B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

88: Is Outsourcing Sales Development On the Rise Again? w/ Dan Seabrook


Companies are choosing to outsource services much more than they were 6 months ago. 

Particularly for sales development services, but in many other functions, too.

Recently on B2B Revenue Acceleration, we featured Dan Seabrook, VP of Sales at Operatix, on why outsourcing sales development is on the rise again.

We talked about 3 reasons people are seeking outsourcing more than 6 months ago, changing client expectations, outsourcing: Cost vs. Flexibility, and the build and  transfer model of outsourcing

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is Aldia Mutier, and today I have the pleasure to be sharing the microphone with Dancy Brook, with the cost of the B to be a revenue acceleration show, as well as our VP worldwide sales at operatics. How are you today? That yeah, very good. Thank you. It's end of another long week, but it's been a good one. So yeah, soon, soon, the end of quarter to be start off a new one, new cycle, then probably the addition of a couple more great has. Absolutely absolutely, but today really what we wanted to speak about, and the reason why we wanted to have an epizer that is with done, is because we we want to add rather to pick of outsourcing. We've seen a big spike in our services, in fact a massive spike in term of demand. Tremendous amount of people coming to our website, not not all of them being good, and I think then we'll have will address that. But basically we believe that the outsourcing of the Bedr as Dr Function, LDR function, is on the rise and the best person that I could get on the shoe to discuss that with me with done, simply because it's a trench. She's every day speak to speaking to prospect speaking to clients and discussing their strategy with them. So let's stay even than really and get into the conversation here. You know, we can speak about covid nineteen and all that. I mean this is it is up and down. We are lugged down, that locked down. The market is difficult, it's more difficult to find opportunities, etc. Etc. So then, from your perspective, what are the key reason why businesses and outsourcing mark the moment? Yeah, so I think it's worth starting with the point that when covid sort of first impacted the Western world, let's say at the beginning of March time, I wasn't actually convinced that we would see a shift towards outsourcing. I actually thought that we could have seen a bit of impact on our business negatively, just because of often the old adage is that marketing budgets get kept cut first and and in a lot of the cases we're getting paid for by marketing. Having said that, it's kind of been the opposite that actually so. I'm sure in some instant in marketing budgets have been cut. I'm sure cefods are looking at budgets across the board, but what we've benefited from is that there's been kind of point one really is that there's been a shift of marketing budgets or a repurposing in market marketing budgets. So whereas historically marketing teams have spent a lot of their dollars on events and in person activities, there's clearly been a complete reduction or in fact there is no longer any in person events or activities right now, and so they've had to find another way or a solution to generating the same amount of leads and...

...fighteline and revenue, because in a lot of cases a their targets of state consistent. And so where where we've come in a lot of those cases that we are, I guess, a remote solution to pipeline generation, and so we've benefited from that. The second point I would make is there's a risk factor that comes with hiring teams internally or hiring people internally obviously we're in a bit of an uncertain economy right now in all parts of the world and there's challenges with recruitment first and foremost. But then once you get that person on board, there's challenges that if the economy takes a turn for the worst, which you know many countries it is, there's a challenges will will we actually still be able to maintain that person's employment in six months or nine months time? And so there's a kind of D risk factor, which is you can outsource for a period of time, and not that we like to see ourselves as a as an ad hoc service, but we do bring more flexibility than having an employment contract with with a person that you have internally, and so I think there's an element of d risking that pipeline generation process. The final point is that, and it kind of is on the same point as a d risking piece, which is around it gives company we give companies the ability to test resources before hiring internally, and I think we'll probably talk about that more later on, but ultimately, with the ability to run a program for three or six or twelve or months, really test if that resource is the right person to work for their business really build up a run rate of success, get to the point where they trust them, the communication is in the right place, and then it may be the at that point in time the economy is more stables. They have more confidence. But ultimately we give companies the ability to test success of this kind of function and and process before hiring internally. And again that gives a bit more confidence to CFOs and hiring managers during unstable economy whereby they can actually test the success of a of this function for a three month or six month or twelvemonth period before making the decision to bring that function internally. And that could tie in with a with a with an upturn in the economy. So they have more confidence that that's going to be a long term higher and it also gives them the ability to to actually be bringing somebody on board that's fully wrapped up, trained and it completely eradicates that that's kind of typical job abandonment or risk facts that you may see with bringing on board a new higher. So they're they're wid sweeping. No points, but there's some of the key trends are seen over the last few months. Okay, but does this very useful and you know, I guess you are used to do to the normal trends of I want to accelerate my bay plane. I want to get to a new region, umber European company, on Israeli company, I want to go to the US of a versa or I'm a US company and I want to grow at I've got in main down on market. I've already got any insight team, but I want people who are a bit more productive and all that which I can of do the usual sales player's you. You, you would have had pre covied I. is your message or conversation? Are Your conversation with prospect changing bays on words you...

