Outsourcing, when is the best time to do it, what will it look like with Ben Simms

About This Episode

You’re a growing business, but you just can’t get over that final bump in the road, is it time to outsource? Will it even work? What do I need to do? All these questions and more are answered.
Vice-president of Marketshare Inc, Ben Simms joins Brad on this week’s episode of Decision Point. With his knowledge and experience in outsourcing for growing businesses, Brad gets the information needed on what to expect when outsourcing different tasks. What are your first steps, when is the best time, and how much success should you realistically expect. All of this and more on this brand new episode of Decision Point!

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Outsourcing, when is the best time to do it, what will it look like with Ben Simms

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Episode Transcript

Brad Seaman: [00:00:00] So why don’t you just tell us how you got here and and then we can get into kind of sales outsource sales development, and when it’s a good time, when it’s a bad time and we’ll go from there.

Ben Simms: [00:00:11] All right. Sounds good. It’s not the most compelling story I knew I would want to get in sales really since high school, maybe even before.

After college, I was in the golf industry for a long time. I actually got to work for Jack Nicholas. And he was starting up a golf equipment company and I was a regional sales manager for him for six years. Got to meet him every year during sales kickoffs, as we are rolling out new products.

Had clients you know, meet him, you know, we would do awards in a sentence for clients to meet him and get lessons from him. So one of the most focused individuals I’ve ever met, I left the golf industry and worked in higher education for 15 years. Career colleges, colleges focused on the healthcare field, nursing careers, it careers, things like that and ran those for a long time.

Wanted to get back into B2B sales. I that’s what I was doing in the golf industry. And I wanted to get back into that. And that’s how I got with Barkat source and Ben with market source for the last six years running their B2B division. So I oversee the delivery of all of our outsource programs on behalf of our clients.

Brad Seaman: [00:00:00] So why don’t you just tell us how you got here and and then we can get into kind of sales outsource sales development, and when it’s a good time, when it’s a bad time and we’ll go from there.

Ben Simms: [00:00:11] All right. Sounds good. It’s not the most compelling story I knew I would want to get in sales really since high school, maybe even before.

After college, I was in the golf industry for a long time. I actually got to work for Jack Nicholas. And he was starting up a golf equipment company and I was a regional sales manager for him for six years. Got to meet him every year during sales kickoffs, as we are rolling out new products.

Had clients you know, meet him, you know, we would do awards in a sentence for clients to meet him and get lessons from him. So one of the most focused individuals I’ve ever met, I left the golf industry and worked in higher education for 15 years. Career colleges, colleges focused on the healthcare field, nursing careers, it careers, things like that and ran those for a long time.

Wanted to get back into B2B sales. I that’s what I was doing in the golf industry. And I wanted to get back into that. And that’s how I got with Barkat source and Ben with market source for the last six years running their B2B division. So I oversee the delivery of all of our outsource programs on behalf of our clients.

Brad Seaman: [00:01:16] Okay, awesome. So, so so you knew early on that you wanted to be in sales.

Ben Simms: [00:01:20] Yeah. I’m, I’m one of those rare people who did not accidentally get into it. I, I looked for a sales job right out of

Brad Seaman: [00:01:28] college. Well, the thing that’s sort of, so the thing about, and I don’t know if it, you know, maybe it’s maybe because sales isn’t always maybe held in high regard, like some other professionals, right?

If you’re a nurse or you’re a teacher there’s some professional, we’ve had some people on the show who’ve said, Hey, I was a nurse, like one gal said, Hey, I was a nerd. And I was just, or a teacher. I don’t want a teacher who is like, Hey, I was so burdened to tell people that I was moving from being a teacher, to being an enterprise sales rep that I can hardly live with myself.

Like I just felt like I just such an awful person that I didn’t want to teach. So to find somebody that knew they wanted to be a sales guy. That’s great. So what do you go to school?

Ben Simms: [00:02:07] Marketing at the time they didn’t really have these sales degrees. Like you see now especially with the the sales Alliance council.

That’s that’s been formed now with several universities. I wish that was around when I was growing up. So marketing was the closest degree I could get to.

Brad Seaman: [00:02:23] And then you come out of school and you work, you work for Jack Nicholas’s company. Is that what you said? Yeah,

Ben Simms: [00:02:30] I did retail for a little bit at a golf store, but my intent all through college was to work in the golf industry as a sales rep.

That was my goal and I landed it.

Brad Seaman: [00:02:41] Okay, awesome. And then does he just out of curiosity? Cause I remember the goal because it was what the golden bear they sold. The, I remember that sold the blades with the bear. Yeah, there were

Ben Simms: [00:02:50] two lines. There were two lines. The golden bear was the lower price. Point one.

