Why Consider B2B Managed Sales?
The pandemic upended the way B2B organizations sell and the way that B2B buyers purchase and accelerated the transformation that was already underway. Channel sales have become widely adopted as a critical component of the revenue generation strategy. Meanwhile, buyer preferences for digital, virtual, and in-person interactions have evolved. McKinsey research shows that customers prefer virtual purchasing and expect the trend to continue indefinitely. In fact, one report predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B purchases will be made virtually.
B2B companies everywhere have ramped up adoption of sophisticated technologies designed to make remote customer engagement more productive. Both buyers and sellers benefit from the elimination of travel coordination hassles and the ability to more easily accommodate multiple decision makers’ calendars and the improved ability to gather everyone virtually.
When Should You Think About Adding Selling Strength with an Outsourced Sales Channel?
As B2B revenue leaders have scrambled to adapt to new situations, they are finding that the old ways don’t work anymore. A giant legacy company that has been doing things the same way for decades can’t cut it anymore. Their existing sales organizations are not suited to meet the ever-growing challenges of the new selling environment, and their culture and size don’t readily support modern selling tactics.
Revenue is at risk.
Even if your organization is flexible and your sales leadership is actively seeking ways to enhance revenue generation opportunities, it will take money and time to put a highly seasoned, skilled team of sales reps on board. Yet, you know you need to strengthen your existing sales strategy or switch gears to stay competitive.
To succeed, B2B organizations must be nimble. They must be able to quickly scale up or down when market conditions demand it. They must ensure that they are leveraging critical sales channels. And they must be ready with a team possessed of razor-sharp selling skills supported by technologies and processes that give sellers maximum selling time, minimize wasteful administrative time, and optimize every stage of the selling process.
This is why many B2B companies expand their sales channels and turn to managed sales partners. Some of the reasons include:
• Grow revenue from current customers
• Market-test or launch a new product
• Test a new strategy with minimum risk
• Expand the sales team while avoiding infrastructure and software costs
• Improve sales cycle management
• Improve sales partner management
• Increase revenue from channel partners
• Access best-in-class sales technology
• Reactivate dormant account
What You Should Expect From a Best-in-Class B2B Managed Sales Organization
The right B2B sales partner will treat your business with the same level of importance and intensity that you do. They will immerse themselves in your business. They will benchmark your current sales process, identify any gaps and opportunities, develop a comprehensive assessment, and recommend a custom-tailored plan with a structure that will deliver the highest performance outcomes.
As you evaluate B2B sales providers, look for one that conducts a thorough review and offers comprehensive recommendations designed to accelerate sales.
What You Should Expect From a Best-in-Class Managed Sales Partner
• Current-state assessment of sales channels, sales operations, and enablement environment
• Evaluation of coverage model, team configuration, and required capabilities
• Identification of gaps and constraints
• Prescribed path to achieving the desired outcome
• Recommended sales practices and methodologies
• Defined technology, systems, and reporting requirements
• Accountability metrics
• Modeled forecast and anticipated ROI
The Benefits of Working with a B2B Sales Partner
Channel and Vertical Expertise >> Experience in your vertical industry, knowing who and what influences the sale, and how targeted personas and accounts select and buy your products comprise essential requirements for your revenue growth partner. This gives them the ability to make more thoughtful, more targeted recommendations with a significantly higher probability of success.
Speed to Market and Scalable Delivery >> Your sales partner should be able to scale and pivot based upon the dynamics of your target market, products, programs, and sales channels. They should place an intense focus on specific sales tasks, but with total flexibility to change swiftly when market dynamics demand a modification to sales focus, territory, product, and/or team structure.
Sales Enablement Strategy >> A strong sales partner uses documented and proven methodologies with rigorous processes and technology that define and measure key strategy components and deliver superior performance against mutually agreed-upon metrics and goals. (You can only manage what you can measure!) Business process engineers, instructional designers, and certified sales technology and enablement experts drive effectiveness and efficiency across your entire customer experience.
Robust Tech Stack >> The ideal B2B sales partner will have at hand a range of sales technologies that enable data sourcing, enrichment and hygiene, customer engagement, training and coaching, skill enhancement, prospecting, segmentation, and cadence development. Their tech stack should also include technologies that automate processes, eliminate waste, increase skill and acumen, and have a measurable impact on the business. Read more in How to Build a Kick A$$ B2B Tech Stack >>
Continuous Improvement and Innovation >> Your sales provider should be obsessed with continuous improvement in everything that they do, always working to reduce sellers’ red time and increase their green time, and streamlining processes for greater efficiency. Business process engineers who leverage engineering approaches design and refine processes to allow reps to sell more—and sell faster—to your target customer.
