Tag Archives: Buying and Selling Business

How to Use Outsourced Telesales for Increased Market Share



By Megan Hottman

What is outsourced telesales?

Outsourced telesales is partnering with an external organization to help sell your products or services directly to the customer by telephone. An outsourced partner can help transform the way your company gains market share while maintaining and supporting your current customer base.

There are several reasons a company may look at outsourcing all or part of its business. Some of the reasons include efforts to reduce internal costs, to have an increased focus on internal core objectives, to free up internal resources, and to help support or maximize and achieve overall growth objectives while increasing market share. It’s this last point that is important to call out and to take note of.

Yesterday’s outsourcing focused solely on reducing costs, with perhaps a dash of technology improvements. Today, outsourcing is all about collaboration with the right outsourced telesales partner that has the experience to help achieve and support strategic organizational objectives.

There are several ways outsourced telesales partners can help support increasing market share. Here are a few of those ways.

Outsourced Telesales Will Increase Contacts

That’s right. Outsourced telesales will increase the number of dials and contacts. The outsourced telesales team will be 100 percent focused on picking up the phone and calling someone to offer a product, solution, or service. It may seem obvious, but today too many salespeople rely on email, social media, and inbound leads. Think about it for a minute. Having a question answered, an issue resolved, or someone that took the time to listen to the person on the other end of the phone leads to higher customer satisfaction. 

Now, what does customer satisfaction have to do with gaining market share? According to an article from Salesforce, when customers are satisfied, they are loyal to your brand and more likely to have repeat sales. They also point out that this helps reduce the costs associated with finding new customers, which speaks directly to market share.

The right outsourced telesales partners are not just skilled at outbound calls. They have the skillset, expertise, and capacity to support various functions that interface with customers. Other benefits of phone calls that help gain market share:

  • Speaking to people, which is much more personal and leads to a two-way dialogue where callers can ask questions and receive answers 
  • Having the ability to check for understanding and clarify if needed
  • Negotiating larger deal sizes and generating more sales
  • Receiving feedback from customers/prospects live and in real-time rather than a web form

An Outsourced Telesales Team Will Generate More Leads and Opportunities

Telemarketing is one of the most effective ways to generate qualified leads. The landscape today demands that the process of lead generation provides high quality and relevant information, understanding what business challenge you’re addressing and being diligent with follow up—all while providing the best experience for the prospect. Organizations use outsourced telesales partners to help increase market share through lead generation services.

Lead generation is effective for companies of every size and helps support consistent growth when done correctly. Partnering with the right outsourced telesales partner that has expertise in lead generation will help achieve the desired results of gaining market share. The ideal outsourced telesales partner to support and drive lead generation efforts will:

  • Demonstrate their capabilities of building a bridge between your organization and the prospect
  • Help identify the right prospects by continually making suggestions to refine the process
  • Serve as a true partner and act as an extension of your team

An Effective Outsourced Telesales Team Will Demonstrate Relevant Experience

Today, experience matters more than ever. An outsourced telesales provider should not just “talk the talk” but should be able to provide insight and give suggestions based on previous experiences and lessons learned with helping organizations increase market share. 

Tapping the expertise of the right outsourced telesales partner can help mitigate potential costly mistakes. The best-outsourced telesales partners can help demonstrate their experience by:

  • Being nimble and flexible. This is crucial as changes to market conditions or other objectives can change in an instant.
  • Being objective. An outsourced telesales provider can view your company and operation from a different lens. Their fresh and unique perspective has the power to help model a successful outcome.
  • Being willing to dig in. They can figure out what tactics, scripts, and resources will be most successful. Outsourced telesales partners should be willing to figure out what will work best to drive reaching organizational objectives rather than just saying something isn’t working.

Outsourced Telesales Will Make Your Business More Nimble

No matter the size of the business, speed to market really matters when looking at increasing market share. If you can’t get to market before your competition does, it doesn’t matter how great your product is. Slow speed to market is like handing over a giant competitive advantage to your unwelcomed competition. Time to market requires a strategic approach so you can get products in front of the desired audience as swiftly and organized as possible. Partnering with the right outsourced telesales provider can help increase speed to market, which in turn increases market share.

Conclusion

Outsourcing has a proven ability to deliver regardless of the size of business. For companies of all sizes across all industries, outsourcing can be a complete game-changer for achieving organization-wide objectives.

Megan Hottman is an operations manager for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows firsthand the quality, productivity, and passion the team brings to work each day. You can reach Megan at megan@qualitycontactsolutions.com.

Business Valuations: Three Situations When You Might Not Need One



By Patrick Ungashick

Business valuations is an important tool for owners and leaders of privately held companies. For example, if you’re doing sophisticated tax planning, buying out a business partner, or an owner is going through a marital divorce, a valuation may be highly prudent—if not legally required. However, business owners and leaders should avoid rushing to get a valuation in circumstances where the need is not clear. Listed below are three common situations where getting a valuation may seem to make sense but might be unnecessary or even counterproductive. 

