What Should You Look For in An Outsourced Partner?

The 7 questions you need to ask.  

Choosing an outsourced partner to handle your lead generation and telemarketing activity is more than a transaction; it’s a trust exercise and a leap of faith. It’s hard to know if you’re making the right decision and like in any tender process where you’re planning a large investment, you’re likely to see a veritable beauty parade of suppliers promising to change how you define success. How do you know if their claims are genuineResearch shows that just 53% of supplier collaborations are successful (Forbes, 2017).  What should you be looking for when choosing a supplier to support you with such fundamental elements of your brand and sales strategy?

 

1.Do you trust them to guide your decision-making?

Trust is vital in any partnership, especially one where the expertise you’re buying is vital to your future success. There is arguably a low point of entry for setting up a telemarketing agency. Good agencies will offer genuine expertise and work with you to develop a strategy that considers every element of your brief and the challenges in your market. They will be a sounding board offering advice and guidance throughout the life of a campaign, working with you to continuously improve results.  

 

2.Do they understand your business? 

A provider that’s committed to understanding your business, from your daily operations to your grandest aspirations, has the best shot of being able to deliver genuine results and act as a true extension of your team. They should be experts in lead generation but value your insight and knowledge of your own business and the market you operate in – a partner with a collaborative approach is more invested in your success.  

 

3.Can they represent your brand the way you want?

If you’re one of the 31% of businesses outsourcing to improve service quality (Deloitte, 2016), a provider that not only understands your business but also can articulate your messages as well as you can, is essential.  Their agents will have much more meaningful and engaging conversations with prospective clients. You can rest assured that your brand awareness is growing in a way that reflects your values.  

 

4.Who’s making the calls? 

Any business can put forward a slick presentation and a confident sales pitch, you need to look beyond this to the people who will be working on your campaigns and calling on your behalf. Transparency is king, if you’re not welcomed with open arms to their offices to meet the team working on your campaign, can you be confident in their expertise and working practices?  

 

5.Are they promising the world?

As much as you might want to believe bold, world changing claims. The old adage is fitting, if it sounds good to be true, it probably is. A much better sign is a partner that talks in realistic and achievable terms and will work with you to create a programme with every chance of success.  

 

6.Is their pricing model too reductive?

Price is important but don’t be taken in by convoluted cost models, that promise to deliver fantastic value for large volumes, ultimately poorly delivered work reflects poorly on your business, and is not worth the investment, even if it seems like a great deal. Working with a supplier that can deliver the quality you want is a far better guide.  

 

7.What do their customers say? 

Investigate their case studies and testimonials; enquire about what they’ve delivered for other customers. Long-running customer relationships that have extended from an initial project are a positive sign, satisfied customers speak volumes.  

Check out our video where Owen Richards, MD of Air Marketing and Richard Forrest, MD of Forrest Marketing Group, dive deeper into the challenges of outsourcing:   

 

At Air, we work with clients to create a tailored, blend of services designed to deliver the best conversion rates in their desired market. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help your business grow or show you how we’ve helped businesses from all sectors achieve success,get in touch today  or call us on 0345 241 3038. Or hear more from our existing customers here. 

The benefits of multilingual selling

Local connections for global success 

In a global marketplace, only selling in English will genuinely limit the effectiveness of your sales strategy. If your business is serious about expanding into new territories, then it’s time to move away from a one-language fits all approach. It’s true that native English speaking businesses have been slow to grasp this opportunity, from assumptions that most globally operating businesses are willing to deal in English, to not translating their website. Some of the world’s leading brands have failed to adapt their marketing materials and sales approach to make sense across borders and cultures. Here’s why they’re missing a trick: 

Germany and the Netherlands are the second and third largest export markets for UK goods and services (next to the USA). France and Belgium follow on place 4 and 7. Senior decision makers within large companies in European countries may have an excellent command of English. In smaller businesses outside of major cities it’s far more likely that people will be much more comfortable dealing in their native tongue. Especially in Latin countries like France and Spain for example, there remains a strong emphasis on using the French and Spanish language, demonstrating a willingness to deal in their language engenders a spirit of trust, professionalism and serves as a mark of respect for their culture.   

 

Getting past the gatekeeper 

When it comes to understanding accents and idioms, native speakers will always have the edge. By removing the language barrier, conversation can flow freely. A native speaker can much better convey the benefits of your product or service, and ultimately better gauge the success of the call, resulting in more meaningful conversationsand leading to higher conversion rates.  

