This article originally appeared in Software Business Growth and was written in collaboration with Mike Dombo, President of Kensington Sales Group.
As a channel sales consultant, I sit down with various high-tech companies interested in creating a channel. Many of these businesses are startups or SMBs and their ability to even begin to build a channel can be a challenge. They lack customers, revenue, and/or sufficient resources to build out a proper infrastructure. So, how can they make revenue to support this endeavor, find partners willing to work with them, and provide the leads necessary to get the program off the ground?
One answer came when I met Mike Dombo, President of the Kensington Sales Group, a company that furnishes outsourced inside sales teams to small and medium businesses. As he explains it, they “provide a resource for companies that need sales support through cold calling and digital outreach to find prospective customers or partners and reach their desired audience.”
As we chatted at a Kensington, MD Starbucks, Mike told me outsourced inside sales teams can be a lifeline for small technology businesses. He maintains, “First and foremost they don’t have to hire anyone, at least initially. They can use [outsourced sales teams] to jumpstart their sales activities without having to go through a lot of the heartache that comes along with hiring and training someone, only to then have it not work out.” And, I would add, possibly costing a whole lot less than a full-time employee.
Great! So how does this help companies that want to start a channel but are hitting financial and resource roadblocks? According to Mike, there are three ways.
- Develop A Customer Base And Revenue
“If they’re a small start-up or they’re just getting going, they can use [outsourced inside sales] as proof of concept for their sales to get initial customers and then show potential channel partners that customers will pay.”
- Find And Recruit Partners
“And then of course as they go out and hunt for those partners, the [outsourced sales] team can really help them build their channel by engaging partners that match the profile of who they’re looking for.”
- Provide Leads
“Once you have that channel established, it’s a well-known fact that you need to ’prime the pump‘ for those partners by providing them leads. If you’re not willing or able to give them some kind of marketing dollars, then there’s nothing better than coming to the table with a deal in hand. It really gets them fired up to go out and sell more for you.”
If you are a high-tech company and you want to build a channel program and partner network, using an outsourced inside sales team might be the way to get started.