Why You Should Consider Outsourcing a Virtual Sales Team


Most people can agree that the sales environment has become more competitive, and more complex, to the point that sales require more than a good call list and a plane ticket. In order to solve a customer’s problem and drive more revenue, marketers and sales leaders need to consider outsourcing some or all of their market development, lead qualification, appointment setting, and end-to-end sales activities in order to not lose sight on developing great products and services.

This is especially true in today’s market where more products are virtual. Customers are starting to expect more demonstrations and sales that are completely off-site. There just aren’t as many opportunities anymore where you need to physically demonstrate the product in person, and this is drastically changing how you sell as well.

Recently, Vaughn Aust, MarketStar’s EVP of Product and Marketing, sat down with CCI’s Channel Wisdom podcast to discuss how the world of sales is quickly moving towards a virtual inside sales model. “Today’s tech businesses are being led by Millennials, or those close to them in age. They grew up in a world of virtual interaction, and are ready for the same type of engagement in their sales process.”

It may be time to augment efforts by bringing in an external partner, and possibly shift your engagement strategy at the same time when:

  • You’ve missed targets for one or more quarters
  • Your pipeline doesn’t support future goals
  • Your markets have become more difficult to access
  • You’re faced with inability to hire qualified candidates quickly enough
  • There is an overall lack of internal skills to launch and manage an inside sales team

A recent survey revealed that many B2B companies are experiencing a plethora of inbound leads, some of which sit untouched for 35 to 40 days. Given the wide range in the quality of these leads, having a outsourced partner to categorize, nurture, engage, close, or pass leads onto sales at the right time can be invaluable. It requires a specialized inside sales team to focus and capitalize on pain points, increasing sales in specific products and categories, while making sure viable leads don’t vanish from lack of visibility and contact.

Targeting your customer is imperative, whether you are selling with a wide net, or selling with account-based efforts. Today’s complex sales environments require you have the right digital tools and team to target and close deals. Outsourcing allows businesses to leverage the expertise of a specialist organization so that they can realize shorter sales cycles, lower cost per lead, and increased customer retention.

Ultimately, the successful sales teams of the future are those that recognize Enterprise and SMB sales are changing just as quickly as the products they are selling. In a world of virtual products, it only makes sense that virtual sales would follow. For most companies this means a dramatic shift in tactics, which is why aligning with an outsource partner will be necessary to ensure sales remain healthy, and revenue continues to increase.


Breaking Down the Psychology of Social Selling


More than 40 years ago, Stanford professor Walter Mischel conducted an experiment now commonly referred to as the “Marshmallow Experiment”. In this experiment a child was placed in a room and was presented with a treat. The child had the choice to either eat the treat now or wait 15 minutes and receive two treats.

This now famous study tested the ability of a child to resist the natural inclination toward instant gratification for a more favorable long-term reward. The children in the study who were able to resist were much more successful later in life and made better life choices.

The psychology of social selling really comes down to building lasting relationships and potentially sacrificing instant insincere sales for more favorable long-term results. Sales are the byproduct of relationships not the other way around. No question that you can pound the pavement and hit your quota; however, building lasting relationships will always produce greater long-term success, even if only realized in the long term.

My wife recently entertained the solicitation of a door-to-door salesperson that cared only about pushing their subscription-based product. The sales person was so pushy that my wife finally relented just to get the sales person out the doorway and on her way. The tactic ultimately backfired as my wife called and canceled the subscription before it ever got started.

SocialSelling-banner1Social selling is not new, it’s just another way of discovering the interests of someone so you can begin a meaningful conversation. When someone is posting their interests and achievements, that’s an open invitation for you to talk to them about it. It comes down to basic human needs: people need to connect, both neurologically and physically. It’s about them, not about you. Allow your prospects to talk and actively listen. When you’re doing most of the talking, you’re not building relationships you’re dictating them.


Having a hard time trying to figure out how to shift the conversation? Try this:

  1. Get prospects to talk about their success. Ask them about how they got to where they are in their career, their challenges and failures, their interests and achievements. Show that you care about them as a person.

