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Partnering Out, Sales, Sales Funel

Creating a sales funnel structure can certainly feel like the hardest part of managing your opportunity pipeline process – but managing its health frequently and making sure it’s performing well can sometimes be a lot harder.

In this latest entry, we discuss the concept of “Sales Funnel Health”. How do you measure it, and how do you know if the results are good or bad?

What do you consider “healthy”?

Sara Smith, VP of Sales at Acme Medical Solutions, has been given a revenue goal of $10 Million – a 25% growth compared to last year’s results. Requiring an additional $2 Million in sales, Sara is forecasting her existing base of business will grow $1.2 Million, leaving $800K still unaccounted for. Thus, Sara needs her funnel to produce and close opportunities that have sales this fiscal year worth at least $800K.

This basic exercise should be Step #1 of all health measurements – a funnel value by itself with no context is worthless. To truly understand your funnel health, you first need to have an understanding of how you need it to perform – and measure its health accordingly.

Measuring Quality, Not Just Quantity

Let’s start off by saying the obvious: the health of your sales funnel is not dictated just by how much dollar value is in your funnel, but how much dollar value is likely to be realized (and when).

Therefore, it’s important to have an idea of how much “falls out” of your funnel – i.e. your close rate/funnel factor. Some organizations manage this at a very high level – saying that only “X%” of all opportunities make it through to “Closed Won” – regardless of the type of opportunity or activity.

Others manage this in much more minute detail – basing it on a combination of closing history, or using selling/buying stages to assign a level of risk for each individual opportunity.

Regardless of what system you use (we’ll discuss various approaches in greater detail in our  upcoming “Forecasting Risk” blog entry), make sure it accurately reflects your selling cycle and customer buying process.

In our example above, Sara is using a general assumption that only 25% of all opportunities will close and produce revenue (conversion rate).

Are you Top-Heavy?

Another important aspect of knowing how your funnel is positioned for success is by knowing where your opportunities are positioned vs. where they need to be.

In our example with Sara, she’s applying a 25% conversion factor no matter the opportunity or where it’s at in terms of funnel progression. So this covers risk, but it doesn’t account for selling cycle time.

Here’s a (very) simple example: Let’s assume your selling cycle is 12 months – and you classify your opportunities by where they are in your selling cycle: Sampling (Takes 4 months), Testing (Takes 6 Months), Evaluating/Deciding (Takes 2 Months), Closed Won/Closed Lost.

If you’re 6 months into your year, and all your opportunities for this fiscal year are at the “Sampling” stage, then it’s likely that at the very least they’ll take 8 more months to close – time you don’t have.

Not to mention, just because they CLOSE at a certain date doesn’t mean you’ll get all the revenue from them in the time you need it. If your fiscal year ends Dec 31, and they sign an agreement on Dec 30th – unless you can get product out the door and recognize that revenue in time, that signed agreement doesn’t do much good if you’re behind on your sales number.

Therefore it’s important to note not only just the value of your opportunities and when they’re closing, but making sure you’ve got the right proportion of opportunities spread throughout your funnel stages to hit your numbers.

The Doctor Will See You Now

Like going to the doctor or a dentist, you maintain your own health (and catch things early) when you go in for regularly scheduled check-ups. The same holds true for your sales pipeline/funnel.

Back at Acme Medical Solutions, and halfway through her fiscal year, Sara has finished her monthly review with her sales team and their funnel opportunities. After the data has been crunched, here’s what she found: She has opportunities scheduled to close in this fiscal year, based on her selling cycle/stages, worth $2.5M in realized revenue – not adjusted for risk. So is this good or bad?

Well, using her assumption that only 25% of her opportunities will make it to the “Closed Won” stage, her funnel is NOT performing where she needs it to be.

In order to hit her goal of $800K in new business this fiscal year, she needs her funnel value to equal at least $3.2M to hit her goal (Remember her conversion rate assumes 75% of her all her opportunities will not come to fruition).

So her funnel value is short by $700K this fiscal year. Time to start hunting!

What About Next Year?

It’s important to remember that funnel health is not just determined by how much, but also by when.

