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.

It Pays to be Patient

At Air, we pride ourselves on our honest and transparent approach towards our customers. We want those who we work with to succeed and so we keep nothing from you, you can have as much or as little involvement in your campaign as you would like. As one of Air’s Account Directors, I sit down with our prospective and retained clients, making sure to spend time with them in order to create the right strategy for their budget and business goals. But also, I want to ensure that clients understand that developing returns on their investment takes time. Markets are saturated with new businesses and whilst outsourcing telesales is a step in the right direction, clients shouldn’t expect a quick fix. The clients that I work with are often looking to invest in a long-term telemarketing campaigns, have long sales cycles and therefore need to understand that telemarketing does not instantly create ROI.

Despite this level of client engagement, when it comes to the end of the first month I sometimes find that clients have concerns if they haven’t yet closed a big deal or aren’t yet receiving high ROIs. Whilst I understand that clients put a lot into their businesses and obviously  want them to be a success, it seems that often people forget that success isn’t always instant. More often than not, it pays to be patient.

It is for this reason that, as part of our business proposals, myself and the other Account Directors at Air recommend a long-term commitment after the initial 3-month trial pilot period. During this pilot period, the outcomes teach us learning’s about the business’ message, the target audience, the objections and the sales cycle of a client. This time is essential for a business, it allows us to test the messaging of the campaign, the data we receive and actually get hold of the right people for the client – all of which takes time if done right.

We don’t want our clients to stress or be kept in the dark, which is why we have created our unique client portal, where they can have a clear view of their campaigns progress – our clients are able to follow the peaks and falls of their entire campaign and see the feedback or objections we receive. It is most important to listen to this information in the beginnings of a campaign and not be overly concerned if sales are slow to begin with, as brand and business development should be nurtured not rushed. By considering this information, we are then able to use it to adapt the campaign and help it develop with momentum in the long term to generate the client impressive ROIs. After all our average campaign ROI is £18 for every £1 spent, so your investment is in good hands.

Opinion Piece by Keryn Seal, Account Director, Air Marketing Group