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Once the Sales Process is determined and the metrics are in place, companies require feet on the street Salespeople to make things happen.  Often smaller firms will hire Business Development staff tasked specifically with opening new doors, and generally seek them at a level just above typical lead generation mechanisms, where qualification of prospects becomes the next logical extension.  This is the class “Hunter” that prospects and develops.

As companies mature there is a natural recognition of the repeat sales potential of every large account and they hire Account Managers.  Account Managers have a different skillset, that of the “Farmer” who cultivates relationships over time, generally looking for longer-term, larger sales.

Typical Salespeople, be they Business Developers or Account Managers or a hybrid of both are paid on a base plus commission basis.  Business owners try to strike a balance between minimizing a base, or fixed component, of each Salesperson’s salary, opting for a larger variable or performance piece, and having what is necessary to attract the best Salespeople to the company.

That balance can be hard to strike, and unfortunately a large percentage of these folks fail for an assortment of reasons, many of which have to do with the company itself: consistent marketing efforts, a proven Sales Process, a solid and accurate database of prospects and customers, reputation, and ability to fulfill the promise.  Of course, performance can suffer because of the lack of discipline and skills of each Salesperson as well, which tends to be what most CEOs believe.

For emerging firms, that base plus compensation will generally run in excess of $100,000 per year, with sales cycles often taking 6 months to a year to develop a producing Sales pipleline.  That’s an investment many early stage firms simply cannot make given the high failure rate.

What if you could stick to your core competence as a business and completely or partially outsource the Sales Process, minimizing your fixed component of salary, zeroing out your sales training costs and the cost of talent acquisition?

Your Virtual Sales Force

Smart Company Growth will provide the leveragable sales assets for emerging firms, particularly technology product or service companies, on a part-time and predominantly performance-driven basis.  We will source appropriate level sales talent either on a full-time, or in some cases, a part-time basis, that will help you develop new accounts and exploit those that you have.  We will take on clients for a minimal retainer, with a large percentage of our fee coming in the form of commissions on performance.

Business Development

The primary purpose of a Business Developer is to prospect and develop new business, running down and qualifying leads and bringing them to a certain stage of the sale from hand-off to the technical team to closing.  The Business Developer has lead generation as a centerpiece of his duties, but is not strictly a telemarketer.  He has skills to meet with prospects and develop sales opportunities.

Account Management

An Account Manager is assigned specific accounts or targets for your firm, and after introductions is tasked with fully exploiting all inside opportunities for revenue, cross-sell other services, upsell to premium service levels, and extend contracts.  This person is not a lead generator and has a finite stable of major accounts to work with.

How to Qualify

Smart Company Growth will not outsource sales for any company.  There is a careful evaluation of all prospective clients for this service in order to minimize our business risk and ensure the highest opportunity for success with our clients.  Each potential client needs to meet the following criteria to enter into this program:

  1. Must be either an emerging technology company with a clear competitive advantage and established market for products or services, or a mature company with a history of sales success within the past three years.  If a clear competitive advantage is not known, the company must demonstrate a willingness to first discover that advantage and Sales Process on a preliminary consulting basis.
  2. Product or Service must be mature with demonstrable ability to deliver on sales within the time expected by the market.
  3. The average initial sale for products and services must exceed $20,000.
  4. Company must have a standard level of marketing effort in terms of sales tools, online presence, product demos, seminars and webinars, and marketing literature.
  5. Company must have at least 3 solid, existing customer success stories with those customers willing and able to serve as references.
  6. Company leadership must be willing to make an investment in this process in terms of an inside senior leadership point of contact, agreeing to expectations, a suitable retainer plus commission package, and a minimum contract of four (4) to six (months) for evaluation and refinement of the process.  Company needs to provide resources or reimbursement for typical sales technology such as laptops, mobile phones, and prospecting database subscriptions.

Sales Outsource Options

Participating companies in the Sales Outsourcing program will have a variety of options once accepted into the program, such as…

  • Business Development and/or Account Management – talent provided in the appropriate mix, as needed, and extendable as the company grows the top line.
  • Full-time or Part-time – sales talent is generally full-time and dedicated, but certain clients may be able to engage their Salesperson on a part-time basis to limit costs, with expectations set accordingly.
  • Temp to Perm – certain client agreements may include the provision to hire our contract Salespeople after a given period of time.