Guide to getting Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) deals

 Heya, Hope you liked reading my previous post on Sales Suspecting. In this article, we shall discuss a detailed guide to understand the Business Process Outsourcing business and how to win BPO deals from the organizations willing to outsource.

Let us get started...

What are BPO deals?

BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing. It refers to the process of contracting some of the standard & repeatable business processes of the organization to a 3rd party vendor or so called BPO firms or consultant.

BPO deals are usually categorized in 2 major categories:
  1. VOICE PROCESS – This majorly deals with handling calls for the client which might be related to customer service, outbound sales calls, or any helpdesk based Call center process.
  2. NON-VOICE PROCESS – This business process deals with all types of backend paper work, documentations or analysis, related works. 


Industries which provides BPO Contracts:

Almost all major industries provides outsource their business processes. Some of the notable ones are:
  1. Manufacturing
  2. Education
  3. Healthcare
  4. Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI)
  5. Media & Entertainment
  6. Real Estate
  7. Retail and e-Commerce
  8. Telecom
  9. Energy & Utilities
  10. Automobile
  11. Transportation & Logistics

Major types of BPO contracts given:

Here are some of the types of Business Process work usually being outsourced to BPO firms:
  1. Call Center Services
  2. Data Entry Services
  3. Engineering Design Services
  4. Finance, Accounting & Taxation processes
  5. Healthcare BPO Services
  6. Insurance BPO Services
  7. Market Research & Analysis processes
  8. Mortgage BPO services
  9. Legal Process Outsourcing
  10. Photo & Video Editing services
  11. Transcription and Translation Services

What do companies look for while outsourcing BPO contracts?

Organizations which tend to award business process outsourcing contracts, tend to evaluate the BPO vendor firms on the following selection criteria (though this is not the only complete list, there can be few more parameters as well).

  1. Expertise: The Industry or domain expertise of the BPO firm
  2. Services Offered: The types of business process services the firm provides or has delivered in the past.
  3. Staff: The number of employees in the firm who can carry out their business process.
  4. Client base: The major clients for which the BPO firms cater to, It can provide a testament of the quality of the work the BPO firms deliver, but at times if you are catering to any competitor of the prospect organization without much data protection and privacy policies in place, then it shall backfire.
  5. Rates:  The price point at which you will deliver the process whether it is hourly rate or a fixed rate or transaction based rate based on number of tasks completed or processed.
  6. Financial Statements: This is assessed to find out the financial stability of the firm, since if the financials of the firm are weak then it presents a risk for an organization to hand over their critical process fearing what will happen if the BPO firm goes out of business suddenly.
  7. Data Security Frameworks: Since the BPO firm will have direct access to some of critical data of the Organization, they tend to evaluate the measures and policies the BPO firm has put in place to protect their data.

Why would an organization be interested in outsourcing BPO contracts?

  1. Cost Reduction: Hiring a big permanent workforce and office involves a huge Capital Expenditure. The organization can reduce that overhead cost by outsourcing the business processes.
  2. Quality of Deliverables: The work done by good professional BPO firms would be of better quality compared to it being delivered in-house. This is because the BPO firms are having relevant  experience working with multiple clients in the same domain with expert and experienced staff who can deliver more efficiently and accurately.
  3. To focus on core business: Outsourcing some of the non-core activities to a professional firm helps the organization to free up some of their resources so that they can focus on activities involving their core line of business.
  4. Scalability: When an organization want to scale up to new markets or businesses, situation will arrive where they need quick help of local experts who can help them scale faster. That’s where the BPO firms come as a savior.

How to get BPO deals from an organization?

  1. Go around prospecting from your lead list and reach out to the Organizations where you are comfortable with their processes.
  2. Request for their qualification criteria for providing BPO services.
  3. If you meet their criteria, talk to all key stakeholders or the owners of different business processes in multiple departments.
  4. Based on their Needs and your Strength mapping, try asking for a Pilot BPO project to one of the decision makers.
  5. Show some case study as a testament to your past project with another Client.
  6. Execute the task with high quality deliverables and go back to the Client stakeholder asking for more outsourcing assignments.
  7. Demonstrate the work done in Pilot project to key decision makers in other departments where you foresee opportunities for process outsourcing projects to win more deals.

