B2B sales isn't easy - no matter what you're selling. But staffing agencies in particular have the challenge of differentiating themselves to prospective buyers in an extremely competitive space.
We're proud of our work with Employment Solutions, a national recruiting agency that has generated over $170 million in revenue. For over a decade, Employment Solutions has distinguished itself through a unique, collaborative approach to professional staffing.
In this newly released case study, learn more about our work helping a local institution grow even faster.
At Bandalier, we have a healthy mix of both established professionals and local university students that are seeking to gain professional sales experience while they finish their education. We've found that each of our employees has an interesting story of how they initially got involved with Bandalier and how they evolve throughout their experience with us. We took some time to interview one of our part timers, Priyana Kale, to get some perspective on her experience with not only Bandalier, but how she's managed her school life as well.
"When I first started at Bandalier, I was struggling to continue on the marketing track I was on in business school. I was lost as to what I would like to study and what career path I would choose, as I was not enjoying any of my courses nor succeeding in them. Changing schools was a frightening prospect for me because I knew many students in the school who secured job opportunities upon graduation and, considering I'm interested in business, it made sense that I was enrolled in business school.
One day, mid-November, I decided to withdraw from the semester and wondered if Bandalier would be able to let me work, temporarily, for a few more hours. My team leader was not only accommodating of my request but he spoke with me about my academic situation.
I told him that I was considering giving an English major a chance, considering my favorite classes in elementary and high school were always related to the field, but I was worried about what I would be able to do with my diploma after graduation. He shared his experiences as an English major and reassured me that I can market the degree for various fields and that I am not limited in my career trajectory by what major I choose, but I am limited by my inability to enjoy my coursework.
Now, after a semester of English courses, I am excelling academically. I have also discovered my love for writing poetry and was recommended to apply for the English honors program. Without the support of my team leader, despite it not being Bandalier related, I wouldn't be where I am today academically. This experience has also showed me that when you work at Bandalier, you are valued far more than what you can numerically achieve as part of an outsourced inside sales team. Your fellow team members want you to succeed in all areas of life, which is a priceless workplace experience as a college student."
Later this month, we'll be debuting a project that's been in the works at Bandalier for months.
For the last two and half years, growing technology clients have been making use of our managed inside sales teams, which come with an entire sales operations department to help build targeted lists, a dedicated outsourced inside sales team that we build to perform outreach via phone, e-mail, and social media, and a client delivery infrastructure to help review and analyze results via our real-time dashboard. It's an awesome fit for companies looking to build an infrastructure for inside sales, and we've received some great feedback.
Our next service offering - which we're dubbing 'talent as a service' - is targeted to companies that have a sales strategy built out and need great talent to execute it. This service will allow companies to onboard and deploy vetted, trained remote U.S.-based inside sales and customer experience talent themselves; all within 24 hours. Bandalier clients will be able to access dozens of profiles of customer-facing candidates, schedule interviews, and onboard remote candidates directly onto their teams.
Some features of our 'talent as a service' candidates:
Our vision for Bandalier has always been to connect growing companies with customer-facing talent situated in small towns and cities throughout the country. Our new service line is an important step in reducing the friction involved with identifying, training, and onboarding that talent.
Participants in our talent as a service beta will have first access to talent on our platform. If you're interested, we want to talk to you! Schedule an intro call here.
We get asked this question a lot, and we were happy to see this pop up as a topic on a Modern Sales Pros thread recently. When SaaS companies consider whether or not to build an outsourced inside sales team, they want to know whether or not they'll get bang for their buck. It's easy enough to run an LTV:CAC ratio, and there's lots of great information available about the specific points at which sales development teams begin to become profitable (tl;dr: usually somewhere between $5 - 15K ASP, depending on who you ask). But often lost in the conversation are the nuances of company strategy.
Here's an excerpt of our response:
"What sometimes gets lost in this conversation is that company strategy matters a lot.
As an example, we've seen several clients build a traditional SDR program for deal sizes below $10,000. In some cases that may be because their investors are pushing them to prove out growth / demand for the product (even if unprofitable or just breakeven at first), in others it's because they feel they need to get folks onto the platform before they move upmarket, and there are still other cases where they plan to upsell with other products down the road. Similarly, what works and is profitable for a SaaS company with gross margins of 80% might not work for a services business with 40% gross margins.
Finally, the ROI on SDRs is extremely sensitive to highly variable numbers like decision maker reach rate, appointment scheduled rate, and conversion rate: all of which we've found vary tremendously (and much more than many folks initially realize) by industry.
