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"Connect and Sell" - Can you Offshore Getting Past the Gatekeeper in Sales?

Productivity post for the business world types follows.  If you're here looking for the sweet cut today on employment law, come back tomorrow.  Or next month.  I pretty much only write about the EFCA in that realm... 

Still here? Great - you're my type of people...

Here's an interesting tidbit from the world of sales.  Sales pros have to work the sales funnel to end upBoilerroom with sales - that's how they get paid.  They've got to make a certain number of raw/cold calls to find the decision maker, get them interested enough to take a demo (at least in the software biz), evaluate their pain, tell them how the solution is going to fix the pain, etc.  So 100 initial calls equals 15 demos, which equals 5 site visits, which equals 1 sell.  Results may vary by industry and skill of the sales rep.

No calls = no sales = no commission.

One of the biggest drags in the process is trying to get the initial call with the decision maker in an organization.  Does anyone answer their own phone these days?  Voice mail is the digital gate keeper, and if you're starting from the top down as a salesperson, most C-level folks still have Marge in place - the human gatekeeper.

The result is that tracking calls isn't always a relevant stat.  Lots of garbage dials that a rep makes that lead nowhere... Not the rep's fault... Don't hate the player, hate the game...

So, how can you make your sales reps more productive?  Would you believe offshoring the process of the initial dialing and subsequent dealing with gatekeepers, phone trees in automated phone systems, etc.?

There's a new business I ran across in conversations built on that very model.  More from the Connect and Sell website:

"What would you think if you could get a 500% increase in the number of connects your sales rep makes per hour for less than the cost of one additional sales rep?

Not enough sales. Lumpy quarters. Good strategic sales reps don't like making cold calls. Inside sales reps are expensive and hard to measure. It is difficult to get through to decision makers.

ConnectAndSell delivers sales prospects to you live so that your sales reps can focus on selling. We accelerate the process of connecting to new prospects or existing prospects that your team is working to close.

We do this through a combination of patented switching technology and virtual sales agents so that when we connect to a prospect, the prospect believes that your sales rep has made the call. We never speak to your prospects directly.

This enables your sales reps to spend all of their productive time presenting your product or service.

We guarantee 5 live connects (i.e. conversations with named individuals you have targeted) to each of your sales reps per hour and typically average 7-10. If we don't deliver 5 live connects per hour, you pay nothing.

That's right people.  Trying to get someone on the phone has become so difficult it now makes more business sense to offshore the process to India and let your white collar sales pros wait and focus on having the productive conversation they need to have, especially if you have a target rich environment.

I don't know this company and this is not a sponsored post.  I'm just intrigued by productivity plays in the workplace.  Check out their more detailed PDF of the process here

Fascinating stuff.  NOTE: This post WAS NOT created in draft form, for my review, by an HR Capitalist partner in Bangalore.  Now that I say that, is that available?

<Ha>

Comments

Greg Grimer

The problem is the cost. If you look at their YouTube sales presentation (which is laughably amateur) they want a $100,000 up front commitment to go through the learning curve of your product. A decision of that size is not made by the head of sales. He/she goes to the founder/CEO and makes the pitch, which is essentially one of, "We can get a bunch of Indians in call center to make our salespeople more efficient and therefore effective). Our salespeople still have to make the cold calls by the way. Can I have $150k to try it out?"

Not many CEO's are going to say, "yes, go for it". What they will say is, "you are the sales-director, you have x number of sales people. Direct them to make y number of sales or I'll hire a sales director who can.

Furthermore, in order to make this work, you would have to be able to hand the Indians at Connect and Sell a clean list of hot suspects with all their direct telephone numbers. No firm I've ever worked with has a list like that. Where would they get it? If they knew the direct numbers of sales suspects they would have already called them and qualified them.

If the Indian filters are calling switchboard numbers most of the time and trying to get patched through to decision-makers then their efficiency is going to fall right off. You need many more of them and while they are cheaper they are not THAT cheap. Ultimately most sales directors would rather spend the $100k on extra headcount and build up their power-base. Harsh, but true.

Look at the press releases on their website. Nothing since 2008. They aren't selling many contracts I suspect otherwise their PR company would be telling the world. And they are using Connect and Sell (for free). It should be easy for their sales people to speak to 20 decision-makers per day.

Marcus Jones

Greg: I used this product at my last company where I was a VP of Sales.
We were doing the legacy '50 calls a day' nonsense with the inside reps, and called on lists you can buy from many companies, like Netprospex, ReachForce, etc.
We were funding that we had a 1 in 25 chance of EVER speaking to a stakeholder - 'live'.
My team needed more 'at bats'. We won most competitions, but needed more opportunities to get to the standard 3X Work in Process compared to quota.
I bought CAS. It was not even close to $150K. We paid about $50K, and in 4 weeks, using the SAME reps & qualification process, we quadrupled the pipe!
Using it 3 hours a week gave me the equivalent of having 5X more reps!
It paid for itself in 2 months!
You must have a weird sales process for this to not work. These guys are everywhere - hundreds of clients.

Anuj Arora

Hi,
I had gone for an interview in your company Connect and Sell (Location Gurgaon, India). I was interviewed by Karan (AVP) and the process which he used to take interview was not appropriate and neither effective. Please see below the process, how Karan (AVP) interviewed me.

1. He wrote a spelling of Net SPI on a piece of paper and asked me to pronounce it, as Karan said Net SPI is our client. So I want to check how you pronounce it.
2. He asked me question what is BLR as it was written on resume,
3. He asked you are handling a Quality Team of 6 Quality Analyst, so why you want to join this position, where you would not be handling a team. However it was discussed with recruiter that if you get selected you will be handling team on 6 Quality Analyst of three offshore clients. But Karan Said No there is some disconnection.


I asked him so what would be the work type, Karan replied we get 40 ,000 to 60,000 calls in a day so you have to audit 1% of total number of calls.
I replied Karan back that auditing 400 to 600 calls in a day is not possible, Karan said we are doing it and thank you Mr and pleasure and went out from the room.

The total process which he followed was totally inappropriate and I am sure If any company does not give efficient training to their staff than the company employee can put the company on stake. Especially people like Karan, because whenever any new candidate goes to a company and for him/her the first party of contact is HR and that HR behaviour shows the company standards how professional and how passionate about their work type.

Why I said auditing 400 to 600 calls in not possible. Because all employees spend 450 seconds to 480 seconds on their system and if an employee spending 480 seconds on the system than how come they can work for more than their login hours.

I think Connect and sell should think about this and take legal action.

Chad Burgess

Greg: Coming from an inside perspective, (I work for Connect and Sell, as one of the many phone agents) 99.99% of the Pitcher companies do not provide direct numbers. Majority of the number we agents receive are the standard company numbers. We agents go through the IVR's, the Gatekeepers, and do all the work to get TO the "Decision Maker", the person you want to talk to.

All pitcher companies are required to do (from my perspective) is provide the contact's name, First and Last (some don't list the contact name) Position or title the contact is in, and the Name of the company the Contact works for. We, the agents, do the rest.

If there is any change in information and it holds for at least two calls from two different agents, WE update the information. (I.E. Wrong Number, Contact no longer works for Co. Title is "Dr." not "Principle" etc) whether it gets updated from the CaS team or not, is out of our hands.

As an Agent, I can suggest something. Do not ask for the President or Owners of the companies, 9/10 these companies have departments that can help you further.

Jesse

I use is all the time. Works great!

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