contractor.  Whilst some larger organisations need a full time sales resource, in reality, many smaller organisations do not initially need ‘packages’ of five sales days per week. Contract resources are recruited according to need and as there is no formal employee relationship, administrative overheads are much lower. An initial commitment of just two days a week for instance, can significantly reduce upfront costs and risks.  Flexibility is increased and can be extremely useful. For instance, instead of one full time resource, having two people at 2-3 days per week, where each has different skills, or focuses on different territories or verticals, can be beneficial.  Additional resources can be recruited for peak periods to assist with specific campaigns or demand.The key point about sales resources, contract or full time, is that the hiring organisation canbe responsible for the day to day management of the resource or choose the outsourcedmodel where the outsourcing organisation provides the management.IT sales people are normally paid a package split around 50:50 between basic salary and amargin based commission scheme, a cost that needs to be kept in mind with any form ofrecruitment.The value of the product being sold and the length of the sales cycle have a direct bearingon the type of sales people required:  As a general rule of thumb products with a value of £1000 or less need to be sold with a self service approach – such as the web.  Products with a value from £500 - £3000, depending on the margin available are more suitable for sales by telephone.  Products with higher value can justify a field sales approach, though this may not always be required.Sales salaries can vary from a basic of about £16k to about £70k as measured on a full timeemployment basis. The lower rates are found in tele-sales and the top rates in high valuecomplex solution sell products. These costs are obviously subject to various overheadsassociated with employment and commission. Daily rates for contractors typically vary from£200 - £300 per day for sales executives and more for sales managers and directors.When recruiting for full time employment or sales contractors it is useful to determine whereon this pay scale you are looking to recruit from.One of the quirks of the contracting sector is that very experienced people in the 45+ agebracket are often available fairly cheaply given their experience.However, a clear understanding of the sales model and type of sales staff is required in anysales situation, especially where outsourcing is involved.Sales DirectionSales management or direction outsourcing should be considered if the client:  Has sales experience but insufficient time to properly set up, operate and review the sales process. Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 6 of 16
  • 7. White Paper – Sales Resourcing  Lacks significant, board level sales experience.  Considers the risk and cost of a full time sales director as too expensive. Their basic salaries range from £60k to £100k. These costs double when other benefits and bonuses, including equity are taken into account.Outsourcing sales direction can provide the experience of an experienced sales director at afraction of the cost of in house equivalents. There are many aspects to sales direction, thebasic functions include:  An accurate weekly forecast and process review.  Weekly management to coach and direct the sales effort.  Strategic sessions to help with overall business growth and planning, including the review or determination of value propositions.  Creating a sales manual defining how the sales function operates in the company.  Sales resource/recruitment, for example, the candidate selection process.  Contribution towards company ‘best practice’ methods for operating a sales function. This can include resourcing, the sales model (how we sell), the sales cycle (the route to a sale) and sales process - including departmental interfaces (vital in a professional service operation), forecasting and reviewing processes.The sales director works with your internal or external lead generation, marketing, and salesteams.In some cases, the sales director will run some or all of the marketing function as this is fullyrelated to the sales effort and lead generation. If they do not control this function they willcertainly need to contribute through senior management meetings and perhaps service levelagreements for marketing expenditure.Whilst the daily rate of a sales director may seem comparatively high, relatively little of histime may be needed. In a small sales team environment of 2-3 people, after the initial setupphase, only half a day every week of sales management may be required.Lead Generation and MarketingA key consideration for CEOs and sales directors is how to generate sufficient leads to fillthe sales pipeline.There are many different ways to generate leads, including, media relations, promotionalevents, white paper marketing, e-marketing, networking and telemarketing.Why should lead generation be outsourced?It is rare for a good sales person to also be an effective cold caller or lead generator. Whilstmany Sales Executives may be good ‘all rounders’ there are usually areas where they areweaker or simply uncomfortable. Many Sales Executives dislike generating leadsthemselves, especially where cold calling is involved.Typically, when a sales person has undertaken (usually as a last resort) cold calling andgenerated their own leads, they step into their preferred role of converting the leads intosales. Whilst this is going on, there is little or no lead generation taking place. For thisreason splitting out the lead generation, so that it is a regular ongoing activity can beworthwhile.Many marketing departments do not offer a regular and robust lead generation service totheir sales organisations. Poor or lethargic marketing departments often misdirect their Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 7 of 16
