Taking Products to Market

Taking Products to Market

A Look at Growth Through the Lens of Enterprise Sales

As a business consultant, I have had the opportunity to work with countless small business owners and entrepreneurs who were just getting started. I often asked them to discuss their strategy for getting their business off the ground, and they had plenty to say in this regard. But when I asked them how many revenue streams they had and how much they planned to generate in sales each year, it floored me each time they randomly blurted out a sales figure. I heard numbers such as $1 million a year or $250,000 a month, but I knew that there was no real sale strategy behind those numbers. It was as though they were aimlessly blurting out these numbers without a substantial plan that justified their sales goals. My next question to them was “How do you plan to make $1 million a year or $250,000 a month?” That’s when the look of confusion appeared – as they were completely unaware of how they’d go from little to no sales, to a $1 million dollars in sales. Because obviously having a great product or service alone will not generate a million dollars in sales.

They were completely unaware of how they’d go from little to no sales, to $1 million dollars in sales.

I have also witnessed entrepreneurs who are really great at what they do, but have absolutely no sales experience or know-how when it comes to capturing new customers and keeping a steady stream of new prospective clients in the pipeline. Sadly, most of them are clueless in this regard and are puzzled by the lack of response their product or service is receiving in the marketplace. If you’re struggling with placing your product or service into the marketplace, below is some helpful information that may be very useful to you.

Why Many Small Businesses Struggle with Sales

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs do poorly in sales because most of them have only learned how to develop and hone in on the skills that are necessary to deliver quality products and services, but they never learned about generating sales. For example, a music producer may be great at producing songs but can’t sell water in the desert. The same holds true for other professionals as well; such as accountants, attorneys, dentists, and more. Each of them has taken the time to acquire the skills necessary to render quality services but have little to no marketing and sales experience. For others who have taken the time to find quality products to resell, many still face the same challenge of not being able to generate adequate sales. Many ask themselves, “Why aren’t my products or services selling?” And the answer is simple; it’s basically because most of them don’t realize that selling is a specialized skill within itself. It takes sales training to properly launch products and services into the marketplace. It takes much more than just having knowledge about a product or service. It takes an experienced sales team.

Barriers to Entry

Many businesses may have experienced some level of sales, but not enough to put them on the map. Many have run into challenges and were blocked by various barriers to entry, such as competition, who have already captured a large percentage of the market share; or other barriers, such as pricing, legal and compliance issues or other factors that are preventing them from getting products into the marketplace.

Businesses that are experiencing success have something that poorly performing businesses don’t have. Such as:

• Knowledge about the sales process
• An experienced sales team
• Specialized industry experience
• The ability to identify target markets and market segments
• A short-term and long-term sales strategy

To be successful in sales, a company also needs to have a step-by-step, strategic sales plan developed by first identifying potential customers that will provide you with realistic sales goals based on justifiable facts

 

Inside Sales Staff vs an Outside Sales Team – Key Advantages

Some advantages of working with an outside sales force as opposed to hiring an internal sales staff consist of the following:

1. Savings on payroll taxes – An outside sales force is responsible for paying their own taxes.
2. Savings on sales-related expenses – You will not be responsible for additional selling expenses, such as office space, telephone expense, travel expense, and other related expenses.
3. A better match of the product mix with the market segment. Because of their industry experience, a knowledgeable sales team can better match multiple products and services with the right market segment. Primarily because there is an industry specialist representing each product or service.

What it Takes to Succeed in Sales

In order to succeed in sales, you need a sales team whose knowledge of sales equals your knowledge of your product or service. You need someone who knows sales and marketing strategies, who is also able to get around all forms of barriers to entry. An on-demand sales force is a team of highly trained sales professionals capable of helping business owners and entrepreneurs get their product or service into the marketplace. They can make your life easier by combining their expertise and knowledge with critical information about your product or service to come up with the best marketing and sales strategy possible. They can leverage businesses’ current contacts and begin building a list of more realistic prospects.

To be successful in sales, a company also needs to have a step-by-step, strategic sales plan developed by first identifying potential customers that will provide you with realistic sales goals based on justifiable facts, as opposed aimless goals that are not supported by anything.

How an Outside Sales Team can Be of Assistance to You

A professional and experienced outside salesperson, such as the sales professionals on Swarmsales, can assist you by changing the way sales is done. They are already strategically positioned to work with key industry leaders in a variety of market sectors, and they are ready to go to bat for you. They can easily develop a plan that puts your product or service in the heart of quality sales leads based on the demands in the current marketplace. This will allow you to do what you do best: focus on delivering great products and services. While you are focused on your job, they focus on putting your product or service in front of the right audience.