Let’s assume Sara’s funnel was doing well for this fiscal year and the opportunities she had would most likely enable her to hit her $10 Million revenue goal.

What about next year? And the year after that?

If it takes Sara’s business, on average, 12 months to find, qualify, and nurture/close a new opportunity, finding out that her funnel is short with 6 months left in the year can be disastrous.

Making sure to frequently manage both short-term and long-term funnel health is key. It can give you a head-start on outlining and executing the activities your sales team needs in order to hit your numbers for this year, and all the years to come.

Key Takeaways

  1. Know how much of your sales number needs to come from new business – and make sure your funnel meets that requirement.
  2. How do you forecast risk? Make sure the approach is aligned with the nature of your customers and selling cycle.
  3. Don’t be top heavy in your funnel – make sure your opportunity mix matches where you need them to be in the corresponding funnel stages.
  4. Make sure all the timing information you have in your funnel is linked to revenue realization, and not just contract/agreement signing dates.
  5. Using regularly scheduled session with your sales team can help you pressure-test your assumptions and uncover the “real” health of your sales pipeline!
  6. Manage short and long-term in your funnel – this year’s success may be completely separate from how your funnel is meeting future revenue target needs.



Marketing, Partnering Out, Sales

The age old debate. Is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool nice-to have, or need-to-have? What is it about a spreadsheet that seems so bad when it comes to managing your opportunities? And are we asking ourselves the right questions about how to achieve maximum effectiveness?

Small businesses everywhere can struggle with managing costs while looking for the tools that can help them bring in those extra leads, close opportunities, and GROW. Here we take a look at how maybe it’s not just about the right tool for managing opportunities, but WHO is doing it as well.

CRM vs. Spreadsheets

If you haven’t looked at some of the newest CRMs out there, do yourself a favor and take a gander. There are lots of companies that have platforms that can be easy and effective to use, based on what you need. And the costs can be lower than you expected too. A CRM tool is a great investment if it meets your needs and you don’t spend weeks trying to figure out how to use it. 

BUT – if you don’t have the luxury of spending more money (and you’ve got some spare data entry time on your hands), spreadsheets can be a “good enough” temporary option. 

We feel your pain. When AIDO first started, we perfected our own  “sales funnel spreadsheet” and it met our needs – up to a point. 

Define Your Needs

What was that point, you ask?

 came when we really thought about what were the key pieces of information we needed to hit our growth goals. In other words, what were the blind spots in our lead and opportunity management that were causing us to mismanage that portion of our business?

To test our blind spots and assumptions, we began to ask ourselves a few questions:

– What was our “true” ROI when it came to our individual marketing activities – and which provided the highest return?
– What were the highest time-consuming opportunities in our funnel that yielded the lowest revenue potential? 
– What key new markets and trends should we devote more resources to based on our leads?
– How could we coach our sales team to help them, and the business, improve?

That was just the first 10 minutes. The list grew and grew – and our blind spots soon became much more apparent.

Define Your Methodology

After putting our list together, we had to sit down and determine what our “methodology” was going to be – not only with how we captured data, but what set of rules did we want to apply to it that turned reams of data into insights that really helped us manage our business. 

This was a much longer and very interesting discussion. It touched on what we defined as “good” and “bad” metrics – and everyone had different ideas on both.

But by constantly measuring it against where we needed the business to be in one, three, or five years and beyond, this discussion helped guide us to an agreement about what our methodology was going to be.

What are some of your potential blind spots and methodology? Ask yourself the following basic questions:

– What’s your ROI on each of your marketing activities? Is it good or bad – and why?
– What’s your philosophy on applying levels of risk to opportunities in your sales funnel – and what are your rules governing that?
– Whats are the key new market segments for your business indicated by your leads and opportunities this year – and why are they drawn to you?

The Missing Ingredient

Let’s assume you’ve figured out your blind spots – and you know what methodology and software (CRM or otherwise) you’re going to use to fix it. But who on your team is going to manage this thing and give you the key insights you need to grow? All the software in the world isn’t going to help if you’re not giving this the attention it deserves.

Do you have a dedicated CRM headcount on your team that’s responsible for administering,  analyzing, and reporting the status of all your leads and opportunities?

