Inside sales teams and the importance of sales enablement

This article has been written to open up some strategic thinking and discussion for business owners, as well as sales and marketing managers in SMEs or corporate businesses, on different ways to increase lead generation success with inside sales.

At an event we were a part of last year, it was great to hear that a prominent marketing agency acknowledged that marketing supports sales, and that successful lead generation cannot be achieved with just marketing automation and digital content alone.

The challenge in lead generation and conversion efforts between marketing and sales departments are still causing inconsistent measurement of ROI and success.

It’s becoming even more important with the need for both sales and marketing functions to complement, align and integrate with each other and adopting a “full funnel” top-down view. So how can you start that process and get a business to commit to a shift in mindset?

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Sales Enablement

The term sales enablement comes to mind and applying the real meaning of this requires the focus of the inside sales role and joint ownership between marketing and sales – agreed upfront as a common shared goal.

What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organisation with the information, content, and tools that help sales people sell more effectively.

Common lead generation scenario
One example and context was from a marketing agency feedback in running an ICT campaign for a successful Microsoft partner. The client challenge was to generate 2500 marketing leads for a sales target of $10M (4 sales representatives) through content driven marketing automation. That would mean over 200 leads per monthjust from organic digital content and use of marketing automation – a huge task to guarantee a cost per lead model that doesn’t quantify sales opportunity progress or success.

These metrics and expectations just didn’t add up realistically given the variables; length of follow up from sales, quality of leads, and length of the sales cycle. It seemed like the ROI and appropriate KPI would have been unrealistic to achieve in 12 months. These lead metrics are only part of the picture and can’t be relied on to generate consistent leads without first examining the sales targets. If you can reverse engineer the sales target setting process with the required amount of marketing activity and leads required, this usually highlights either a gap in sales target expectations or marketing budget allocation to support this. In an ideal situation the sales manager and marketing manager should agree on the common metrics and KPIs.

In the previous campaign run by the agency mentioned, the MQLs manifesting from the marketing automation platform were largely impressions, web visits, contacts, downloads and enquiries. This is purely a top of funnel focus.

However typical frustrations arose in lead follow-through between MQL and SQL when the sales team didn’t follow up the leads or several leads slip through the cracks.

It was refreshing to hear the marketing agency involved in this campaign quote that the missing link is (needing) “still a human to be involved”.

The other negative impact of relying on inbound automation alone as the primary channel for lead generation was that the sales representatives can became less motivated to generate their own leads as BDMs or Account Managers.

From my sales experience, the biggest challenge still lies in bridging the gap between MQLs and SQLs with a higher degree of skill over simply appointment setting to meet the metric. I believe that one of the keys to successful lead generation is for businesses to invest more in inside sales functions and achieving higher quality results.


What is Inside Sales, and how is it different? 

Definition of Inside Sales, Sales Development or Sales Acceleration Lead

inside-sales

What is ‘Inside Sales‘?
Inside sales is the sale of products or services by sales personnel who reach customers by phone or online methods, rather than travelling to meet them face-to-face. Inside sales relies on the phone, emails and the internet to reach customers and is common in the retail industry.

How is inside sales different to outside sales?
Unlike outside sales personnel, insides salespeople do not travel. Despite this, they are still proactive about contacting potential customers and may make cold contacts. A company may also designate incoming calls from prospective customers as inside sales. In addition, a company may outsource their inside sales duties to a third party instead of conducting sales in-house to increase their speed to market. In a highly competitive, quarter-by-quarter sales environment, the time taken to engage can mean a lost sales opportunity.

This Inside Sales function is commonly known in the ICT or telecoms world as an Inside Sales Role (ISR) or Sales Acceleration Lead or Sales Development Representative.

The typical capability and profile is someone with 2 to 3 years of sales experience or telephone based sales who appreciates the technical/conceptual aspect of the product or service that is being offered. At market rates in Australia they are paid between $50K to $70K base salary plus commission of up to $100K OTE in an ICT role.

If you can successful build a team of ISRs who have senior industry expertise, the right sales aptitude and attitude, with attention to detail and appropriate training, this is a great foundation. The team can then enhance sales enablement process and help bridge the gap between sales and marketing. This investment may generate a higher ROI than employing just a field sales team and, in some cases, represent better value.

The key to successful full funnel conversion from any marketing lead generation is to execute a marketing campaign with Inside Sales Representatives. Many marketing agencies spend a lot of time developing a top of funnel focus, driving online automation campaigns and leads from multiple channels and tactics. This may be moderately successful however the role and responsibility is handed back across to the client for the middle and bottom of the funnel engagement focussed on sales conversion.



Stopping the “Leaky Funnel” effect

In my opinion, this is where the true ROI of a retainer is unlocked for sales effectiveness and still requires a level of knowledge and “human” interaction to bridge this MQL to SQL gap and “leaky funnel” syndrome – which is still being experienced as a common cause of disconnection between marketing agencies and sales teams.

marketing-sales-funnelSource: Hubspot

A good inside salesperson should have the ability to grasp more complex concepts and think about a more meaningful business discussion on a follow up call to increase the quality of marketing qualified leads.

The benefit of inside sales is that star performers can be identified and nurtured towards a field sales progress path which provides sales engagement continuity to the business or a transition plan for staff retention.

The human skills factor can’t be replaced by digital automation
The human factor in consideration of the specific knowledge of the company’s products, services or solutions can provide a far more contextually-relevant delivery compared to a telemarketing representative following a script. Commonly the lack of depth of understanding isn’t appropriate to the conversation with the target stakeholder and decision maker on the prospect side and can lead to lost opportunities.

The buyer’s journey today means that more customers and prospects are well informed via multiple channels through their own research before being accessible and ready in their timeframe to actively make a purchasing decision and engage their supplier of choice.

Traditional telemarketing conversion rates are still poor and the ROI is negligible without the due care of impact on sales revenue and profits. Would you rather have 10 highly qualified leads a month with a 50% ratio to convert with some strategic awareness or 20 average leads of inconsistent quality just because it was an agreed cost per lead engagement per month that was committed to deliver regardless of the chance of conversion?

Customised lead generation is highly recommended rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to have a better chance of success. Inside sales is increasingly becoming the avenue to help achieve this.


Look out for Part 2 of this series, Why to use inside sales for lead generation: Sales strategy and ROI, where we will talk about the value of Inside Sales versus Business Development, the importance of strategy, and also the use of marketing automation to increase qualified leads and overall ROI.


If any of the challenges mentioned above resonate for you, register for an independent Business Growth Assessment to find out how and where we can help you resolve some of your concerns across your marketing and sales strategy. 

inside-sales 
Alchemise Consulting – Inside Sales as a Service Overview

Sales and marketing strategy: Case study – Australian HR advisory firm

HR Client Overview

A leading Melbourne based boutique HR advisory firm has a small team of six staff and growing with offering HR assessment and full range of HR advisory and resourcing services to corporate and SME businesses. They pride themselves on personalised service and long term retained clients. They have growth aspirations and also much of their business was from referrals with a very high conversion rate as well as forming alliance partners in their business network.


Vision & Goals

Here were our HR client initial vision and goals for the next 12 months.

  • To explore an effective marketing communications and sales pathway for business growth;
  • To uncovers insights for the value proposition, audience personas and competitive landscape;
  • To identify internal alignment opportunities to strategically position the HR Advisory for success;
  • Recommends an actionable 12 month plan to reach desired 25% growth projections;
  • Identify key sales processes and budget requirements; and
  • Position the HR Advisory with the capacity to grow with velocity and plan for succession.


    Client Needs

To date a conversion rate of 82% from a complimentary HR Health Check has been good and effective however more inbound leads were needed. 

The HR advisory wanted to develop core business service sales around selected retainer services and to explore growth of recruitment services and retainer based business which can scale and provide steady cash-flow from both existing clients and new business.

  • Current resourcing has about 10% capacity to grow in workload.
  • An additional priority to review sales and marketing process and systems (CRM and marketing automation tools) and consideration for investment to support clients, operational processes and internal requirements for future scalability and growth.

In forward planning for the financial year 17/18 they needed some sales and marketing strategy assistance to help with business growth.

They recognized the current depth of their sales and marketing strategy plans weren’t sufficient to help them scale and reach their financial year growth targets.

They wanted a combined integrated approach to address and plan out their alignment of sales and marketing in order to scale.

From there they needed some coaching and guidance on how to best invest a limited budget to take their business forward whilst hiring a new HR consultant and evolving their brand marketing.

A strategy of new leads from their HR Growth Assessment was their main form of new leads, followed by referrals with a high close rate.

The logos and colours used on throughout their digital online presence appeared dated.

After combining the sales and marketing strategy as an integrated approach, the deliverables were a comprehensive plan and roadmap with staged investment estimates to budget for.

How we were engaged

Business Growth Assessment

The HR Advisory found us using an inbound marketing approach and registered opportunity for downloading and completing a Business Growth Assessment as well as downloading our 7 Profit Multipliers E-book resource.

The initial engagement followed an inbound process.

Strategy Planning Workshop
Following this we engaged in partnership with our marketing strategist for a 2 hour paid workshop for an integrated sales and marketing strategy engagement using our proven methodology. 

The client came well prepared with their data and financials as well as marketing materials to help strategise and develop recommendations.

Outcomes and value achieved
A detailed business growth assessment overview to independently help set the direction and achieve their goals. This assessment also included a digital website customer experience review for online engagement which improves lead generation projects. A blend of creative marketing design and commercial sales consideration elements were provided in formal feedback and recommendations of next steps and also an appropriate budget to consider a staged approach.

After the workshop and a series of consultations, we formulated the integrated sales and marketing strategy plan to help provide a roadmap for their objectives using a strategy, people, process and systems approach broken down into stages.

Given it was a small business, budget was a challenge in hiring a resource first, servicing their current client base and then a focus on system tools.

Key Recommendations 

Our staged recommendations and roadmap of an integrated sales and marketing strategy given the short term budget constraint and plan to hire a senior consultant were:

Stage 1– Strategy Plan and Roadmap/Recommendations with Marketing Benchmark.

Stage 2– Implementing HubSpot to replace Salesforce and a transition plan based on ease of use and requirements from the design and CRM marketing data capture process.

Stage 3 – Enhancing marketing strategy to deliver a website and social media plan for CTA with their HR assessment offer and capture more customer and prospect data for FY17/18.

Stage 4 – Generate more leads and shift from a product focus to a higher margin and upsell/cross sell offering to help the account management process.

With some assistance and consideration, the HR advisory have now updated their website and digital presence with more HR assessment offers, social media engagement and customer centric content.

They have also implemented a basic HubSpot Marketing Hub and Sales Hub platform to track and collect digital and social engagement analytics with reporting for better visibility.

Moving forward they now have a defined strategic plan to implement the roadmap, as budget allows, in a practical and controlled way which allows them to be innovative and provide growth using a strategic people, process and systems approach.

Strategy Development Outcomes

As a result of our integrated sales and marketing strategy consulting assistance, the HR advisory gained better clarity and a plan of action across people, process and systems with:

  • Help in defining business goals, objectives and marketing benchmarking measures.
  • Aligned Sales and Marketing strategy plan and processes from the workshop.
  • A plan to provide growth capacity and tools foundation for a 5 year growth plan.
  • Providing an informed sales management and commercial decision making process with a detailed implementation planning and investment budget needed for the next stages of the project over the next 12 months.

For further information around our strategy services or how we helped this HR advisory client, feel free to contact us on info@alchemiseconsulting.com or call +61 3 9225 5022.

Part 2: 7 questions to ask when choosing a Sales and Marketing Outsourcing Partnership

Why are you considering sales and marketing outsourcing?  

If you missed Part 1: How to choose a sales and marketing outsourcing partner, here it is again.

Here are 7 questions and tips when considering and choosing a sales and marketing outsourced partner for new business development and lead generation activities…

1) What credibility and experience does the outsourcing company have in your sector and both context and content?

Do you need generalist or specialist skills to help grow your business through sales and marketing with lead generation?

Recently we have come across more specialist engagements such as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) with services as an independent consultant. Typically this engagement is to help shape a strategy or develop a new marketing offering or direction in planning.

If you could engage a senior experienced sales and marketing team what would that mean for your business? You would be leveraging significant skillsets and experience, boosting your performance and outcomes with a lower cost base than headcount full time employee (FTE) hire, but how do you find the right partnership?

We consistently hear that good sales and marketing resources are hard to find, so in a growing business where budget is limited, it may be wise to trial an arrangement for say six months. Traditionally any FTE hire will have a similar probation period without guarantee of success, plus you will have to pay a one-off recruitment fee unless it’s via a trusted referral source.

What if you could reduce or eliminate the time and effort of an internal recruitment process to find the “ideal” candidate, to focus your energies on immediately working alongside experienced sales and marketing professionals with a great network to immediately engage as an outcome based and shared risk outsourcing team based approach.

Are you gaining one consultant or access to a multi-functional experienced team for a similar cost? Let’s explore and imagine that for the same cost as having access to a team of industry experienced senior marketing managers and sales directors for a similar cost as a single FTE hire, what would that arrangement really be worth to your business? To create competitive advantage, partnerships with cross-functional skills can greatly enhance your positioning to win new business and also reduce internal costs.

Does the organization you are choosing to work with have local experience and depth?

In the world of professional services, time based charging can get very costly for a longer engagement. Hence a key factor in selecting a suitable sales and marketing outsourcing arrangement can be to see how flexible they are to customize to your commercial needs, including working towards measured milestone deliverables.

Can they develop both sales and marketing strategies and connect the two in strategic planning to align with business goals?

If you simply engage a traditional full service marketing agency on a retainer basis, are they sufficiently commercially oriented and have experience with sales engagement to align your marketing and sales together to deliver true business value?

2) What is the cost/benefit of outsourcing and ROI, other than lowest price selection?

Over years of personal experience, outsourcing shouldn’t be treated as just a lower cost benefit or price exercise. If it streamlines and quickens your go-to-market and works to deliver outcomes via a shared risk model, that can be well worth the costs and access to more value.

Other benefits of outsourcing include accessing a diversity of skills, experience and culture, as well as leveraging competitive advantage for your business. To that point, proven experience and track record as well the compatibility and fit remain important to consider, hence we suggest a short-term project trial of say three to six months are a good way to dip your toes into the outsourced sales and marketing experience.

3) What expertise is available across various industry sectors and field experience in sales and marketing?

Access to cross functional skillsets and resources can create competitive advantage in responsiveness and delivery capability and developing the senior relationships required to engage with executive decision makers of target clients.

A provider which has access to deep industry expertise or domain knowledge expertise can help open up more productive discussions with prospective clients in those areas of specialization. If these resources are dedicated to you, the effectiveness increases in prospect engagement.

While it is still accepted practice to use a generic approach, a bespoke approach for very niche services or products requiring knowledge can shorten the sales and marketing engagement and provide more credibility.

4) Is there flexibility and a cultural compatibility of values in partnering belief?

Does the company take the time to truly understand your broader business needs and strategy objectives or are they only proposing to solve part of your immediate challenges in sales and marketing activity without looking at the bigger picture? Your choice of partner needs to be a good fit strategically, commercially and from an ROI perspective.

5) How does the outsourcing company add value to your organization in both the short term and longer term?

Consider 2 to 3 different organization but ensure you bring them into the office to talk face to face with the principal consultants to get feel of the cultural fit and compatibility to work together in a joint partnership, not just a traditional supplier/client engagement.

6) Do they challenge you positively and provide depth of guidance and business insight into your requirements and market knowledge?

Again, think carefully about these questions, and importantly your responses to them, before making a decision. Continue to reflect and review on these topics continually during the working relationship.

7) Have you considered an outcome and shared risk-based model?

Is your outsourcing requiring a true sense of a partnership or just a transactional relationship?

If the outsourcing company is still quoting on time and materials or daily rates, and there isn’t an initial discussion on strategy, then perhaps it’s better to stick to a traditional contractor and resource hiring process for a small project.

You will know a good sales and marketing outsourcing organization by their willingness to discuss outcome based deliverables and shared risk for sales and marketing projects. Take the time to explore how this works for them typically, and how it would work in your individual situation, however if there is avoidance to discuss the subject then perhaps you may be talking to an incompatible organization for you.

Summary:

Consideration of sales and marketing outsourcing will make sense to businesses that are open to dynamic business environment changes and willing to invest to grow the business. Where there are specific market opportunities and cash flow challenges to hiring full time employees, or internal politics prevents budgets for headcount for example, you may achieve cost efficiencies and greater sales and marketing productivity by exploring alternative sales as a service or marketing as a service arrangements. When the partnerships are appropriately established, outsourcing can reduce costs of approximately 25-35% over 6 months, along with increasing productivity and continuity, and speed to market as aligned to business revenue goals.

If you would like to explore how sales and marketing outsourcing can help accelerate your business growth strategy and create competitive advantage or the process of selection then feel free to contact us for a obligation free discussion.

sales outsourcing

3 Key Elements of what a Digital Readiness Assessment provides

Are you currently thinking about reviewing your digital marketing strategy, or feeling ready to make the investment and move into the digital world to increase leads and sales opportunities? An effective marketing strategy has becoming increasingly important in recent years, as the competitive marketplace demands a more dynamic approach to interaction between prospects and businesses.



One of our clients, the Global Marketing Manager for a large Australian-based global logistics company, shared her value of completing our Digital Readiness Assessment:

“I’ve completed the Digital Readiness Assessment, a comprehensive questionnaire that was worth taking a few hours to complete. Great questions posed from Alchemise Consulting. It really made me think about what we have existing and what we should, but don’t, in our digital marketing strategy! This Digital Readiness Assessment helped me conclude the need to prepare a proper business proposal to Directors for our online and website strategy.”


What is a Digital Readiness Assessment? 

Alchemise Consulting offer a Digital Readiness Assessment (DRA) to independently assess your company’s ability and capacity to implement an effective digital strategy. We’ll utilise our field market knowledge to identify marketing trends and gaps in your existing or planned approach, or what your initial challenges might be for maximising your digital ROI, assessing the following:

  • Digital marketing strategy

We’ll explore what digital marketing resources you currently use and review the process, systems and strategy with a gap analysis. Do you have a digital marketing manager or who is responsible for digital? Digital marketing goals need to be effectively integrated into your overall business and marketing and sales strategies, and we will assess and provide recommendations around achieving the best (digital) ROI.

digital-readiness-assessment

  • Digital marketing operations assessment

There is much more to digital marketing than simply having a website or social media channel, and it’s important to ensure that each and every one of your digital resources is working effectively for you. We’ll assess, review and recommend aspects of your current marketing and digital capability structure, your website performance and user experience, digital content and marketing initiatives, and digital lead generation, nurturing and automation tools.

An example of a case study in how we assisted an IT Security Consulting firm in NSW improve their readiness for a marketing campaign was demonstrated with a improving their customer digital and web UX experience.

Case Study: Improvement in Customer UX experience with IT Security Consultancy

  • Digital marketing effectiveness review

For businesses who are a little further along the digital implementation path, we will assess your digital marketing ROI and performance metrics, and make recommendations based on the meaningful and relevant data, from an independent perspective.

CLICK HERE to find out more about our Digital Readiness Assessment and what it typically includes.

We know you want every arm of your business working towards your goals and objectives, and our Digital Readiness Assessment is the first step to ensure that your digital presence is working effectively and successfully for both your interaction with prospects and customers, and for your business overall. If you would like to find out how our independent assessment can help your business engagement, new business development and growth with lead generation, please contact us for an initial discussion.

digital-readiness-assessment

Selecting Marketing Automation Tools – An independent review of HubSpot

Alchemise Consulting would like to acknowledge and thank you to our guest independent reviewer Jamie Strachan for providing this article.


One of the key technology trends of 2016 in small-to-medium enterprises (SME) is the increasing adoption of sales and marketing automation tools to help businesses retain and grow their customer base and increase sales revenues.

A recent SME Directions survey suggests that more than 60% of businesses plan to use automation technology in the next financial year to help cut costs and streamline existing processes. 

A benefit of this technology is enabling businesses to better understand their growing volumes of customer data with the use of customer relationship management technology (CRM), SEO and online and social analytics. This in turn helps to identify buying trends, devise targeted campaigns and revise and improve inbound sales and marketing strategies over time.

Marketing automation tools allow both marketing and sales teams to work together more seamlessly. A lot of manual processes around content creation, management and personalisation are removed, while creating more qualified and targeted leads for sales reps to engage with. Lead and customer data is updated and shared by both teams and stored in the CRM.

According to Forrester Research, companies that implement marketing automation experience a 10% increase in their sales pipeline contribution.

HubSpot, a US-based company, is looking to lead the way in this market with a cloud-based platform offered to SMEs.

5 Benefits of the HubSpot offering:

  1. For small businesses needing an “all-in-one” online strategy, HubSpot will host your site, publish landing pages and blog content, while optimising it for search engines with keyword research relevant to your content and market.
  1. Manage your social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with scheduled posts, and report on brand mentions and social engagement with your content and services.
  1. Grow your inbound audience by creating simple search and social media advertising all from within the HubSpot dashboard. Track and optimise your ads as you go to increase your traffic and conversions.
  1. Create targeted email campaigns to new and existing customers with strong call-to-action (CTAs) offers.
  1. Use HubSpot’s native CRM or integrate with Salesforce to track engagement with your campaigns, CTAs, and record all customer interactions with plug-ins for common email clients. Integration to your existing CRM via the HubSpot API is also available.

HubSpot in the Cloud

Taking advantage of the today’s growing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, HubSpot has built a robust, secure and highly-available service for its 18,000 plus customer base.

Basic HubSpot CRM subscriptions are free for up to 100 contacts. As extra functionality is added for content creation, analytics, optimisation, CRM integration and more, subscriptions can range from AUD $300 – $3000 per month.

With digital strategy becoming evermore critical to business success and revenue growth, HubSpot offers a compelling turnkey solution for traditional small business content management and hosting. Added to this sophisticated inbound strategies, marketing and analytics provide the secret sauce that can add real business value, grow the bottom line and makes sales teams and marketers more productive.

Please contact us if you would like to continue the conversation about marketing automation and inbound marketing, and how it can help to grow your business.

Thank you once again to our guest independent reviewer Jamie Strachan for providing this article.

For further information about the current data and future of sales and marketing, feel free to register to download your FREE copy of the State of Inbound 2017 Report published by Hubspot.

State of Inbound 2017 Report

 

 

3 Business Challenges for Small Business Owners – The PROFITABLE Approach

Three of the biggest business challenges for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are 1) cash flow, 2) access to resources and expertise in this fast paced and dynamic market. The third challenge is 3) scalability and how to grow the business in a structured planned way.

Freelance and project-based contractor approaches are becoming more widely used as the market shifts away from the traditional employee model. The need to access specific skillsets, often for a short period of time, is driving a more dynamic strategy to staff and resourcing.

In a very competitive and commoditised environment the cost of employment can prove prohibitive to scale and growth for SMEs. Recruitment fees, poor-fit staff, superannuation, and additional staffing overheads all contribute to operational costs, and impact actual net profit.

In order to solve complex challenges, we believe that a project-based model that is cross-functional can provide a pathway to achieving business outcomes, while working from the same client value set and beliefs.

We acknowledge that the traditional consulting model relies on a top-heavy assessment and recommendation approach that can prove costly for SMEs, so we function to deliver specific outcomes through tight scoping and a shared risk model. This offers access to and collaboration with a team of globally experience senior executives from the CxO management level.

As the end of financial year approaches, we know internal resources are limited. A locally delivered augmented strategic or tactical project can help to ensure that day to day challenges, as well as critical issues, are addressed and resolved. Whether you need resources in IT, HR, marketing, sales or finance and operations, we can customise a consulting engagement that suits your desired outcome using a shared risk value proposition.

For an initial obligation free consultation on how our independent advisory services can assist with a low cost approach, please visit www.alchemiseconsulting.com or contact us via info@alchemiseconsulting.com or call +61 39225 5022 to speak with one of our senior consultants.

4 Key Elements of what a Business Growth Assessment provides

What is a Business Growth Assessment?

