3 Common Misconceptions About Business Development

Author:

Aurelien Mottier
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Episode

34

3 Common Misconceptions About Business Development

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Dan Seabrook

VP Sales at Operatix

“Isn’t it cheaper to build our own in-house sales development team?”

“How would an external, outsourced BDR mesh with our existing, in-house marketing team?”

These are great questions, and Dan has the answers (and more).

This episode we tackle misconceptions businesses have about external BDRs and SDRs. Also, we introduce our new co-host, Dan Seabrook.

Dan is the VP of Sales at Operatix, where he’s been for over 4 years, coaching and developing sales teams. He reports directly to the CEO (our co-host Aurelien Mottier).

Misconception 1: Outsourcing SDR/BDR Teams Is More Expensive

This is a common question we hear:

Isn’t it much more expensive to hire an outside company to do business development?

At first glance, it may appear cheaper to hire and develop your own business development or sales development team. But you shouldn’t simply compare a single SDR salary to the price of an external service.

Here are the other costs associated with hiring sales or business development teams:

  • Managing personnel
  • 401K contributions
  • Target account data collection & analysis
  • Time to value: If it takes 90 days of onboarding, training, & teaching an SDR before they provide value, that increases your cost substantially.
  • Language barriers — If you have a variety of clients who speak different languages, it may not make sense to hire a single employee who speaks only English. Instead, you need a sales staff that speaks multiple languages.

Other Considerations:

Product-knowledge versus problem-solving: Internal sales team often have a difficult time seeing past their product. They do well with inbound, because someone who has engaged with your company is probably interested in the technicality behind the product.

But in ABM, when you are proactively going after target accounts, especially within the C-suite, you need to be able to discuss issues.

From experience we can tell you this: The C-suite is tired of hearing about products. They want to hear how someone will solve their problems.

Skill Shortage & Scaling Quickly: Often times, our clients aren’t worried about price at all. Their issue is simply finding talent in the geography they need it, regardless of how much they are willing to pay. In tech sales right now, there are lots of jobs, and not enough people to fill them.

Then of course there’s retention. Recruiters will often tell employees they can get a higher increase in pay by switching companies than by internal promotion.

Misconception 2: Sales & Marketing Alignment Is Harder With External Sales Teams

We understand the alignment concern — it’s a hot topic right now.

We think alignment has far less to do with internal vs. external, and everything to do with how aligned a company is from day one.

Here’s how we ensure sales and marketing alignment for our clients:

  • Day 1 clarity — We ensure that from Day 1, there is clarity between our clients’ sales and marketing teams. We are typically hired by one team or the other, and the very first thing we do is approach the other side of the coin, and ensure we are all on the same page.
  • Define objectives — “It’s about integration into the customer’s objectives,” says Dan. He’s right. An external team should only exist to ensure their customers’ objectives are accomplished.
  • Communication — This extends beyond the quarterly, monthly, weekly, & daily, business meetings, because we also know how important the anecdotal is. When we handle sales for a client, we relay back the qualitative feedback we are hearing from their customers.

Misconception 3: Inquiries From Junior-Level Contacts Aren’t Qualified Leads

When we ask our clients what issues they are having with their in-house sales and marketing teams, we often hear this:

Sales: “Our marketing team isn’t sending us qualified leads.”

Translation: Leads from marketing contain leads from junior-level contacts, or others who lack decision-making authority.

Solution: Wholistic outlook, and proactive ABM approach.

left quote
right quote

Marketing’s goal isn’t the delivery of the perfect lead. It’s to create engagement with a target account

Dan Seabrook

This is a problem we tackle a lot, and here’s how we do it: First of all, only about a max 30% of the time, is an MQL from someone who’s at the right level, at the right time, from the right account. But guess what? 100% of leads give you some sort of information.

Let’s look at an example: Say that here at Operatix, an executive decides we need to to buy a desk. The executive probably isn’t going to be the person making the inquiry — they will likely ask another employee to check on it. The employee will report back to the executive, who will provide additional context/direction, and information will go back and forth, creating a long sales cycle.

However, from a customer service perspective, and from an information-gathering perspective, that junior-level employee is a key player. His or her inquiries tell you that Operatix is interested in a purchase, and now the question is: “Who are the other 5 to 10 people in the company with whom we need to engage to create a sale?”

This post is based on an interview with Dan Seabrook.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

powered by Sounder

About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

Simplifying Sales Emails: Creating Compelling Campaigns

Ollie Whitfield

Managing outsourced sales teams: 4 tips for success

Aoife Daly

Your Go-To-Market Strategy Done Right

Pete Crosby

Ready to get started?

Learn more about how we can get work as an extension of your Sales & Marketing teams to drive more revenue.

Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Recorded Testimonial: RXVantage

Fill in the form below and receive the recorded testimonial of Jeremy Gilman. 

Recorded Testimonial: Qualys

Fill in the form below and receive our recorded testimonial from Joerg Vollmer, the General Manager at Qualys.

Recorded Testimonial: Incorta

Fill in the form below and receive the recorded testimonial of Emily Lewis. 

Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

Recorded Testimonial: Bitglass

Fill in the form below and receive our recorded testimonial from Aya Fawzy, the former director of Bitglass.