  • 8. White Paper – Sales Resourcingcampaigns, the leads produced are of low quality. This is often due to an insufficientlytargeted contact database.The problems of undertaking lead generation internally also fall foul of managing the internalsales function. This is commonly staffed by relatively, inexperienced sales staff whoconstantly look for their next career move away from cold calling.Above all other factors, the quality of the researchers/telemarketers is of vital importance.Investment in data, process and technology will achieve nothing if the person chosen tomake the calls is of insufficient quality and lacks experience.Outsourcing lead generation to a capable company ensures the aforementioned servicesare provided and managed professionally. A lead generation contract ensures yourchosen service provider focuses staff attention on using their core skills to increase yourrevenue, without diverting your sales force from the areas of the sales cycle, where they aremost effective.MarketingIf an outsourcing organisation is contracted to solely provide sales, they will need a clearunderstanding of your marketing strategy, expenditure and the associated service levelagreement. It would be unrealistic to reduce marketing and not expect a reduction in leadgeneration and resulting sales.Many organisation are seduced by the commission only sales option. As an example asales outsourcing organisation risking £4k per month expenditure is very likely to do this ifthe client is spending £20k per month on marketing but unlikely to be happy if there is nomarketing spend!Many smaller organisations often suffer from having few, in house sales skills and little or nomarketing expertise or resources. For this reason, some or all of the marketing can beprovided as part of a sales and marketing outsourcing arrangement. This could includepress releases, collateral production and proof reading, web site messaging, Google adverts(PPC), outbound mail and email campaigns etc….Processes and systemsAn experienced outsourcer should bring a series of top class systems and processes tobear on any engagement. Typically this would include:  CRM/SFA/Contact management system set up for efficient use in cold calling, contact and pipeline management  Sales methodology – so all people on the project know the status of leads and prospects  Regular and clear project reporting  ISO 9001 accreditation for quality processes6. Full sales outsourcingCombining all of the above services: lead generation, sales resource, direction and perhapsmarketing results in a fully outsourced sales solution.Outsourcing to a third party means that all day to day decisions and activities are handledby the outsourcing company but they may interact with all company departments. TheProject or Sales Manager should probably form a key part of your management team.The outsourcing company can vary key elements of the sales function: Leads, operationaland management resources, over time, according to business needs. For example, Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 8 of 16
  • 9. White Paper – Sales Resourcingadditional resources can be acquired for a specific campaign, both in terms of the leadgeneration and follow up sales resource.A full sales outsourcing arrangement very favourably with trying to recruit a single person tocover all of these activities.Ultimately, an outsourced contract is usually based on revenue performance. It includes abasic retainer and commission or bonuses based on the revenue/margin delivered. Thecommission only sales approach rarely performs well. Go to www.sellingpeople.biz anddownload or request our white paper entitled “Commission Only Sales – fact or fiction”.There are many aspects to negotiating a sales outsourcing contract, some of the variablesinclude: equity, commission, base rates, market exclusivity, timescales, sales support,marketing spend etc.7. Margin ConsiderationsThere are many aspects to an organisation’s sales and marketing effort. When choosingsales channels to market there are three main approaches:  Direct sales effort internally: your own sales and marketing team.  Enlist partners/distributors/vars/resellers etc: third party companies, whose business is aligned or complimentary to yours and naturally opens up opportunities for your product/service sales. They may even pay for the privilege of selling your product if you are a market leader. Third parties are not part of your business they are a separate channel.  Sales outsource service providers are companies that will sell products or services on your behalf, within its range of expertise for a fee and usually a commission. They become part of your business rather than a separate channel.The key differences between the three models are their comparative costs and therisk/reward ratios. Outsourcing sits somewhere in the middle of these three options. Forexample:Option Upfront cost Risk Commission paidDirect/Internal High High Low (2-15%)Partner model Zero other than Very low High (35-55%) training, management time etc.Outsourcing Low Medium Medium (10-30%)Commission rates vary widely between engagements and these figures are purelyillustrative.Where the product or service for sale is high value or complex, the partner model initiallytends to be very unproductive and rarely sells anything in the first year. In these cases, anoutsourcing sales solution can be far more productive. Where IT products are sold throughdistribution channels, margins and financial models are highly variable and reach beyondthe scope of this paper. Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 9 of 16
