Top-performing companies understand how sales and telesales outsourcing can help them achieve more than twice as much return on their sales investment. Sales outsourcing keeps costs low and drives better decision-making from sales managers, as the following case studies and success stories illustrate:
Virtual Sales Team Helps Company Generate $22.5M in Revenues
A U.S.-based firm wanted to recruit sales agents in various parts of the country and find a sales channel that would drive market share and improve customer retention. The firm worked with a sales outsourcing provider, which assigned a virtual sales team of 60 sales representatives to different areas.
A virtual sales executive was responsible for each location and for daily contact targets, ongoing sales training, and completing the sales cycle. Sales data was captured in a CRM tool to maintain territory information and find future opportunities. Data was also used in marketing campaigns.
Outsourced sales and telesales allowed the client to generate $22.5 million in revenues, with four units on average per sales rep/month and with each transaction valued at over $7,000. Each sales rep handled 300 customer contacts and 8 opportunities per month, while cultivating strong customer relationships due to low turnover.
Philips Outsources Sales to Enter New Markets Faster
Philips Speech Processing is a global manufacturer of professional dictation hardware and software. The company was a leader in medical dictation products at that time, and it wanted to expand to new vertical markets, specifically the legal dictation market. Its product would help law firms create complex legal documents faster. As a new market player, the company had yet to convert leads into actual buyers; it had no contact database and little understanding of buyer behavior.
Instead of creating advertising programs and building an in-house sales team over time, Philips decided to outsource sales lead development to a trusted service provider. The vendor worked closely with Philips to understand the client's products and strategy through interviews and extensive market research.
The vendor profiled top law firms and assigned sales reps to contact lawyers as well as office administrators multiple times to increase conversion rate dramatically. After generating leads, the vendor qualified leads (using criteria developed by Philips and the service provider) and built a database of contacts. With a database of high-quality leads, top sales representatives were able to focus on closing deals rather than cold calling.
Philips achieved more than 5 percent conversion rates with the database of qualified buyers and jumpstarted the company's growth in a market that is difficult to access. Philips was able to gain new insights into buyer needs and behavior. The service also built a solid structure to ensure the predictability of leads and revenue projection.
Healthcare Firm Boosts Lead Generation through Inside Sales Outsourcing
A leading healthcare services firm faced many challenges: insufficient market coverage, declining revenues year-on-year, too much focus on large accounts, and the inability of field sales rep to access smaller accounts. The company decided to hire an outside expert, an established B2B inside sales provider, to improve quality and leads for the field sales team.
The service provider worked closely with the client to address the challenges. The vendor provided the services of an inside sales executive to look for new sales channels, drive and nurture leads, and grow revenue. The vendor took responsibility for objections and closing, handling calls and emails that exceeded the monthly target. All data was recorded in CRM tool Salesforce for accurate monitoring and analysis.
As a result of the partnership, the healthcare firm generated five leads per month and uncovered more than 75 leads. The inside sales executive created new sales channels to drive revenue, scheduled calls for the field sales team, and created a database of the right people to call. Overall, the sales outsourcing campaign uncovered $27 million in opportunity in only one year.
Sales strategy is a company's plan to increase profits by selling products and services. Sales strategy fits within the "focus" part of the sales management process. The process includes identifying and targeting the best sales opportunities, planning territories, commissions and quotas, driving high-quality leads, improving conversion, and customer relationship management. A company's admin team and its sales and marketing managers typically work together to develop sales strategies. Each strategy involves a "pitch" designed to hook potential customers. Pitches vary in tone and content. Telemarketers often use spiels or memorized pitches that are communicated verbatim to the potential buyer. Different industries use different sales strategies, but strategies are always tailored to the target market.
The Right Sales Strategy
In general, a sales strategy is considered "right" when it can be easily executed by the sales force, and the execution creates value for the company, customers, sales team, and channel participants. Easy execution means that the strategy is synced with the organization's value proposition and ability to deliver on promises. A good strategy also means that goals are achievable and realistic in terms of the company's selling resources, sales cycle, and market potential.
The development of an ideal sales strategy is a multi-step process that takes time. For example, an e-commerce company selling jewelry first needs to determine what items will be sold to whom, in what quantities, and how. It also needs to determine goals for the sales team to accomplish, such as the number of leads per month. Most sales strategies aim to achieve multiple goals, and each goal depends on the industry and the sales team. Great goals for the sales team align with what the team can influence on a daily basis and contributes to the overall company sales strategy.
Outsourced Sales Strategy
Sales strategy development can take a lot of time of time and resources. It also requires top-level talent who understands your product, business and industry. Building an internal sales force and a strategy development team means hiring, training and supporting part-time or full-time professionals, an activity that can drain your resources. Finding sales strategists that can transform your sales force and positively impact your bottom line can also be difficult in a competitive job market.
To drive revenue growth and access top talent and relevant technology, many companies are choosing to outsource sales strategy to an experienced third party. Sales strategy service providers help organizations increase revenues through the development and execution of the right sales strategy. Many vendors today focus on an analytics-driven and customer-focused approach to strategy development, taking into account consumer buying behavior, global competitiveness of target markets, use of multiple channels, and solutions integration.
Common sales strategy services include market research, competitive analysis, strategy testing, strategy monitoring and review, implementation, training, and detailed reporting. A company may outsource only one service, such as strategic consulting or strategy review, while others may adopt an end-to-end sales strategy solution.
Outsourced Strategy Development
Outsourced strategy development differs from vendor to vendor, but the general steps are similar. The process begins with an identification of opportunities, followed by a comprehensive evaluation of the company, product/service, and market. Next, the company's value proposition is developed, and the various strategies are tested and reviewed. Finally, the service provider and client works on strategy development and execution.
Identification of opportunities.
The process starts with an in-depth consultation between the provider and sales and marketing executives to identify problems and opportunities. Typical opportunities are improvement of customer access, improvement of customer experience, increasing qualified leads, and cost reduction.
Evaluation and analysis.
After opportunities are presented, the company, product, and market are evaluated. Competitive analysis is also performed to identify the firm's competitors, their strategies, and their strengths and weaknesses. Market analysis is done to identify customer segments and product/service offerings. The segments and offerings are grouped in a map, allowing easy identification of customer segments, channels, channel combinations, and solutions.
Value proposition development.
Value proposition development is the identification of the feature or innovation that makes the product and company attractive to buyers. Based on data collected during analysis, the service provider develops a clear market offering driven by value. The process also includes development of a unique selling proposition (USP), exploitation strategy, market entry strategy, and communication strategy.
The exploitation strategy refers to other ways of presenting the product to the consumer. This might be done through licensing, the creation of a joint venture, or through intellectual property (IP) sale. Market entry strategy details how the product is to be introduced to the new market and for how much (pricing during and after market introduction).
Strategy review and testing.
Before implementation, the strategy is reviewed with sales, marketing and executive leaders. The provider will test the strategy to determine whether it achieves the sales objectives and is aligned with corporate goals. The review pinpoints problem areas and changes needed to be made to the original plan. Periodic reviews are important because customer needs and buying behavior are dynamic, and sales strategy must align with these factors to be effective.
The implementation stage allows adequate time for all parties involved to get used to change. Changes are introduced at a pace that is manageable, starting with a pilot phase before a full rollout. This applies to both people and software. The provider consults with executives, sales and marketing managers, and sales force leads about training people in new ways of working and using new technology. CRM tools play an essential role in managing new sales strategies at a large scale.
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