When asked what Chatterbox does or about the benefits of outsourcing DTC sales, I’ve gotten it down to one floor of an elevator ride. Outbound.
We extend your brand past the 2D world of email and actually interact with your customers. Outbound leads to contact and contact leads to sales. The connection makes the sale more personal and is particularly effective with the luxury wine buying demographic. People want to talk about wine – plain and simple.
Outbound, is NEVER anyone’s favorite thing to do. And can be a soul-crushing experience by virtue of constant rejection. But when done by a highly trained team of salespeople who want to help monetize your list – it can be highly effective.
We are an outsourced team of salespeople who happen to have a knack for selling luxury wines. I think the team has the chops to handle other products, they are experts in the tools and techniques of sales. Since everyone grew up in wine country, they just happen to be especially good at selling wine.
The relationship between the winery and outsourced sales team has the potential to be a seamless, symbiotic and highly profitable relationship. Fact is, you are competing against 7000 wine brands around the globe. 95pts is the new 90pt score and our goal as an industry is to generate dollars. Otherwise, you are a non-profit. If you aren’t running out to file for tax exemption right now – read on.
Here are 7 excellent reasons why you should outsource your DTC sales:
List Penetration: What we see most are under-serviced lists. Someone at the winery calls the A customers – as they represent the path of least resistance. They are also the closest to being one foot out the door. As captured in our prior blog about lead scoring – cultivating C’s into B’s and B’s into A’s in the name of the game. Your email marketing will cover your best customers. If you’ve ever roughly estimated your customer acquisition costs – each customer, regardless of lead score cost you the same. I’d say it’s well over $100 per customer – you’ve got a short window to make an impression even if that customer doesn’t buy the first time after leaving the winery. They will, or they will age themselves off of your qualified leads list. Call them all to cultivate their engagement and guide them through their buying journey.
Engagement: They buy at other wineries, retailers and anywhere they find a wine they’d like to drink. Sometimes, it’s easy to think they are just your customer. ‘Au contraire mon frere’ The phone call is a way to define yourself and actually create some loyalty to your brand. It creates a real relationship that even places a bit of accountability on the buying party. It’s a lot harder to say no to a person you appreciate.
Depending on the size of the list, we always urge the winery to keep their top 5-10% of their list. There’s no reason to confuse the customer with outreach from a new person if they are used to someone who is truly managing the customer.
For all of those who haven’t received a call in the last 3 months – send them over. We’ll not only sell them but, extend their engagement and ultimately LTV.
Dedicated: The biggest challenge to sales is – distraction. Notifications, the UPS man, co-workers, tasting room visitors. It’s tough to get in the zone – it’s super easy to fall out of the zone. We do one thing – outbound. All day. Our team has no other responsibility – it’s designed that way. Our success in outbound is derived from doing one job and doing it very well.
Training: We hire and train those who have shown the ability to live in between service and sales. We aren’t hard selling, but we do have to face the fear of rejection day in and day out – which goes hand and hand with sales. It’s a special breed that can hold up to the rejection and maintain a high sense of decorum. I’d say the common denominator with great salespeople is discipline. We role play through the experiences often and work as a group to keep spirits high.
Sales Infrastructure: Chatterbox campaigns are supported by seasoned sales management and data analysis. Campaign revenue goals are defined in advance – then broken down by weekly goals then by salesperson goals. Goals turn into hopes unless they aren’t policed. Salespeople can have a bad day, cold streak or just haven’t found their footing in the campaign yet. It’s the sales manager’s job to keep the salesperson moving forward.
Great sales management can make or break the campaign and better yet, the spirit of the salesperson. Our team is cultivated in a way that they understand it’s ok to make a mistake – but to learn quickly and move forward. They are also encouraged to move – to get out of the office and walk, change their scenery or just get some fresh air. Recalibration of your mindset sometimes is all you need to turn a day around.
Efficiency: Do what you do well and do it again. Utilizing an outsourced sales team allow you to focus on the rudiments of your business without incurring excess baggage. The biggest barrier to cash flow positivity can be human capital. Too many hats and 3.5% unemployment make retention a thing of the past. Streamline your operations and focus on winemaking, customer acquisition and providing a world-class setting.
Cost Savings Benefit: An employee that makes $25 an hour (OTE $48K) has a fully loaded (benefits, bonus, commission, training, software) cost of 75K per year. That employee is required to help run tastings, events, customer outreach, shipping, customer service and order processing. All the while, the only activity that produces positive net revenue is sales.
This can be a great debate but simplify it. You’ve got three to four months a year that are busy with inbound visitation. The time in between wine club shipments and the high traffic months of summer. How many qualified team members do you need to staff your tasting room? Outsourcing sales can help you manage your database and lighten the burden on your payroll month over month.
There are more reasons to outsource, but I believe these represent the most powerful arguments. I’d also recommend looking at your department like you are the CEO of the entire company. Where do you spend your dollars and where do you find savings?
Given the nature of unemployment in Napa and Sonoma at around 3.5% you clearly cannot staff your organization with A players across the board. Focus on hospitality and customer acquisition and outsource the better part of your DTC sales for an added boost to your revenue in Q1 CY19.