You can get those at Sam’s club. And Walmart, I sold the higher price 0.1, which was called Nicholas. And we sold those to like Wow. They’re not around anymore, but what would be the equivalent of a PGA tour Superstore and those big reap, a big golf retailers, as well as some golf courses. That’s who we sold our equipment to.

Brad Seaman: [00:03:13] Okay. Okay. I used to have a McGregor Muirfield, which is not the same brand, but it was awesome. Oh,

Ben Simms: [00:03:19] that was a classic classic

Brad Seaman: [00:03:21] golf club. Yeah, no, I liked, I liked, I liked that. So so cool. So you get, you get out and then you go now as you’re kind of transitioning through. Your career? Well, here’s the one thing I’ll say in almost all these pod and almost all the podcasts that we’ve had most of the people have gotten into sales by, by accident.

So, or maybe not even by like literally by accident. So something just awful happens and they find themselves at a career crossroads and they have to make a decision. And they decided, Hey, I’m going to try to sell. And then typically they find that it’s a really good, you know, it’s a really good fit.

You came out, you knew what you wanted to do. You’re laser focused. You’re screwing up my whole entire podcast. Sorry.

Ben Simms: [00:04:06] Actually I do have, I do have that hiccup in the road story hiccup in my career. All right. So 15 years of working for for-profit colleges, right? So in for-profit colleges, we’re we’re growing like crazy in the two thousands, early two thousands.

And I oversee all several campuses. And really I was the vice president of admissions at the time in marketing, in what we did is we’re responsible for recruiting students, which was very much a sales motion. It was a B to C sales motion, but it was very much a sales motion then I’m not going to say right or wrong, but there were a bunch of, so regulations that came out are specific to the for-profit college industry.

That were not applied to the nonprofit schools and it became a hot mess and schools were closing all over the place.

Brad Seaman: [00:04:55] Yeah. I remember this is this like 2012.

Ben Simms: [00:04:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s right around there. That’s exactly right. And so I was in the middle of all that I got laid off too. Both companies went under.

And so I realized, Hey, I need to make a career move change here. Here’s my story. There’s this? There’s this what’s it called? The headhunter, ah, there’s this guy online who coaches people on how. You know, find it their next job. And he recommended what was called the library vacation and what he called a library vacations.

You T you did a stay-cation for one week and all you did every day for that week, you took PTO. And I did this everyday for a week. I went to the library for five days straight and he said, you go with no objective. All you do is kind of sit in the periodical section and just read and read and write. And take notes of what you’re reading pay attention to, what catches your attention?

What do you enjoy reading? And I’m reading and reading, I’m taking notes. And when I’m done, I identify two things that really caught my attention that I, that I said, this is what I want to do. One was I wanted on my own business. And two was, I wanted to get back into B2B sales. Those were the, it was being an entrepreneur in a B2B sales that really captured my attention during that library.

So soon thereafter, I moved my family and I moved from Chicago to now Atlanta, where we live now. And one, my wife and I started a business as a side hustle. We started we bought a, into a school of rock franchise, so we all do rock and roll music school. And which I think there’s a couple in your area, actually really, really good ones actually in the Cary area.

And then. And then, so we did that. So boom, compost that, and we actually sold it. And so I did the whole own, my whole business thing. Meanwhile, my main job then position to market source, where for the last six years I’ve been running their B2B sales division. So, you know, very, very in stable time for a little bit there that week off that library vacation, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life and where it came from was.

The head hunter.com. If you ever go to ask the head, hunter asked the head hunter and it’s this head hunter out of Seattle. And he just gives advice to people on how to transition their careers. And one of his advices was a library vacation, which I did, and it changed my life. Okay.

Brad Seaman: [00:07:26] So what do you read when you’re on the library vacation?

Like what, what specifically was, was jumping out at you when you’re going through the periodic?

Ben Simms: [00:07:34] Your ink magazine, entrepreneur magazine, anything about being an entrepreneur and starting your business? I was, I was reading a lot about that and then everything that was, you know, sales, I also sales, but mostly selling to businesses, especially enterprise, which is who I work with today is what I was mostly

Brad Seaman: [00:07:55] now.

Were you, so were you interested in kind of the B2B sale because it was so starkly different. From the C sale, like you felt like, Hey, it was more, what was it about, what about the B2B sale was entertaining or

Ben Simms: [00:08:10] you’re going to be in trouble. You’re gonna give you a little in trouble with my B to C friends and I have a lot of them.

