5 reasons you shouldconsider outsourcing your sales Copyright TrueSalesResults. All rights reserved. http://truesalesresults.com
To some B2B companies, outsourcing any of your sales capability seems like giving up a corecompetency. By this, we don’t mean the odd website, brochure or employing an appointmentsetter. We mean employing virtual VPs of Sales and Marketing to assist with your strategydevelopment and then using specialized sales resources to actually execute and deliver your sales.Yet in many mature consumer industries like consumer electronics, the cost-benefit analysis onsales outsourcing makes it common practice. What’s the difference? None. Many believe thesame fundamental rationale applies across all industries.First, consider these metrics about current business-to-business sales challenges and read onif you are interested in learning 5 reasons why you should consider it. • Sales rep attrition is 25% to 35%. • 80% of leads generated by marketing are ignored by sales. • Ramp-up to full sales productivity is 7+ months. • 84% of qualified leads are not converting to sales. • Average quota attainment is 59%. • 80% of discarded leads buy within 24 months. • Average time to hire is 60-90+ days. • Sales enablement and lead generation are #1 initiatives in 2011. • Cost of direct B2B sales are up to 40% of revenue. • 7X higher win rates for best in class aligned sales & mktg. Source: CSO Insights, Sirius Decisions Aberdeen Group, Cahners Research, True Sales Results
With an average time to hire a B2B sales rep of 60-90+ days and up to two more quarters to make them productive, you have to find ways to compress your cycles to effectively launch and scale your sales. You see, time-to-market is not the only measure of success nowadays. Once you deliver the product, you have to invest the time to learn how to sell in a repeatable fashion, in volume, and build a full sales team. We call this time-to-sales volume: understanding your value proposition, collecting proof points, and establishing a sales cycle that is aligned with your buyer’s journey and optimizes your win rates. Then training and enabling the sales team than can consistently deliver the results. It’s a lot harder than most CEOs and boards account for. Many only realize it once it’s too late.1. Compress the 9 months to productive sales volume. Here’s what typically happens. The VP of Sales is tasked with too many ‘high priorities’ and simply doesn’t have the cycles to achieve all of them. Simultaneously hiring, ramping, training, writing content, building a sales pipeline, negotiating with early adopters, developing comp plans and setting a pricing strategy. Not to mention actually selling and executive meetings. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day and week to accomplish everything. Simply put, this is a period where many things requiring sales management expertise have to happen simultaneously. Outsourcing to the right partner is like cloning the VP of Sales or Marketing for a defined period of time for that all important time-to-sales volume. What does it mean in practical terms? It means things like compressing your sales hiring and ramp-up cycles. It means providing more sales coverage faster. It means getting your marketing automation up in time and having it aligned with your sales focus. It means building an inside sales team to get your outbound demand generation working and your sales pipeline built.
Ninety percent plus of B2B start-ups fail. For lots of reasons. The most common factor is often agreat product with poor sales execution. It’s a fact: 25-35% of the reps you hire will leave, or befired by you. According to CSO Insights, only 59% of sales reps are attaining their annual quotaand it takes a minimum of 6-9+ months to ramp up new sales reps to full productivity.Question is - how can you effectively spread the risk of building and managing a sales team -- foryou, for your sales strategy, for your company? Hire the ideal rep? You may have one or two thatyou’ve worked with before that you can convince to join a risky start-up because of your pre-existing relationships. But what do you do for the other open sales positions?The fact is that start-ups and new ventures have a hard time attracting “A” player reps becausethe ability to earn high commission dollars is an unknown. Many startups make the mistake oflooking for the ‘silver bullet’ rather than creating a disciplined targeted missionary sales process,articulating a value proposition with proof points and generating a qualified sales pipeline. It’s allabout overall management of risk: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.Sales outsourcing is a powerful way to distribute the risk. To give you access to strategic anddiverse sales resources outside of your network. It puts someone on your team who knows how tosuccessfully bring new products, services and solutions to market. Someone who knows whatworks and what doesn’t. Someone with the network and sales resources to find and effectively sellto your early-adopter customers. Someone who can use state of the art progressive techniquesand technology. Someone incentivized to deliver qualified sales opportunities to your sales team,or revenue to you without the hassle. 2. Outsource to spread your risks.