 

Building trust and opportunities  

The multilingual debate extends to online presence. Research shows that over half of people prefer buying in their own language; and the days of English language websites dominating the web are over.  70% of people willonly make an important buying decision if product specs are in their native language (Common Sense Advisory survey); this strengthens the case for multilingual selling. The customer experience is more important than ever today. If you approach a prospect taking into account the nuances of the local market, you can build trust between seller and client, leading to greater opportunities in previously untapped markets.  

 

Why Air? 

We’re experienced in delivering multilingual campaigns. For our English-speaking clients we can open access into foreign markets, ensuring your brand is communicated effectively through using native speaking, lead generation experts. You will deal with an English-speaking account manager who will work with you closely to understand your aims and goals for the campaign. We can seamlessly blend multilingual marketing into a wider outbound sales strategy; you have the ease of dealing with a single supplier, supporting your expansion into new markets.  

We only use native speakers, so our agents always sound authentic when talking to prospects; all of our agents are skilled in selling over the phone and making every customer touch-point count.  

If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you raise your profile in new territories and target prospects globally with messages that resonate locally, get in touch with our multilingual lead Wouter Vanaelst todaydirectly on 01392 575282 or complete our contact form here 

Outsourced vs In-house Sales Vlog #5

In the fifth instalment of our series we ask the question ‘is it better to outsource sales or keep it in-house?’ Find out the answer in this vlog hosted by our MD, Owen Richards featuring Air’s Sales Director Simon Scott-Nelson.

Ask The MD: What Are The Biggest Issues Facing Your Business At The Moment?

 

In the sixth instalment of our ‘Ask The MD’ series we ask the question ‘what are the biggest issues facing your business at the moment?’. Find out the answer in this video featuring our Managing Director, Owen Richards, and sister company Forrest Marketing Group’s Managing Director, Richard Forrest.

 

 

 

 

What should stop you outsourcing your lead generation?

There are so many powerful arguments for outsourcing lead generation. It gives you back time and frees you up to concentrate on more strategic projects while safe in the knowledge that you can rely on a consistent and quality supply of leads. What’s not to like?

So when is outsourcing not the right decision?

The value of your product

It comes down to the value of your product. A good barometer is if your sales value is below the £5,000 mark (one off sale or annualised if you’re selling a monthly subscription model) then outsourced lead generation might not deliver the results you’re looking for. A good lead generation company is able to guide you on this and let you know the potential return on investment (ROI) they can deliver for your project.

Be realistic

Lead generation can deliver incredible results but it’s important to have realistic expectations at the outset. It’s not a magic bullet that can expertly cut through your sales cycle; the expertise is derived from the skill of the agent’s approach and their commitment to achieving results for your business. If it were easy, you’d simply expand your team and see immediate results.

It takes time

Lead generation campaigns need time to gain momentum, taking up to 6 months to prove their ROI. In the same way you wouldn’t expect a new employee to deliver sales on day one or even month 1, you cannot expect to see immediate results from a very limited trial or a very short campaign. It simply won’t be a meaningful reflection of what could be achieved with the proper time and investment in the project.

The foundations for partnership

Lead generation companies worth their salt will want to build a partnership and collaborate closely with you so they can learn how your business operates. Nobody knows your business and products better than you, so communicating your advice and experience is vital to success. Remember, they are experts in their field but they’re not experts in your business processes, so they will need time and support to get things right for you. This requires access, regular meetings and a level of involvement with your in-house team.  Things don’t always go to plan, it’s important to be able to have an honest and open conversation with your supplier. Work with them to find solutions and spend some time listening to their agents making calls. If a supplier isn’t prepared to let you listen to calls, or see how they train their agents, take them off your list at the supplier selection stage. The relationship works both ways and they need to be transparent about their processes to ensure your partnership thrives.

You have a different sales model

All businesses have quirks that are unique to them. If most of your sales come from referrals and you’ve experienced organic growth as a result, then it’s important to understand that leads generated from cold calls will have a much lower conversion rate, typically between 5% and 30% (dependent on product, price and relevance to the customer).

Know your numbers so you can set expectations

It is important to start outsourced lead generation programme with a clear understanding of what to expect.

Check out our video where Owen Richards, MD of Air Marketing and Richard Forrest, MD of Forrest Marketing Group in Australia, dive deeper into the topic discussing the impact of pricing models and perceptions of supplier collaboration on the success of lead generation initiatives.

At Air, we work with clients to create a tailored, blend of services that will deliver the best conversion rates in their desired market. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help your business grow or show you how we’ve helped businesses from all sectors achieve success, get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038. Hear more from our existing customers here.