  • 10. White Paper – Sales Resourcing8. BenefitsTo summarise, the benefits of a contracted out sales approach are many and varied:  A small initial outlay can dramatically reduce risk compared with other solutions because there can be a high return on investment due to the proven, successful sales people employed by the outsourcing company.  Flexibility and efficiency is increased by acquiring a wider range of skills as they are needed. Customers outsource services to compliment and support their own organisation’s core skills.  Reduced financial outlay by using a contract engagement where there are few upfront recruitment fees.  A two to three month pilot phase can be used to prove the concept and likely success rates before committing additional investment and resources.  Resource levels can increase or decrease, as required, at short notice. Low performing resources can be changed, quickly and easily.  Sales resources can be split geographically if the outsourcer provides UK wide sales solutions. For example, a five day sales resource could be split: three days in the South, a day in the Midlands and a day in Scotland. The same principle can be applied to divide sales resources attending to vertical markets or product groups.  An employee relationship is not created eliminating the associated overheads and risks.  You can have total resource control and management as with in house sales employees, with performance metrics and targets – subject to the method of outsourcing, initially agreed.  The outsourcer may also procure leads from its network of contractors for agreed finders fees and commissions.  Contract sales resourcing provides increased flexibility at lower risk  6-8 weeks of a working contractor compares to a full time recruitment fee9. InvestmentReturn on investment (ROI) is vital for those considering sales outsourcing; the outsourcershould provide a spreadsheet to assist with ROI calculations, free of charge.The items below indicate typical daily rates of contract sales people in the UK in 2008. Sales Resources senior level rates vary from £300 to £400 per day, according to qualifications and experience, with no recruitment fees outlay. Junior sales resources range from £150 to £200 per day. Commission and expenses are also typical. There are usually no additional charges such as holidays or sick leave. Sales Direction is normally only required in relatively small amounts and varies from around £500 to £800 per day. Commission on sales is always generated at a pre-agreed rate, often between 5% and 15%. Method of calculation can vary slightly according to product or service. For example, software sales commission is usually calculated purely on revenue, service solutions Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 10 of 16
  • 11. White Paper – Sales Resourcing are also often based on revenue, however, the rate has to reflect the margins achieved. Expenses should be kept to a minimum, however, some are inevitably recharged to the customer, for example, travel and telephone usage. Outsourcing investment figures vary with contract although there is generally a basic charge per month and a revenue-linked, variable commission style figure.10. SummaryMany business functions have been successfully outsourced over the years, an approachrecently adopted to optimise the sales function.This approach will become more common place, particularly within the small and start upbusiness community, as they often do not have or cannot afford to employ their own, inhouse professional sales expertise.11. About Selling PeopleSelling People was founded in 2003 and has rapidly become Europe’s leading salesoutsourcing agency. SP has provided market evaluation, lead generation and salesoutsourcing services to a variety of companies.Selling People is UK based but is part of the Branch Service operation with offices in 20countries and 60+ sales executives allowing us to put together pan European solutions.We operate in many sectors but our specialism is the demanding IT software sales sector.Within that sector we have particular expertise in: Business intelligence & knowledge management Help Desk & service management CRM & customer service ERPWe maintain our own intelligence/data gathering system and watch and research the abovesectors as well as the UK’s top 100 IT spenders and the Mergers and Acquisitions market inthe UK, as these are often key to our clients.Selling People operates using a number of full time employed sales and telemarketingexecutives, including in-house project and sales management. We supplement this withexternal associate resources to extend our skills and geographic coverage. Our externalnetwork consists of approximately 200 associates allowing us to operate in many sectorsand geographic areas.Selling People Ltd Phone: 020 3397 3270Unit 12, The Power HouseHigham Mead Email: enquiries@sellingpeople.bizCheshamBuckinghamshire Web site: www.sellingpeople.bizHP5 2AH Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 11 of 16