When folks are looking to build out the case for an SDR model, our advice is usually to find some way to have one person on the team spend a couple of days acting as an SDR to get the basic math in place (that is to say, spend a couple of days cold calling). You won't necessarily have the math to calculate cost of acquisition, but you'll have some basic inputs (DM reach rate, demo scheduled rate) that shrink the margin of error around your assumptions. And because you'll probably get better over time, your estimates will likely be conservative."
We receive a lot of questions about outbound prospecting in the period of COVID-19. “Is it actually possible to sell anything in a period like this?”. Our answer - as is so often the case - is that it depends. As an example, here are our standard metrics for one program in the month. This analysis compares the period following stay-at-home orders being issued in most areas (March 13th onward) against the previous month.
On this program, we’ve found decision makers slightly harder to reach via phone in this period, but much more responsive to follow-up e-mails. It’s possible this is related to a dramatic increase in the number of people working from home. For this particular program, we’re targeting a lot of individual business owners running their own book of business, and while we’re not always able to connect with them at the right time or keep them on the phone, asynchronous communication seems to be working better during this period.
Here’s another program we’ve been working through COVID-19.
The overall impact of COVID-19 was much stronger on this campaign - but not in the way we’d anticipated. Here, we’re targeting decision makers located in manufacturing facilities. While at first we saw a dip in connect rates, over time office lines started to be routed to decision makers at home, where they were much easier to get a hold of - and to pitch. Potentially because the total of number of phone calls they’re handling has reduced, we’ve had an easier time getting in touch.
When we look at our global performance during COVID-19, we’re finding individual outliers - both positive and negative - driving a lot of the numbers. Seemingly minor changes to personas being targeted or channels used matter a lot. For one client, as an example, targeting decision makers in a slightly more junior position within the organization has had a measurable impact on results within a few weeks.
So long as there are decision makers to be targeted and organizations have needs, sales isn’t going anywhere. We’ll be encouraging our teams to lead with empathy and think outside the box to generate results for our clients.
For a brand new salesperson, hearing the words “call review” can be incredibly daunting; listening to your own recorded voice can be quite cringeworthy let alone having teammates listen. But, it’s important to realize that call reviews are essential to being successful in sales.
Two major benefits we see when our inside reps participate in calls reviews are that they get the opportunity to build morale within their team, and become comfortable with giving and receiving feedback. As a result, reps become more comfortable with one another, and tend to give more honest feedback. Call reviews provide an outlet for team bonding and open conversation, and Bandalier's unique model of outsourced inside sales enables us to support cross-client call reviews.
An uptick in confidence is another huge benefit of call reviews. When reps first get started in sales, making a call can be intimidating. We see across the board that the more call reviews a rep participates in, the more confidence they build. Getting accustomed to hearing their own voice, and receiving both positive and negative feedback can be a massive boost for their confidence, and enable them to outgrow those initial pre-call nerves.
This honest feedback provides transparency in its most raw form. Let’s say a sales rep makes a call that they thought was great, but didn’t land them what what they wanted, whether it be scheduling a meeting or just getting some information. They play it at a call review, and receive feedback from their team members that isn’t as positive as they thought it’d be. This may seem extremely disheartening, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Having someone else listen to their calls can give them insight that they never would’ve realized on their own, and vice versa. Emma, a part-time senior sales associate at Bandalier, said that “call reviews are important because they’re a good opportunity to see different perspectives on the same type of client. I learn a lot not only by receiving feedback on my calls but being able to listen to my peers!”
Lastly, call reviews supply reps with new and fresh ideas. After a while of making calls, one may get bored of the same intro, the same pitch etc., and it is obvious to whoever is on the other end of the phone if they seem unengaged. That’s where call reviews can really be useful. Listening to others’ calls can give reps ideas of new techniques or scripting changes to implement, and get them excited about trying it out. When whomever is on the other end of the phone line can hear that excitement and energy, it helps pique their interest.
Weekly call reviews have become a cornerstone of Bandalier’s kaizen culture. We’re such big believers in their value that in the last few months, we’ve begun asking clients to join, so that they can provide their perspective, too. Like any other true growth opportunity, call reviews may be a little uncomfortable at first, but provide massive dividends down the road to everyone who participates.
Grace Schelp - Inside Sales Associate at Bandalier
Persistence in Inside Sales: Number of outbound calls/emails it takes to move a prospect down the sales funnel
Grit is a key characteristic we select for at Bandalier. Our team members are used to getting many 'nos' before getting to a 'yes' - and having to reach out to prospects multiple times before getting any answer at all.