Swarmsales sales professionals are seasoned and have established relationships with other top sales agents in designated industries. Their on-demand sales services can become an added value to your current business operations. Not only will they assist you with reaching your sales goals, but they will also provide you with measurable results.

This process will lend itself to increasing brand awareness, customer loyalty and ultimately, repeat sales.

Article created by Monica Stewart from Newzlet

5 things You Need in Your Company Sales Kit Before You Start Selling

5 things You Need in Your Company Sales Kit Before You Start Selling

I am constantly amazed by the variety of companies that approach us after burning through a significant chunk of their investments, missing the basic sales kits. They lack assets that sales professionals need to successfully understand and represent their offering back to their customer base. In the last few months, we’ve reviewed hundreds of companies and there are 5 pieces of information we find every great company has invested in. We also had a chance to survey our sales professional community and they came back with these as their top requirements to effectively engage a company and get them into their target accounts.

5. YouTube Videos In the digital age where information is always ready to be consumed, people want access to information and they want it fast! Since sales professionals are usually out and about, they rarely have the luxury of sitting down and going through your value prop. However, they do watch and listen. When we asked our seller community, it was no surprise that YouTube videos were voted as one of the best mediums to share content. We also found that more and more companies are investing in these assets which are fairly easy to produce. Today, companies are investing in explainer videos as well as pitch and demo videos that can be easily uploaded and shared. We’ve asked a lot of the founders who are on our Swarmsales today to create these videos and often it’s as simple as launching and recording a GoToMeeting session. The key here is making sure you wrap it up in 3-5 mins, and if you can’t get the value prop within that timeframe – then you have another set of issues you have to deal with.

Tools to use: GoToMeeting, or WebEx, (any conferencing software with recording ability), iMovie, or something similar for editing, and a YouTube Account.

4. Target Buyers If you haven’t identified your target buyers or at least the persona, you should probably stop reading and prioritize this exercise. This is single handedly one of the most important things you should know. If tomorrow you were to secure a meeting, your constituents should clearly know who, what, and why are they reaching out to them. It’s amazing how many companies have misidentified the buyers for their offering. This is where companies die. You could be talking to someone that is trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, while your time and precious engineering resources are being devoured. You can’t afford that. If you absolutely don’t know or aren’t sure if you have the right target buyer, go work with folks to figure this out, it will help you.

3. Battle cards Often defined as a solution matrix or a competitive card, a battle card serves multiple purposes. The core reason sellers love battle cards is because they deliver a quick-glance capability and help establish which use cases to qualify when meeting with your target client. Battle cards also help in positioning your solution against the incumbent products that you are trying to displace. I’ve seen some amazing battle cards where you can understand a company’s complete strategy based on this offering. We absolutely require companies to at least put some thought into these cards, because sellers tend to lean more towards representing companies that have invested the time in building these.

2. Email Templates Granted, the days of email templates are certainly numbered. However, giving sales professionals a loose script to follow via email or phone call is still a good idea. You know the catch phrases and terminology your industry uses best. So go ahead and arm your sales professional with as much data as you can reasonably supply. Email templates or any scripts, really, will help them start the conversation with ease. For top tier sales professionals, that’s more than enough to get them out of the gate.

1. Elevator Pitch – Can you articulate your elevator pitch in 30 seconds? If not start recording yourself and get to it. There is a reason why it’s called an elevator pitch – the best sellers who have some of the most amazing relationships walk the halls of your target accounts and if they are going to drop by and get your target buyers attention, they have 30 seconds to do it. By having a well constructed elevator pitch you will find that sellers are able to pitch your value prop quickly and secure a meeting. So take the time to put your pitch forward, and heck, if you need us to review it, we would be happy to do so. After all, you will need it before we approve you on Swarmsales.

Ankur Srivastava is the CEO and Co-Founder of SwarmSales. 

Sales Training Webinars

Sales Training Webinars

Are you part of a channel sales organization or are you an independent enterprise sales professional looking for great solutions to sell to your enterprise accounts?

Come join any (or all) of the live training webinars that companies on our platform are hosting. In each of the 30 minute webinars, an executive of the host company will address the following questions for you to understand the basics of how to sell their solution into the enterprise.

We have several webinars every week and we welcome you to contact our Customer Success team to get a complete list of current webinar schedules by emailing cs@swarmsales.com

Register for the Nimeyo training session for Sales Professionals – Time:
Dec 12, 2016 12:00 PM in (GMT-8:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada): Registration URL: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/64e53cc0f81adc5ed746f627e8486654

Register for the ParkMyCloud training session for Sales Professionals – Time:
Dec 14, 2016 12:00 PM in (GMT-8:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada): Registration URL: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/19b60c42931521368c34be5db4a05ad8

Register for the FoyerLive training session for Sales Professionals – Time:
Dec 19, 2016 12:00 PM in (GMT-8:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada): Registration URL: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/417a70bf5cad954f4ac87b605f06faf5

The agenda to be covered on the webinar for each company is the following:

What is ParkMyCloud’s value proposition for the Enterprise?
What type of companies can benefit from their solution?
What are the most impactful use cases to go after?
What is their elevator pitch?
Who should you be targeting as a seller?
Who is the competition?
What qualifying questions to ask prospects when engaging in a new sales cycle?
What Objections to expect and how to handle them.
Q&A

SwarmSales Customer Spotlight: Park My Cloud

SwarmSales Customer Spotlight: Park My Cloud

Hard to believe that we launched the marketplace only 3 months ago. Since then we’ve  on-boarded several companies and have launched multiple campaigns that are getting several bids from sales professionals within moments of creating them. That is the true power of the Swarmsales marketplace; connecting top-tier sales professionals and disruptive companies and making deals happen.

Here’s a closer look at how one company is successfully using SwarmSales today.  

Company Name: Park My Cloud

Area: AWS Cloud

Target Clients: Any client using AWS

Deal Cycle: 1-2 Months

Interview with Jay Chapel, CEO

Park My Cloud is a simple web app to quickly schedule start/stop times for idle AWS EC2 instances. The company  is a year old, and we have big brands using it already.  We were looking to accelerate sales in multiple countries, Swarmsales seemed like the perfect fit. We and the SwarmSales team understand the importance of a sales person and their relationships at certain accounts.  So in no time, we got set up on Swarmsales and received 40+ bids from highly qualified sales professionals at the target accounts we were looking to get into.

Creating Park My Cloud’s profile on Swarmsales was easy. It is pretty straightforward to upload product information and post a campaign. Once you post a campaign, sales professionals start to bid on your campaign. Pair that with the amazing customer support provided by the Swarmsales Customer Success team and you have a lot of amazingness happening.

It’s been 4 weeks and we are in proof of concept phase with one of the key enterprise accounts.

Park My Cloud continues to be one of the top trending companies on the Swarmsales marketplace and as more and more top-tier sales professionals are on boarded they too can create bids back to Park My Cloud and unleash their uncapped earning potential.

Interested in getting Park My Cloud into one of your target accounts? Jump on www.swarmsales.com

#GetYourSalesOn

Why Sales Is Broken

Why Sales Is Broken

We’re saying it: Sales is broken. That might be a bold statement to make, but we know it to be true. Here’s what we found; in 2014, approximately 3,500 newly funded companies entered the market. In 2015, that number increased substantially with the entrance of approximately 4,300 new companies in the market. 2016’s numbers are projected to follow suit and increase as well. With this many companies targeting enterprises, and with countless sellers chomping at the bit to close sales and make money; why isn’t everybody winning? Why are there companies failing to bring in profit and sales professionals who are not closing as many deals as they are capable of? Furthermore, why aren’t great companies even getting meetings with their target clients?

We took the problem and broke it down into three areas: the emerging companies (startups), the top-tier sales professionals, and the large enterprises.

1. Emerging companies (startups) are having trouble breaking into their target markets.

All of these newly funded companies that enter the market each year have to go through some kind of sales process. The only problem is they are comprised of engineers, innovators, computer scientists and operations leaders. None of those is trained in the art of sales.Now, you might be thinking, “They know the product better than anyone else! They believe in this product. They put their blood, sweat and tears into this product, so of anyone, the creators should be able to sell their product, right?” Wrong. Having passionate belief in their solution is great, but it does not mean they possess the knowledge, experience, and the network necessary to close sales and make their company successful.

Instead, most of these companies are deploying heavy marketing using Google AdWords, SEO, SEM etc, just to generate leads. They are also being coerced by marketing engines to use popular terms to essentially fit their solution in a box, making it sound similar to everything else out there. While casting a wide net is not a bad idea, this type of marketing is an expensive value proposition for small sales deliverables. Not to mention, these are precious early investment dollars that should be benchmarked for engineering. We also realized that these emerging companies know very little about their target clients. So even if they are able to connect with a senior executive, it’s very hard for them to align their company’s value proposition back to an enterprise’s pain point. Ultimately, emerging companies have a need for top tier sales professionals that can help them navigate these enterprises in a sophisticated and discerning manner.