Consumers are a pain in the ass. And the reason I, and I, I say that as one, right? We’re just, consumers are difficult to deal with. And so I find B2B sales, it’s more of a sophisticated sale. It’s more of a business conversation conversation. You know, I love business. I love business acumen. I love salt.

Solving business challenges or, or identifying opportunities. I love the strategic conversation that you can have with a, in a business conversation. I love the relationship building that just, it’s just more my style. I’ve I’ve worked with consumers a very long time. Consumers are, you know, we’re tough.

We’re a tough breed.

Brad Seaman: [00:08:49] Well, it’s, it’s hard. How do you have a strategy conversation with a consumer?

Ben Simms: [00:08:57] Right. It’s always transactional and you better be adding value and you better be giving great customer service, especially nowadays because they will, if they don’t, they’ll, you’ll hear about it online and reviews or social media or whatever.

Brad Seaman: [00:09:10] So, so I want to sort of hone in on that. So there’s a lot of, I think there’s a lot of conversations in the market about how, you know, B to B selling.

It should be more like B to C. There should be more Netflix style. There’s too much friction in the sales cycle. Everything’s going to transaction. What do you think about that? Well,

Ben Simms: [00:09:30] well, I, I agree with what happens in B to B. Starts with B to C. So you have to pay attention to what consumers are doing, because eventually that’s going to bleed into B2B because the way I purchase as a consumer, where at home, you mentioned subscription, for example offerings and all the subscriptions now that I’m paying for and may not even be using all of them.

You know, the other is an example of what you’re seeing a B2B, you’re starting to see subscription off SAS, obviously a subscription based, but you’re even seeing legacy products and hardware products becoming as a service. So that’s something, I think the transition from B2C to B2B you’re also another example is what I call omni-channel, you know, the consumer.

You know, researches and buys in such a different way. They’re going to do research online and then they’re going to go to the store and then they’re going to read reviews, and then they’re going to go to social media and see what people are saying about it, the social media. And then they’re going to ask for referrals and their friends, and, and then they’re going to buy using their mobile phone or, you know, they just buy it so many different.

That’s now bled into B2B. It’s no longer B2B sales is no longer just phone and email and face to face. You better be communicating and connecting with your, your buyer on LinkedIn and social media. Texting is approved now, especially if you already have a relationship and it’s a current account. So video is a great way to reach.

People nowadays. So now think about what I just said, you know, you got phone, you got email, you got face-to-face, you have video, you have texting as an option. Now you have social media as an option for now. Those are all different ways to connect and have more conversations with your buyer in the B2B space.

And that was very much led I think, from consumer behavior. Yeah.

Brad Seaman: [00:11:08] So a lot of really interesting stuff going on. It’s definitely married B2B. Do you think we’ll see it change. Do you think there’ll be a place where enterprise a day where enterprise software is totally purchased without a salesperson?

Ben Simms: [00:11:21] Yeah, I do. But again, it’s not necessarily because it’s the sales process, it’s the buyer preference to me. It’s whatever the buyer prefers and salespeople better be listening and paying attention and following the buyer’s preference instead of forcing their preference on the buyer. So I’ll give you an example.

Yep. Market source. We landed a recently landed a client and we’re, we’re a premium package. So this is a seven figure deal. And I got the lead actually through LinkedIn, so social selling and they reached out to me. We had discovery, everything was over the phone, everything was over conference call.

We had the contract side, we never met them. Not once. So it just, this just this year it’s happened now. We’re not a software company, we’re a services company, but there’s an example. It’s services. If I think if it can happen to services, I think it can definitely happen to software where people are going to do their own research.

Like they say, 70% of the journey is going. The buyer doing it on their own, doing research, looking for referrals, asking around, asking their friends, if they’re using different softwares, what do they recommend? And then they’re going to reach out. And then of course you have the whole buying committee and finance approvals you have to go through.

But I do think it’s you can close deals a hundred percent virtually having said that. I also think there’s an advantage when the buyer prefers. Or watch face to face. You better be there to take advantage of it against your competition. Cause I’m also heard of deals being closed this year, where there was the, the prospect was researching and was had couple of competing vendors that they were investigating.

And one of the vendors did go in and meet with with the buying committee in person. And they got the deal. I’m not saying they got the deal because they met with them in person, but I think it did help. So. You gotta read the room now more than ever and adjust to the buyer’s preferences and not force your preferences

Brad Seaman: [00:13:19] on it.

Yeah, no, I think so. I think that you brought up something that’s really important. And I think this is like in any sin. So I find this in sales, particularly, you know, get on LinkedIn, you’re going to see this right. You’re going to see one sided kind of belief systems. So this doesn’t work or that doesn’t work, or this wouldn’t work for me or that wouldn’t work for me.