  2.  I believe it takes most people less than 5 seconds to know your intent. Never present a façade; always be genuine, be respectful, and be witty. Nothing turns the tide of a sales call faster than arrogance and entitlement, (e.g. “Do you know to whom you’re talking? I’m the {insert ostentatious title] from Company XYZ!” – bad idea, wrong attitude).

  3.  Build relationships based on trust and accountability. Do what you say you will do and when you say you will do it. If for some reason it’s not going to happen, be sure to contact them and let them know what to expect instead.

  4. Never insult a person even in jest. Never stereotype and make sweeping generalizations about gender or religion. We are talking first impressions here. Be genuine and don’t offend. 

One might think that some of these principles are obvious, but I’m amazed at how many sales calls I listen to where they are simply ignored.

I recently received a call from a company looking to provide salary and cloud based compensation software. The sales rep was personable and interested in me, my role, and even commented that it sounded like I had a cold—which I did. Overall I was intrigued but not that interested until the next day when a package shows up on my desk. Opening the package revealed a box of herbal tea with a note, “Thought you could use this, hope you get feeling better”. I went from slightly interested to very impressed and all it took was a simple gesture from the sales person that said, “I care about you as an individual not just in your business”.

So what is the profile of a good social selling rep (SSR)? Where SSR’s are valuable resources across the entire sales funnel, the most value will come in qualifying leads and setting appointments. Look for these qualities and you’re sure to succeed.

  1. Personable—good communications skills, both written and verbal.

  2. Genuine—a “people person”, one who loves to talk, listen, and is interested in others.

  3. Empathic—not just sympathetic but has the ability to do things that make a difference in others.

  4. Determined—loves a challenge and will face it head on.

  5. Passionate—enjoys taking notes and recording the subtle details not just the summary.

  6. Witty—quick on his or her feet. Someone who is ok with a “no” but willing to try another angle before just giving up. Thinking on one’s feet is not often a skill that is taught but a personality trait that’s possessed by a select few.

  7. Unique—uniqueness (not uniformity) is what stands out and demands attention.

  8. Persistence—willing to keep trying. Thrives on a challenge. 

If you truly care about an individual and what they are interested in, you will always succeed in your sales career. It takes effort and, most of the time, multiple outreaches to someone to really show them that you care. But watch out, you may also develop some life-long friendships along the way.

The Psychology of social selling is about developing real relationships and caring about the individual and not just about the sale. It comes down to hiring the right people with the right personality, then teaching them behavior that will drive real results.

SocialSelling-banner3I’m convinced that it’s the right move for any business but don’t just leave it up to chance—measure it, test it, and, ultimately, adopt it.

“I Love It When Retail Brands Ignore Me.” – Said No Customer Ever.



In 1995, Gary Chapman published a book called “The Five Love Languages.” This book highlights five common ways individuals express their commitment and loyalty to their loved ones including giving gifts, spending quality time, sharing words of affirmation, planning acts of service, and providing physical touch. Love languages need to be nurtured in different ways, in order to show you care.


Harvard Business Review highlighted that companies should pursue emotional connections with their customers as both a science and strategy. The article titled, “The New Science of Customer Emotions,” stated, “Although brands may be liked or trusted, most fail to align themselves with the emotions that drive their customers’ most profitable behaviors. Some brands by nature have an easier time making such connections, but a company doesn’t have to be born with the emotional DNA of Disney or Apple to succeed. Even a cleaning product or a canned food can forge powerful connections.”

As an integrated marketing professional of 10 years, I often apply the “love language” approach to my own strategies in creating interest and engaging conversations with target audiences. Do my clients know I appreciate them and hear my thankfulness expressed often? Do my customers have face-to-face interactions with the products I support to tangibly hold and interact with their services? Here are three of these love languages to best highlight and gain recognition for your brand, while ensuring your customers feel appreciated.


In a Google Holiday Consumer Intentions Study, 80% of retail shoppers reported they still prefer to experience a product in-store before buying. Another 50% of shoppers stated that they research products online, but still purchase items in store.

It’s important to provide tangible touch points to help move shoppers emotionally. Give them a hands-on experience to discover, understand, desire, buy, and love your products and services. It’s one thing to read about a product online, but it can mean love at first sight to actually see the product in action! That face-to-face, hands on experience, can be the customer’s deciding factor between cutting the conversation short or taking the product home.


In 2014, 80% of all sales took place in-stores. Only 6% were through e-commerce, and half of those were ultimately transacted through a brick-and-mortar store. Consumers are more aggressive than ever in their search to find the best bargains, deals, and ideal products for their shopping needs.

Retail associates are the key! These reps are your loving “boots on the ground” armed with knowledge and product expertise that can assist in wooing a shopper to become your customer. Educating a retail sales team on the features and advantages of your product is like arming reps with retail cupid arrows. It empowers in-store employees to validate the customer’s questions and either reaffirm or redirect interest to making the right purchase. Reps are the last contact customers have before the sale, prepping them with these tools can successfully help them promote your brand amidst that final courtship of any lovers quarrel between other competing products.


Everyone wants quality time with the ones they love. For a manufacturer, this equates to cozying up to a shopper at an experiential store event. Experiential events are designed to create and combine tactile sensations and emotional resonance with consumers. Shoppers are emotional and rational beings who look for experiences and interactions every day, and not just with other people. They seek out these experiences with brands, products, and retailers.

A recent study conducted on the effectiveness of experiential events for an automotive brand demonstrated the power of an experience. Following an event, 67% of attendees said that they now considered the automotive brand to be a trustworthy manufacturer as a direct result of their experiential activity, while 86% said they had a more positive opinion of the brand. When asked if they would consider purchasing a car from them, 58% of attendees said they probably would.

Creating an experience that makes people feel good, valued, and appreciated is the key to their hearts. By combining an opportunity to interact with your product, with an atmosphere that is built for the product, you win on every level.


In closing, customer loyalty increases by strengthening their confidence in your product, offering, or service. This loyalty drives your customers to buy time and time again. So to help your customers feel loved, make sure you are speaking their “love language.” It’s all about their experience. Work to address the way your customers are seeking appreciation, validation, and interaction with your products. Turn their brand awareness into brand advocacy, and help spread the love.

Are You a Burden on Your Partners?


Back in 2011, while writing one of my first white papers on partner enablement, a seasoned channel colleague told me about the three elements a manufacturer must provide to its partners in order to make them successful.callout-1Since that conversation, the channel has seen many changes…again. Four years seems like a lifetime ago in terms of the channel, but those three elements have always stuck in my mind; and they are still sound rules to live by.

So as we head into 2016, let’s revisit one of these three simple rules based on what I’ve been observing with our clients. Let’s talk about what it means to be “easy to do business with” so you don’t become a burden to your partners.


Whenever someone asks me to explain the channel, I always feel I need a whiteboard and three or four colored markers to draw it out for them. It’s not a simple task. But if you have a good product or solution, and you have a loyal set of partners, it doesn’t take rocket science to build revenue. If it is priced well, has a competitive advantage in the market, you’ve done your job to properly incentivize partners and show them how to sell it, your offering should move.

But the truth is, the channel has NEVER been easy and it will continue to get MORE complex. What starts out as a well-conceived and well-executed solution quickly becomes encumbered by complicated deal registration systems, convoluted MDF procedures, a difficult incentive model, and the daunting task of bundling multiple vendors into one alliance.

What started out as a great idea is now buried by layers of programmatic sediment weighing down your program and your partners.

Simplify! We gain sales and partner loyalty by not just building a great solution, but by creating a channel program that is easy to navigate and does not add unnecessary weight to a partner. I won’t try and solve any problems with this post, but there are a few simple points to think about – which should form questions in your mind and expose the real problems.callout-2Three simple questions, but simplicity is the key to being easy to do business with. If you have to fumble and stumble over your answers to these simple questions, you just might be a burden. You probably need to have a strategy session.

Building partner sales and loyalty is a complex process as it is. The manufacturer has to continue to introduce innovative approaches to enable partners.

With a sea full of partners with limited attention spans, manufacturers who act strategically, actively enable their partners, and respond to their needs will win both wallet and mind share.

7 Must-haves to Enable your Direct Sales Team


Technology over the last five years has integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, and it’s not just coming from Silicon Valley anymore. It’s spreading (some may think like the plague—thanks mom), from New England based start-ups to the newly termed Silicon Slopes of Utah. Huge surges of technology start-ups resembling the dot-com days have emerged. Everything has become more efficient, better integrated, and dare I say more complex. Especially as we start talking about direct sales teams.

Whether you’re talking inside sales or outside sales, account based selling, or consumer sales, the complexity of setting up an efficient “knock your socks off” sales team can be difficult and complex. Lets explore some must-have technologies and the keys to drive “real ROI.”

Tell me if you’ve heard any of these words from your executives over the last year: automation, acceleration, predictive, attribution, prescriptive, data viz, modeling, alignment, etc. the list goes on…If you have, you may be experiencing symptoms of stress, blurred vision, neck pain, or fatigue. They are looking for answers and demanding results. Technology has come a long way over the last few years and if your sales team hasn’t evolved you’re behind the ball.

Let’s break it down: Think integration, think automation, think acceleration, and think accountability, and we’re off to a great start.


  1. sMarketing - An integration and alignment of Sales and Marketing from both a vision and technology perspective.
  2. CRM - A robust hub of data commonly referred to as a CRM—call me a nerd but I prefer a multi-relational database.
  3. Marketing Automation - A system for automating outreach allowing for prospects to be targeted, nurtured, and prioritized.
  4. Predictive Tools – We’re talking predictive dialers, robust forecasting, modeling, neuralytics, and predictive/prescriptive analytics.
  5. Sales Automation - Gone are the days of a cubical farm of dialers hitting every number in the phone book. Your message needs to be thoughtful, on-point, and prescriptive. Let’s talk sales enablement, sales efficiency, sales coaching, and automation. This technology enables your sales rep to be efficient and on-target.
  6. Social Selling  – An informed team with ties to social media tools and online media to aggregate the pie in your face data coming at you every second from every angle—just try to keep up, “I dare you.”
  7. Prescriptive Results - What we used to call diagnostic reporting or data collection has evolved and now requires thorough analysis, modeling, and prescriptive business intelligence with result driven analysis. We not only need to show what we think will happen, we show how changing just one variable in the complex direct sales formula modifies the end result.

The old man on the block these days is Marketing Automation—experienced, proven and robust. The new kid on the block is Sales Automation—up and coming, with the biggest potential for improvement in efficiency and cost. We are not talking “old and busted” vs “new hotness”, but taking the best of both to lower cost, increase ROI, and drive results.

Gartner predicts that the CMO will spend more on technology by 2017 than the CTO. Based on current trends in sales technology, I predict that the CSO (Chief Sales Officer) will also outspend the CTO by 2017. Keep an eye out for shifting budgets over the next few years.

7MustHave-WhereDoIStartHire a skilled professional or an outsourcing SaaS (Sales as a Service) company with a track record of results. Take a look at these companies that are changing the game in direct sales: LinkedIn, Insidesales.com, SalesPredict, ClearSlide, ToutApp, Yesware, Salesforce, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, InsightSquared, LeanData, Hootsuite, FrontSpin, and ConnectAndSell—to name a few.

7MustHave-Callout2Remember, leverage experts and don’t try to do it alone, but beware of “shiny object” syndrome. Meaning make yourself aware of new technologies and make changes as appropriate, but don’t chase everything just because it’s new. The key to measuring ROI across your entire direct sales funnel is consistency—you can’t measure something if the foundation keeps changing. Leveraging a robust technology stack all the way through the sales funnel is key to “real ROI”—it’s possible, it’s here, and it’s what your executives require, so make it happen.

Expand Industry Knowledge through Insights Brief

With so much on our professional plates, it can be a challenge to keep up with today’s fast-paced tech industry. MarketStar’s Insights Brief is a short email that contains relevant articles and insights regarding trends in the industry, making it easier for you to read what matters most.

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Keep an eye out for your first Insights Brief, and happy reading.

It isn’t you, it’s me. Retail has changed and are brands losing out?


Most people have heard those words at one point or another in their lives. When it comes to the love triangle of retailers, brands, and customers, is the customer choosing competitors or retailers over your brand? After building retail solutions for five years, I’ve learned that the new face of retail isn’t about selling the customer the items you want, it’s about selling the customer what they want.

Retail was once an unshakable distribution standard, but now it’s an omni-channel experience, where purchases are made wherever they are convenient. It was once consistent and reliable, but mobile Internet came along and online sales grew at a dizzying rate. Insiders were convinced that the death knell for retail had been called. But did you know that online sales have never surpassed brick-and-mortar retail? That’s right, never.

In 2014, 80% of all sales took place in stores, while only 6% were through e-commerce, and half of those were ultimately transacted through a brick-and-mortar store.* What’s more, the rate of online sales growth per year is slowing down at an incredible rate, indicating that retail and e-commerce may be stabilizing into a form of synergistic equilibrium.


Retail isn’t fading into obscurity, it’s evolving to match the customer’s tastes, lifestyle, and access. Retail is no longer a fixed experience that can only happen one way, it’s an experience consumers decide for themselves. Retail is now everywhere and everything.

What matters now isn’t where you get the product, but how you get the product. Smartphones have created a limitless gateway for customer interaction, the key is making sure customer eyes and screens stay on you. This isn’t lost on retailers, who have begun using big data to better reach customers. These retailers aren’t as concerned with which brand customers purchase, only that they make a purchase. Brands and retailers each see the customer as exclusively theirs, often with differing marketing messages which can confuse customers, who ultimately purchase based on value and convenience over loyalty.

All of a brand’s efforts can culminate in a competitor’s product being sold in the last moment of sale, because the customer’s eyes are inevitably on the retailer right before purchase. It’s like taking your date to Prom, and having your date leave with someone else. The retailer knows what the customer wants from the minute they walk in the door, and thanks to big data, they often know where they are in the store, and what might entice them to pull the trigger today. All the customer needs is a nudge, and now your date is theirs.

So what can you as a brand do about it? Your first step should be to shore up your customer engagement model. Rather than rely exclusively on former customers and sales associate recommendations, or new signage and merchandising to draw the eye, you need to actively engage the customer in a direct motion that appeals to their sensibilities. This includes sales events, demonstrations, awareness campaigns, gamification, data execution, re-targeting, and engagement platforms that provide meaningful direct interaction. You need to woo your customers and make them feel special at all times, otherwise they will move on to the next relationship.

Not-you-callout2This is why it’s so important to be aware that the retail channel isn’t just a destination. It’s the entire journey. You need to make every effort to ensure your customer leaves the dance with you, and isn’t distracted by what the retailer or competitors may offer. You just need to adjust your strategy to be where they are, when they need you to be there, and if you do it right, you won’t hear them say: “It isn’t you, it’s me…”

*Brick-and-Mortar Retail Is Alive and Well, Strategy-Business.com, 2015

Do You Enable Your Partners for Success?

Enable Your Partners Banner

We are currently seeing a very interesting trend within the partner channel – the need for enhanced enablement. Our view is unique because with so many great clients, we have a very broad vision of the channel as a whole. We are positioned to see emerging trends, and quite honestly, we are able to anticipate how the channel needs to evolve.

The biggest part of this constant evolution is how much more the partner seems to be dictating the terms of the partnership. The pendulum of power has swung from manufacturer to partner and it’s interesting to see how our clients are reacting to this.

Not long ago, manufacturers were clearly out front in the relationship and driving the channel value propositions. They created a strong channel program, partners hitched themselves to this flagship platform and that’s how they did business. They relied on one large manufacturer to be their lead product and they took full advantage of discounts, rebates, and MDF. Everything else just became a part of the rate card and everything ran relatively smoothly.

Enable Your Partners Subheader

Partners have moved to building a solution that includes many products and services. It’s not just a one-brand install any more. It’s a cloud solution with a security layer and cloud storage, mobile devices (with service), thin clients on-site with virtualization software, and an integrated communications piece to bind it all together. It’s a more complex (and at times, convoluted) solution, and rarely does one large manufacturer dominate the message. So with large manufacturers being just a part of a more diversified solution, what makes THEIR program so special? What makes them stand out with the partners?

It all comes down to enablement – and not just enablement on YOUR products and YOUR programmatic systems. Provide them with a marketing and demand generation engine.

It’s time to be the manufacturer that truly enables the solution-selling partner. We are talking about enablement that drives pipeline and sales, not just knowledge and incentives. The trend is to provide a program that generates leads (not lists…actual leads), self-serve automated marketing platforms, ready-made marketing campaigns, and concierge support.

Enable Your Partners Callout

Many manufacturers have struggled with generating demand in the past, and it’s always been a headache for partners. But in the age of cloud solutions and a new recurring revenue model, customer demand has rocketed to the front of the pack of priorities. The way we see it, it’s a great opportunity for the manufacturer to be the vendor that enables this practice. Make YOUR enablement platform the weapon of choice, and seize the opportunity to be the most valued player in their complex solution.

Many vendors are moving in this direction, some are not. Several have recognized this glaring need and they are not just ready to change, they are turning to us to help them enhance this enablement. Some of these vendors have recognized this, but are a bit paralyzed by their lack of know-how and organizational flexibility. And a few others have not recognized it yet and continue to overlook the situation.

We see all three cases, so we are speaking to all of our clients (and non-clients) about how we can generate true demand for partners and build a “through-partner” marketing platform. The question is, how are you enabling your partners?

Are you the manufacturer that enables, or is your head still in the clouds (no pun intended)?


The MarketStar Enabled Inside Sales Rep


Every company needs to acquire new customers and strives to increase sales. For many years, sales reps have relied on their instincts and dedication to close sales, spending hours researching new prospects, making hundreds of cold calls every day trying to reach the right decision maker, devoting weeks working a potential client, and even driving for miles with hopes of scheduling an appointment. Although all these activities help generate sales, they can leave even the most dedicated employee overworked and frustrated.

Today’s technologies present huge opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity for sales teams by helping them be successful while keeping them motivated and more satisfied. Sales processes that once consumed hours of reps time, are now streamlined to deliver better results by targeting the right prospects, with the right message, at the right time.

This infographic shows how MarketStar enables inside sales reps with the technology necessary to increase your sales and maximize your ROI.


The New World Order of Retail Staffing: Immediate and Measurable Sales Lift


We’ve spoken at length about the revolution occurring within retail. The new world order of retail, relative to how manufacturers are wanting companies like MarketStar to go-to-market on their behalf, is starting to take shape. It’s an exciting future, one which MarketStar is well prepared to excel in based on our heritage as a sales performance and quota-driven organization.

First, here is a little backstory. When our founder, Alan Hall, first pioneered the vision of an outsourced sales and marketing company that filled the gap in the buyer’s journey between consumers and their technological knowledge, there wasn’t a huge tactical distinction between our efforts with B2C and B2B activities. Everyone was on the same playing field and trying to understand how technology might improve their home or business; thus, operationally we did very similar things regardless of the audience.

shutterstock_112900897As the years passed and business buyers became more educated, and competition became fiercer for enterprise dollars, manufacturers began to rely on channels for distribution. In order to continue serving our clients, our business evolved and we developed a more formal sales organization that could meet the needs of that evolved audience.
When it comes to retail, we continue to focus fundamentally on the tactics we built our retail reputation on 25+ years ago, namely brand advocacy and store associate training. Until just a few years ago, the retail store was still the one-stop shop regardless of your stage in the buyer’s journey. A deliberate investment to influence the hearts and minds of store associates was still a dollar well spent for most manufacturers.

Today the retail store experience has evolved from being a holistic end-to-end buying experience. It’s no longer a linear process and there are multiple channels influencing consumer awareness, consideration, and research. Most consumer research and validation are being done right from their mobile devices. The shopping experience is no longer limited to an in-store experience. We’re relying more on the social influence of our personal networks to shape brand perception than ever before. This often changes the role and reputation of a store associate to “order taker” and “transaction specialist,” rather than a trusted advisor in the late stages of a buyer’s journey.

shutterstock_159873317What is required in today’s marketplace is a new perspective on sales tactics employed at the point of purchase. Savvy brands are shifting their focus from brand advocacy alone to assisted sales within the store. This is easier said than done because the individual, who is great at building relationships within a store and guiding a formal training, is not always the same individual who can stand in a store and provide assisted sales support to consumers.

Am I saying traditional brand advocacy activities are going the way of the dinosaur? Absolutely not. There are very specific points in the product lifecycle where advocacy should be the focus of a brand’s retail engagement strategy and we still love building those relationships on behalf of our clients. What we are seeing is that for some companies, brand advocacy is becoming an ancillary benefit that comes from the success a store experiences when sales are high; the associates recommend what sells, creating a circular effect.


There are four key imperatives to assisted sales success on this scale: Recruiting, Coverage, Sales Conversion, and Reporting. I invite you to contact me, or a member of our retail business development team, to learn how to leverage this information to increase your retail sell-through.

As I mentioned above, the profile for a successful assisted sales professional is different than that of a proficient Brand Advocate. From a retention standpoint, we’ve also found that having one individual try to do the other doesn’t always translate. Programs that hire and staff specific to the activity see better results and have better retention overall.

Tools like Predictive Index we use to source candidates that not only match your brand’s persona but also show an aptitude and attitude in line with successful sales activities, ensures we ramp quickly and efficiently, and sales lift is realized sooner in the engagement.

Keep in mind a 60% sales lift in a store that only average one sale per hour, will have nowhere near the impact of a 60% sales lift in a store that average 6 sales per hour.

We’ve championed the idea that the customer is king in today’s retail environment. If the customer is king, why not deploy your team in their kingdom through a dialed-in coverage model, showing where results are mostly like to be seen. With the data available today, it’s not impossible to have 3-4 tiers of coverage based on geography, peak shopping hours, sales, buyer personas, and demographic data.

Converting the sale is ultimately what we are hired to do, and we work tirelessly to meet or exceed expectations. Our years of refining and optimizing B2B sales models and managing towards those objectives, has prepared us for this new world order of retail.

We’re not afraid of quotas or sales specific metrics and are working with our digital team, along with other Omnicom agencies, to integrate our in-store efforts with other omni-channel investments. The intent is to maximize awareness and brand engagement before a consumer even walks into the store. These integrated efforts are key to driving more of the right kinds of traffic into the right retailers to maximize sales.

As experience becomes more important to the last three feet of the sale, digital interactions that seamlessly bring the consumer’s online experiences together with their offline interactions and the brand are becoming the standard for dynamic and successful in-store activities. An in-store interaction is part of a broader brand experience and knitting those experiences together for brands so that the relationships don’t begin or end in the store is our vision for the future of retail.

We believe the years of activity based metrics are gone. As much of a brand advocacy motion’s influence is indirect, we’ve been able to meet client expectations in the past with activity based reporting: numbers around stores visited, sales associated trained etc.

More and more clients are asking us to report on very specific, financially focused metrics like Sales per Hour, Sales per Store, Customers Engaged, Ratio of Sales to Interactions Converted to Sale, etc.

The new world order in retail doesn’t have to be a scary or bad thing for your company. By identifying the areas of true change, and how to align with them, MarketStar is prepared to help your company excel at retail and not get lost in the competition.

If you are interested in the case studies used to validate this post, please contact Matt Peterson at mapeterson@marketstar.com who can set up an appointment to share with you our findings in greater detail