Sales leaders have to be ready for anything. They also have revenue goals to meet, no matter the environment. The pandemic caused many B2B companies to toss out long-held beliefs about how best to approach customers and grow revenue. And as sales cycles began to morph in response to a shifting business landscape, sales leaders were forced to re-evaluate nearly every aspect of their strategy.
In any environment, the key question sales leaders must ask themselves is this: Do I have the right resources at the ready to achieve my revenue goals under any circumstances? It’s a tall order. Yet it’s a common denominator of revenue leaders’ worries. Unpredictability is now the status quo, and agility of your strategy, your team, and your systems is no longer a nice-to-have attribute—it’s required. Even urgent. When the only constant is change, the path to realizing your revenue potential can seem at best, convoluted, and at worst, a pipe dream. This is where the right external revenue generation partner can make a big difference.
Can you relate? Do revenue pressures keep you up at night? Here are some common situations where establishing a revenue generation partnership can help mitigate volatility, improve agility, and ensure sales success.
Problem: Sellers are focused on high-value accounts, while tail accounts offer untapped potential.
If your reps are only calling on the 20% of accounts that usually buy from you, you are missing out on the revenue potential of the other 80%. Typically, management of these accounts is largely reactive, but they represent an untapped opportunity to increase wallet share and minimize chances that it goes to your competitors. But how? Establishing a dedicated sales team or giving responsibility for these accounts to your Customer Success team are possible solutions. But if you’re not prepared to recruit, hire, and train a new sales team, or you don’t have a Customer Success practice, you need an alternative.
Solution: A sales or customer success team focused on expanding tail accounts.
Let your sales team remain focused on retaining revenue and expanding relationships among your top-tier customers, and consider outsourcing responsibility for your B and C, or “tail,” accounts. Stemming churn and identifying growth opportunities are keys to success in this segment.
A focus on adoption at the outset of relationships ensures the customer is using your product in its optimal ways and gaining maximum value. Early and comprehensive adoption is a smart approach, particularly with subscription services where churn can be very high. Monitoring customer health, identifying signals that should trigger action, and establishing digital touches, along with auto-renew capabilities, are critical to an engagement model for this large customer segment.
There is often a substantial growth opportunity within tail accounts, but a strong partner will apply a tightly honed segmentation strategy to ensure resources and sales motions are deployed efficiently. A share of wallet analysis is an effective approach to segmentation. By looking at each customer’s overall revenue opportunity, the share currently allocated to the company, and the growth potential, your partner can assign segments. They’ll prioritize the high revenue / high growth opportunity segment and will assign the highest level of investment and focus to it. As they develop that segment more fully, they’ll shift focus and investment to other priority segments.
Problem: It takes time to hire a new sales team and reach productivity.
Whether your revenue growth plan involves a new product launch, penetrating a new market, or expanding your market reach, you must be able to scale rapidly with a ready-made book of candidate prospects. It can take more than six months to recruit, hire, onboard, train, and prepare a new sales rep to be productive. This challenge is compounded by the additional knowledge and expertise required to manage a substantial and growing distributed and remote workforce, adding to the strain on internal resources.
And, if you are starting from a standstill with zero candidates, you’ll add weeks to your recruiting schedule. Even if you task current reps to tackle your expansion plans, chances are you’ll experience lagging revenue generation, at least in the short term.
Solution: A sales team that can quickly achieve productivity.
Improving sales performance is critical to reducing time-to-revenue. Even small, incremental gains can result in significant revenue improvement. But ramping up your sales team’s skills to meet performance goals takes time and energy away from your major focus. An outsourced sales organization can have right-fit sellers producing and contributing to your sales objectives at warp speed. And they can quickly scale up or down so you can sustain your competitive advantage. All of this leads to shorter sales cycles, empowering you to recognize more revenue, more quickly.
Problem: Difficulty remaining nimble and responsive to market shifts.
Agility and speed are critical to success in today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, and the pandemic pushed these requirements into overdrive. A market shift can happen so rapidly that making a major corresponding adjustment to your sales organization or strategy cannot occur quickly. Whether you’re entering new territories or introducing a new product, your current sales team may already be at capacity and focused on selling existing products in existing territories. Or your sellers may not have the skills needed for new market penetration or new product introductions. Yet, in a world where second chances are hard to come by and your competition is waiting to exploit your flaws, failing to accurately anticipate and quickly respond to market changes can be disastrous.
