This is an article about sales. It is also an article about an innovative way of work that benefits greatly from the pandemic, but more than that, it is an article about people. People are a company’s greatest asset, talent is its most significant capital, and the talent manager is the hen with the golden eggs, or the general who’s not afraid of the grim and mess of the battlefield. What might sound like a preposterous platitude to some of you, is part of our hands-on business development model, and the future of sales in the actual Coronavirus pandemic. Shall we expand on that? Let’s start with the future because we have been building towards that for 20 years now, and the Coronavirus pandemic has done nothing, but to confirm our business model.
Our Glocal philosophy before it became “cool”
We, at BDD, are a hands-on business development company that not only consults, but also plans, and works the plan following a Glocal philosophy: “where there is a customer engage a local agent, and where there is a market, settle a local team. Find the right, effective, agile people to work in their own cultural context and sell”. There is no “you should”; there is “we do”. It all functions as a well-oiled machine, with a global command centre where people with experience in business development and subject matter professionals are coordinating with the local teams on the ground, managing and deploying talent from all over the globe. It functions on Zoom, Skype, or Slack. We can work with freelancers in pyjamas, in their living room or home office. In this aspect, distance is irrelevant. Finding the right people, and managing them effectively is the most relevant part, and the greatest challenge now for most businesses running broad sales teams across the globe, but not for us. Working from home, working remotely is now the new norm, and as a company who has been doing this for years, here’s our insight into finding and managing the right people, and why working effectively from home is not a myth, it’s looking to the future.
There is great, undiscovered talent and potential in remote working
Remote work is not new. Early “adopters”, the freelancers, have been preaching this way of
work for years, but they were kind of the “hipsters”, the “crazy kids” on the block. Companies have been collaborating with freelancers for sporadic projects, yes, but someone who takes full responsibility for a team of full-time freelancers – this is something completely new.
One can hire people wherever one wants. Looking at some regions of the globe where the
workforce is low-cost should not be a discreditable strategy. With a keen eye for people, one can find unexplored talent, efficiency, and desire to work, at a low cost. Making the world’s global differences in lifestyles and cost of living work for you, without compromising on quality and with complete control of the challenges and barriers that come with it, is the new golden egg of today.
Knowing which people to find, where to look for them, how to cross any cultural and language barriers is the skillset of the future and we have been honing it for years now.
The availability of technologies allows us to live in a flat world and work and collaborate as people and individuals without any boundaries. Although many claim that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought the globalization of the world economy to a halt, the wave of trying to do things collaboratively and together is now becoming the new “globalization”. Remote work is catching up.
Of course, there are many challenges. Hiring freelancers and working actively with them has many benefits and risks. On the one hand, many times you never get to see the guy and of course, you don’t know him. However, on the other hand, you get to build a network of remote workers you know you can rely on in the future as well. You build a skillset network, and that is more valuable than all the gold in the world. Having smart, dependable people on the other side of a Skype call is an ever-growing asset.
We have developed techniques that allow us to set up remote people functioning perfectly together, and we can do it quickly and efficiently. For this reason, we are more prepared than many for this ever-changing environment.
…but how does it work as a sales model?
Let’s say our new customer is a company with a well-defined catalogue of products looking to penetrate a well-developed market where dinosaurs are the lawmakers. It is a tough and competitive environment.
Of course, here you can say “Rubbish! In the actual Coronavirus context, this is no longer a goal”. No, before the goal was “grow”, now it is “gain back”, but inherently it is mostly the same. Saying “if we don’t re-establish X% of our sales, we’re not ending this year well” has a clear resonance to “We need to grow a footprint more in this Y area”, doesn’t it?
So, given this subject matter, we write a plan of attack, figure out the customer base, figure out the resource group, and we put together a team. The first step in putting together a completely autonomous, remote sales team is finding a project manager who’s either a local or a subject matter specialist (and many times we manage to get them two for one).
Actually, two key people are the kernels of a remote sales team: someone with a lot of experience, who’s been doing BD for a long time and has an overview of the whole process, and someone younger, who will be the front runner of the project. They submit a plan to the customer, and as it develops and evolves, they are also hiring and creating a team. It is a fast, and chaotic process for an outsider who dares to take a peek into this process, but we’ve been doing it for so long, with good results. We know how to guide it to the desired outcomes. The bottom line is: we can scale teams very rapidly and very aggressively.
If the need arises, people can meet the customer face to face, without travelling across borders or regions. Three customer visits once a month might just be what you need to push orders. Local salespeople can find all the relevant partners to tailor your entry into the market from the ground up.
Local marketing people will understand customers’ needs better and help coin a viable growth plan. All this process is controlled and coordinated globally. The road distance between global and local is ZOOMed out of the equation.
The future of remote sales and freelance work combined
We strongly believe that in the actual Coronavirus, the sentence “I understand your business needs and will put on the table a plan for you and manage a team of freelancers to work the plan” is the new top-chart hit in sales.
For 20 years, we have been developing a two-way hub which, on the one hand, offers work and development opportunities to freelancers, while on the other hand, serves businesses by understanding their local needs and finding the right people for their job.
Our way of work is quite transparent. The project bookkeeping is in full view for the client to have a look at it whenever he wants; the project resources are set from the start, and the freelancers’ fees are also clear to the customer.
Every project is different; it is tailor-made on the specific business and situation. Every project team is different, possessing the right amount of skills they need for the job. We’re not running in the ocean and swimming on the ground. However, what we ask of all of our customers is to set a bonus for the team to motivate them. The client decides the amount and commits to paying it if the project goals are achieved.
This is the type of environment we believe in. What we also believe in is that a freelancer’s availability should also be compensated accordingly. If you’re a freelancer and have spent 3 minutes reading this article for a research paper, you should be paid for these 3 minutes as well. Are we prepared for the brave new world of sales by remote freelancers? We believe we are.