Ask The MD: What Has Been The Highlight Of 2019 For You?

 

In the fifth instalment of our ‘Ask The MD’ series we ask the question ‘what has been the highlight of 2019 for you?’. Find out the answer in this video featuring our Managing Director, Owen Richards, and sister company Forrest Marketing Group’s Managing Director, Richard Forrest.

 

 

 

 

Sales Confidence Sponsorship

We are delighted to announce that we have become proud partners of Sales Confidence, a growing movement that champions the UK’s SaaS sales leaders and the next generation of SaaS sales talent. As the only sales community in the UK, they have over 6,000 SaaS Founders, sales leaders and individual contributors from the likes of Salesforce, Slack, LinkedIn and GoCardless who meet at regular events.

‘We’re really excited about our partnership with Sales Confidence, who are the go-to SaaS community in Europe. Sales Confidence’s Founder, James Ski, and I have a lot in common and we are both ambitious with our plans for our respective businesses, so this partnership just makes sense for everyone involved. We’ve got some amazing plans together in 2020 so watch this space.’ – Owen Richards, Managing Director of Air Marketing Group.

‘Air Marketing Group are an exceptional supplier of outsourced sales. Their outstanding service has not only enhanced the success of Sales Confidence event bookings, especially SaaSGrowth, but helped SaaS companies to grow their revenue globally. We can’t wait to see what we achieve together in 2020 and beyond.’ – James Ski, Founder & CEO of Sales Confidence.

 

Air Marketing Group: 

As part of the Forrest Marketing Group, we have been supporting businesses around the world since 2006 and launched as Air Marketing Group in 2016. We are one of the fastest growing start-up companies in the South West, based in Exeter, Devon, and have had exponential growth since launch.

Experts in outsourced sales, we are an ambitious, dynamic, award winning company working with clients to increase their business growth. Our professional, experienced business development team delivers millions of pounds of sales revenue and thousands of new sales leads to our clients each and every year. Our average client return-on-investment (ROI) is £18 for every £1 invested.

Whether you’re a business owner, a Sales Manager, Director or part of a large sales team in an emerging organisation or established enterprise, we can support your business development activities with a tailored outbound campaign that delivers week in, week out. With vast experience of helping SaaS companies grow their sales and revenue in this way, we are dedicated to refining our focus and development in the SaaS, Tech and FinTech markets in 2020.

To learn more about us, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and/or YouTube.

 

Sales Confidence:

SaaSGrowth2020 – Europe’s No.1 B2B Sales & Revenue Leadership Conference. 

Back for its third year in a brand new 750 capacity venue on the banks of the Thames, SaaSGrowth2020 is going to be bigger and better than ever, With speakers flying in from Silicon Valley as well as the best homegrown sales talent, we’ll be sharing insights you can use the next day to accelerate growth in business and in life. 

8th July 2020 | Old Billingsgate London | Tickets on sale now www.saasgrowth.co 

With an expansion into international markets strategically planned for 2020, you will be able to visit Sales Confidence events outside of the UK in Sydney, Singapore, Tel Aviv, New York and San Francisco – more cities and information coming soon. We are looking forward to attending Sales Confidence events throughout next year and beyond. If you will also be attending and would like to schedule a meeting – we would love to meet you!

Do you want to:

  • Network with the UK’s best SaaS Founders and sales leaders in person?
  • Get access to the top B2B SaaS VCs and understand their funding criteria?
  • Find career opportunities in the worlds best B2B SaaS companies?
  • Understand the best software and services to grow your business?
  • Learn from the best B2B SaaS sales leaders?
  • Hang out at the best office locations like Salesforce, Okta, GoCardless and many more?

Sold? Subscribe to join the Sales Confidence community here.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Sales Confidence, visit their website and follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube.

How to decide what to spend your investment on?

Successfully securing investment can be daunting and those tentative early days spent working out exactly how to translate that winning pitch into a winning strategy that delivers, can be a daunting prospect. In our blog, You’ve secured investment, now what? we covered how it’s vital for businesses to work out the practical aspects of delivery, taking an honest look at in-house resource and scoping out where you might need to buy-in expertise or scale up. This is a vital process. Spending money and thinking later will only lead to regrets when investors need to see return on investment (ROI), and so it’s worth investing the time upfront to do this.

