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Five Questions LSP Sales Teams Frequently Ask CSA Research
Posted by Hélène Pielmeier on September 13, 2017  in the following blogs: Translation and Localization
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Growth is an evergreen topic for language service providers. Those that struggle to increase revenue want to figure out how to formalize their sales function, while those that already have positive sales numbers want to grow more or do it more sustainably. CSA Research observes common dilemmas that LSP executives have to resolve. Here is a sampling of frequently asked questions and recommendations on how to handle them.

  1. Sales or marketing: Which should come first? CSA Research observes that production-minded LSPs often start with marketing because it gets them thinking about their sales strategy and gaining comfort with the idea of a more proactive approach to prospects. However, if resources are limited and the need for growth is more urgent, LSPs are better off prioritizing proactive sales – provided they already have a solid website that projects their differentiation and offering accurately.

  2. What is the best way to grow our business? First and foremost, LSPs should increase sales organically by beefing up their sales efforts in their existing markets. In addition, they may supplement this approach with: entering new markets, servicing new verticals, or adding new products or services. CSA Research recommends that LSPs develop solid market penetration skills before venturing into other strategies that require the right structure to attract, win, retain, and up-sell prospects.

  3. How challenging should sales quotas for business developers be? Sales quotas vary greatly, even within the same LSP, depending on experience, compensation structure, territories, geographic location, and sales support. Targets must be a stretch for the business developers, but achievable based on the training, structure, and resources the company provides. In our CSA Research Sales Cookbook, we provide concrete examples on how to calculate sales goals.

  4. Which markets should we pursue? Market selection does not mean simply deciding on which verticals – life sciences, legal, or manufacturing, for example – LSPs will target. Industry is just one of many characteristics that they need to use to define the best segments. To narrow the field, LSPs should develop a list of candidate segments that they can clearly identify, have enough revenue potential, describe a well-defined cluster that they can market to and support, and where they stand a solid chance of success when competing for business in that segment. They should then eliminate those that aren’t a good match for their services.

  5. What is more effective: Physical mailings, e-mails, or cold-calling? LSPs always wonder what the best approach is. Over the years, we have collected significant success stories with all of these first contact approaches. In the end, it is a numbers game where you need to reach sufficient leads at the right time with a message that piques the prospect’s interest. The messaging and volume usually influence success more than the medium.
For CSA clients: If you have more, similar questions, keep an eye out for an invite e-mail from our Client Service team. We will host an “Ask the Analyst” webinar series based on the CSA Research Sales Cookbook. We developed this research series to help language service providers grow more systematically.

  • September 27: How to plan your growth, how to prepare to stand out from the pack, how to quantify your sales goal, how to target the right market segments
  • October 4: How to generate leads and how to engage with prospects through marketing communications
  • October 11: How to prepare your moves with a sales playbook and how to equip your team with the right sales tools
  • October 18: How to design the sales job, hire, and manage a sales team


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Related Research
Sales Cookbook – Intro: The Recipe to Achieve Repeatable Sales Success
Sales Cookbook – Differentiation: Prepare to Stand Out
Sales Cookbook – Goals: Quantify Your Objectives
Sales Cookbook – Markets: Target the Right Segments
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