And it’s like, everything in sales is a dichotomy. It’s all like, you know, not only is it an academy, but it’s also like it, one person could think it’s the worst email that’s ever there’s email tear downs. Right? So one person’s like, this is the worst email ever and they tear it up and then somebody else sends out email and it’s like the most revenue they’ve ever gotten for their, you know, ever for their business.

And so I think things are different. And I think we have a tendency to look at things just from our own perspective, right? Like that wouldn’t work on my personnel. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

Ben Simms: [00:14:13] No, you guys, again, everybody’s different. You may respond to an email that I wouldn’t, I may take a phone call and you’d never pick up the phone.

I might respond to a direct mail, a direct message on LinkedIn. You’d never, you know, you may not it’s, it’s why I use it all. If you want to have more conversations. So, you know, in summary to what you said, it’s it’s and not.

Brad Seaman: [00:14:35] Yes. And N not, or I don’t know why. And is it easier conversation? I mean, and I do think that, you know, from a Salesforce spective, you know, if you go out there, you’re a golfer.

So you might even remember this guy, you know, who Jimmy Ballard is. You ever heard? Jimmy Ballard. Okay. Jimmy Ballard is he worked with Curtis strange the two years. He won the open. He worked with Hal Sutton multiple times. But he got back in the mix when, how, how it goes that year, that how it goes up against tiger woods.

And puts a run for his money and he’s like, be the right club today. Remember that?

Ben Simms: [00:15:09] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That was TPC Sawgrass up

Brad Seaman: [00:15:12] there. Yeah, gross. So, so Jimmy Ballard is, is his teacher and he’s a teacher of a lot of, a lot of guys, but he teaches a really kind of unique golf’s but not unique. I mean, it’s basically kind of a compact athletic swing and the guy, so the story is kind of cool.

How he, so from Alabama, He learns to play golf. He’s a baseball player, but he learned to play golf from a guy that played. And I can’t remember this guy’s name, but the guy played on the tour in the, in the Midwest. And he’d also been the only golfer to play in a world series. So I’m going to have to Google this guy.

I’m gonna have to, I’m going to have to Google the guy, the guy’s name.

Ben Simms: [00:15:50] I feel like my 11 year old’s dream you just described, right? That’s like your, my 11 year old. That’s his dream. He wants to play for the Cubs and play in the masters in the same year. That’s his ultimate dream. This is the ultimate dream.

Brad Seaman: [00:16:03] So I’m going to tell you the name. I can’t remember the name of the guy that he, that he learns that Jimmy Bowers go learn. Sammy bird. Okay. So Sammy bird is from Alabama and he plays for the Yankees and they used to call him babe Ruth feet because he would he would get on base for babe and run pinch hit.

And so he taught he played the masters a couple of times. So he’s only got a point in the master. Explain the world. And Sammy bird is. And so what bird did was he re he S he would play baseball with babe and bed used to put a towel under his arm. And so when they would swing, he would swing the bat and try to keep his elbow on his chest and hit it with his chest.

So if you ever watched Babers swing, it doesn’t look like the swings that the baseball players make today. It’s all like upper body. And so he taught this kind of compact, almost like a baseball. But, but Jimmy Ballard will go on to have a lot of really great great athletes that he works with, but he taught a very specific swing and he believed his way was the only way.

So everybody else was done. Nobody else was swinging the golf club. Right. His was the only way. But the reality is, if you look at all the great golfers, nobody swings the club and say, You know Byron Nelson did, you’re not supposed to DIT Byron Nelson dip. You’re not supposed to swing on a flat plane.

Ben Hogan swings on a flat plane. You know, you’re, there’s all kinds of stuff. You’re not supposed to do that. These guys that, you know, at the end of the day, all it has to happen is your club’s gotta be squared. That’s right. We Trevino go 50 yards to the left, open his stance to the left and then hit it out to the right.

So at the end of the day, your club’s gotta be flat and I it’s gotta be, you know, square. And I think the same thing sort of applies with you know, sales, like at the end of the day, you gotta pay attention though. You gotta pay attention to it. There’s not one size fits all is really what I’m getting at.

Ben Simms: [00:17:54] I think a lot of sales reps really get stuck in their own status quo and what worked for them in the past and they stick with it. And again, I think you have to pay attention to how buyers are changing, how buyer preferences are changing especially in B2B and, and the committees that are involved.

And, and look, if you’re selling the same way that you sold 15 years ago, you’re going to get lapped by company.

