SALES SKILLS + CAPABILITIES TODAY'S B2B GROWTH CHALLENGES

IN OR OUT? FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE WHEN OUTSOURCING B2B SALES IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Such big decisions…so little time

Sales growth is priority number 1 right now for the majority of B2B organisations navigating their way out of the pandemic.

Rapid revenue growth and margin improvement driven by a desire to constantly outsmart the competition is leading many organisations to consider or reconsider sales outsourcing.

However, running this process to an end decision can be very overwhelming and often time consuming – with significant involvement required from the SLT (Senior Leadership Team).

This is even more true if you’ve not done it before or, you’ve been ‘burnt’ in the past.

Outsourcing is an opportunity to reduce in-costs, improve customer satisfaction, and accelerate or enhance efficiency and business effectiveness.

The purpose of outsourcing a sales challenge is to build a relationship with a partner that understands this problem and, how to provide a solution, intrinsically so that your core functions can operate optimally.

Over the last 5 years there’s been contrasting views over whether outsourcing is the right thing to do or not – particularly when it comes to support with new customer acquisition.

In 2019 however, Gartner published the $154.5 billion BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) market was forecast to grow at a five-year CAGR of 3.5% in U.S. dollars (3.9% in constant currency) through 2023. And, that the market would be driven by robotic process automation, digital services, and artificial intelligence.

Over the past 12 months we’ve heard and seen a significant change in thinking which has led to a more discussions around the right approach for our partners whether that’s a fully centralised solution, a complete outsourced function or, a blend of both.

In or Out or both – The 3 core options to consider:

When it comes to looking at how to operate a successful acquisition strategy, here’s what we’ve found:

Centralised strategies are reliant on having the right people, resource structure, capabilities, and tech infrastructure in house.

If you can confidently tick all the above boxes effectively then good on you!

To own your acquisition ambitions is no mean feat! It requires careful planning, a clear vision, a unified selling story, a bonded team with a shared vision and most certainly, a well and consistent oiled sales function.

You need to be able to clearly monitor and measure your successes but also your near misses and failures too.

In addition, you need to understand your audience and how to communicate with them.

That’s why it’s imperative that your sales and marketing functions work more closely than ever and listen to one another.

As we’ve said before – Google states the 46% of B2B buyers are under the age of 34 and are also the same age group who are the most prolific users of social media. Which means they are more digitally savvy and research heavy.

So, social selling and thought leadership has never been more important.

This doesn’t mean marketing can push out your selling story and your sales team will reap the rewards. It means the prospect to customer journey needs to be mapped out meticulously and that every touch point is maximised so that your sales interactions happen in the moments that matter!

The most successful centralised acquisition strategies we’ve seen are where the organisation takes full accountability for their success – everybody in it together.

This is a full-time dedicated function and not something you can do when you have time. The resource structure fits the demand for delivery and the sales team is fully optimised at every touch point.

Sales and marketing work harmoniously together and automation plays a pivotal part in the journey.

Being brutally honest – we haven’t seen this executed well very often.

Outsourced solutions are the perfect opportunity to build a relationship with a partner that understands your challenges.

They won’t always understand your business the way you do from day one but if they have a starting point – that’s a bonus. However, this is the reason outsourcing needs to be a partnership and not a supplier-buyer relationship.

To outsource part or all the strategy well, you need to have a mutual understanding of what’s being covered in the scope of works and how to act seamlessly in hand-over to one another.

An incredibly key part of this process is to ALWAYS ask yourself – What would the customer/prospect think?

Are they going to receive a better experience because of us outsourcing?

Ultimately, your customer/prospect/suspect/lead (whatever stage they are at!) has taken a leap of faith to engage with your brand (whatever channel that might be through) and the experience that follows is entirely what develops their perception of the future.

The most successful outsourced solutions we’ve seen (and been involved with) are those that understand all of the above and that don’t see the relationship as ‘outsourced’ but embrace it as an extension of their team.

A blend of both. Getting the right balance is difficult and it takes time. You’ll have taken a journey to get to this point.

We must acknowledge that; what’s right today, might not be right tomorrow. And unfortunately, “we’ve done it this way for years” will only get you so far…

The Buyer is changing and demands a more personalised engagement with your brand and products/services on the channels THEY want to engage with.

The next decade is going to be the decade of AI and machine learning – which is going to make everything move faster and smarter.

Sometimes this is a natural progression – until the cycle starts again. Resource changes, new products to take to market, new systems, different ways of working, the list goes on… but these all play a part in delivering the right approach.

To decide on which parts, you want to deliver yourself and which parts you might want to work with a partner on, you need to understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie as an organisation.

It’s always sensible to do some A and B testing and measure your results as well as sensor check your internal processes.

At Ampli Group, we get it. We know there’s significant time, energy, cost and resource involved in embarking on this journey but we’re here to help you through it!

We ask ourselves the question day in day out – “what’s right for our partners?” and that’s why we offer our expertise across the spectrum.

If you want to keep your acquisition activity in house but feel that it’s missing something or that it’s not quite optimised – we’ll work with you on a consultative basis to get it right!

Or maybe you’d rather outsource a challenge so that your internal functions can focus on what they do best – then we’ll develop a solution together!

Equally, if you’re looking for a blend of both or are simply unsure how to build the right acquisition strategy – then we can help you with that too!

You might just need a fresh set of eyes to make 21st century recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of your sales funnel  – in which case, our funnel discovery process would be a brilliant start and not one of our partners has been disappointed with the results to date!

Equally, we’d love to hear your experiences and how it’s helped shape what you’re doing today.

 

RELATED ARTICLES