As we wrote in our 2012 article: The Sales Learning Curve and Virtual Sales it has been demonstrated that ramping up a sales force too quickly can have a negative impact on your bottom line.
Why? Because it typically takes a set amount of time to recoup your investment and, if you are spending faster than you are making, you will end up with negative cash flow problems.
How then to solve the problem of increasing sales without increasing your sales force?
Rethink your definition of “sales force.”
In the world of SaaS, your sales force does not need to be made up of high-powered executives with extravagant travel and entertainment budgets. SalesForce.com for example was built on the backs of a very strong, yet relatively inexpensive inside sales team. Thanks to webinars, go-to meetings and other online tools, a vast number of products can be very effectively sold without face-to-face interaction.
Leverage the power of the internet
As Bessemer Venture partners wrote in their CLOUD COMPUTING LAW #7: Online Sales/Marketing – A Core Competency, “You’re a cloud business, so by definition, your sales prospects are all online. Savvy online sales and marketing is a core competence (sometimes the only one) of every successful cloud business.”
Many statistics show that today’s buyers self educate. It has even been said that as much as 70% of the buying process is completed before sales people even enter the picture. While this does not mean that sales people can rest on their laurels and wait for leads to come streaming in (see our article: Today’s New Selling Environment Does Include the Telephone), it does mean that companies who do not have a strong online presence and a good solid content marketing strategy are missing an incredible opportunity to capture the curious buyer and pull him/her into their sales process.
Harness the full potential of Marketing Automation
If the web has created a more educated buyer, marketing automation tools like Act-On are producing a more informed seller. Not only do they make it possible to build, launch and measure very targeted outbound email campaigns, score leads based on behavior, and get real insight based on actions taken on the web, today’s tools provide visibility into the prospects online behavior that is a game changer in the hands of a good business development team.
As blogger, Joel York wrote in SaaS Sales Tips to Scale Profitably, “The secret to SaaS sales success is not selling harder, it is selling smarter.” This can be done by leveraging best-of-breed technology, making the most of your CRM and executing a strong territory management strategy drives purposeful activity. This includes market segmentation and extremely targeted efforts from both the sales and marketing teams.
Content Marketing Institute founder, Joe Pulizzi, provides an excellent example of how to work smarter in his post, Why Most Branded Content is Just Awful.
“To go big with content marketing,” he writes, “you have to go small. Don’t try to “boil the ocean” with your content. Instead of one all-encompassing content strategy, a more likely scenario is creating many small, targeted content strategies that focus specifically on the pain points and informational needs of customers and prospects.”
By working “smarter” and taking the time to narrow the focus, the return is far greater than it would be otherwise.
Consider Sales and Marketing as a Service – or SMaaS for SaaS as we like to call it.
The SMaaS model is a great way to ramp up your sales force and get all the benefits of a fully built sales and marketing infrastructure without burning through a lot of capital. Applying NuGrowth’s model, a company would literally get three reps plus management, marketing support and systems for the cost of one “traditional” rep. Not only that, but because a SMaaS organization is focused 100% on demand generation and sales, they have the means, the experience and the expertise to see results more quickly than most.
If you are interested in tapping into the power of NuGrowth’s virtual sales team to scale your business, please give us a call today at 800-966-3051.