Situation One: You’re Getting Ready to Sell the Company

A commonly held view among business owners is to get a formal valuation prior to selling the company. Some valuation firms, investment bankers, and business brokers promote business valuations as a first step in preparing to sell. Presumably this identifies the potential sale price and helps the selling owner set realistic expectations. However, a valuation in this situation is often unnecessary or even misleading. 

Investment bankers or business brokers familiar with your company’s industry should be able to provide an estimated range they expect the company could sell for, without a formal valuation. Also, a formal appraisal before selling the company can be misleading. To explain why, imagine that you intend to sell your home, and to determine your listing price, you have the home appraised. The appraisal comes in at one million dollars, so you list the home for sale at that price. After many months, you receive multiple offers but only for around 800,000 dollars. In this example, the home’s value is clearly closer to 800,000 dollars rather than one million dollars, regardless of what the appraisal said. 

The same thing can happen in reverse. If you list your home for one million dollars and immediately receive multiple offers for a much greater amount, then the appraisal was too low. Just as with a home, what your company is worth at sale is what a buyer will pay for it—period. The existence of a third-party valuation claiming your company is worth X dollars will not cause a potential buyer to increase its offer price by one dollar more than it is otherwise willing to pay. 

If you are preparing to sell your company, rather than getting a valuation, ask several investment bankers or business brokers to estimate a sale price and explain their reasoning. You still may end up selling your company for a higher or lower price, but you won’t have wasted time and money on a valuation that potential buyers will typically ignore. 

Situation Two: You’re Curious

Knowing what a privately held company is worth is difficult or impossible most of the time. This can be frustrating, particularly when the company is usually the owner’s most valuable (and cherished) asset. Imagine putting most of your money into an investment portfolio where you will rarely know what your investments are worth. 

Therefore, business owners may desire to get a formal valuation simply to know what their company is worth at that point in time. It can be helpful to periodically establish a realistic understanding of the company’s value. However, paying thousands of dollars to get somebody’s opinion about what the company is worth (even an expert opinion) is often not necessary, because alternative methods may be available for little to no effort or cost.

One alternative method to gauge your company’s value is to research what companies of similar size in your industry are currently selling for, based on a multiple of earnings (usually calculated as Earnings Before Interest and Taxes, plus Depreciation and Amortization—EBITDA) or in some cases a multiple of revenue. 

For example, if companies in your industry and similar size are currently selling for six to eight times EBITDA, and your company’s EBITDA is two million dollars, then your company value could fall between twelve and sixteen million dollars. Clearly, this approach does not provide the depth of analysis nor precision that a formal valuation provides. But a market-based estimate will give you a general understanding of company value on a periodic basis—without the time and expense of a formal appraisal. 

To learn the applicable multiples, ask an investment banker or business broker knowledgeable in your industry. That person may know the current market multiples off the top of their head or can get the answer for little effort. Alternatively, research the subject online. You may find a recent article or report prepared by a trade organization, consulting firm, or business advisor that summarizes market-multiples in your space. 

Situation Three: You Want to Track Company Performance

The third situation that seems to require a valuation is to track changes in your company’s performance and growth over time. Again, the value of a privately held company can be a great unknown. Many business owners and leaders see benefit to engaging a valuation expert, and they use the appraisal to monitor the company’s performance. 

However, the valuation may be unnecessary simply because other metrics are usually readily available. Your company’s leadership team should be able to identify the five to ten most relevant operational, sales, and financial metrics that drive company results. Create a dashboard that frequently (not less than monthly and preferably weekly) displays these key metrics. This approach creates more timely and actionable feedback for the company leadership than a formal valuation. 

Tracking company performance using a formal valuation may also be counterproductive, because a valuation is only partially based on the company’s internal results. Any formal valuation must consider external forces such as industry trends, economic conditions, and capital markets. These external forces can mask how the company is performing. 

To illustrate the point, using a valuation to track company performance is like a pilot estimating his or her plane’s arrival time but overlooking the effects of wind. If the pilot needs the plane to fly 500 mph to arrive on time, and the current airspeed gauge shows 500 mph, then it might seem to the pilot that the plane will arrive on time. However, if the plane is only flying 450 mph but is boosted by a 50-mph tailwind, only when the tailwind dies down will the plane’s underperformance become apparent. 

A dashboard that displays key operational, sales, and financial metrics will provide the company’s leadership with more relevant and visible performance feedback, without being diluted by the external data that is important in a formal valuation but counterproductive in this specific situation. 

Conclusion

Business valuations play a crucial role in many situations, and they offer business owners and leaders an important tool to build successful companies and one day achieve successful exits from those companies. Yet like any tool, valuations have a proper place. Owners and leaders should apply care to determine if they need a valuation or if alternative solutions exist.

Patrick Ungashick is the CEO of NAVIX Consultants, a speaker on executive and business owner exit planning, and the author of A Tale of Two Owners: Achieving Exit Success Between Business Co-Owners. Patrick has provided exit advice and solutions to business owners and leaders for thirty years. For more information visit www.NAVIXConsultants.com.