Sales as a Service : The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Sales Department

Outsourcing Sales Department

What Is Outsourcing?

There are many trends in the sales industry that are taking off. One of these trends is outsourcing specific business functions, particularly sales. Outsourcing is a practice used by companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers as opposed to completing it internally. While outsourcing your sales department can present some challenges, it can be an efficient way for many companies to drive down costs while increasing revenue and output if done correctly.

For most businesses, the number one factor that zaps business revenue is the sales department. It can be a tough pill to swallow for most companies because they rely so heavily on sales people to sell products, services, and to help customers.

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Often times the function of the sales department is often lost or misrepresented which can make it difficult for sales professionals to do the job. As a consequence, many companies are outsourcing their sales department as a way to cut down on costs and even boost revenue. Sales as a Service or SaaS isn’t a new idea, but many companies have shied away from it in previous years only to flounder and almost close the business.

In-House Solutions May Not Work

While some companies find that in-house sales teams are efficient enough, it’s tough to go through all that work only to realize that your efforts have resulted in a downward spiral. Whether you choose to hire a dedicated sales team or choose a few current employees to take on the role, you’re reducing your chances of success, spending more money, and may not get the results you desire.

How Outsourcing Works

With sales outsourcing or SaaS, you can target your efforts more precisely. You can attract higher sales volumes for services/products using third-party services. It also allows you to work with a sales expert who learns everything about your company and products. Sales experts from outsourced teams have a variety of experience working with diverse sales teams. They can be a wonderful resource for your sales team to learn effective sales skills that can close deals and improve efficiency.

Additionally, your business can save time and money with regards to sales training and sales performance because you will always have professionals on hand to help customers with their needs while providing much needed coaching to newer sales professionals.

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Benefits of Outsourcing Your Sales Department

Of course, the primary benefit is that your business can reduce costs while driving revenue. You can pay a one-time, monthly fee for the service instead of paying wages and benefits to a handful of employees that you hire. Outsourcing your sales department can help boost revenue because the teams are highly proficient, already trained, and know what they’re doing. Outsourcing your sales department to experienced sales teams saves time by allowing your team access to competent sales professionals that can have a direct impact on the morale and performance of your in-house solutions.

Outsourcing Can Boost Growth and Stability

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Most small businesses and start-ups may not have the resources or long-term need to train, hire, and maintain a full in-house sales team. Outsourcing your sales department can deliver the much-needed support to your organization when your sales team lacks the sales leadership and strategic plan to achieve it’s goals.

Related Reading: Sales Leadership 3.0

Outsourcing your sales department can be just what your organization needs to integrate new sales processes while helping your sales team achieve significant breakthroughs. Learn more about how sales as a service can improve sales performance and increase revenue for your business through The Sales Coaching Institute’s Outsourced VP of Sales Program!

5 Truths About Selling to Large Companies

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What You Need To Know About Selling to Large Companies

Pulling into the headquarters of a large corporation can be an anxiety-ridden event for the most seasoned sales professional. It can be an overwhelming experience when you know that there is a lot riding on the pitch. There is also the added pressure of knowing that you are not the only one pitching your ideas. Instead of letting your nerves get the best of you, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you are selling to large companies.

Selling to large companies is a completely different ball-game than what most sales professionals are used to, but the challenge is deeply rewarding for your company if you can close the deal. Selling to large companies means understanding the rules and pace that they operate in. More importantly, sales professionals must understand how to properly communicate with large companies and learn how to effectively negotiate without getting taken advantage of.

To close the big deal, remember these 5 truths about selling to large companies:

Related Reading : 4 Key Principles of Negotiation in Sales

Large Companies Move Slow

It’s a fact that large corporations have procedures, processes, meetings, and committees and they all have to sign off on the deal before anything can happen. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect the deal or depend on it until everything is finalized and you’ve signed the contract. The worst thing you can do here is to rush them because it shows that you need them, which gives them leverage.

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Large Companies Are Weary of Risk

The problem with companies is that they dislike risk at all. Employees at big companies don’t want to get fired, so no one is likely to stick their neck out for you. Decision-makers who smell risk are likely to cancel everything or ignore you until you get the hint. Present a tight proposal, but don’t show weakness.

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Large Companies Want Turnkey Solutions

CEOs of large companies don’t think like regular entrepreneurs. They don’t care about discounts and would rather see proven solutions. They’ll pay you top dollar just to avoid glitches and mistakes, so don’t cut corners or go the cheap route when building something. Make sure your resources make their life easier. Ensures a flawless execution and you’re likely to win the deal over the competition.