A recent internal study of tens of thousands of prospects in our system revealed the number of 'touches' an average prospect receives before committing to a sales appointment with a client. Our inside sales teams use a multi-channel approach to pique prospect interest, including outbound calls, e-mails, and social media touches (usually via Linkedin). For the purposes of this study, we looked at the average number of calls and e-mails a prospect that moved forward to the next stage in the sales funnel (usually an appointment with a client) received from a Bandalier sales rep.
As you can see, on average it takes Bandalier inside sales reps 4.9 calls and 2.0 emails (or 7 touches total) to successfully reach the prospect and get them to commit to the next steps. It's worth noting that this is just to get to the next step in our process. Closed deals require many more touches.
We use these data points, which vary substantially by client and industry, to help inform our multi-touch sequences and the number of prospects we add to each cadence - and to remind our team members never to give up.
James Boedicker - Client Delivery Associate at Bandalier
Every good thing must come to an end. Because Bandalier makes the most of the young and innovative talent pool of our local colleges, Binghamton University and SUNY Broome, we sadly have to say our goodbyes when graduation rolls around every May. This past weekend we had 8 graduates who will be moving on to the next chapter of their lives. Here are their stories:
When Melanie Messinger started at Bandalier last August she had experience working with CRMs and data analysis but making calls was a new experience for her. With Bandalier’s intensive Inside Sales training program led by Matt Scanlon her transition to client-facing work was made much more seamless.
“I think the training was great...they [did] a great job helping me through everything and making it a learning experience.”
Now that her time at Bandalier has come to a close, Melanie hopes to directly apply those skills to her next job. She plans to enter a career in sales, media, or advertising. But before she left Binghamton, there’s one more thing she had to do: give the commencement speech at one of BU’s Harpur College graduations.
“I thought I had a message I could give to the graduating class. I do love Binghamton, and I thought it was worth a shot since Binghamton has given me so much over the years.”
Her message? One of hope, growth, and accepting the unpredictability of life.
“We all came here with a certain goal in mind, but you kind of find yourself along the way and sometimes that goal changes, and it’s essentially on you to figure out what you want.”
When Elise Berk first started working at Bandalier in September of 2017 she was one of the very first people to join the team. She wanted to be a part of a startup, but instead got to help build that startup from the ground floor.
“It’s been really cool [seeing Bandalier grow] because when we first started there were like 5 people in a completely different office, much smaller, and it was way less organized. Being here [since the beginning] has really helped me see how much growth in such a short period of time Bandalier has experienced.”
With a degree in Business Administration and a double concentration in Management Information Systems and Marketing under her belt, Elise will be moving on to a full-time job after graduation. She will be working at Protiviti, a management consulting agency in New York City.
When she leaves, Elise will take with her many of the skills she learned here at Bandalier: “how to properly and effectively communicate with both clients and coworkers, how to talk to a boss, communication.”
As she leaves the startup culture Bandalier has cultivated, Elise says what she will miss the most is the people.
“[I love] the open easygoing environment that really made it comfortable to ask any questions. Everyone was extremely responsive to the employees and would always ask for their opinions which was pretty cool.”
When Derek Nash first started at Bandalier he wanted to use his time here to figure out whether he wanted to pursue a career in sales. After about a year of experience and a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems under his belt, Derek now knows that sales is exactly what he wants to do.
Derek hopes to move back to Boston to work for a tech company, much like the clients Bandalier represents. In many ways, his experience here will directly transfer to his next job.
“I’m applying for a lot of sales jobs so the sales experience [here] has definitely helped a lot. I’ve definitely learned a lot about what goes into people buying things.”
Halle Preston will be leaving Binghamton University this May with a dual degree in Philosophy Politics and Law as well as Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems. She will then move on to work as an International Trade and Customs Consultant at PWC.
Halle says there are many things she will miss about Bandalier.
“I think the work environment is just so casual and makes work seem fun, it’s really nice to come in and not feel stressed out that I have to be here. I think it’s been a really important experience to work at a startup to see how a business can be created…you can tell it’s a work in progress and it’s growing. I think it’s really important to see how a business can become what Bandalier is becoming.”
And while Halle won’t be working in a sales capacity at her next position, many of the skills she learned here will transfer.
“I think [making calls] honestly helped me improve my sales technique, and I learned to talk to people and connect with them in a way that makes them receptive, not just in sales but in general.”
With a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, Maddie Lowe plans to spend the summer working for Bandalier before continuing her studies with Binghamton University’s fast track MBA program.