  • 12. White Paper – Sales Resourcing12. Appendix 1 - Full sales outsourcing methodology detailA. Preparation Phase – Scan & PlanThis important phase lays the ground work for all the following sales activity. Typically thiscan be of 2-6 weeks duration.This phase should be carried out by a “SWAT” team of highly experienced sales managers.BIOs or CVs/Resumes should be reviewed of key personnel. Rates paid will be higher forshort term experienced personnel. However, this exercise is not just about the results butabout the analysis of the results and the negative results are as important as the positiveresults. Experienced resources are needed to analyze both objectively and subjectively theresults of the project.An initial meeting will be required to determine the scope of the proposed engagement andinvolvement of appropriate outsourced country resourcesi, as this may involve operations inmultiple countries. This could be a face to face meeting or conference calls with thenecessary country/branch managers.An accurate proposal can then be generated for the initial Scan & Plan phase – which wouldnormally be a fixed price item. A contract for the Scan and Plan is signed and paymentterms agreed for this phase.Market ScanThe Market Scan does a short term, high level review of the market and covers some or allof the following items: Figure 1 – Sales Outsourcing MethodologyDescription of markets (by country)Value chain – what type of approach should be considered – a direct sales approach orperhaps a partnering / channel approach or a combination of bothPartners – even in a direct approach, partners such as Systems Integrators or ManagementConsultancies can be importantTraining – before undertaking test calling, sales resources will need some initialproduct/service training – usually one day would suffice.Competitors – overview of competitors in the market – mainly web researchData / contact availability and research – identifying the correct targets/contacts is veryimportant. Will the client provide this or does the data need to be purchased or researchedand how?Test telemarketing – in order to initially test and validate the proposition in the market andgauge early reaction and metrics, these resources were the ones trained above. Typicallythis would be a 5 day exercise including about 50 surveys – conversations with seniordecision makers.Test meetings – if possible initial prospect meetings can be obtained and visited alone or inconjunction with the client to obtain first hand feedback from the marketNetwork – are there any contacts or Intelligence that can be used? Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 12 of 16
  • 13. White Paper – Sales ResourcingThe output from the market scan is early but limited feedback on the acceptance of theproposition in the market and input into the strategy and sales metrics of the sales plan andinitial operations phase.Sales PlanIn parallel with the Market Scan a detailed sales and marketing plan needs to be produced.This consists of several items;Workshop - a management workshop to review the market scan and go through all aspectsof the sales and marketing plan. This will be attended typically be 2-3 senior managers fromthe sales outsourcer:Plan development methodology: (GOSPA) Goals – the overall goals for the project Objectives – financial and sales targets and non financial objectives Strategies – the main strategies to be employed in going to market Plans – the detailed plans for execution of each strategy Actions – check list of actions in 30/60/90 day time framesProducts / value propositions – a description of the key value propositions – each valueproposition is the triad of product or service, target prospects and their benefits /value to theprospectAmbitions & resources – what overall target is expected and what budgetary constraintsexistTargets – which organizations to approach with the propositionsData / contact availability continue the research started in the Scan phase if necessarySales Model Development/definition – what sales approach is to be usedWorkshop review – sales plan review and finalizationPayment terms are payment with order.DeliverablesFor the scan and plan phase you should expect to receive:  1 day workshop with several experienced senior sales managers  Summary sales and marketing plan – about 20+ pages outlining strategy, plans and actions for all aspects of sales and marketing  Meeting or conference call to review the plan  Proposal and costs and targets for the following phases.  Test results and analysis from an agreed number of surveys  Analysis of the chosen market(s), competitors etcB. Test PhaseSales activity starts in earnest with initial calling and meeting activity and building thepipeline. The Test phase is typically fixed at two months plus the ramp up time. Given atypical relatively complex value propositions there is usually limited realistic expectation ofmaking sales/orders in this phase.Therefore companies should expect that the evaluation exercise whilst providing invaluablefeedback and a pipeline of future potential orders, actual sales orders are not likely.The sales plan is at best a ‘guestimate’ of how much activity/cost is required to generate alead or sale, however only real experience of taking a proposition to market will help providemore accurate figures. The Preparation phase calling is not always accurate or indicative of Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 13 of 16