What’s more, prior to Swarmsales, the only other platform that existed for direct contact after email was LinkedIn. Because of that, enterprise executives are getting overloaded with messages, averaging 50-100 messages a day from junior sales reps. With that many cold messages, it’s easy for messages from top tier sales professionals to get lost in the mix.

2. Enterprises are overwhelmed with options.

Next, we looked at the problem from the perspective of the large corporations and found that because of the nature of the current company/seller market, enterprises are left with very few options when purchasing effective business solutions. If they go online to research a product that would meet their need, they are flooded with thousands of companies trying to target (re-target) them. If you don’t believe me, Google search “Cloud Based Analytics Solution.” You will notice that the companies with the biggest advertising dollars, such as the IBM’s, Oracle, SAS are up top and the many disruptive, emerging companies are below and are almost unidentifiable amongst the rest. How would an architect, systems engineer, or a DWH analyst find the product that is best suited for them when they have so many to sift through? There are the big names which feel more trustworthy, but may not be the right fit for them, and the ‘others’ who all look the same.

In speaking with some of these target buyers we discovered they were open to trying emerging technology to solve their pain point, but had become reluctant because 75% of the time when they attempted this approach without the assistance of a trusted sales professional, the product was not a fit. Bottom line: the larger enterprises want to consume emerging technology. They just have too many options out there, so they pick one of the big names because, hey- nobody looses their job by choosing the ‘safe’ option. The future of sales requires that enterprises work with trusted advisors, (much like what they get working with the big names) who can bring the best fitting, most innovative business solutions to them, instead of having to sift through the masses themselves.

3. Sales Professionals build precious relationships and then loose them constantly.

Even the best sales professionals working for some of the top large organizations are frustrated with the current state of sales. They take the time to nurture relationships with executives, they build trust and rapport, and then…BOOM! Territory change. In large corporations like Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft, salespeople are tasked with accounts and are expected to cultivate relationships, become a trusted advisor to the client, and subsequently drive a purchase for millions of dollars as quickly as possible. However, once the fiscal year or deal comes to a close, the accounts change and that seasoned seller now moves to another set of accounts. Great salespeople maintain these relationships regardless of the territory change, but are no longer able to monetize them.

Not to toot our own horn, but beep beep! We believe Swarmsales is the resolution to these holes in the sales process and is changing the way sales is done. We want to cultivate a platform where everybody wins. We want to see the most innovative companies succeed. We also want enterprises to benefit from our marketplace by integrating innovative business solutions into their organization through trusted, seasoned sales professionals. Lastly, we want to give our sales professionals the ability to monetize on their nurtured relationships and bring the best business solutions to their network, not just the most well known products.

If you would like to learn more about Swarmsales or register as a company or seller visit www.swarmsales.com and #GetYourSalesOn. 🙂

Sales Professionals On Demand

Sales Professionals On Demand

 

Hello, and welcome to Swarmsales!

If you got this far, you probably have an idea of what we’re doing here, but in case you’re still unclear, our mission is to change the way sales is done. We are a marketplace that allows companies to leverage experienced enterprise sales professionals who will lead their sales efforts on demand. Basically taking sales from a luxury to a utility.

We want our marketplace to be a win-win-win.

Our mission:
We want innovative companies enterprising their solutions, to enable seasoned sales professionals to tap into their knowledge, tenure, and relationships to unleash their uncapped earning potential. We want organizations to integrate best-fit business solutions, as brought to them by their trusted advisors on our marketplace.

Since the goal of our marketplace is to facilitate success; our blogs will be focused on that as well. We want to provide you with a sales encyclopedia of insights, ingenuity, creativity, and savvy. Our content will include topics related to enterprise sales, thought leadership, internal Swarmsales updates, and time-saving how-to’s. You will also get to hear from top sellers in terms of how they’ve grown and closed deals in various target accounts, as well as key stake holders from Fortune 500 companies on how to do business with their organizations.

We encourage you contribute to our blogs by leaving comments below. Let us know your thoughts, ask questions, and let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to cover.

If you would like to learn more about Swarmsales or register as a company or seller visit www.swarmsales.com and #GetYourSalesOn. 🙂