Case study: TEBA, Melbourne (Australia)

A common criticism of SPE is that it can’t be applied to small businesses.

Well, I’m happy to present (another) video case study that invalidates that position.

TEBA is a very small technology company. They supply and integrate network infrastructure, targeting mid-sized enterprises with multiple points of presence.

Before the transition, TEBA had a number of salespeople performing, collectively, very few sales calls.  After the transition, TEBA has no salespeople! Steve, the CEO, performs a small number of high-value sales appointments each week and opportunities are originated and managed by a dedicated sales coordinator.

Steve explains what his new model looks like and talks about the transition and the future. He explains how they are using events to generate a decent volume of sales opportunities and provides some insight into the size of the deals he’s winning as a consequence of these events.

He also makes that point that, in spite of the fact that the new system requires that he does more sales calls than his salespeople did collectively, he now has more spare capacity than he has ever had!

[watch video]

Market embraces new Ballistix service offering

Two months ago, I blogged (here) about how we were transitioning away from projects and towards a managed service.

Well, that blog generated a whole bunch of interest – including three people who e-mailed me right away saying essentially (or literally, in one case), sign me up!

Since then, we’ve:

  1. Launched 5 new service engagements
  2. Got word from 2 companies with existing projects that they want to transition to the service model at project end
  3. Consumed all of our engagement launch slots in the near term in both the US and Australia
  4. Built a wait-list in Australia
  5. Officially stopped offering projects to anyone

Bottom line: we’re excited!

A total-sales-back-office solution for the price of a PR firm

One of the most exciting things about this new direction is the economics of the proposition.

Of course, transitioning to an annuity is nice from our perspective, but I’ve been shocked by how good the economics are from our clients’ perspectives.

Here’s a nice way of viewing the numbers:


Outsourced sales operations (OSO) costs about what your firm would pay to have a small PR firm on retainer.


So, if you replace your PR firm with us, your bottom-line is unaffected.  However, we will, over time, reengineer and optimize your entire sales operations.  And, from day-one, we’ll provide all your promotional collateral (print, online and video). And, we’ll provide you a hosted technology bundle including enterprise CRM and Business Intelligence.

Oh, and back on the subject of costs, as you well know, we’ll almost certainly reconfigure your sales resourcing, meaning you’ll have fewer salespeople (and sales managers), but more internal sales-support personnel (which is likely to save you a bundle on payroll). There’s also the possibility that you’ll close a remote sales office or two, while simultaneously increasing the territory you cover.

What about PR?

So, you smell a rat? Yep, that’s right. PR isn’t one of the services we offer. So you replace your PR firm with us and we do everything other than PR (sounds kind of like a bait-and-switch, or something, right?)

Well, actually, it’s not. If you have a PR firm on retainer, they will be currently attempting to provide you every service under the sun – other than PR – while simultaneously trying to convince you that the term PR actually means everything under the sun, other than PR.

The thing is, there are only two events that are genuinely newsworthy (i.e. likely to land you an article in Forbes or Industry Week):

  1. You launch a new product that is materially different from anything else that’s readily available
  2. You get raided by the IRS

Each time one of these events occurs, your PR firm will do a sterling job of drumming-up coverage for you. But in between these special occasions, they’ll be trying to stay busy building you websites, posting on your Facebook Fan page, producing brochures and doing all sorts of non-PR stuff.

The advantage of having us doing everything other than PR is that we excel at synchronizing the entire sales function. In other words, we ensure that absolutely everything subordinates to the No. 1 objective: maintaining your sales team at 100% utilization (four appointments a day, five days a week).

Now, I don’t mean to pick on the PR firm. There’s a handful of other service providers we make redundant too, from the CRM vendor to the traditional design firm and the executive coach. And in every case, our point of difference is clear: there may be others out there that can build prettier websites or offer more esoteric CRM features, but there is no one – bar no one – who understands how to build a complete sales function like we do.

Oh yeah: we’re excited!