A potential new media partner said to me the other day…“there sure seems to be a lot of options for digital product fulfillment these days…what makes you different?”
This media company was in the process of selecting a partner to fulfill the sold digital marketing and services their team would be selling to local merchants. Like many, they had looked at the cost of doing it in house, sourcing then hiring the design, content and marketing talent locally…vs. finding a partner to do that back-office work for them. For them outsourcing was the fastest way to profits…without adding all the upfront headcount and waiting for revenue to catch up.
My response is always the same. No matter if you are building out a fulfillment team internally…or choosing a outsource partner like Guarantee Digital…there are several key things you absolutely have to get right to ensure you’ll have confident sales reps, happy customers, and ability to scale for real revenue growth. Happy to share them with you here-
Quality Talent on Your Payroll – I love that I can walk out of my office, across the floor and connect with my team on any project we are working on for a client. Nothing beats a quality team that shares the company work ethic and vision for success and customer care. Thanks to our growth and partners in 200+ markets, we’ve been able to scale up a great team that works together across multiple disciplines for the benefit of our clients. This beats working with variety of unconnected vendors who aren’t aware of what the other is doing…who don’t promptly reply when an anxious client or sales rep needs assistance. I’m always surprised how much our partners appreciate the simple act of quickly responding to emails and phone calls. (vs. submit a ticket…and cross your fingers method others use) When selecting an outsource partner, ask them for an org chart, the size of the team on their payroll, where they all come to work each day and their SLA…which should include policy for calling their clients back!
The Right Tools & Platforms…and the skill to use them – Another complicated and time-consuming chore is deciding on what tools and platforms your team will use to deliver on the sold digital solutions for the client. Talking to multiple vendors, vetting all the contracts takes time and early on you may not sell the minimum required to get the best deal (or a deal at all). Key benefit to our clients is that we’ve done that work already, providing you with one stop fulfillment and best of breed solutions. Our volume buying shows up in our affordable wholesale rates.
Once the tools are in place…it all goes back to Talent. A team with the experience that only comes with working hands on with the tools and platforms every day to maximize results for clients.
One word on Sales Talent. This post is focused on having the right resources for fulfillment. But as they say…nothing happens til someone sells something! We’re happy to help interview, provide job descriptions, ads to run…talk hiring best practices…but at the end of the day, finding the digital sellers to make your agency fly is on you!
Process, Process, Process! The Devil is in the Details – Notable talent and tools are wonderful…but if you don’t have a written, repeatable process for delivering on sold digital solutions you are headed for trouble and will have problems scaling your operation.
Long before anything gets sold…the process starts with the product and sales training provided to your sales team. We want reps to understand exactly what they are offering, how to present it as well as set client expectations properly on what happens after the sale. Training isn’t an event…but an ongoing program to make sure existing staff is up to date on industry changes and new hires hit the ground running.
Once a sale is made…reps understand the step-by-step process for getting their order fulfilled. It’s all tracked in the cloud via Basecamp…so at any given time they know where their order stands. Our team also handles “the chase” – the sometimes time-consuming process of tracking down all the assets to provision an ad campaign or new website order. We all know those merchants who sometimes make the chase longer than it needs to be! The key thing…having our team do it, frees the sales team to keep on selling…and not get bogged down in non-sales related production work. (Sales Managers love this part!)
Bottom Line: Yes, you could do all the above in-house and create your own process from scratch. Or…you could short cut the learning curve substantially and take advantage of our experience launching agencies all over the U.S. No matter what you do…remember getting the Talent, Tools & Process part right will be critical to your success!