How Does B2B Managed Sales Work?
Whether your organization is looking to launch a new product, ramp up a sales campaign or strategic alliance, reactivate a group of dormant accounts, grow market share or optimize sales expense, expanding your channel capacity by outsourcing your B2B sales process can help you achieve your goals.
With the right partner, an outsourced sales model has great depth across all facets of B2B sales. The model may encompass sales process design, a suite of sales analytics to measure performance and identify areas for improvement, a technology infrastructure that supports each stage of the sales process, and team management and coaching designed to help sellers achieve greater success.
A Best-in-Class B2B Managed Sales Partner Can Take Your Company to the Next Level
The right sales partner is expert at B2B sales with years of proven experience across numerous industries and categories. Their entire business is selling. They have seen it all and done it all. What they’ve learned not only makes them better, but allows them to apply their learning to your particular situation to make you better.
Their sales professionals, business process engineers, and sales technologists 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 designed to deliver optimal 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 B2B 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
Your Objectives Drive the Sales Program
Companies often give managed sales providers their most challenging projects—strategies that they have tried and failed, customer segments and markets that they have had difficulty penetrating, products and services that their current reps are not skilled at selling.
Third-party B2B sellers offer speed, agility, and expansion capabilities that most companies do not have, which is why they are often tapped.
Objectives That B2B Managed Sales Organizations Can Help You Achieve
• Profitable revenue growth
• Revenue growth from existing customer
• New product launches
• Indirect channel partner management and revenue growth
• Reducing churn
• Expanding relationships
• Market expansion
• Speed to market
• Flexibility to mitigate risk and quickly adapt to market dynamics
• Adaptability to changes in sales focus, territory, product, and/or team structure
Why Managed Sales Providers Can Do All This—and B2B Companies Can’t
B2B companies are often constrained in many ways. Their organization is in the business of selling a product or service and has functional areas and processes that support that business. But the core of their business is not selling. Sales gets the revenue but the process of selling is not THE reason that the organization exists.
For example, technology purchases in B2B companies often reside within IT, which is burdened with supporting ALL areas of the organization, and with finite resources must prioritize what it can do and when. It doesn’t have the luxury of exclusively serving the sales organization. It must support human resources, finance, operations, production, etc. Likewise, Human Resources does not exclusively support sales, nor are they specialized in sales. Its recruiters must recruit for all areas of the organization—IT, product management, marketing, finance, operations, and more. They onboard employees of all types. This situation is not unique to IT and HR; it occurs across the organization. So while sales is the ultimate function that drives revenue, the rest of the organization supports not only sales but every other function.
On the contrary, an outsourced B2B 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.
While the entire outsourced company is focused on selling, 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. Besides, 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. Whereas a managed sales partner has professional sales talent recruiters who 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.
Continuously filling your talent pipeline with right-fit candidates ensures you have high-acumen sales reps that differentiate you from your competition. Specialized sourcing, hiring, and onboarding processes promise you an engaged, motivated sales team that is ready to tackle specific tasks and fits your strategy.
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 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. A continuous improvement process must be embedded in every sales program designed by a sales partner. Everything is monitored and measured to drive optimal outcomes.
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 sales. Imagine that you 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.
With a managed sales partner you don’t have to imagine. Their tech stacks are purpose-built for selling are what you will get when you engage with them. They will select specific technologies for your program based on your particular needs. And, they will assign business process engineers, instructional designers, and managers to closely monitor performance and results and to ensure continuous improvement.
Want to know more about best-in-class sales technology? Read more in How to Build a Kick A$$ B2B Tech Stack >>
A Fully Aligned Relationship = A True Partnership
A B2B sales partner becomes an extension of your sales team and an extension of your brand. By remaining tightly aligned through regular meetings, quarterly executive reviews, and an open exchange of information, this is a sales channel that can make a significant contribution to your business.
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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.