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Building Your Sales Engine

Many business owners come to us with a vision of a vast market opportunity, and an inspired way to tap it. They've usually been able to make some sales themselves. And what they want now is to build a scalable and profitable marketing and sales function that they can use to make their fortune.

In other words, they ask us to build them a "Sales Engine".

And so we help them do it.

To be sure, most companies don't come to us with this request with a completely blank slate. They have some assets with which to work. Maybe they have a couple of salespeople. Maybe they have some collateral material and a Web site. What we do is: we use what we can, we fix what can be fixed, and we create new parts where we have to. All with the goal of taking the company from "where they are" to "where they want to go".

Here are a few examples.

Sales Engine Case History 1: An Oven Manufacturer

One of the first gigs where we built a sales engine for a client was with a company that made industrial ovens. They had a decent product. But their sales process was sloppy. Their marketing program was outdated. And they consistently dropped their price at the first hint of competition.

So first we went out into the field with their salespeople, and even manned their trade show booth, to get a feel for their market. (It also helped to build some credibility and rapport with the sales team.) It didn't take many calls though to figure out that they were leaving a lot of money on the table.

We then did some secondary market research to assess their market size, their competition, and their growth potential. Based on that, we re-designed their collateral material, and set up a telemarketing operation. Within days the leads started rolling in.

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But with their natural tendency to drop price, margins quickly got squeezed. So we set up a sales training program that showed the team how to build value, and how to avoid having to discount. The owner, who sat in on the training, was clearly the worst student. So we ended up having to redesign their proposals, and then help them close a deal at a premium - to prove to them that they could do it.

From then on, it was easy. We set up Funnel Management, and provided Sales Management on an outsourced basis until they were able to run independently. With millions of dollars in new annual revenue to show for it.

Sales Engine Case History 2: A Software Company

A software developer had built a few large, custom systems for clients that the principals had met through networking. But when they hired a couple of sales reps to build on that success, they came up empty. So they called

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Even back-in-the-day, selling development cold was a slog. IT executives resisted bringing in new vendors as though they were defending an empire. So the only solution, we found for one client, was to go around them with direct mail to the C-levels. This meant designing a series of new collateral pieces, case histories, sell sheets, and cover letters. We had to train the salespeople, who were used to selling staffing services, a new way to prospect and follow up. And we had to research lists, and implement a new CRM to support the effort.

Making all this scalable took months, mostly because the large size of the projects made them rare. And feedback from the market was slow. This meant we had to cast a wider net (which required market research) so we could get more into the funnel, and get more at-bats.

What made it work for the owners though was seeing the funnel value grow, and seeing the probability-of-closing increase through the purposeful implementation of specific steps to move the sales process forward in our weekly sales meetings.

Over time, though, things started to click. The company got a legitimate shot at several big projects. And eventually they started falling like dominos.

Sales Engine Case History 3: Health Insurance Brokerage

Some cases are easier than others. And they're especially easy when you have owners who are absolutely brilliant, and who really listen to the market.

There are few markets as crowded and as competitive as insurance sales. So the client knew that they had to be different to be successful; which they accomplished by focusing on providing an exceptional level of customer service. But how do you tell people you offer great service in a way that they'll react positively, rather than with the usual "Yeah, sure, call me at renewal time"?

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The way you do it, of course, is with good messaging. Getting the message out. Making it clear. Repeating it often. And reinforcing it with everything you do.

It also meant training the sales team to implement a sales call that brought out the value of good service. It meant implementing a telemarketing program that broke through the clutter, so they could present their case. It meant arranging for public speaking engagements. And it also meant getting really creative with the sales process, including the use of premiums and incentives.

Making sure it all worked also meant going out in the field to hear how prospects responded. And when they weren't "enthusiastic" enough, tweaking the messaging and the process so we got the response - and the sales - we needed.

When all was said-and-done, the client had a well-oiled sales engine that, for all practical purposes, took over the market. They were able to steal market share from their competitors. And because customer service exhibited significant economies of scale, they were able to deliver out-sized profits to the owners.

What Does This Mean For You?

The point of these stories, and the hundreds like it, is that it usually takes more than one tool to fix a sales problem. You may need your Web site upgraded, you may need better salespeople or better training for the ones you have, you may need to play with your pricing or targeting, and you may need ten promotional tactics that you're not currently doing. And unless you have expertise with all of these, and the experience to know which to choose and which to lose, you're likely to end up wasting a lot of time and money, and not making your goals.

With, however, you get access to every solution imaginable, plus the experience and expertise to use them effectively. Like a solution provider plus a consultant - all in one!

And that's how you build a Sales Engine.

What's the Difference between and a Typical Solutions Company?

At, we're not your typical "solutions" company. We've got dozens of products and services - so we can fill virtually any need, and solve virtually any sales or marketing problem you have.

Most important is that at we don't suffer from the problem that, if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. If you need a Web designer to solve the problem, we've got six. If you need a CRM, we've got eight. And if you need an PR firm, a recruiter, and someone to make appointments, we've got those, too.

Do you know anyone else who can do that? Do you know any better way to find what you need? (Oh, Google, you say? Good luck with that!)

At we're the one-stop shop for all your sales and marketing solutions.

What's the Difference between and a Consultant?

As you can see, at we don't tell you what to do and then walk away. (Or slightly better, tell you what to do and hang around to see what happens.) We show you what to do, and how to do it - or we do it for you, if you want. Either way, we bring the resources and tools you need to fill the gaps in your organization, and in your processes, to get the job done.

This means we'll figure out what needs to be done. And we'll provide you with the tools you need to do it. If you want to outsource the work, we'll gladly handle it for you. Or if you want to do everything in-house, we'll teach your people how to be successful. We'll show you how to manage the process, and implement the systems you need to run it. We'll prove it in. We'll scale it up. And when it's built and up and running, and your profits are where you want them to be, we'll step aside if you want, and let you take it over.

But we'll also hang around, if you want, in case you need more help. Or if want to take your business to the next level after that one.

Because we're not just a consultant. We can build you the whole sales engine.

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