Are you finding that the sales and marketing approaches and strategies that worked five years ago are no longer as successful today? Your business strategies need to be able to adapt to suit and be effective in the current competitive environment, both to sustain and to grow.

Alchemise Consulting offer a Business Growth Assessment (BGA), to independently review your business, sales and marketing performance and operations. We’ll assess where your business is at, by collecting meaningful and relevant data and reviewing your goals and strategies around the following:

Business vision, goals, and objectives assessment

The essence of your business, your vision, goals and objectives, should be the key drivers behind your day-to-day functions, however often they do not align to the ground level operations. We’ll assess their validity and role in your business’ sales and marketing functions, by examining company growth measurement and performance, your sales base review and overall financial performance.

Marketing assessment

We frequently see a disconnect between company objectives, marketing, and sales functions, which can quickly create challenges and hinder or slow growth. Our BGA will explore and assess your current marketing strategies, campaigns and initiatives, CRM metrics and performance, the unique selling proposition for your product or service, as well as a competitive review and analysis. We’ll also begin the process of closing the gap between marketing and sales by assessing the interaction, handover and review between the two functions.

Sales assessment

Following on from the examination of the interactions between marketing and sales, we’ll go on and assess your current sales structure and review the sales ROI, as well as delving into sales performance metrics, and the financials – revenue, profit and cost of sale per client (amongst others)

Internet/digital marketing assessment

Marketing in the current competitive environment is becoming increasingly focused on the Internet, but more broadly digital capacities. We will review your use of social media channels and email marketing, as well as your broader online presence across your website. User experience is paramount in the digital space and we’ll review several aspects of how prospects and customers can interact with you and your business.

If you, as a business owner or director, feel that sales and/or growth has slowed or stagnated, and can’t figure out why or how to progress, please contact us for an initial discussion about how a Business Growth Assessment can address your challenges and provide recommendations for moving onwards and upwards.

 

Business Growth Assessment

 

 

How sales and marketing alignment can increase your revenue by 208%

Alchemise Consulting recently was interviewed by Thirst Creative on How Sales and Marketing alignment can increase your revenue by 208%.

‘The digital and online world has changed the way prospective buyers engage with your brand to be more personalised and direct. Hence the marketing funnel has deepened and so has most of the buying cycle before sales engage. Meaning sales now engage much later in the sales process.’ – Chak Ng, Managing Director of Alchemise Consulting

Please see the article writeup and also as a guest speaker at the “If you build it, will the come” event hosted by Thirst Creative here.

Sales and Marketing as a Service

 

How to increase your business gross profits using the 7 profit multipliers way

Business gross profits is usually the key indicator of performance and new business development activities and sales.

It is a sad truth that 80% of businesses fail in their first five years of operation, and one 1 in 25 will survive their first ten years.

The main reason is because they don’t have enough customers buying from them regularly – they simply run out of cash.

  • They don’t attract a sufficient number of qualified prospects;
  • They fail to convert their prospects into profitable customers;
  • They let their current customers slip away to do business with their competitors.

So, the only way to succeed in business is for the owner to have a clear understanding of the market for its products and services.

  1. Lead Generation – Getting more qualified leads

Before a person becomes a customer, they are merely a name, a lead. A customer is someone who has made an actual purchase. A lead in merely a potential customer. A prospect. The more leads or prospects you have, the more you can convert into paying customers.

How do you get more prospects?

There are many methods:

  • Advertisements
  • Direct mail campaign
  • Referral program
  • Internet marketing
  • Promotional techniques
  • Joint venture arrangements, and many, many more.

Because the choices for finding more prospects are many — and not all created equal — choosing the correct ones becomes a prime area of concern.

  1. Improving Conversion Rate – Turning more prospects into customers 

This means a higher percentage of sales based on people served. For example, if a company were averaging 20 sales per 100 people contacted, a worthy goal would be to increase sales to 35 or 50 per 100 prospects.

There are ways to make this happen: Improved telemarketing scripts, more attractive offers, testing different prices, improving quality, and more.

  1. Increasing Average Sale Value – Creating repeat customers

One of the Holy Grails of marketing excellence is the repeat sale – or more specifically, creating repeat customers who come back to buy again and again. Far too many businesses ignore this simple-to implement, common sense strategy to boost profits.

