We’ve seen a proliferation of “blank”-as-a-service models over the years. Everyone knows software-as-a-service. That model has worked so well in scaling businesses to unicorn status that it has naturally produced a host of progeny. We’ve seen platform-as-a-service. And transportation-as-a-service. Restaurant-as-a-service is another offshoot we’ve written about here on Localogy Insider. Another iteration of this formulation that is gaining currency is sales-as-a-service.
Sales-as-a-service isn’t a brand new concept. But its definition remains a bit fluid. It can range from offering an outsourced sales channel to a set of solutions supporting sales.
The white label digital agency Spotzer saw a big opportunity to leverage its own version of sales-as-a-service in order to generate more and better sales for its partners. It’s doing this by offering a sales and support package that allows Spotzer teams to do follow up sales on behalf of its partners to add the right solutions to a given customer’s shopping cart.
Making the Right Sale
We caught up with Spotzer CEO Peter Urmson this week to take a look under the hood of its S(ales)aaS offering. Peter said the new offering is really the formalization of something the company has been working on for more than a year with partners in Australia and Germany.
Boiled down to its essence, Spotzer’s SaaS offering uses its internal service reps (dedicated to a particular partner) to upsell opportunistically to small businesses that are touched during the fulfillment process. Or during the customer care check-in calls that occur roughly every three to six months.
During these touches, reps routine identify upsell opportunities. For example, a small business might need to expand its website, add a new language or perhaps add eCommerce capabilities to whatever it is they originally bought from a Spotzer partner sales rep. Spotzer works with large SMB aggregators, including directory publishers, hosting companies, telecoms, and increasingly, Urmson notes, fintech platforms.
“We provide that full white-label solution that sits behind the sales and marketing effort of our partners,” Peter explains. “When we get the order, it may well be that what the customer wanted, or might be slightly different to what they thought they had bought…We then try to look to resell them with an additional product or service that does meet their needs.”
A Good Salesperson Can Sell Anything
So this effort to ensure that the right sale was made with each customer has essentially been productized into a solution where the Spotzer team earns commissions for its efforts to upsell customers.
Urmson cited a couple of core principles guiding the SaaS program. One is avoiding channel conflict. And the other is preserving NPS.
“Our proposition has been if we sell to your customer, we’ll charge you a commission,” Peter said. “It’s a very modest commission and it goes directly to the agent. We don’t give them targets…The client manager can make an upsell. But it cannot be to the detriment of NPS, because we want to make sure that our people are selling customers the things that they need. Because we all know, a good salesperson can sell anything.”
Selling in the Partner’s Voice
Peter pointed out that the reps on the Spotzer side represent the partner in a white-label fashion. In other words, they answer the phone in the client’s name. Also, the SaaS teams are trained to address customers in the partner’s voice.
“Initially, when we kick off the initiative with the partner, they’ll be involved with the training,” Peter explained. “And then on an ongoing basis, they’re involved as much or as little as they want to be…We encourage the partners to have their training department or their salespeople, or sales leadership, engaged. And that’s important. Because I also want to make sure that we avoid sales channel conflict at all costs. To date, we haven’t had one single case of that.”
The SaaS product doesn’t appear to be a direct moneymaker for Spotzer. After all, the company changes modest commissions and passes them on to its agents. Notably, Peter said Spotzer’s partners have yet to say no to the SaaS opportunity. It seems like the classic win-win. Spotzer helps its partners upsell and right-sell. And Spotzer benefits from the higher volumes, lower churn rates, and stable NPS scores.