What are the KPIs for BPO delivery?

BPO firms are evaluated on multiple Key Performance Indicators and metrics to assess their deliverables. The important ones are listed here. These are important for a BPO firm since the better are your KPIs, the better is your chance to keep winning newer opportunities from the existing Clients.
  1. Quality of Deliverables.
  2. Time Taken to deliver the project.
  3. Ability to accommodate project scope changes.


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5 Step process for Consultative Selling

 In my previous post, I wrote about Consultative Selling fundamentals. In this post, let us discuss more on this topic and try to understand the steps behind Consultative selling so that any beginner can practice the art of consultative selling in an organized way.

Here are the 5 steps you need to follow in order to practice Consultative Selling:



1. Understand your Customer Background:

  • Regularly try to connect with your customer. Regular meeting ensures you get to learn more about your customer, the way they work, their work environment, the processes within their organizations, etc.
  • This shall help you provide more contextual solution later.


2. Listen:

  • Listening is one of the critical sales skills. Instead of speaking more about your products, you need to patiently listen to your customer. 
  • Patiently listen to your customer's pain points, the problems which he is trying to solve.
  • Listen to them in detail.


3. Ask Questions:
 

  • In order to know more, you need to ask more questions, probe the customer with different sales probing questions.
  • This shall help you know more about the various purchase processes within their organization, the probable budget of the customer for the requirement, the timeline which your customer is looking forward to close the purchase, the urgency of the requirement, the stakeholders and decision makers involved with the purchase.


4. Provide Free Solutions:
  • An important component of Consultative selling is providing free solutions. Keep providing your expertise and expert advices for free. Keep giving solutions to your client for their problems. Along with your solutions, you may be able to weave around your sales offerings where your products and services can add best value to Client.
  • Sometimes, you may realize the best solution to the client's problem may not require your products. In those cases, do not hesitate to provide the same solution. A working solution suggested with honesty builds Client trust on you. This trust is something which helps you win deals over salesy presentations in the long run.


5. Regular Follow-up:
  • In sales, regular follow-up helps you boost your deal win rates drastically. Many deals were lost, because the sales person didn't follow up with the Client to know if they needed any additional information or action to close the deal. Most of those deals were won by competitor vendors whose sales reps did a timely follow up.
  • Always follow up on time to know if there is any additional action pending. Try to understand what is stopping them for confirming the deal. Many a times, this follow up helps you clear out some easy obstacles to pluck the low hanging fruity deals. 
I hope you liked reading this post. Do let me know your thoughts. 

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What is Consultative Selling?

In B2B Sales, One of the often heard approach of sales is Consultative selling or Solutions selling. In this post, let us discover what exactly is Consultative selling.

What is Consultative Selling:

Consultative selling or also known as solution selling is an approach where Salespersons engage their Prospects in a different way compared to conventional transaction based sales. In this approach, sales reps try to engage with customers more often like a Sales Advisor or like Solutioning consultant. 

In this approach, instead of trying to push sell the products which sales rep is selling, the representative tries to listen to the problems of customers in detail and try to weave around a solution to his problem in a more consultative way. In this process, he may identify where his products and services can add value in the solution stream and try to offer them to clients. In short, the representative tries to patiently listen to customer problems, understand their context in detail and try to offer them a solution for free. They try to meet the customers regularly to understand their context and situation in detail and try to offer a best fit solution.



This is a long term sales strategy. It may not give you results instantly, but slowly over a period of time you build trust by providing real value-add to your client. In this approach, you reap the benefits in long term with consistent sales later. In addition, customers slowly become your advocates and also help increase your sales by recommending you within their networks.

Consultative way of sales is not something very new in this world. Many front end sales staffs practice this approach unconsciously without being provided any explicit training on the same. 

Consider a situation, a customer visits an electronic shop to buy an oven. Customer had done some initial research about the products. Though he had decided the product at a particular price point, but he was not sure if it would meet his needs. Once he reached the store, he is greeted by the sales staff. On getting to know that customer is looking for an oven, the store representative asked, "May I know, what would you be using it for?". Customer replied by saying "He wants to use it for this family comprising of 6 members and is interested in baking cakes and cookies". Based on this context, the store representative suggested one product which suits customer needs better and was in fact lower priced than the one which the customer was planning to buy.

With this example you can understand that reps need to wear the shoes of customer and suggest a best solution to his problem which he is trying to solve. This may sometime mean that you may not get to sell high priced products. This is absolutely fine since you need to build trust with the customer and see them as a long term asset instead of trying to strike a single sales transaction. Push selling is not good for long run and customer never realizes the true value of those offerings since there was fundamental mismatch against his needs.

Suggested Reading: 5 Step process for Consultative Selling.

I hope you liked reading this post, do check out our other posts. 

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Tips to Sell Corporate Training Programs


If you are into the business of selling Training Programs to Corporate companies, then you have stumbled upon a right blog post.

In this post, let me tell you stuffs you need to know in order to effectively engage the prospects in selling Corporate Training programs.

  • Your Buyers within the Organization would be mostly Human Resources, CEO, Project Managers, Procurement Team, Sales Managers, and Organizational Learning & Training Department.
  • Most of the Organizations invest in training programs around the following focus areas:

    1. Finance & Accounting training,
    2. Sales and Marketing Training,
    3. Customer Service training,
    4. Health, Wellness and fitness  programs,
    5. Management & Leadership development programs,
    6. Innovation and Creative Thinking,
    7. Team Work, Team Building & Development,
    8. Information Technology related Training programs


  • In order to win Corporate Training contracts or deals, you may try out following tips:
    1. Create a Professional looking website with a few marketing collateral, brochures, etc. if you are going to train corporate staffs, your website should also resonate in line with those staffs and your website’s look and feel should be of highest quality standards.
    2. While meeting the Client’s decision makers for the deal, try to demonstrate your credibility by sharing some glimpse of past training programs with other Clients in similar sector. You may to cite a few feedback & testimonials from Client & training attendees.
    3. If you have an active mailing list of subscribers, you may send out some periodic invitations of free introductory webinars ever fortnight or every month in order to gain some marketing traction, so that you can get more leads who can be potential buyers at some point of time in future.
    4. Put up the webinar recordings on public video sharing platforms like Youtube or Vimeo. It shall add more credibility for your training programs for such clients who might be apprehensive in buying your program without getting a taste of it. The number of views and likes on your videos shall give a clear indication to them on the quality of the work your trainer does and they can take a clear call on the purchase decision if it matches their expectations.

  • Sometimes while trying to sell the training programs, you may face Client demands on some customized training programs. Most of the times it may happen that you have not conducted any training on that topic in the past but you or your trainer have the required skill or expertise to take up that customized training program. In those cases, you may be required to do pre-sales of the training package.
    1. In Pre-sales of your training package, you do not actually prepare the full content of the training programs since you are very well aware that the discussion with Client is in initial stages and spending huge amount of time on full content preparation doesn’t guarantee deal closure.
    2. Hence, instead of preparing full training content, ask your trainer to give a course structure or the topic outline of the training content which can be reviewed by the Client if it matches their needs or if they would like to customize it further with some topic addition & deletion.
    3. This way after the complete course structure is defined clearly, it can give you more clearer guidance on the price quotation which you can put forward in their RFQ or RPF.


I hope, the readers in Corporate Training sales would find this blog post useful. Do comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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4 Sales Qualification questions to ask every lead

In any organized B2B or B2C sales team, Sales Development Representatives (SDR) are assigned the task of generating new pipeline of opportunities by qualifying the leads from their database. But most of the time, SDRs are little unsure on what kind of questions should they ask in order to qualify their leads.

In this post, let me tell you 4 important things you should check while having the first conversation with them in order to check if they are qualified to be pursued further or not.

Remember that your screening or the so called Lead Qualification is critical to the operational output of your quota carrying Sales Executives, because they should work on only the valid leads so that it increases the chances of conversion at the end.

Being in SDR team, you should also measure your KPI by taking into consideration the final conversion of the leads which you qualified earlier. Never measure your metrics only with the mass numbers of leads you qualified if the Sales Executives are not able to convert them later, wasting your organization's productive time and energy.

When you get a Lead from a database, networks, conference or through inbound channels while a customer tried reaching you or subscribed to your newsletter, you should first log them into your CRM as a best practice. It will help you organize your sales effectively.

You may checkout Toolsoncloud CRM if you are looking for a Sales CRM.

Once you add your leads, start reaching out to them via their preferred medium may be Email or Call. It is preferable to have a telephonic discussion so that you understand their context in detail.

While you probe them further for qualifying, focus on the following 4 areas:

1. Fitment of Customer Pain point against your Offering.

In the qualification call, always understand the pain point of client first. Let them speak first about their challenges which they are trying to solve instead of going big bang with a pre-recorded & rehearsed Sales presentation of your product.

Once you understand their problem, try to assess from your own understanding whether your organization is equipped with solving the challenges of the prospect. If the answer to this is "Yes", then go ahead for the next question.



2. Customer Budget

Many a times, you would find that you can solve the customer's problem, but not within the low budget of the Client. To be frank & practical, When you have a lot of leads lined up, It is unproductive for a sales team to spend too much of time and resources to convert a deal where the Customer do not have the required budget to purchase your offerings. You shall simply lose the other potentially qualified leads with budget over the ones who do not have the required funding.

It is good to acquire new customers with some lower budget in the beginning if you are looking for more business from them in future and they do have that much of wallet to give the expected scale of business later.  But the decision of how much of sales executive time should be allocated on those deals, should be taken with the joint decision of your internal sales team leaders.

Do not be hesitant to ask the budget related questions to your Client. Go ahead and explicitly ask details regarding the budget they have planned or allocated for the deal or purchase. If the budget is not worth the effort, then move on or mark the lead on low priority.


3. Timeline for Purchase

Before you pass on a lead to your Sales Executive, he should be apprised on the expected timeline of closing that deal, so that he can align the meetings and follow-up accordingly.

You can ask your lead:

  • What are the processes or steps they need to do internally to complete the purchase?
  • What is lead time for each step of the process? 
  • What kind of challenges might be expected in some stages so that the executive can proactively coordinate to solve them and take it to logical closure.


4. Stakeholders associated with the Deal.

Every purchase whether it is small or big, involves a decision maker and some associated stakeholders like influencer, gatekeepers, actual users, etc. Always ensure you know them in advance so that the Sales Executive can do some homework researching about the stakeholders in order to present a solution which works best for their context. 

When you are asking the lead for the timelines for the purchase process, you may add another question on who shall be the decision maker or stakeholders involved in each stage of the purchase process.


Disclaimer: Funny Images sourced from Multiple Internet sources, No copyright claimed


I hope you liked reading this post, do comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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5 common sales questions asked by every Client during a Sales deal
Any Sales training workshop you attend you will hear one common saying: "Sales can be very well learnt and is not only for the most creative folks."

Reason why Sales can be learnt is because 70% of the sales process is repetitive and can be reproduced and the rest 30% is about individual creativity and the way the sales person handle the situation. This rest 30% can also be learnt with time once you start gaining field experience. With time & experience, rest will just come naturally to you.

Let's talk about the first 70% which is repetitive.

Every sales deal, as you take it forward, you will find some processes which are repetitive in nature and you would have done those in some earlier sales deals already. You just have to repeat the same, by just refining it a bit to suit the context. 