...just describe. I've you seen the expectations of client changing? Have you had to adapt the way you actually sell and consult with them? Yeah, definitely, I think. I think what it all comes back to right now in a lot of cases is that we're having to be, I guess, more like consultative and more like consultants in the cell process. So we've always been a, I guess, a Challenger based or consultative based sales company in in that sense. But what we're saying is that people that are very experienced markets or VP's of sales crows. Clearly they know, they know their job and they know their industry, but they don't really know what's working and not working across the market today in a changing economic environment and changing kind of landscape. And so the first thing is that a lot of the time people are coming to us and asking for our advice just in a consultative manner. And and the good news about operatic tives that we probably have over a hundred and ten active technology clients, and so we have the advantage of coming at those conversation from almost like a bird tide view where we can look down, look across them, the the market and consult based on what we're seeing working with other companies of a similar similar size and similar market at their targeting. Now, when it comes to actually investing in this kind of service, and I'm sure it's applies to other sales and marketing services that they're investing in, there definitely seem to be more of a an urgency here and now to to get a very quick return on investment. And I think well, how that translates in in our world is that ultimately they want opportunities here and now and they're a lot of companies are moving away from a kind of Challenger based approach where they want to bring insights and and an education to the prospects and they're focused on closing business here and now and again. An operatics we very much have the Challenger based approach and what we're trying to do with push back on those companies and actually bring insights to them, to to to to educate them around what we see working and not working today and enable them to understand that actually trying to have a short term view on closing business or generating a return in an economic downturn, it's actually not the most sensible way of looking at things and in fact it's still prudent to take a long term view on sales and marketing development and pipeline generation. And classic example is is this week I've had a couple of conversations with companies where they're coming back after maybe we spoke to them six months go and they're saying, oh well, we're desperate to do something now and we're having two most pushed back and say well, look, you know where we can help you, but we're not magicians. This is something that we can support you with over a three or six or a nine month period. But it's not something that we can turn the tap on and support you to identify opportunities that are going to close today. And so clearly that pressure coming down from probably a finance team, a CFO, a CEO looking down and saying we must get returned quickly from your investment. But what we...

...actually believe is is almost the opposite, is you've got to probably turn your turn, turn your focus to more how can you bring insights and education and challenge prospects way of thinking so that actually, whenever I need to buy your front of q and and I think that is definitely a changing kind of conversation that we're having. Yeah, it's probably also shifting the way the the sets team would have to approach the conversation. So I've been in similar conversation where basically had to say, particularly in the channel, well, you know, people want larger opportunities and the are what you need to put us in front of, dealer, that two hundred, two hundred and fifty k. We need to start that at the at the seal overl CTO, CIOCI is so of this organization or CMOS or stuff like that. But what I'm getting them as a we can do all that, but just make sure you don't go to the meeting with a brush on there your arm and a poll point presentation of your product. Just make sure that you go to the meeting to have a conversation. It's a fantastic opportunity to have a conversation with people. People are willing to converse because it's probably, you know, destructive what's happening out there and it's a good time for people to say, he look, this is all the issues that we are having. People are feeling more comfortable to speak about their issues because everybody is in the same business and baskets. Yeah, we all in the same in the same in a about say wellness and shit. Well, all in the same boat. So I think it's really at this moment that you can, as a selfs person, come in have a conversation really as question, to understand the context and, based on the contents, then try to position your solution or position your offering, if relevant, by the way, rather just doing the traditional selling kind of algorithm that has existed in the past. You know, I want to scale sale. Okay, I've got BIDEA that get meetings make guy is good to meetings. They do a demodel for certain minutes. After the DEM always them if they want to buy, if they don't want to buy, up we move to the next one. I think things have changed and I think it's very important to really look at the Challenger sels approach which, by the way, the book was kind of written originally as part of the downturn into thousand and eight and trying to understand why it sells. People were still doing good. Some sells people were still doing good in the dawn term. But yeah, I see it as an opportunity from yourself perspective, but I think it takes so fundamental change in term of expectation from cells, and I agree with you that. I've I have been in the conversation my self with people saying I need to I need you to find me band qualified opportunities. I'm like, okay, but you know, at the moment it's a little bit up in the air and we've got all these people at will be willing to speak to you. Don't really have a project as such, but they have an interest and pain points. They need something similar to your stuff, but they are kind of figuring out what they should. Do you want to speak to them or do you want them to wait until someone else go and kind of influence their mindset and then influence them to potentially by their solution? I appreciate that there...