Brad Seaman: [00:18:17] So, so how does that, have you guys made changes to your sales process, how you go to market to affect the, how the buyers are buying?

Ben Simms: [00:18:26] We have, and it’s very much the omni-channel approach that I did.

I described earlier, and then we apply it to the technology so that it’s built into our sequences and cadences. And so for cold outreaching, it’s not just phone and email anymore. It’s there’s there’s social media connections in there. There’s direct messages in there. There’s video added to the it, to the email.

All of that is intended to increase our percent, our number of conversations per rep per day. And if you have more conversations, you have more deals that go into pipeline and that’s the leading indicator, right? It gets you to the lagging indicator. So very much the omni-channel approach, which is exactly what we call my, my business unit, my division at market sources where the B2B omni-channel

Brad Seaman: [00:19:07] now, what other products do you have? I know a market sources, part of a large, tell us a little bit about the business. So market sources, a part of a larger suite of products, right? Or a larger suite of services.

Ben Simms: [00:19:17] While we’re up, we’re owned by allegiance group, which is the world’s largest are the largest human capital from United States.

So they own some of the largest. And Mo definitely the most successful staffing companies that you’ve heard of the Aerotek’s of the world tech systems. So that’s allegiance group, our parent company. What makes us different than our sister companies is we are managed staffing. So we manage our team, not just go and hire and hand them to our clients.

We actually hire them and manage them ourselves. We do this through applying people process technology. So we’d learned how to recruit and hunt and find it. From the DNA that comes from allegiance. So finding talent is our strength. It all starts there. And we have an army of recruiters in-house to go find the right talent with the right experience in the right markets.

Then we apply process to everything we do. From a sales point of view. So we have very smart business process engineers who graduated from here at Georgia tech, and we actually apply their engineering principles to sales. And then we apply a tech stack to it. Now a market source has two business units.

We have a retail division, so you’ve probably run into Ben and retail stores and saw a manufacturer rep there to answer questions about a specific product or brand that good. That was one of ours. And then I’m on the B2B side where all of our programs sell our, or, you know, are into B2B sales from inside sales to outside sales managing channel, managing tail accounts, lead generation.

You mentioned that sales development. So anything that generates revenue for businesses we’re we’re hired to,

Brad Seaman: [00:20:48] do you guys do full full cycle sales as well? Not just the lead generation piece.

Ben Simms: [00:20:53] So we do. In fact, most of our, most of our engagements are. Account management or customer success type. So we’re not here to displace or replace your existing sales team.

But what you’ll find is your existing sales team are calling them. The parietal principle, the 20% of your accounts that are generating 80% of your revenue and they keep buying from you every month. Well, the tail accounts can grow as well. In fact, probably have even better opportunity for growth. And so a lot of times we’ll be assigned those tail of councils, tier B and tier CS and our jobs to grow those accounts or our job is.

Grow the revenue through the channel partners, whether it’s through advocacy and training and holding the channel partners accountable to their their results and making sure that they’re selling. How do you do that? That seems like a task. It is it’s it’s mind share a channel management is all about Mindshare because they can sell a variety of products, right.

They can sell whatever’s hot that day. And you got to capture the mind, share of the channel partner and. They’re going to sell what they know. So if you’re there doing lunch and learns, if you’re there doing webinars, if you’re there doing training with them, constantly giving them the updates, getting material that they need changes in prices, changes in products, new features, new, new incentives that might be out.

You know, you gotta be there and capturing the mind, share of your channel partners. So that, and more importantly, their sales team. And if you do that again, they’re going to sell more of your product. And so it’s all about capturing Mindshare.

Brad Seaman: [00:22:26] So I know, Early, early on your, when you want to get your you know, sent that email out to you.

So the one thing that I wanted to sort of talk about is can you talk a little bit about sales, outsourcing sales development? When should you do it? When should you not do it? What are the keys to success? How do I know when to evaluate it? How do I know when to bring it in house? What makes me a good candidate back in.

Ben Simms: [00:22:49] Yeah, there’s several options. So lead gen, that is that’s right. That’s the most common solution that B2B sales companies are hired for. I think there’s several scenarios and it’s important that you find it right partner. And it’s not always going to be market source, to be honest. And here’s one, here’s a classic example.

Let’s say you’re a startup and you’re ready to scale, right? You’re, you’re a sauce SEF software company, or you’re even a transactional hardware company doesn’t matter. And you might have, I have an influx of money that just came in. You got your series, a round came in. Some sort of seed round came in and you’re ready to invest.

You need to fill that pipeline quickly. Well, you could do it. You could try to build that sales team yourself of SDRs, right? How long is that going to take? Right? That could take several weeks. If not, months, to recruit and find the SDRs, then you got to put your training. You gotta put your processes in place.