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Large Companies Need Approval From Key Decision-Makers

The goal here is to remember that you’re selling something to a person, not the company at large. They may have to talk to other decision-makers before giving you the contract, but to successfully sell to large companies, you have to focus on a few key individuals that have a great influence on the decision-makers.

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Large Companies Must Trust That You Can Handle the Challenge

Large companies must trust that your business can handle the task. Large companies will seldom work with contractors or businesses who don’t have the capacity to deliver what they need. In order to overcome this objection, show examples of large contracts that your company has handled or references from decision-makers at other large companies.

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Selling to large companies can be the big opportunity your business needs to grow. However, selling to large companies means developing a clear understanding of how they operate and paying close attention to their specific problems. You want to ensure large companies that your business can handle and fulfill their demands. Securing a large contract can be a huge turning point for your sales professionals and can motivate your entire team to take bigger risks.

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The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture

What is The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture?

Employees have to feel comfortable and secure at work, but the pressure of making profits and selling particular numbers each day can result in a toxic sales culture. As the leader or manager, you have influence and power, which means you could be the one creating that toxic environment. Your goal is to motivate your employees, but a tough-love attitude can quickly cross over to abusive. While some people believe that being unforgiving and tough is the best way to manage everyone, the truth is that each person on your team must be managed differently.

 

What enforces the rules with one person may not work with another. You can scream and yell with some people, and that’s the only way to get the point across, but with most people, politeness and compassion work much better. Read on to learn about the characteristics of a toxic sales culture and the affects it can have on an organization.

Poor Sales Leadership

There are many examples of what poor sales leadership looks like. Organizations that lack a structured sales coaching model can lead to unorganized, uninformed, and anxious sales teams that are in constant pressure to meet sales quotas. This often leads to an unhealthy competitive atmosphere.  Toxic sales cultures often start from the top of the chain where sales managers take advantage of their sales teams and treat them as a means to an end instead of providing inspiration and sales coaching.

Related Reading: How Successful Salespeople Grow

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Abusing Power

Power is essential because the employees must know who is in charge. However, it’s very easy to lord your power over the employees; power is intoxicating. You might believe you’re pushing others to do better but be careful with how you make use of the power you have. Abusing power can lead to employees feeling as if you are undercutting them. Learn to build your sales team by investing in your professional development as a sales leader.

Leading by example is a more effective way to gain the trust of your sales professionals instead of relying on fear to motivate them.

Related Article: Sales Leadership 3.0

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Displaced Aggression

Many times, sales managers are under a lot of stressful situations. Sometimes sales managers will project or displace their stress on their sales professionals in an unhealthy manner. Irrationally displaced aggression if left uncheck, can alienate other employees and decimate a sales professional’s workplace experience.

When you allow your aggression and power to control the situation, employees feel undermined. Instead of being goaded into doing better, they tend to become even more lackluster. They might not care about the consequences because they’re already tired of the job and may be looking for work elsewhere. If they’re average or above-average employees, you’re on the brink of losing someone worthwhile because you took advantage and didn’t realize how toxic your behavior was until it was too late. Also, many managers never realize that their behavior was inappropriate.

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Losing Worthwhile Employees

When you allow your aggression and power to control the situation, employees feel undermined. Instead of being goaded into doing better, they tend to become even more lackluster. They might not care about the consequences because they’re already tired of the job and may be looking for work elsewhere. If they’re average or above-average employees, you’re on the brink of losing someone worthwhile because you took advantage and didn’t realize how toxic your behavior was until it was too late. Also, many managers never realize that their behavior was inappropriate.

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Feedback is Not Encouraged

Organizations that lack or discourage feedback can be a sign of a toxic sales culture. Pay attention to how employees and their sales managers handle criticism. Does your sales leadership make an effort to make reasonable changes to the organization based on feedback from employees? Sales leaders should encourage conversations to improve the work culture. Communication on all levels is key to strengthening the workplace of your organization.

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A Toxic Workplace Environment Will Stifle Sales Performance

A healthy workplace environment can either inspire your sales professionals to fulfill their true potential or stifle performance that will leave your organization in a hurricane of excuses, finger-pointing, and skepticism. The true cost of a toxic sales culture goes beyond crippled motivation and lackluster sales performance. A hostile work climate that neglects its employees in an unhealthy manner is detrimental to the overall longevity of your business.

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How To Sell Strategically

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How do you sell strategically?

Selling strategically is a phrase that most sales people have heard and wonder about. It’s no question that sales professionals are always looking for the most efficient and effective way to sell their products or services. While strategic selling isn’t necessarily easy, a carefully laid out plan can boost revenue and help your business gain an upper hand against your competitors.

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Learn Your Company
Understanding strategic selling means gaining a clear understanding of your company and its unique vision. When those are well-known and aligned, you can work on selecting the best customers based on how well they fit into the parameters of people who want to buy from you.