Repeat sales are sometimes called “back-end” sales. For many companies, sales on the back-end are where the true profits are made. For many companies, first sales may generate little or no profit, or even a small loss. This is sometimes called a “loss leader.” It’s a low-profit sale designed with an eye on making real money on the second and third sales. But whether one makes a profit on the first sale, or not, getting more sales after a first is a major key to higher success in marketing and selling.

  1. Increasing Gross Profit Margin – Getting the most out of every transaction

It takes a certain amount of time and effort to make each sale. Why not squeeze more out that transaction while the customer is in the process of buying? It’s easily done. For example, if a customer buys a shirt, he may also buy a tie at the same time – but the customer is far more likely to do so if actively prompted by the seller. Suggesting an additional sale at point of purchase is called ‘Cross-Selling’. A cousin of Cross-Selling is ‘Up-Selling’. An example: “You can get the larger soft drink for just 25 cents more. It’s a better value.” The idea is to prompt the customer to buy a larger size, amount, etc.

Profits can be increased with each sale by manipulating packaging, whereby the customer pays slightly more but gets an item of extra value.

The small amount of extra profit obtained from each sale represents a higher level of profit because no extra money needs to be spent on marketing. Even in packaging deals where premium products are given away, special deals from wholesale suppliers can make the extra giveaway items well worth the cost because of increased overall sales and mark-ups.

  1. Increasing the Number of Purchases – Create a lasting relationship

When customers buy an initial product from a company, and that products delivers value, benefits, and enjoyment to the purchaser, a good company should feel obligated to sell that person more, to improve that customer’s life even more. If a company is proud of the products it sells and the customer agrees that the company delivers high quality, all sides win if more purchases are made.

What if the company has no additional products to sell a customer who has been sold once? The obvious answer is that efforts should be made to obtain second-tier products. But if this is not immediately feasible, the original seller can refer the customer to another non-competing company who may have something the customer can use. Why make the effort? What’s in it for the original seller? Among other reasons, it’s a terrific opportunity to build good will with a future potential joint venture partner. The second business may often return the favor and send new customer back to the original seller. Finally, an arrangement can be made so that a commission or profit share is provided.

  1. Increasing Lifetime Value – Know what each customer is worth to you

In knowing the ‘lifetime value’ of your customers tells you scientifically how much you can spend to acquire new customers.

What is the ‘Lifetime Value’ of a customer?

‘Lifetime Value’ is the true Total Worth of a customer to you.
To maximise your customers’ lifetime value, consider the following contributing factors:

  • Average purchase value
  • Average number of times they buy in a year
  • Average number of years they remain your customer
  • The monetary value of their referrals.

Knowing this customer value can not only help you better understand and achieve sales and revenue targets; knowing this value can also help you to strategically structure your marketing budget.

  1. More Referrals from Customers – Leverage the power of your customers

As much as 90 percent of new business comes through referrals of new customers made by existing customers. Providing extra value, referrals cost next to nothing. Referrals are powerful because it’s an endorsement of a product from a trusted source – a friend, colleague, or acquaintance – not a advertisement which has been specifically constructed to make you think or feel a certain way about a product or service.

Consider how businesses can ‘distribute’ their brand:

  • Single Channel of distribution – Most businesses typically rely on one method of generating income from direct sales and hence time versus effort is the limited factor to achieving massive results.
  • Multiple Channels of distribution – This provides instant leverage and multiple income streams to boost sales revenue and profitability from a lower cost base exponentially than linearly.

Based on limited resources and investment in overheads this is far more effective to select complimentary channels to help grow your business. With every referral obtained the growth potential is increased by the number of channels who are active.

Summary

Increasing just one of these profit multipliers will help your business to grow organically with existing clients and help acquire new clients.

Increasing all of these multipliers by just a small margin will exponentially skyrocket your bottom line profits and should be considered as part of your sales strategy.

To have a further discussion about improving your business’ sales profits, and to better understand how to implement these strategies effectively, please contact us for an obligation-free conversation or register for our FREE business growth assessment.

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