Whatever she moves on to do with her business degree, Maddie has a wide array of sales expertise that she will take with her. While she started with Bandalier as an Inside Sales Associate, she was soon moved to the data analytics side of the organization.
As she moves on in her career, Maddie credits Bandalier with many of the changes she has experienced during her professional growth.
“I would say now with my analytics background I pay very close attention to detail. I have very good Excel skills now, which is important to have, as well as knowledge about sales in general. Every company does sales one way or another so I think it’s going to be vital to any position that I have.”
Maddie says her favorite thing about Bandalier is the people.
“I think everybody would say the same thing: the people, the company culture are my favorite things. Walking into work, having everybody say “hi” to you. And Matt and Jeremy are great, I’ve never had better bosses, they’re really great people and they want to see you succeed no matter what, so that’s awesome. I’m really gonna miss the people once I’m gone.”
Now that she has received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Policy and Law, Kim Henry plans to take a gap year before enrolling in law school.
After about 8 months interning for Bandalier, Kim knows there is one thing she will miss (besides the complimentary coffee): “the friendly co-workers and friends that I met along the way!”
While a career as a lawyer is very different from the sales experience she has gained at Bandalier, Kim has gained some valuable skills that she will carry on with her.
“I have learned a lot about time management. At Bandalier, I had a ton of tasks that divided up my time. As a result, I learned how to manage my time well and it's a skill I excelled at and will definitely take with me not only to future jobs but also to my personal life!”
Following her graduation with a degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecosystems, Monica Benjovsky will be spending the summer working at Martha’s Vineyard. As a seasonal Summer Ranger she will be able to channel her love for nature into her work, making sure that the parks are well maintained.
While outsourced sales is a far cry from environmental policy or outdoors stewardship, Monica got a brand new, broadly applicable skill set at Bandalier.
“I’ve definitely learned about sales even though I didn’t do [client facing work]. I learned a lot about how to outreach to companies: the wording of sentences and emails. It was a good educational experience and something I never thought I would do.”
While Monica never thought that sales would be for her, she says her first interview with the company changed her mind. Since then her co-workers have helped Monica hone her communication skills.
“They’re very friendly and welcoming, and they’re just very open to questions and open to helping you whenever you need help.”
After I graduate this May with my Master of Arts in Teaching I plan to spend the summer as a Marketing Intern for HarperCollins Publishing while working remotely for Bandalier.
While I never thought I would work in sales, I heard about this fast-growing startup and thought it would be a cool experience. I never thought I would come to love working here so much!
I started out this February making calls for a POS software company, then moved on to researching prospects and writing email openings for another client, and now I’m a Multi-Channel Specialist (meaning I will be working for multiple clients doing outreach through methods besides your typical call and email sequence).
Because I’ve had the opportunity to work in so many roles, I have gained many skills that will transfer over into my future career, whether it be in teaching, book publishing, or marketing.
Making calls helped me gain confidence and hone my skills of persuasion. Researching companies and writing emails helped me to sharpen my writing skills and ability to identify the unique features of every company I come across. I have gained invaluable communication skills here.
My favorite thing about working at Bandalier is that there is so much room for growth here, and our bosses really care about our needs and our interests. I told Jeremy and Matt that I’m really interested in marketing and then they found opportunities for me to write blog posts and work as a Multi-Channel Specialist. There are so many people here who want to see you succeed!
Congratulations and best of luck to our 2019 graduates. We’re sad to see you go, but we hope to see you flourish as you each take your individual paths to greatness!
By Alex Cruz-Jimenez
Based in a college town, Bandalier has the privilege of leveraging the large pool of up-and-coming talent from our local colleges: Binghamton University and SUNY Broome. We enjoy seeing our student employees grow, succeed, and eventually graduate! We decided to check in on five graduates of the Binghamton University class of 2018, all former Bandalier team members, to see what they are up to today!
Moira joined the Bandalier team in February of 2018 and was among the first handful of B.U. students to work with us part-time. Since graduating, Moira has moved to Florence, Italy where she’s been working and traveling around Europe.
Currently, she’s working as a sales and marketing associate for Smart Trip Europe, where she sells trips throughout Europe to American students studying abroad. During the week, she builds a clientele around Florence via social media, direct sales, and marketing tactics. On weekends, she leads groups of up to 150 students to exciting destinations.
“My position as an associate and tour guide allows me to travel almost every weekend. This is an aspect I love, I’ve been to about 13 countries and all around Italy leading tours since August. This May, I’ll be continuing my travels to Southeast Asia, mainly participating in work-trade schools, retreats, sustainable farms, and more.