You may want to take advantage of market conditions but hesitate because of the disruption or negative impact it could have on your sales team, or in the time it will take to adapt, causing you to miss the window of opportunity.
Solution: A market-responsive sales team that can pivot and produce quickly.
When market dynamics demand a modification to sales focus, territory, product, and/or team structure, the right outsourced sales partner has total flexibility to structure a strategy that is precisely tailored to your situation. Releasing a new product? Entering a new market? No problem. An outsourced partner can onboard and train a high volume of resources to meet your time requirements. Their intense focus on specific sales objectives gives you the advantage of an expanded sales team while allowing your current sellers to maintain focus on their existing sales objectives.
Problem: Sub-optimal sales tech is hindering sellers.
The right technology can not only make sellers more productive by streamlining processes and administrative tasks but can also give them intelligence—customer firmographic, installed technology, behavior, and predictive data—to improve their ability to deliver valuable and relevant recommendations to their customers. But building and maintaining the optimal tech stack is a time and budget commitment many companies can’t afford. Yet, sales teams that lack support from the right technologies that allow them to maximize their selling time and present solutions in ways that demonstrate true customer understanding and value to their particular business are at a distinct disadvantage.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of technologies in the sales tech ecosystem. Keeping up with the latest solutions, sifting through them, and evaluating the ideal stack is both overwhelming and resource-intensive. And, without expert analysis, there is no assurance the final configuration will work as you envision or deliver the return on investment you anticipate.
Solution: A robust and optimized sales tech stack that fuels your team’s performance.
Technology can do many things for a sales organization. It can automate processes that maximize a rep’s selling time by reducing administrative tasks. It can eliminate waste by streamlining unnecessary or cumbersome processes. And it can increase sellers’ skill and acumen while giving sales managers the tools to coach and develop their team. The ideal outsourced B2B sales partner will have a well-researched and tested stack of technologies that they evaluate and optimize regularly and a process for routinely vetting and adopting new technologies. They will build a customer-specific tech stack and employ role-based processes that put the technology to work for the sellers rather than the other way around.
For ideas on how to evaluate a B2B sales partner’s tech stack, read the blog Questions to Ask Your Rev Gen Partner About Their B2B Sales Tech Stack.
Problem: The unique recruiting demands for sales talent are unmet by the in-house team.
A strong sales engine driven by sales rock stars gives you a competitive advantage, but recruiting qualified and skilled sellers is an all-consuming task – one that requires specific knowledge and experience. In most companies, recruitment is managed by a single department in which recruiters have responsibility for filling positions across all functional areas. And although there is often high turnover in sales, recruitment is not ongoing and only occurs when there is a requisition to be filled.
Without the benefit of recruiters who understand the unique and nuanced qualities of a skilled candidate, sales leaders often struggle with a less-than-ideal candidate pool. In fact, companies without a specialized sales recruiter are likely to experience disappointing results recruiting, hiring, and retaining qualified sales staff. And without a current, qualified pipeline of candidates, they lose valuable time in filling open roles, leaving territories uncovered and revenue quotas unmet.
Solution: A partner with a healthy candidate pipeline and a keen understanding of sales recruitment.
The ideal outsourcing sales partner becomes an extension of your corporate recruiting team. They live and breathe sales and focus only on sales recruitment. Sales recruiting specialists have the experience, insights, and skills to recruit specifically for sales roles, allowing them to quickly spot highly specialized skills that are marks of successful salespeople that a generalist might miss. And they not only know your industry but understand the nuances to selling your product line. They also have access to sales talent using a wide array of resources and an always-on recruitment strategy that ensures a ready pipeline of qualified candidates. All these assets give them the ability to fill positions quickly, so vacancies don’t linger, and quotas don’t go unmet.
Your Ideal Scenario: A Partner That Checks All the Capabilities Boxes
How B2B buyers gather information about companies and products before they buy and decide to purchase has radically changed; and just as in consumer businesses, it is all trending toward digital. There is also a greater emphasis on a positive brand experience: B2B buyers expect consumer-like interactions, and B2B sellers must deliver this level of engagement. As a result, demand for outsourced B2B sales has steadily increased as B2B companies have recognized that expanding their sales channels drives revenue improvement.
Ready to talk?
MarketSource can solve your revenue challenges and accelerate your growth.