...is a bit of a balancing act here and I think it's good that you bring that early in the conversation with prospect because setting up expectation, as we know in a service business, is is critical for the success of the relationship and critical for the success of the program now you know, one of the destructive question that we've always have gotten. I don't know if that change are not within the current climate, but it is more expensive to out source? Is that an objection that you get a lot at the moment, or do you see people saying no, I don't care what the cause, I want flexibility, or do you still have to address the is it costing more to out source question? Yeah, sure, I mean I think that's I think that's a question now we've will that we faced consistently probably since the business we found it. It's a question that probably is coming up people more than ever as well, and what I would say is I think that has had an impact on probably some longer sales cycles in some instances, or perhaps not longer sales cycled, but more of a consensus based decision whereby there's got to be a lot more sign off from a lot more individuals at different levels within the business. So it definitely seen a bit of a shift in terms of the overall pattern of selling. What I would say is that one of the things out or one of the elements that we're using as a discussion point with prospects and clients right now when when they raise that objection, is around, I guess, the the the opportunity costs that they could lose if they if they don't evaluate an ouncedurcer for the right reasons and not just based on price. And one of the things right now is that, you know, we're looking at our business and we've seen a lot of changes over the last five to six months. One of the first things is that we've had to probably hire around thirty five, thirty six people in the last three to four months alone. Naturally, that brings that's been a unique challenge in terms of being able to recruit firstly and identify traits and characteristics and and all of those things. When, when not set in a room to get up. The second thing is the onboarding piece, which is becoming it was a challenge, but it's something that we could overcome very quickly due to the sheer scale that we're doing it at, because know in a very short amount of time we have the ability to see what's working not working due to the volume of people coming through the door. And and but going back to the overall, overall challenge, when companies are evaluating whether we're more expensible or not, we have to talk about the data. And if we look at our business again, at the scale of it, is that we have around two hundred people doing the job that our clients may have one or two or even twenty internally. And the reality is the amount of data that we can collect instantly in one day is going to take our clients or prospects ten days if they've got a team of twenty, two hundred days if they've got a team of one. It's a lot more challenging for them to keep iterating and refining their process to recruiting and...

...on boarding, as they a say, as they navigate their way through this covid period. And and so what that means is it increases their risk when they hire and it in preases their rate of job abandonment or on boarding abandonment, which is something that is obviously going to always be a challenge. And then moving forward beyond that, even if they move through the on boarding, it probably increases the risk of abandonment in the first one or three or six months and the cost of that, the essentially the recruitment and retention cost of that, suddenly start far outweighing the cost of working with a company like operatic is the ability that we have to analyze the data it or a refine up our approach and make the necessary adjustments in order to ensure that we have a solid recruitment process, a seemless transition to the on boarding and then the support and team environment for them to be successful once they get through the door and and ramp up over that first three or six months. And because of that we have a really low job Abanda membrate and a very high, or very quick, I guess, return on our investment that they can be successful quickly, and so I think the cost of objection kind of goes out of the window when you have that conversation, because what it comes back to is the opportunity cost. That's that's that's of not doing something or evaluating absoluting partner on that basis then just looking purely at the at a salary compariu. Yeah, but it's it's almost like you're speaking about the cust of adaptation and if you add up quickly, you're in a risky place. And basically we ordered that they we've got. I mean I remember the guys like the team in the US telling me, Oh, yeah, we doing a state based state analysis, so then we can go back to our clients. But clay and when, when the first slog done was starting to take place and you know, we would see the the the sus and region being very responsive still, but we would see New York and the New York metro busting area, so kind of east coast and the California West course parts of the country being pretty much in shutdown, very difficult to get anyone to respond to anything. Demos, next steps of meetings not taking place, people just saying look, you know, we can progress anything. Basically people freezing stuff in some states and some other states being able to steal have conversation. I remember the shift that the gays pre put in place in pretty much two weeks, three weeks in in going back to all our clients and saying, okay, well, we need to put my thoughts in those regions, because there is still an appetite. In th South region. We see the stats going down and while we can carry on, this is not it doesn't make any economical sense to keep pushing. So you know all those three adjustments already. From my perspective, the cost of the adaptation and as Truss, with all the data we've got, we we we can adapt quicker and then we can consult and share those finding these best practices with other our clients. It does make it does make a lot of sense. I wanted to go back to one finess you mentioned.