Sales teams have different needs at different times to be effective. Leading organizations are fluid but have a lot of the same characteristics. For example, 48% of them see lead generation as the top initiative for the last few years, focus on quality of opportunity in the pipeline, use the latest progressive nurturing sales and marketing techniques and jointly goal and align their teams. Which type of company are you, a leader or a laggard? A best practice or a beast to manage? What are you focused on? How often does that change? Point is, its hard to prioritize when you put yourself in a rigid ‘we only do it in-house’ mentality. It ends up like a spinning plates - some always fall off. Who is building the quality sales pipeline while you close the early adopter deals? Who is coming up with the outbound campaigns while you sort through the incoming inquiries? Who is looking for new inside sales reps in a new geography. Is any of this disrupting your current sales pipeline forecast?3. Outsource for flexibility. Simply put, outsourcing parts or all of your sales and marketing with the right partner provides more flexibility. It ensures that the the tasks that are not quite as urgent, but equally as vital, get done. By outsourcing, we don’t mean finding a graphic designer who says they can sell through social media, or an appointment setter who persuades you that a thousand dollar meeting is all it takes. No, you need to find a partner who stands beside you, understands your strategy and tailors their execution to meet your needs so that you can focus your fixed resources on what matters to you, quarter by quarter. Someone who can initially augment your existing sales and marketing team, then provide a kick start to your pipeline, set up your marketing automation, or compress your new rep ramp up as you start to hire, or develop and execute upon an integrated sales and marketing content marketing. Not to be coy: we mean someone like us.
Customers in large enterprises are becoming more sophisticated. They do research online and avoid sales reps until they are ready to engage. And when they do engage with sales, they have more fixed ideas about what they need, how much it should cost and why. According to Aberdeen, 50% - 82% of best in class companies who sell to the enterprise are more likely than industry average to possess multi touch and multi channel skills in their sales and marketing teams.4. Outsource for expertise. Selling effectively in 2011 requires many different areas of expertise and executional capabilities. Do you have people that are highly skilled at missionary sales? It’s a different muscle group. From positioning and messaging to demand generation tactics, and from event and content e- marketing, to lead nurturing and social media, lead scoring to email integration with sales reps Outlook. Put another way, if your sales people don’t know how to use the marketing tools well, and your marketing doesn’t know how to integrate sales into its campaigns, you’re already in trouble. The question is, do you have all of these kinds of resources? Worse, are your people working around what they know or do they know best practices from experience with multiple successful engagements? The answer for most companies is a resounding no. The reality is that it’s hard to build an internal-only sales and marketing team that has best of breed skills and experience in all the areas needed to succeed. Bottom line: you need to fill the gaps. That’s why you need to outsource some or all of your sales efforts. Using resources who have done this before multiple times and who have multi touch and multi channel skills is vital to your success. Use outsourced sales to benchmark for a sales best practices baseline at a minimum.
The costs of building a direct sales team can be staggering. According to many experts, up to 40% of revenues*. Add full time marketing headcount and a subsequent investment in the marketing mix and suddenly it’s really hard to be profitable.5. Outsource for value. In this picture, true sales outsourcing can be great value. We’re asked a lot - how much? The same cost as doing it in house? Half the cost? Our advice is: add up all of the piece-meal costs that you are paying and compare it to an end to end service. How much different? On top of the cost look at the higher quality results and ‘one throat to choke’ accountability. The difference is in the value and the confinement of risk. In a world where no one sales and marketing activity is a ‘silver bullet’, the best value today lies in the ability to set up the right strategy with multiple executional capabilities. When we propose a solution to a client, it’s based on the necessary resources for the job at hand across both marketing and sales functions. Need to build up your pipeline - we create a strategy, bring in the messaging expertise, create the collaterals and add the right number of inside sales people to your team to get the job done. Then we train and manage them as part of the price. Need to fix your strategy and train your sales team? We write the sales plays, create the video portal, write the sales guides, run the virtual or face to face training and the management feedback loop. In other words, you should model how many and what type of resources are needed based on your overall goals and the resources that you have in house. For the entire project, not just a piece. *Source: Outsourcing the Sales Function: The Real Costs of Field Sales by Erin Anderson and Bob Trinkle
We’re The Real True Sales Deal We are True Sales Results. Two highly experienced practitioners who have built an ecosystem of affordable and specialized sales and marketing resources that we scale with each engagement.1. Steve has over twenty years experience ramping and leading top performing software and technology based sales teams and taking companies public. His B2B enterprise sales teams have closed thousands of F1000 sales deals from $10K-$10M. He has led numerous successful missionary sales team efforts to the F1000, including building a company from $400K to $40M+ in revenues and a successful IPO.2. Jeremy is a world-class content and internet marketing expert who has managed global teams running award winning programs to market enterprise, software and internet technologies for Fortune 500 companies and in the world’s hottest hi-tech agencies. ➊ ➋ “True Sales Results was a great call for us. We “I would highly recommend True Sales Results to faced a big sales challenge in trying to penetrate any company needing assistance with their GTM new verticals and market segments. It really was an strategy, demand generation planning & execution, expansion of our executive sales & marketing team and content marketing needs.” Jody Little, VP Cloud that was powerful and timely.” Bill Veiga, VP Portfolio Marketing, Fujitsu Business Development, MarkLogic