Once you’re happy that you have a solid overarching strategy, it’s time to get into the detail on the tactical plans, specifically where you’ll be spending your budgets. In an ideal world you could press pause for a bit, start to see the benefit of your campaign efforts and product development plans but we all know that’s just not realistic. You need to pay your staff and invest in reward schemes to ensure they stay motivated. You must continue to invest in your brand and your external marketing efforts to let the world know you have a new and exciting proposition on offer. You need to make sure that you’re across your target markets; not only understanding them but also proactively ensuring your business is a relevant contender in that space. To keep that cash flow well, flowing, you need to be confident that you can generate sales, consistently hitting the targets to power your growth and support your investment. Without those sales, things can spiral pretty quickly and there simply won’t be time to see your plans come to fruition.

In the SaaS industry, there’s a real challenge in refining the sales approach in a crowded marketplace where external service, maintenance and development factors can also impact the sales cycle, making it vital for any sales strategy to balance the inbound and outbound efforts, appropriately.

With outbound sales strategies you need to make sure that your sales team are targeting the right accounts, and having informed and tailored conversations that get prospects close to conversion. Even so-called ‘hot leads’ aren’t necessarily ready to buy. SaaS salespeople need to have knowledgeable conversations and ready-to-go sales enablement assets that readily and effectively showcase the benefits of their product.

It’s also vital to consider how customer profile impacts the sales processes; those high value enterprise contracts can take far more time to get over the line. They also need to be mindful of tailoring the approach to prospect, learning to navigate different organisations and their complexity without getting bogged down or limiting the pipeline, is a tough nut to crack. To get the ball rolling it can be worth looking at outsourcing a portion of your inside sales activity to get some of those big contracts closed. The key differentiator in this area is often exceptional relationship building and attention to detail. An inside sales professional can be trusted to nurture your most valuable prospects through the entire sales cycle, as a true extension of your team, adding value to your brand and reputation.

In the meantime, it’s equally important to ensure a healthy influx of leads into the pipeline. That’s where outsourced lead generation activity simmering away in the background can be of huge benefit to your sales team. Sourcing new leads is time-consuming and costly; by removing the burden from internal resource you can focus your efforts on where you need to succeed, confident that a consistent supply of high quality leads will be delivered over time.

At Air, we’re experienced in working with clients to design sales strategies that deliver value from the outset. We deliver value and expertise to our clients’ prospects, at any point in the buying cycle, removing the pressure from your in-house team whilst guaranteeing quality and premium customer experience on your behalf. We work with clients to create a tailored blend of services that will deliver the best conversion rates in their desired market. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help your business grow or show you how we’ve helped businesses from all sectors achieve success get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038. Hear more from our existing customers here.

Ask The MD: What Trends Are You Seeing In Companies Outsourcing Their Sales Function?

 

In the fourth instalment of our ‘Ask The MD’ series we ask the question ‘what trends are you seeing in companies outsourcing their sales function?’. Find out the answer in this video featuring our Managing Director, Owen Richards, and sister company Forrest Marketing Group’s Managing Director, Richard Forrest.

 

 

 

 

Build a team so strong, you don’t know who the leader is

We’re all in this together. We are all colleagues, regardless of job title. We all work together to achieve the same goal, to make a difference for our clients, make the company a profit and ultimately get paid. When people start feeling undervalued for doing the role they do, we have a problem. Have you ever heard a colleague say, ‘what does it matter what I think’ or ‘my opinion doesn’t count’? Your opinion does count and yes, I would like to hear what you think.

We want to know how our colleagues feel and what they believe would work better. Having this feedback means we can make a difference and help.

Loyalty and commitment come from feeling valued. Feeling valued comes from respect and inclusion. Yes, roles within an organisation vary and so does workload, but every single person is here for one common goal. We win together and sometimes we lose together, but we are a team.

Some of the best results I have seen have come from people who have felt empowered to make a change. Some of the best ideas have come from people who have felt their opinion counts. When we feel we are able to have an input and suggest improvements, we work with a different vigour and we push ourselves. Not doing this is a sure-fire way to lose your best talent.

Encourage feedback. What’s working and what isn’t? What will make the process better? From my perspective things might look right – but that’s just my perspective. Tell me how it looks from yours. None of us are perfect and we can all make mistakes or miss things, but as a team we can get it right.

In my opinion Air has got this balance right. We have regular catch-up sessions with all of our team members to review performance and processes. Not just as individuals, but as a team. Everyone has the chance to input and everyone has the chance to challenge. Feedback is essential to ensuring we get things right. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s a company which nurtures and nourishes its staff to ensure we all give our best and strive to achieve. Every role is valued and every person within each role understands the impact they have. With this comes an immense sense of comradery – a team so strong that you wouldn’t know who the leader is.

Opinion piece by Account Manager, Michael Hepburn.