It's going to be my last question to you. I want you to go back to the bull and transfer model, so you know, instead of me explaining what it is and explaining why it's relevant in today's market, without sourcying, but I guess you know, the whole point is that we have had to adapt ourselves as well and we had to make out sourcing more affordable, more pertinent, more relevant for our clients. So can you, can you just touch based on the on the build and transform model and the other things that we've developed to adapt, I'll said, to the to that in or changing market at the moment. Yeah, absolutely so. I think in terms of outsourcing, it seems to be a trend that has peaks and troughs over the year, based on whatever research is released by analyst firms like gardener or forester or see be over over the periods of years. But, having said that, at anyone time I think it's clear that at some point our clients or companies out there will want to have functions internally in it for most of their functions in their business, and what we're trying to really do is is offer a solution to work with the company like us for hopefully a long period of time, but if it's for a shorter period of time, they have the ability to actually get more than just a short ad hoc program with an outsourced company and actually perhaps get the resource from that as well. What we've we've tried to to develop is almost a concept around of conveyor belt of talent, which is we don't want to become a recruitment company, so we're not going to organizations with the value proposition of we want to be a source of staff for your team, but at the same time we're giving them near the ability to test people before they actually hire internally. And ultimately what that means is a couple of things. The first thing is that at times, if, for example, we're working with a startup that are just transitioning from the US to Europe or vice versa, they may not really have the infrastructure or the team in or even an office, whatever that may be, to actually build a team internally, and they may not even have the inclination to do that. But if, if, at some point they do want to do that, but perhaps today is not quite the right time, it may be for a one year period. They're very transparent and they will look, we want to work with you for twelve months, but at x point in the future we want to start building that function internally, and we give them a kind of seamless way to do that, which is we can work with them for that period of time. They can test the success of a certain resource or resources. They can develop processes which can be consulted on by us. So we can help them to develop processes. We can test the resonance of the message in the market. If that's a if that's a necessary thing to do, we can refine the approach and then we can get to a point where the resource is fully wrapped up, trained, delivering good results and they have confidence in them. It's at that point in time that they can recruit that person and then they knock on. Positive impact of that is that when they're hiring that person, it's almost a no risk higher so they they they skip that piece that I was talking about around job abandonment or boarding abandonment.

They skip that because that person fully trained, trusted and ramped up. Now all clearly there's a there's a cost that comes along with that, which is very similar to how you'd pay a recruiter, but the value is is is for the reasons that are described before. So it's kind of coming a lot more of a trend. Again, we don't want to be seen as a recruitment company, but we give me that. We're giving companies the ability to have a seamless kind of transition away from that outsource model to perhaps a hybrid outsourcing source model, to a to a fully insource model at some point in the future. Yeah, that's makes sense. That makes perfect. Sen Sports. Thank you are very much for your time today. Then he was great chatting with you and discuss through the topicle we just went through. If anyone wants to connect with you, I mean we probably wouldn't know what to find you, but I guess linkedin would be the best way. Yeah, that would be that would be the most appropriate way. Okay, could great many things once again, and yeah, it was. It was great. Two of you in the show. Will See you India. Fee is very certain wonderful. Thank you very much. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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