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.

outsourcing-sales-department

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.

high-sales-volumes

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

saas-reduce-costs

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!

How To Sell Strategically

selling-strategically-header

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.

WATCH VIDEO: 

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.

gain-clear-understanding

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.

gather-information-customers

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.  

 

Build-Trust-Overcome-Challenges

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

value-over-price

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?

goal-is-to-listen

Want To Learn More?

If you would like more tips on how to succeed in your professional sales career, sign up for The Sales Coaching Institute newsletter!

5 Steps to Mastering The Art & Science of Selling

mastering-art-science-selling

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

Maintain-Curiosity

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.

anchor-points

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.

data-technology

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.

beware-reactance

Want To Learn More?

If you would like more tips on how to succeed in your professional sales career, sign up for The Sales Coaching Institute newsletter!

4 Key Attributes of Mentally Prepared Sales Professionals

The Mentally Prepared Mindset

Top salespeople don’t just have meetings; they are mentally prepared for meetings. Just as you would make sure you have the demo, the samples, the PowerPoint or brochures as well as the product video all keyed up on the tablet, top salespeople also take the time to prepare mentally. Are you mentally prepared for your next sales meeting? Here are 4 key attributes of mentally prepared sales professionals.

1) Mentally Prepared Sales Professionals are Organized and Focused

mentally-prepared-sales-professionals-keep-records

Top sales professionals keep a great record of their clients and their information. They have the names of their clients’ spouses, information about their passions, hobbies, and the industry they are selling into.

Mental preparation for sales presentations and meetings are a part of mental discipline. It is often not boring or a lot of memorization if sales reps are genuine and authentic. Get into a problem-solving mindset rather than sales mode with clients.

Related Reading: How to Use Time Management To Become a More Successful Sales Professional

 

2) They Study the Unique Sales Problems of Their Clients

mentally-prepared-sales-profs-review-challenges

Mentally prepared sales professionals consider the information on the client already known, what would be helpful to know in this meeting, and how the product or service offers value.

In this way, mental preparation is a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. In going over current information, the mentally prepared sales professionals may find missing pieces. Reviewing client information provides a framework for details and data for the sales rep.

This is vital to understanding the story and challenges that the customer is facing. By discovering these details in authentic and genuine conversations, the product or service becomes the solution rather than just a part of the puzzle.

WATCH NOW: Four Traits of Successful Sales Professionals

 

3) They Are Experts at Adjusting Their Sales Tactics Based on the Client

It is very common for a sales professional to find a method of selling which works very well with one client. A common mistake is to develop a thought that this sales technique or method is the “perfect” option for all customers.

mentally-prepared-sales-professionals-adjust-sales-tech

Customers are very different. This difference extends even to companies within the same industry. What works as a solution for one company may not be needed or effective in another company. Locking into a mindset of one sales solution for all customers is not only self-limiting, but it is likely to be self-destructive.

 

A better option is to maintain an open mindset about trying new things. This also goes back to not taking rejection personally. In some cases, the deal-breaker may be the approach that was used. Experimenting with different approaches and methods differently will keep the sales professional focused on the buying signals sent by the client.

For example, one customer may want to spend 10 or 15 minutes sharing personal stories and getting to know you as an individual. Another client may want to talk about the problems they are experiencing, and a third client may want to include a team approach to making a purchasing decision. Some customers may want information emailed while others will want to hear your presentation at the meeting. Understanding each customer will impact how you structure and plan your time with the customer.

4) They Communicate in a Relaxed and Genuine Manner

mentally-prepared-sales-professionals-vary-comm-styles

By being flexible and carefully discerning what approach is best for the client, top salespeople vary their presentations, communication styles, and interactions with the customers. This flexibility comes across as authentic, natural, and not stilted or forced. It also gives you additional ideas for how to be comfortable in trying new approaches with future customers.

 

Not being rigid also allows the successful sales rep to quickly read a customer and adjust their style in the first few minutes of a meeting. Challenging yourself to meet the best style for working with a customer is a great mindset for success and one which will have an immediate positive impact on any meeting.

 

If you would like to learn more about the attributes of mentally prepared sales professionals, sign up for The Sales Coaching Institute newsletter to learn more!

 

5 Innovative Sales Strategies to Drive More Revenue

If your sales revenue has been stagnant lately, you might need to incorporate some new sales strategies. New strategies can successfully drive more revenue for you and your organization. Here are five innovative sales strategies to drive more revenue for your business. We encourage you to look for some new sales strategies outside of this article and give them a try as well.

 

Requesting Referralsreferral-program-image

This may not sound innovative, but it’s something that often gets forgotten about. You already know how crucial referrals can be for pulling in new business, but expecting them to happen isn’t enough. Perfect your strategy for asking for referrals by trying new methods or tweaking your existing referral program.

Don’t take short cuts and just rely on offering benefits to those who make a referral. Come up with a compelling speech to ask for referrals without being too pushy, create a video, create a convincing email or send an actual postcard to your clients.

 

Related Article: Why Getting Out of Your Sales Comfort Zone Will Help You Make More Sales

 

Use More Social MediaSocial-Media-Icons-Keyboard

You might already tweet or have a Facebook page, but that’s not enough these days. Consider creating a YouTube channel for your product or service on which you can display detailed instructional videos. Take some eye-catching photographs for Instagram. Maximize your presence on all outlets, and don’t forget about influencers. YouTube and Instagram personalities are amassing huge followings that buy any product recommended to them.

 

Point Out a Problem & Solve The Problem

solve-client-problems-sales-idea-image

Don’t rely on expressing your product’s purpose(s) and features. Do the research to point out a problem your customers might not be aware of that your product can fix. Put a detailed document together that shows them what exactly needs to be fixed, how you can help them fix it and what it will cost them to fix that particular problem or set of problems. Evaluating the concerns and needs of the customer builds trust, improves your knowledge of a targeted consumer base, and improves the overall experience.

 

This will set you apart from your competitors who all have similar stories and products but just aren’t putting forth the time and effort to bring them to their client’s attention. This requires discipline so you need to go to work and start pointing out and solving client problems.

Related Article: Stop Pitching & Start Solving Client Problems

 

Simplify Your Messagesimplify-apple-quote

Do you have a company mission statement or a sales mission statement? If not, create one and keep it simple. Consumers are hit with hundreds of advertisements a day, so they don’t search through long, rambling messages to figure out what you do. Keep it short, simple and attractive.

If your goal is to collect more email addresses via your website, make sure that you have a compelling reason for people to provide their email address. This compelling call to action could be an exclusive White Paper or a $500 give away to someone that signs up for your newsletter this month.

 

Content Marketingcontent-strategy

Many businesses underestimate the power of content marketing. People spend hours every day on the Internet, so online content is a valuable resource. Many companies and freelance writers can create short articles using search engine optimization practices. These articles can pull online traffic to your site that can turn into sales. Ensure your content marketing has a Killer Content Strategy.

 

Related Articles: