The definition of a customer has changed now. He is no more somebody you sell your products or services because you intend to sell it.

The new-age definition of a customer is somebody who will buy product or service from you only because there is a certain Need|Desire for the product/services and also because it is addressing his problems.

This is a generic definition and the immediate question that arises is how do I reach out to my customers?

The immediate challenges being:

  1. Tough competition from rivals
  2. How to be different from competitors
  3. How to build that trust
  4. More retention
  5. Less churn
  6. Maintaining profitability

Prima-facie this had always existed, but then the universe was bigger with few players on the battlefield. The word “Demanding customer” existed but only in papers or was a very rare phenomenon.

Time changes and so did it change the perception of customers.  The quantum of “demanding customers” is huge today and is increasing with every tick of the clock.

Question is how do businesses sell their products|services now?

Well, it is not difficult to create some phenomenal sales strategies provided you want to.

  1. Invest in a sales CRM for your sales team – It is integral
  2. Focus on customer experience – A true differentiator from your competition.
  3. Seek analytics on the behavior of your customers.
  4. Give your customers an omnichannel buying experience
  5. Don’t forget the “Human touch” at all your customer interaction channels.
  6. Use AI to develop your marketing strategies.
  7. Devise a nurturing system for your existing customers and potential customers
  8. Know the ROI before launching any marketing programs
  9. Automate the sales process as much as you can so that the sales team can focus on “selling”
  10. Please don’t keep the customer experience limited to one department but to all the functions.
  11. Focus on competence development programs for your sales & marketing staff.
  12. Increase your brand visibility through social media engagements.
Also, READ 10 key sales stats that helps you sell more

Create new sales strategies that are as per the need of the hour and sell like champions !![social_share style=”circle” align=”horizontal” heading_align=”inline” text=”” heading=”” facebook=”1″ twitter=”1″ google_plus=”0″ linkedin=”1″ pinterest=”0″ link=”” /]

We have collected some information, I think very useful information regarding changing scenarios of sales in the times of SM impact, you can get surprised by what you are going to learn because one can think that number does not reflect the whole story but they certainly illuminate many aspects of it, deep inside of the analysis put on by the numbers there is a path clarity over the sales strategies

  1. “97% of consumers go online to find and research products and services.” 

    This statistic proves the importance of having an outstanding web presence, not just for sales, but also for marketing and customer service teams alike. In today’s digital era, consumers often first interact with you and your brand via the Web.This also proves that having a viable online reputation and solid reviews is just as important! How you are represented on the Web as a company says a lot about your business success.

  2. “For sales reps that do invest in social media, 64% of them hit their team quota, compared to only 49% of reps hitting their team quota that don’t use social media.” 

    Social media helps to close gaps in communication between the consumer and brand, or, in this case – the salesperson. The more you can connect with consumers on their preferred channel, the better off your entire business is.

  3. “The vast majority of prospects want to read emails at 5 and 6 a.m.”  

    This means that CRM and marketing automation tools can be especially useful to salespeople today, to help automate tasks like this to keep the sales cycle moving forward without sacrificing a personal touch. Today’s technology is equipped to handle and help salespeople handle this modern consumer demand. Decision-makers are morning people (apparently)! Make sure your email sends are too.

  4. “Emails that contain one to three questions are 50% likelier to get replies than emails without any questions”   

    This implies that consumers and buyers appreciate a well-thought-out email that gets their own wheels churning. Come up with a few effective questions to send their way to show you are concerned for and addressing their needs from the beginning of your relationship.

  5.  Here are the MOST effective words to put in your email subject line:

6.  And the MOST ineffective words to use in your email subject line are:

7.   The more you write, the less likely you are to get a response.

Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply. However, you shouldn’t be too brief: A 25-word email is roughly as effective as a 2000-word one. What’s the sweet spot? Between 50 and 125 words — or around the length of this paragraph.

8.   Salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects.

They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.

9.    Sales professionals with three to four years of selling experience spend 50% more time on training than those with two years or less and 110% as those with five years or more — probably because rookies aren’t sure if they’re going to stay in sales and veterans don’t believe they need to develop further.

10.   Here are the top ways to create a positive sales experience, according to buyers:

The stats are drawn from studies, surveys, and articles from trusted sources like  HubSpot, Baydin, Blue corona

Suggested readings: What is the best time to contact your leads?

 

If figuring out how to grow and effectively manage an In-House team seems like a huge obstacle and will largely distract you from growing your business, it’s a good investment to join hands with a reliable outsourcing partner because as per the old saying, the recruitment is like fishing, you need to go there, where are fishes and not too many fishermen.

In addition to it, you want to hit the market after making your mind ready to start up a business, you don’t want to waste months looking for a viable developer and recruitment process because the ideas should not wait for such hurdles when there are trusted outsourcing is available.

Apart from recruitment and developing, cost advantages of outsourcing cannot be underestimated, if you can get access to an outsourcing partner who has experience of nurturing talent pool over the years and serving for the business across verticals, and eventually which is more affordable too, a start-up should take advantage of that

When starting up a business or idea, the aspiring entrepreneurs always have a lot on their plates but a little time to do all. They envision hundreds of ways to make the start-up successful but can’t solely focus on it. That’s why the most well-known brands consider outsourcing to vendors, who specialize on those tasks, and that too with cost-effectiveness ensuring better ROI

As the owner of a start-up business, one should know that their time is gold, wasting a minute out of this could cost huge to your business, the best move to avoid such a scenario would be to delegate the task to people who specialize on each field. Outsourcing is the first and foremost solution to the dilemma, hence the start-up should wisely consider a reputable outsourcing partner to give you quality output for a reasonable price

Also, read Key steps to minimize the risk of outsourcing

Success Stories of Outsourcing

Story #1: Procter & Gamble 

Product companies, such as P&G, have a big challenge performing in a very rapidly changing market. It is critical to bring out a new product ahead of many competitors. So one day, after decades of product race, P&G made a decision to outsource some R&D activities. The result exceeded all the expectations. Outsourcing boosted its innovation productivity by 60% and generated more than $10 billion in revenue from over 400 new products. Today, about half of P&G’s innovation comes from external collaboration

Story #2: Unilever

While growing, transnational companies face dramatic operational problems. Well-known consumer products giant Unilever Europe, over the years, had expanded by country and division. As a result, different business groups and geographies operating across 24 countries were all using multiple ERP systems. In 2005 its leadership team made a strategic decision to integrate the company’s multiple business units into a single and create one ERP system across Europe. Not being a specialist in IT solutions, the company outsourced the development of ERP systems to external parties. As a result, these improvements have directly contributed to the € 700 million annual savings on operational activities.

Story #3 Mark McRae and his 30 companies

Here’s the story you probably haven’t heard of. Mark McRae is one of the Sunshine Coast entrepreneurs in Australia. He has successfully managed and own multiple businesses that is more than 30 companies! Having a wife and three children, he was still able to hire 1,300 people and generated $280 million in online and offline sales for his businesses. He says, that his secret is outsourcing. Mr. McRae wasn’t afraid to outsource to various countries, such as Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, the USA, and India. As a result, he enjoyed the benefits of working with global talents.


“Outsourcing can give you access to a dizzying array of highly skilled professionals from all over the world. For example, to produce a professional documentary, I hired a scriptwriter in the USA, film crew from Canada, post-production team in Croatia, and editor in Serbia.”
– Mark McRae.

Story #4 Acer 

Acer, the Taiwan-based personal computer maker, has used capability sourcing to make itself into the world’s second-largest PC manufacturer. Since the spin-off of its contract manufacturing operations in 2000, the company has made a big step ahead its competitors. The Acer executives knew it was good at branding and marketing and chose to outsource everything company had a harder time with, like manufacturing. The move led Acer to faster-growing sales and gains in market share. The company now maintains a strikingly lean and flexible operation. Its 6,800 employees represent a workforce less than a tenth the size of its largest competitor.