Yes? Congratulations – you’re ahead of the game. By the way, hoping your sales team is entering in their data correctly and updating it promptly doesn’t count.

If you answered “No”, welcome to the club. Like many small businesses, everyone wears lots of hats and workloads are heavy.

So now you’re stuck with the traditional options – hire someone else full-time to do it or try and do it yourself, on a part-time basis, and hope that’s enough (spoiler alert: it’s probably not).

Thankfully, there’s a third option.

High Talent & Low Commitment – BPO

Some companies are recognizing this predicament and provide solutions to bridge the gap between full-time expertise and part-time costing.

Rather than being temp agencies or head hunters, these companies maintain a full-time staff with expert qualifications that work with small to medium size businesses to “lend” you out their Directors, Managers, or Analysts on a part-time basis based on your needs.

This is known as “business process outsourcing” or BPO.

Ideally, you want a partner that is local to you, and has the expert resources to help you conduct high-level goal and strategy discussions – while also being able to help in the day-to-day tactical execution of that strategy. 

“What’s the catch?” you may be asking. Usually the limitation is time – in other words you get these resources for a fixed amount of hours per month with a set of deliverables agreed-upon beforehand. So instead of a variable cost every month – you know exactly what you’re getting, and for how much.

Done correctly, you’re getting high-quality “full headcount” results at part-time cost. 

BPO In Action

Based on our discussion above, here’s an example of how the right BPO partner could plug into your business:

Needs/Blind Spot Discussion: BPO Partner helps you identify your goals and outline your growth strategies – then uses this to determine blind spots.

Methodology: BPO Partner helps you define your methodology based on how your business works and your growth targets.

Software Solution: BPO Partner helps you review software solutions based on your Needs and Methodology – and then help you select one and customize it to meet all your needs from Day 1.

Execution: BPO Partner acts as your dedicated Solution Administrator – they run the data to make sure it’s correct, they report to you on it frequently and provide you conclusions and key insights on your business while you’re freed up to manage all the other movings parts of your business.


So there you have it. There are solutions to help your small business access the very latest in Sales and Marketing strategy, using the latest tools, to grow your business – all while freeing up both your time and resources. 

Business Process Outsourcing can be the ace in the hole for businesses of all sizes – but especially so for small size businesses looking to achieve significant growth quickly.

Sound interesting? Reach out to us if you’d like to know more.



This is the age of technology and digital marketing. The online market is evolving at such a rapid pace that it has become hard for companies to stay ahead of their competitors. It is important that you plan your strategies according to the evolution in the market to maintain your success. Here we have the top 10 marketing tactics that would be beneficial for all business organizations in 2018.

Pay attention to customer lifecycle

You should consider the life cycle of the customers according to their relationship with your product or service. Approaching your entire marketing plan from this perspective will help you to target the right people at the right time with the right messaging. This optimizes your conversion funnel by being more personalized to each individual customer in their journey to doing business with you.

Build customer experience

It is important for every company to pay attention to the experience that they are providing to their customers. A good customer experience:

Builds credibility
Increases loyalty
Improves customers life by answering a specific need or want 

Marketing automation

There are different tools available in the market that will help to upgrade your marketing campaigns according to the evolution in marketing techniques. Using marketing automation tools will help to save time and money of business owners. Think about using apps like Zapier to connect various marketing tools.

We are huge fans of management solutions like Trello and encourage all of our clients to use company messengers like Slack. There is an endless host of tools available for use, but don’t drown in automation. Make sure you select platforms that actually add to your company and don’t zap time. 

Use social media messaging apps

The popularity of social media sites is rapidly increasing and so it would be beneficial for the organizations to use social media messaging apps as a source of communication with customers. You will not have to spend money on different SMS marketing plans and the message of your will be effectively conveyed. 

Video marketing is important

One of the most important changes that you have to bring in the marketing campaign is video marketing. Share short videos regarding your business because it helps to attract more customers!

Use content marketing to increase customer engagement

Content marketing will always be an important way to increase customer engagement. Share attractive and information content that will make your customers spend more time on your website because it will increase your sales.


SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is here to stay. It is one of the most important marketing tactics that you should never ignore. Use simple tools like Yoast, a WordPress plugin, that will help to rank your website on the first of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages.

Marketing insights sources

It is important that you have complete marketing insight into what is working for your business site. Know how your strategies have been performing so that you will know that where improvement is required. In this way you will stay at the top of the industry. It’s important to have Google Analytics enabled on your site to be able to run reports and gain important insights to what, when and how users are viewing your website.

Know what your competitors are doing

You should pay attention to marketing strategies that your competitors are using. Assure that you use tools, content and customer care better than your competition to maintain a sense of premium product and care for your customers!

Data automation

Use different data automation techniques that will help you to save your information and data related to the business. There are several cloud platform that provides enough storage space to save your entire data.

Aido Consulting is here to help you with your marketing tactics in 2018 and beyond. We have a team of marketing experts who will provide the best advice regarding the tactics you should be using and how you can improve them. Get in touch today!



Local SEO is a marketing technique used by business organizations to market their services and products online to customers near their physical locations. There are different strategies to increase the ranking of websites on search engines to assure that it would be displayed in popular search results.

The rules and regulation of local SEO changes regularly and it is important for the companies to upgrade their efforts accordingly. Having a proper SEO strategy will help the companies to increase their traffic and revenue.

Here are some of the strategies that will help you improve your local SEO in 2018:

Pay attention to your reviews and ratings

The first thing you have to consider is the previous reviews and ratings on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook. This will give you a good idea about your performance and be a good benchmark to measure your improved efforts against. Make sure that you add new content like images, videos, and blogs to assure that your customers will have a reason to come back to your website. Always respond to customer reviews and attempt to fix any of their issues or complaints.

Local link building is important

It is important that you pay attention to local link building. It is different from the general lick building because you will get the chance to grab the attention of local customers. Make relationships with other local business owners and trade links to boost your page authority and domain authority.

  • Assure that you have good relationship

  • You will need a little more effort here, but it will provide you better results. Find local sponsorship opportunities because they will help you generate better leads.

Use local business directories

One of the most important things you should do in 2018 is to enlist your business in the local business directories. Yelp is the most famous directory that you have to consider. Most of the customers check the online local directories because they are considered trustworthy. It will help you to enhance the credibility of your business and build yet another link back to your site which can aid in improving your search visibility.

Analyze your SEO efforts

You should assure that you get regular reports regarding your SEO efforts. Make sure that you are using the latest techniques to increase the visibility of your business. Use different keywords, mind your anchor text, and assure that your business is always mentioned with positive search results. The analysis will help you find out that what tactic is generating the most results so you can use it further.

Use structured data mark up

Websites these days are not using the structured data and you should know that Google encourages the utilization of structured data mark up. Use data testing software to know about your mark up and try to improve it you that you can enhance your online ranking and stay ahead of your competitors. 

Bottom line

In case that you do not have the skills in-house to improve the local SEO of your website, Aido Consulting has a team of professionals that will help you with local SEO marketing. They will upgrade the entire search visibility of your business website and will assure that you increase in ranking on all search engines. All of our services are available at affordable rates for companies of all size. For more information contact our team today! 


Traditional Outsourcing Pitfalls
Offshore outsourcing is the practice of hiring teams overseas that can manage your business needs at rock bottom pricing. While this seems tempting to startups and businesses looking to grow rapidly while watching their bottom line, here are a few reasons you should avoid offshore outsourcing and instead look into Partnering Out, here in the USA.

Abroad work appears to be substantially less costly… at first.

While these solutions draw you in with unbelievably low prices, it turns out, it is regularly significantly more costly for in the end. This is particularly true of tasks like design, comprehensive sales and marketing strategies and content production. Time differences mean that you may be sleeping while your offshore team is working, making management slow. Think about designing a complex and important website or sales funnel but barely being able to communicate with the team doing it! What a nightmare (literally). This is further complicated by the language barrier many companies experience when choosing to partner offshore.