Then you’ve got to document those processes preferably digitally and build out your playbooks. And then you build out your tech stack so that they’re efficient and they’re not spending. Too much time doing research and guessing on who to call. That’s a big build-out that can. Months let’s be honest months, or you outsource that.

Right? Cause the outsource agencies like us, we can find the talent very quickly. We have the in-house recruiters so we can find the right talent and then we can build the processes and playbooks that training is ready to go. And then we have the tech stack for, you know, we have our CRMs, we have our sales engagement tools.

We have our auto dialers. We have everything ready to go on day. Right. And that way it’s more speed to market. So you have this strategy, you have this strategy in place, but executing it by yourself can take months or you can outsource it and get to revenue on your strategy faster. Having said that, that also means you can scale up and scale down that outsourcer, right?

They can get you started. While you’re doing it yourself or building your own in-house team, some outsourcers like us we’ll even let you hire our reps directly after a period of time. So we can be that bench of talent for your AEs someday, for example. So those are some really good examples of lead gen.

The other example I would. Besides scale is you’re in a fuck right now. You’re behind on your pipeline goals. Your pipeline is supposed to be 10 X, your revenue, and it’s three X. And you need that jolt for the next six months. You know, that’s where you would augment with an outsource provider as well.

Brad Seaman: [00:25:22] And then do you guys find, is it difficult to do so it sounds like you guys are taking an omni-channel approach, which I assume is going to get to include, like LinkedIn you’ve mentioned video, you mentioned email. Do you have employees working for multiple accounts and are they, is that hard to get that brand, that LinkedIn brand, along with the brand of the client?

Ben Simms: [00:25:43] No, we don’t, ours are dedicated and MarketSource are dedicated to one client. So they work full time for that client and everything external, including their LinkedIn profile has the client’s logo and brand. So to, to the rest of the world, market source always hidden. I know not all outsource agencies do that to your point.

Some sometimes you have a seller selling one thing and then three hours later they’re selling. We don’t do that where ours are dedicated.

Brad Seaman: [00:26:10] Awesome. So so let’s sort of look out, what do you think, should we talked a little bit about the pricing, which I had some real, or just, you know, the, the change of business to business sales in general.

And I think you’re right. I mean, I think the keys to sort of figure out how you got to read the room. I know anytime somebody says, Hey somebody says B2B sales gonna be like, Netflix, all the sales guys go crazy. Right? Like everybody like puts the defenses out. They’ll think they’re getting. Which I don’t think is going to happen, but what else do you think is interesting that’s going on in the B2B space, maybe in the tech space?

Anything, anything exciting you think, you know, what’s the future.

Ben Simms: [00:26:45] I, I do think customer success is hot right now and it’s going to be even hotter in the next several years. So what I mean by customer success, it’s a little different than account management account management. Your job is to go deep and go wide and grow the revenue with your accounts.

Customer success is making sure that your accounts are getting value from your product or service. So that a, they renew and bead, it can add more licenses as your customers grow, and then you can also go deep and wide. And so the reason I say customer success is high is because subscription is growing.

So subscription obviously is where software got it. Right. The recurring revenue model there, but I’m seeing, you’re seeing subscription move into areas outside of software. For example, this is a consumer example, but this is a great example. You can have subscription on Lincoln motorcars or even a Porsche.

If you have $2,000 a month, you pay 2000 no there’s month and you can go pick up. Hey, I want to drive a nine 11 this week. And next week I’m going on a road trip. I better go pick up a cayenne. You can drive a different car anytime you want a wire that subscription. So that’s an example. That’s not software, that’s a hardware.

That’s a product that you can go to subscription. Well, you’re even seeing in the B2B space, transitioning B2B, you’re seeing. Companies who are selling hardware products, but now they’re selling them as a service. So, so they’re paying attention to when your equipment might need replaced. They’re paying attention to what components of that equipment need enhanced or what new features might need to come with that equipment.

And instead of buying it as a one-time transaction, you can buy now buy as a service. And that way the, the manufacturer and the supplier is keeping your equipment running. So. I think a printing, for example, you’ve got these big fancy printers and you keep buying them one at a time. And the toner keeps coming in one at a time, or you have a subscription model where everything’s happening in that space.

So there’s a lot of industries that have been around a long time that are moving to subscription. So therefore, the reason customer success comes into play going 360 on this conversation is the flywheel only works for. If you retain your customers, right? So therefore you have to have customers success motions in place, especially with your biggest and best customers, but even your tail accounts through digital, where you’re making a cert do they, I see value in their subscription.