Database Development and Health >> The ability to define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and targeted personas are table stakes for any revenue growth partner. They should be able to identify, source, verify, and append your current and new prospect contacts. This, combined with providing targeted persona buyer intent data, is a formula that stimulates demand and builds a qualified pipeline of winnable opportunities.
Timely Business Intelligence (BI) >> A B2B sales provider should specialize in helping clients enhance decision making to drive better outcomes by continuously analyzing data and delivering actionable reporting solutions supported by large-scale analytics and data warehouse solutions.
Outsourcing B2B Sales Motions Offers Benefits Beyond a New Channel
An B2B managed sales organization is focused on one thing: selling. It’s what they do. All day, every day. Every part of their enterprise is dedicated to supporting sales. From IT to talent acquisition to learning and development, it’s all about driving sales, improving sales, and achieving sales goals.
Beyond adding a new channel to your revenue engine, they provide particular value in the areas of People, Process and Technology:
Constant sales talent sourcing. Most organizations find recruiting top sales professionals to be a challenge. Recruiting is costly and time-consuming and many companies have cumbersome hiring processes that are slow and cannot keep pace, leaving vacant sales territories.
Companies without specialized and skilled sales recruiters have consistently disappointing results in finding, recruiting, and hiring the right candidates.
Continuously filling your talent pipeline with right-fit candidates ensures you have high-acumen sales reps and your territories do not remain vacant. Professional sales talent recruiters are adept at locating candidates who are geographically and vertically aligned. They use industry-leading assessment practices, have experience staffing multilingual sellers, and can access highly qualified active and passive candidates.
Adaptable processes. Most B2B companies are not equipped to rapidly adapt to the swift pace of change in the modern selling landscape. Their financial and human capital resources are usually constrained such that they cannot scale up or down or switch strategic focus fast enough to take full advantage of changing market opportunities.
But a professional B2B managed sales partner can quickly reconfigure and scale sales teams to meet ever-changing market conditions, adapt to new account coverage requirements, and immediately take advantage of new market opportunities.
Continuous improvement. It takes a highly focused, specialized team to deliver a continuous and ongoing program of improvement. Business process engineers analyze and evaluate every step of sales processes, looking for ways to improve productivity and eliminate wasteful steps. Instructional designers identify what skills and acumen are needed for sellers to perform at the highest levels possible. Skilled managers who consistently assess performance offer ongoing coaching, and sales technologists who continuously evaluate new technologies that can automate or streamline processes.
Tech stack designed only for selling. With a managed sales partner you get a tech stack that is purpose-built for selling. Specific technologies will be selected for your program based on your particular needs. And business process engineers, instructional designers, and managers to closely monitor performance and results and to ensure continuous improvement will be assigned to your program.
You will have a robust tech stack that was designed specifically for your sales team. The stack includes all the latest sales technologies – from data sourcing, enrichment, and hygiene, to customer engagement; from training, coaching, and skill enhancement, to prospecting, account segmentation, and cadence development. Imagine that you are supported by a team whose only job is to evaluate dozens of new sales technologies each year, pilot them, and integrate those that demonstrate results into the tech stack. And imagine that this team is continually working to optimize these technologies so that they eliminate wasted time in sales processes, automate processes to give sellers more time to sell, and help sellers improve their skills and acumen.
Want to know more about best-in-class sales technology? Read more in How to Build a Kick A$$ B2B Tech Stack >>
Having multiple channels in your revenue generation arsenal to support your revenue goals will position your company to adapt and pivot at speed as the market and your needs change. Outsourcing your sales motion to the right B2B managed sales partner can give you greater agility, with people, processes, and technology all aligned to meeting your business objectives.
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Entrusting your sales motion to the right managed B2B sales provider can give you greater agility and accelerate your sales.
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Author: Karen Salamone
Karen is Head of Marketing for MarketSource. She is a transformational B2B and B2B2C leader with a history of building marketing organizations, content teams, and demand generation centers of excellence from the ground up. She is recognized for delivering meaningful insights and fresh approaches and for earning best-in-class content, design, and multi-media awards.