The language barrier

Another issue that can slow or even potentially halt work is the inevitable language barrier. Many offshore companies are in countries like India. If you don’t have a great ear for accents, well, you could be in a tough spot. The other thing that goes along with language is a differing understanding in culture. There are expressions and slang that apply to great sales and marketing here in the US that are not understood in other cultures, necessarily.

Tax issues

Those small fees can turn into large expenses when it comes to supervising overseas operations and managing complex foreign tax problems.

Profitable and scalable US companies are understanding these pitfalls of traditional offshore outsourcing and are slowly returning to finding partners here at home. Our solution called Partnering Out, offers a full service sales and marketing team for less than you may think.

Instead of offshoring, consider Partnering Out. Our team is your team. Get started today.

Partnering Out
Partnering out is our service offering of “plugging in” our full-time team directly into your Sales, Marketing, and Business Development departments to fulfill vital daily, monthly, and annual functions. But with any full-service business development solution, there are skeptics. Some of the standard objections are as follows:
You can’t do it yourself? You must be lazy.
Why not build an in-house sales and/or marketing team?
Partnering comes with a hefty, unjustifiable cost.
To the skeptics, we counter thusly:

It’s not a luxury. It’s an investment.

Partnering Out allows our clients to succeed without having to hire full-time headcount or adding to already-strained workloads to accomplish their goals. 

Our solution offers three distinct benefits at a cost any company can afford:

Access to expert talent

With our Partnering Out solution, your business has access to high-quality talent for as long as you need to complete your unique goals and then move on with no further obligation.

Reduce overhead and free up resources

You can now operate with a bare-bones marketing or sales operations team while leaving the heavy lifting to us! By freeing up your team of detailed, time-heavy strategy and implementation, your company will benefit from their increased availability.

The latest in sales & marketing tools simplified and implemented

There are so many useful SAAS products on the market that could really make a difference for your company. But who has the time and resources to train employees on these platforms? By Partnering Out, your team can focus on high-level ideas and leave the technical knowledge and implementation to our team (your new extended team). We use the latest and most effective marketing and sales products on the market to accelerate your business growth.
As you can see, the skeptics are just haters. We work with every client to create a custom plan that works with your industry, work style, and budget to bolster your sales and marketing efforts and ultimately increase revenue for your business.


Get in touch with our team today and make us part of yours!

As your business starts to gain traction, it’s important to have a solid sales strategy outlined to ensure its ongoing success. But the question presents itself, what sales method is right for you? In this article, we will examine the differences between Inbound (digital) and Outbound (traditional) sales methodology so you can best shape your sales strategy to your company’s needs.

Outbound or Traditional Sales

Traditional sales tactics are what we refer to as “outbound”, meaning that the flow of information comes from your company’s sales representatives out to your prospects. Traditional sales methods are heavily reliant on a team of sales reps that are offered a base salary or are incentivized through commission (or a combination of the two).

In today’s digital environment, this is the less convenient of the two options we are presenting in this article. However, just because traditional sales is an old tradition, doesn’t mean its not for you. Depending on your industry, traditional sales can still be the way to go. That being said, in almost every industry today, your traditional sales methodology can benefit from marrying with modern sales tactics like inbound marketing.

Inbound, digital sales methodology

A more modern approach to sales is to be digitally driven. Modern sales differs from traditional sales in that the flow of information isn’t limited to outbound reach. Inbound marketing and sales tactics involve creating solutions that are flexible and tailored to your target’s unique needs.

Leads are also more often than not more qualified by the time they get to your sales funnel because they have been brought in by a solid digital marketing strategy (also known as Inbound marketing). Inbound marketing strategies position you as an expert in your field through valuable, entertaining or actionable content that benefits your target market.

Some inbound methods that combine sales & marketing are:

  • Social Media 
  • Blogging
  • Email marketing
  • Google Adwords & Remarketing

What’s right for you?

Every company must build up its own particular sales process depending on its market, vertical, offerings, and industry position. What works for one organization will undoubtedly fail for another. Take time and think about who your target is and truly care about solving their needs. This will push you towards a unique sales process that benefits your company and its clients.

Looking for sales methodology advice? Get in touch with our team of pros for a discovery call and start your journey to a proven sales strategy today!