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Collect and Analyze All Necessary Information
Selling strategically works only when you make informed decisions from carefully analyzed and accurate information. Learning how to leverage your social selling skills as a sales professional by using social networking to make connections and gather leads that lead to meaningful relationships can be a great way to gather information about your potential customers.

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Establish Yourself as a Credible Expert to Gain Trust
Sales professionals will have a better chance at earning the trust of their customers when they stop trying to sell them something and start trying to help them overcome their challenges. To sell strategically, sales professionals should learn everything there is to know about their customer’s industry, the unique challenges they face, opportunities for resolving these issues, and positioning your product or service as the best way to mitigate risks.  

 

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Sell on Value
When you look at the competition, you can clearly see how your products or services differ. However, a customer isn’t likely to know the industry as well as you. They primarily look at price instead of value, so it’s up to you to create a strategy to sell them on value.

Read Related Article: How To Clarify and Align Sales Goals

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Listen for Opportunities
Customers also tend to know how salespeople operate. For instance, they know that you’re going to tell them features and try to push them to buy, so they’re already on the offensive. The goal is to listen in order to get a better feel for how you can strategically position your solution to their problems. Do they want more information? Do they know what they want or are they asking for help subconsciously? Do they desire more information or want you to point out the best products to help with their issue?

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5 Steps to Mastering The Art & Science of Selling

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Is Selling an Art or a Science?

Have you ever wondered if selling is an art or a science? Talk to any successful sales leader and they’ll tell you that to succeed in sales, you’ll have to master a combination of both. Regardless of how sales was done in the past, science has proven that the brain uses specific patterns to make choices about various factors that are taken into consideration. To succeed in sales, mastering the art & science of selling means following a structured process while understanding the specific needs and problems of your customers.

Selling products usually involves following a methodically structured transactional process. Sales professionals will often learn from successful strategies that can be easily recreated and taught to anyone with even the slightest social skills. However, when it comes to selling services or digital technology, the selling process can be thought of as more artistic. This approach requires cultivating a deeper relationship with your clients to build trust, credibility, and loyalty.

Sales professionals who can creatively paint a compelling picture of their product’s unique benefits to the customer while adhering to a strategically structured sales process will gain the upper hand in selling. Mastering the art & science of selling requires sales professionals to balance a carefully crafted dance between structure and creativity.

Maintain Curiosity

A curious sales professional digs deep into a potential client and seeks to understand their issues and needs. Maintain curiosity with your customers and get creative with your questions to find out what their motivations and goals are. Sales professionals who can understand their customer’s business and their unique issues can paint a better picture of how their product or service can be the solution they need. The goal is to listen to the needs of the customer and present two or three options that are beneficial.

Read Related Article:  How To Be an Authentic Sales Professional

Establish Anchor Points

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In psychology, an anchoring bias in decision-making refers to the human tendency to rely entirely on one trait or bit of information when making decisions. Studies have shown that the brain uses anchors, creating a bias that shapes how information is received. Once an anchor is established, a person will become bias towards the value of that anchor.

As a sales professional, it’s your job to create anchors for potential customers. They tend to look at prices and determine if it’s fair or unfair based on the price of something similar (or dissimilar). Customers will also look at what they paid the last few times, what other quotes they received, and other such anchors. You should address pricing before revealing it by using comparison points.

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Hone Your Presentation Skills

Whether you’re delivering a presentation along with a competitor or trying to figure out when to list features and benefits of your product, timing is everything. Those who sell more tend to know instinctively when to present their qualities or features. The challenge for most sales professionals is creating art from words and understanding when and how to say the right things to engage, entice, and persuade customers.

Utilize Data and Technology to Your Advantage

Advancements in technology has changed the customers’ expectations and the sales process. Technology has allowed the customer and sales professionals to make fact-based decisions.  It has long been understood that sales professionals have relied on traditional selling methods that have been documented and replicated with scientific accuracy. With the advent of digital technology, sales professionals are now equipped with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools, analytic software, and social media to gain a better understanding of their target customers.

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Beware of Reactance

Reactance is a psychological principle that occurs when an individual feels that others are restricting their ability to freely choose and make decisions. Reactance is often triggered when an individual has an instinctive desire to rebel against a restrictive force.

Reactance has been known to shut down sales because of an uncomfortable sense of urgency that a sales person creates for their customers. Often times the pressure to buy is overwhelming and will force a customer to back out of the deal. To mitigate reactance, sales professionals should engage customers in a way that gives them the power to accept or decline decisions without any pressure.

Try using stories to distance the customer from the resistance and remember to create a meaningful relationship instead of pressuring customers to commit to a one-time sale.

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