Are they getting the proper training they need on your new products and features? Are you proactively checking in on them versus just waiting for them to react versus reacting when they call you? Because when they call you that’s a four one, one or 9 1, 1. Fire blazing issue. No, you need to stay on top of them proactively and schedule those cadences.

And then when it’s time to renew, you’re not calling them 30 days before the contracts do. You’re already having the conversation 90 days before it’s due. That is an entire new motion of sale. Frankly that is growing and up into the right that I think a lot of companies are paying attention to because in the last year we learned how important it is to keep your customers.

Well, that’s not going to go away. It’s very important that you keep your customers and reduce churn while your sales team is bringing in new ones. And I think customer success is actually a revenue generating department, not just a, you know, keep your customer happy

Brad Seaman: [00:30:03] department. You know why? So I guess the question is why historically is customer success sort of putting on the, you know, somebody from Kinsey came in or somebody from McKinsey came in at some point, I know it was McKinsey.

Cause I read the book and they said, Hey, we need to cut this out because this is a cost. We get, we get it offshore, this stuff. Why is that the natural band? Why is everybody was, why do people not see the value. In customer success. I mean, you described it, you, it that’s what it is. It is value. Right. But people have a tendency to put it on the, on the, on the back burner.

Ben Simms: [00:30:42] Cause it’s, it’s not, is transparent to see the revenue that it’s generating. Right. And so look, here’s, here’s, here’s the financial benefit to customers. You’ve already paid for the customer. Your cost of acquisition is already there. So if you approve your, your retention of your current customers, by just 10%, every dollar that you, every percentage you improve, that drops right to your bottom line, to your, to your earnings.

Okay. And your profits, because you’ve already put in the cost to get that customer in. So financially a lot of people just don’t understand the value of approving your retention. That actually it’s not about revenue. It’s about earning it’s about the profit profitability. You, you become more profitable by improving your retention and reducing your churn.

And a lot of people just don’t financially understand that in my opinion. And we’re talking about something kind of like what you said earlier, this isn’t new. Right. Taking care of your customers is not new. This isn’t a new thing. It is a new method and there’s some new approaches to it, but we’ll reinventing something here in in, I think, a sensical way.

This just, this just makes sense to me.

Brad Seaman: [00:31:56] Yeah, no, I think so. So the customers are, you got be laughing first of all? You’re right. It’s not new. It’s repacked. And I, I think in business specifically, there’s a guy that I follow online and Chris Walker, he’s a marketing guy. He’s a little negative outbound.

So I’d like to see him a little more pro outbound, but nonetheless, he talks a lot about demand generation in Oregon. And I hear him putting a lot of things out there about how you know, we like, we we’d love to connect the dots on ROI. Right. And a lot of times, you know, good branding, good execution, it’s hard to connect the dots.

And I think people just drastically want to know that, Hey, I, I am very transactional in the challenge with the question that I would pose to you is like, you know, what’s the ROI on just having your stuff. You can’t actually say we had our stuff together versus we didn’t have our stuff together. And here’s the Delta cause you actually can’t, you can’t know the Delta.

Now you can go look at somebody like Chick-fil-A, what’s the difference between Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s the sandwiches tastes the same. It’s just a chicken sandwich, but you’re down here, Atlanta and almost I’m assuming that your drive-through lines are as well. Roger violently or not, not fraudulently neglect negligence.

Yeah, like crazy negligent. The parking lots are negligent. Meaning that they’re out of control. They’re just insane, but it’s because they have a great experience. Right? So like one drive through McDonald’s Chick-fil-A I mean, it’s a total different expense.

Ben Simms: [00:33:29] Well, they teach the please. And thank you is they teach the comments.

They teach you how to be a human, which again, I think it’s part of a sales conversation. They teach you how to be human. They teach you that everybody that they you interact with as a person who has their own story, and you don’t know what that story is. And, and that’s what, that’s, what Chick-fil-A is very good at teaching is just that human to human interaction, which I think is.

Basics of sales. And, and you’re right. That is why they’re so successful. Although I do think their sandwich is pretty good.

Brad Seaman: [00:34:04] No, the sandwich is good, but it’s it’s it, it definitely, I, I read an article on Monday from business insider that said, Hey, I tried the McDonald’s chicken sandwich. It tastes just like the Chick-fil-A sandwich.

I couldn’t tell the difference, but the real value is in the process. So I’m going to challenge you on something. If you go to the Chick-fil-A bar, if you went to me as a Chick-fil-A buyer, I think most people would say that those kids standing out by the drive-through or super annoying. And I would prefer to just go through the drive-through line, but no, you’re shaking your head.