  • 14. White Paper – Sales Resourcinglonger term results. i.e. the 5 days test calling in the Preparation Phase can give verydifferent results to those obtained in the longer term.The Test Phase is about confirming the sales metrics assumed in the Plan. If these are notcorrect then the assumed sales metrics can be adapted accordingly for future phases.Important sales metrics typically include:  Cost and effort and different techniques of obtaining a lead (direct marketing, PR, telemarketing, Google etc)  Number of leads required to obtain a qualified lead and pipeline opportunity  Sales model required to progress salesThe key parts of the Test Phase includes three parts: i. Ramp Up In the Ramp Up phase selling starts but it is not measured in detail until all the preparations have been made so that the sales metrics are valid and the sales executives working efficiently. May small but important issues need to be resolved before sales efforts are effective. These include: CRM - normally a web based CRM system is used to support the sales team. This requires set up and configuration for each client. Some training of resources will be required in the client specific use of the CRM system. Data preparation – data needs to be sourced (purchased or researched) and loaded into the CRM system and made available to the sales executives. Collateral preparation – inevitably email templates, brochures, whitepapers or even web sites will be required. All of this can be time consuming to obtain and can slow down sales efforts if it is not available in the CRM system Training – the sales executives will need proper training on the propositions they are selling. If this requires a visit to another country this can take time to organize, especially if visas are required. Email templates and signatures need to be set up and POP accounts for receiving email. Business cards and stationary will also be required. Campaign plans need to be worked out. Facilities – may need to be set up especially incoming telephone numbers for responses to campaigns etc. The Ramp Up can take 1-4 weeks and is often dependent on support from the client. ii. Test Initial targets would be set in the plan for activity (phone calls, conversations with decision makers and generation of leads, prospect meetings) and pipeline build. Activity is usually focused on one or two value propositions and activity and the results closely monitored and reviewed with the client to ensure all parties are aware of the results and progress being made. The relevant resources of the outsourced local offices will be utilized, as required, whilst minimizing upfront costs. The sales team may include any or all of the following:  Telemarketers Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 14 of 16
  • 15. White Paper – Sales Resourcing  Field or telesales executives  Sales manager  Campaign planner  CRM specialist  Technical sales support  Marketer The client does not need to know the details of all the resources being used but is aware of the key sales elements of the resources and can have input into choosing them. It is normal for only a small team to be used in the Test Phase until the proposition and approach are proven. In order to keep things as flexible as possible and minimize the risk to the client typically the contract termination arrangement is a period of two weeks. The cost of the team is usually fixed in advance and no commission is expected to be earned in this phase. iii. Review As mentioned the progress made will be reviewed against the sales plan regularly and formally after 2 months. The experience from early activity may mean a revision of the plan before moving into the Initial Operations phase. The metrics can be revised in the plan for the initial sales phase as necessary.The costs of this phase are an agreed fixed monthly amount with the focus on thedeliverables. iv. Deliverables  Understanding of the sales metrics involved in the value propositions  Pipeline of potential deals  Minimum number of client facing meetings/calls, decision maker surveys.  Initial resources, allocated, training and executing plan.C. Initial operationsThe targets in the initial sales plan may now have been revised as a result of the input fromthe Test Phase.The activity is now continued, usually with a small team focussing on 1-2 value propositions.The focus is now purely to obtain a initial sales and build pipeline. There are regular reviewsThe costs of this phase are a fixed monthly amount except that we are expecting acommissionable element at a rate agreed in the sales plan.Deliverables  Initial sales orders achieved or beta test sites if relevant  Pipeline of potential deals  Experienced resources, on the job.  Long term plan agreedD. Full operations Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 15 of 16
  • 16. White Paper – Sales ResourcingThe initial sales have now taken place and the sales metrics and processes should be wellunderstood by the local team.The resources can now continue or can expand of the plan and targets dictate this.The commercial arrangement can also vary a both sides have experience of the saleprocess with the proposition.Typically a retainer and commission/margin 5 on sales is agreed.Deliverables  Sales orders  Long term plan agreed and being executed Copyright © Selling People (SMDI Ltd) Contact: www.sellingpeople.biz 020 3397 3270 Version: 3 Nov 2012 Page 16 of 16