In these repetitive things, the questions asked by the clients form a major chunk. Here are the list of commonly asked questions by clients to any sales rep. Before going to your next sales meeting, if you have prepared for these questions well, you would be more ready than ever.

1. Don't you think your price is too expensive?

Ans: List out all the offering of other competing product in market and do a side by side comparison of your product to them for each feature and highlight the benefits of your products which the competitor products may not be having.

Sometimes, Client may raise this question because they might not be aware of your detailed pricing structure due to which they may feel price is not justified. In that case try to give a detailed breakup of each pricing component which makes up for your total price. This shall present the customer a fair idea of which component is adding up the cost and also make sure to explain them why that costly component is worth adding them in their deal.


2. What are the business benefits of your products and services? Can you give a monetary estimate?

Ans: Remember that when you sell a drilling machine, you are actually selling a hole for the client and the time he saves by using your tool. So do not count features, instead present the features with business benefits in the context of your client. Show them the value in terms of their time and money.


3. How long are you people in Business? Is the product of good quality?

Ans: Customer wants to ensure that you would be there to help just in case he face any problem with your products. Show them your assurance by explaining how long you have been in the market, show them the catalogue of the projects you have executed successfully, show them your list of client base, show them some of the client feedback testimonials.


4. Is your price negotiable, or can I get some discount?

Ans: Almost everyone wants the best value for money, so it is highly likely that they will negotiate on the price. Stay prepared on the different discounting policy you are equipped with. In case you do not have much control on the price, then you may win the deal by restructuring the mode of payments. For e.g. try for something like if they pay for 6 months in advance, may be you can give some discount. This way you will get enough cashflow coming in. Or if the client is not able to pay in full, you can plan your presentation on alternate mode of payments like 3rd party financier introduction or instalment based payments, etc. 
Caution: Do not take too much of credit risk without doing proper validation with your finance department.


5. Can I call you back after some days?

Ans: Most of the time if a client says he will confirm after few days but doesn't give any definite number, then it is very unlikely that he may buy. That is because, probably he may want to buy some time to explore alternate competitor products or may be he don't want to say straight NO to you to maintain future business relationship and would try to avoid having that conversation again so that deal will rot and be considered expired. In this case you may say yes, but ask them if you can call back after 2 days or some definite date. Also if you are comfortable you may try to probe on the reason for delay to better understand client context if it is for some genuine reason or something else.


Hope you would find these questions useful for your next sales meeting.

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Top 10 Sales Motivation Quotes of all time
With another tough year 2020 going towards closure, as a sales person you should look forward for the challenging yet exciting year ahead i.e. 2021.

Need some motivational pills for your team and yourself? Here you go! GET SUPERCHARGED!!!


1. Fall Down 7 times, stand up right. - Japanese proverb.


2. A Salesman minus enthusiasm is just a clerk.
- Harry F Banks.


3. One important key to success is self confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
- Arthur Ashe.


4. The single most important thing you can do for sweaty palms is rehearse. The second most important thing you can do for sweaty palms is rehearse. Guess what the third thing is?
- David Peoples.


5. Don't start your day until you have it finished on paper first. - Jim Rohn.


6. There is no magic to it, and you don't need a lot of natural talent. What you need is a disciplined, organized approach to selling. If you have that, you"ll outperform the great salesmen who doesn't understand the process everytime. Selling can definitely be learned. - Steve Bostic.


7. Ben Feldman taught us all that if you commit to your own personal style and do not worry about anyone else's strength or style, you can become as great as you want to be. - Robert L. Jolles.

8. When people laugh at your jokes, they are involuntarily agreeing with your message.


9. Make a customer, not a sale. - Katherine Barchetti.


10. Losers make promises they often break, winners make commitments they always keep.
- Denis Waitley.


Courtesy of quotes: Book titled "100 Greatest Sales Tips of All Time".


Are you electrified enough to make another customer today?

Try making the same and remember not to forget adding your deal or lead to your CRM. 
Looking for a Sales Deal Tracking CRM? Try Toolsoncloud CRM today.