Story #5 JM Family Enterprises

JM Family Enterprises is a diversified automotive corporation whose principal businesses focus on vehicle distribution and processing; financial services and technology products. The company outsourced all mainframe hardware, software and operations because once mainframe usage leveled off at $8.2 billion. The outsourcing vendor immediately optimized operations so that critical month-end financial reports landed on the desks of JM Family executives on time. What hadn’t happened before?

“It was the same hardware. The same data. But they were able to gain efficiencies because they knew how to run a mainframe better than we were ever able to.”
–  Ken Yerves, Senior VP

These amazing stories show, how one good decision can bring great success and development for business. But, as we can see, it was not emotional and rush decisions. Outsourcing must be strategic and deliberate. We will keep sharing such insightful stories for you, keep following!!

Many companies, including yours, might find outsourcing to be a good idea as there is so much to be gained from it: operationally, financially and logistically. But there are also risks involved in this business model.

Several issues may crop up. For instance, the cost saving might not be what your company expected. The third party service provider might not be able to handle the scope of the project. It could even turn out that they may not have the personnel and the skills to execute the assignments; this, in turn, may impact the deliverables. If everything else seems fine, the quality of service provided by the outsourcing company might not be up to the standards expected by your company’s customers.

To manage such risks, take the following steps in a timely manner.

Key Steps to Minimize the Risk of Outsourcing

This first step should be taken at the initial stage itself. Start by discussing all relevant issues with the outsourcing firm. Structure the modalities of the agreement in such a way, that the success of the project is the joint responsibility of both your company and the third party service provider.

 

The burden of managing the risks and the responsibility for accurate execution of the process has to be shared by the concerned parties. This will ensure that neither side is in a position to shed accountability.

 

The outsourcing agreement should be such that it yields a specific business result to you as a client. Ensure that it does not merely become a channel for you to acquire inexpensive labor. The service provider should also be informed about the goals of the business model that your firm is trying to achieve, so that they can also take steps to contribute towards achieving those targets.

 

Document what quality means to your company. Document what quantity means. Define the parameters that represent success and the ones that represent failure. There should be timelines, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks for achieving targets. If these indicators are breached, then penalties should be imposed and an enquiry should be conducted into the probable cause of the failure to reach the agreed targets.

 

There should be a trial period where the outsourcing company could be put to test to check if they can handle the work. This could be of the duration of one month or three months or any other time period, that you both agree upon. In case the process fails during that time, then you always have the option of entrusting the project to another firm. If you are satisfied with the services, then you could finalize the agreement and the service provider can start the process in full earnest.

 

Business situations keep changing constantly. These changes impact both your firm as well as the service provider. That is why it is essential that the outsourcing model and the process methods are kept flexible. These models and methods should not fail with the slightest of changes. The process methods and the outsourcing terms should be amenable to changes as and when the needs of your firm progress.

Today, confidentiality is everything. Therefore, you should sign a non-disclosure agreement with the service provider. This will ensure that your company’s information is kept confidential. There will be certain processes where you might have to give access to the service provider to intranet sites and other important company information. It would be in your best interest to sign agreements with the service provider that protect the secrecy of this data. You could also conduct site visits at the office of the outsourcer to ensure that the data is being kept safe.

 

There are many businesses that insist on overseeing project recruitments by the service provider, so that only personnel that suit the company’s needs and have the right skills, are on-boarded. You could do this while outsourcing, especially if the work requires a specialized set of skills or access to extensive knowledge.

 

Finally, if you and the service provider plan everything well in advance by working out the smallest of details, planning for all eventualities and establishing strong backup plans, then the chances are very high that the outsourcing model could turn out to be a success.

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