Now tell me why. Why are you shaking your head?

Ben Simms: [00:34:38] I love it. It’s it’s it’s it’s a smoother process. I totally you’ll see a line that’s long at Chick-fil-A and you’ll think, oh, Christ, this is again, this is going to take forever. You get in that line and it’s moving now. You see that same. In any other restaurant and it is going to take forever because you have to wait until you get to the speaker and then you place your order.

And then you’re waiting in line for the family, like me, who has a big family order and everybody’s

Brad Seaman: [00:35:07] in the back seat bargain their orders.

Ben Simms: [00:35:12] I admit it I’m the one that you’re honking at. And so at all other restaurants, except Chick-fil-A. That’s that line is brutal. Chick-fil-A those people out in the parking lot, taking your order with their iPad and the, and you could pay while you’re right there. And then all you have to do is pick up when you’re ready to go.

And very rarely have I ever, I have experienced that messing up an order, but it’s

Brad Seaman: [00:35:34] very rare. Ours messes up all our ours messes up all the time, but it can’t be, cause my kids are rolling down the windows in the back and trying to swipe their own credit cards and confusing the crap out of the light. But no, they do run a good, they do run a great, I do think the people make a difference.

I mean, I do. I,

Ben Simms: [00:35:54] here’s a tear-jerker for you. This is there’s a two minute video. You can find it on, on YouTube and it’s a great video for onboarding your own employees. So YouTube Chick-fil-A. Everyone has a story, or they send me a chance to just YouTube that it’s a two minute video that I hear, that they give as a training for their onboarding of new employees.

It’s a tear jerker, it’s a tear jerker video, and I’ve seen it dozens of times. I always get choked up every, every time I see it. And it’s a great way to explain their story and how they train them.

Brad Seaman: [00:36:29] I’ll have to check. I’ll have to, I’ll have to check that out. I do know that I was in the Chick-fil-A in Nashville, Tennessee, and they had somebody at let napkins get on.

This is probably three years ago. There were napkins on the floor and somebody was sitting one of the employees w it was exit like two 15, just in case you’re listening on that restaurant. But kid was sitting on just like, you never see a Chick-fil-A employee ever in the restaurant city. No. And so I felt like it was my restaurant.

You know, they’ve created a situation where like, if you see something not excellent, it’s like a really big violation. At least that’s how I see it. Like, I felt like. You know, I needed to re maybe it’s just cause I’m a Crusader. Well, I felt like these guys that should, you know, this is my Chick-fil-A. So I felt like, you know, you just don’t ever see that.

So they really have figured out how to, how to sell. I think they’re in the excellence business more than anything else. So all right. Well, Ben, anything else? I guess do it.

Ben Simms: [00:37:31] I think you did great. You know, considering, and you can edit this, however you want your line of work. I would also add that despite my conversation about omni-channel and its significant. Phone conversations are always the number one channel and always have the highest contact rates always have the highest engagement.

And the one thing I do caution people when it comes to omni-channel. I see sales reps sometimes rely too much on email and social and they, they, they actually pendulum swing too far to the other forms of communication. And yet the tried and true phone. Is still the best. And I, they get will be for the foreseeable future for the foreseeable future.

 

Brad Seaman: [00:38:21] Well, awesome. Well, Hey Ben, I loved having you on this was great. You covered some really good stuff. I love the customer success piece. And thanks for coming on. This was.

Ben Simms: [00:38:30] All right. Thanks for reaching out. Let’s stay in touch.

Brad Seaman: [00:00:00] So why don’t you just tell us how you got here and and then we can get into kind of sales outsource sales development, and when it’s a good time, when it’s a bad time and we’ll go from there.

Ben Simms: [00:00:11] All right. Sounds good. It’s not the most compelling story I knew I would want to get in sales really since high school, maybe even before.

After college, I was in the golf industry for a long time. I actually got to work for Jack Nicholas. And he was starting up a golf equipment company and I was a regional sales manager for him for six years. Got to meet him every year during sales kickoffs, as we are rolling out new products.

Had clients you know, meet him, you know, we would do awards in a sentence for clients to meet him and get lessons from him. So one of the most focused individuals I’ve ever met, I left the golf industry and worked in higher education for 15 years. Career colleges, colleges focused on the healthcare field, nursing careers, it careers, things like that and ran those for a long time.

Wanted to get back into B2B sales. I that’s what I was doing in the golf industry. And I wanted to get back into that. And that’s how I got with Barkat source and Ben with market source for the last six years running their B2B division. So I oversee the delivery of all of our outsource programs on behalf of our clients.

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