Her time at Bandalier has had a measurable impact on her success at her current job. “Bandalier’s sales training with Matt allowed me to learn tactics to use when presenting a product or what to do when rejected. The market of my company is pretty competitive, so having the skills Matt taught me has been extremely beneficial.”
When asked about her time at Bandalier what still sticks out to her are the people and open work environment. The company's value of continuous improvement (kaizen) allowed her to apply her supply chain major in a way she never imagined. “I’m still very grateful for this lesson and I intend to incorporate it in every job I have in the future.”
After graduating from B.U., Kali stayed with Bandalier for the summer before heading back to school to pursue her Juris Doctor at the University at Buffalo, School of Law. “Law school is the best challenge I have ever taken on. It is hard, especially your first year, but I would never change it for the world.”
While in school she also works as a law clerk focusing in civil defense at NYCM Insurance and will be participating in an NYC finance program this coming fall. She is keeping her options open in regards to what type of law she pursues but is highly interested in copyright and intellectual property with a particular focus on the fashion industry.
Reflecting on her time at Bandalier, Kali says that her favorite part about the job was the strong relationships she was able to build with fellow employees as well as clients. “Bandalier is a great place to build your skills for any career. It’s where I learned how to be comfortable on the phone, adjust to a client’s needs, and write an amazing email. Any job you will pursue requires these skills and I’m so thankful I was able to learn from the guidance of Jeremy and Matt.”
Zach has been busy professionally and personally since graduating from B.U. Professionally, he decided to make the switch from working part-time to full-time at Bandalier, saying that he “knew it was a great opportunity to help a startup grow, and to be there from the bottom floor was too good to pass on.”
Since transitioning to a full-time employee, he has risen to join the ranks of management, working as an Associate Sales Manager. His role consists of conducting interviews for prospective employees and training for new hires, acting as the point-person for full-time employees, and mentoring staff through role plays and one-on-ones, all while racking up demos for his 2 client accounts. When asked what it’s like being in a position of leadership Zach said “I enjoy working with everyone and being able to help shape the culture of the company. Being a leader is something that I really enjoy. It is hard to manage your time and get everything done, but it is also very rewarding.”
Personally, he’s continued his passions of writing music and poetry, and has had his poetry published in various journals across the country! “Getting published in so many journals has been so cool. To see your poetry in a book is such an amazing feeling.” He also enjoys raising his three children while renovating the house he has purchased for his family.
Looking towards the future, in five years Zach sees himself as “Bandalier’s Imperial Emperor.” On a more serious note, he does see himself in senior management while continuing to make music and poetry, hoping to have a book published by then. Having watched the company grow so much in his time with Bandalier, from three people when he interviewed to nearly 40 now, has been surreal. He encourages everyone to consider applying to Bandalier to experience the great startup culture while learning sales skills that are transferable to all parts of life.
Tyler worked for Bandalier during his last semester before graduation. He now works for Community Options, working on a partnership with several local businesses including Lourdes, Shumaker, and other STEM-related businesses where he works to generate internship programs.
His experience at Bandalier has given him invaluable skills that transferred well into his current role. “The culture of accountability fostered through the weekly goal setting, kaizen philosophy, and end-of-day “stand-ups” allowed me to see what it was like to work in an environment that helps you truly better yourself.”
Since graduating from SUNY Oneonta last May, Andrew has been enjoying his time as a full-time, fully-dedicated Bandalier employee. Excited about the amount of growth he witnessed during his first few months working part-time, he made the decision to stay in Binghamton and go full-time after graduating. His role as the Sales Operations lead entails overseeing lead generation, multi-channel outreach, CRM troubleshooting, and any other technical issues that may come up.
One of Andrew’s favorite Bandalier memories is when the team moved into its new office at the Koffman Incubator. “I felt that it really represented the amount of growth Bandalier had seen given that we outgrew our first office in less than a year. What's even more exciting is that less than a year later we're now reaching a point where we're outgrowing our current office!”
We here at Bandalier are so proud of our grads! As they continue to grow in their lives, whether at Bandalier or elsewhere, we wish them the best of luck as they work to become the best that they can be!
It’s 2019, and a common trope is that automation and technology are job-killers. These fears are particularly prevalent in the sales world. Technology has changed the traditional buying process, and a common line of reasoning goes: “there is no need for traditional salespeople - or any salespeople - in a world where buyers can do research online and have their questions answered by bots.” Analogous arguments exist in almost every profession.
Far less discussed are the countless numbers of jobs being enabled by new technology every day. While these are often overlooked in broader discussions about the future of work, they are sharply in focus at Bandalier, because many important elements of our organization’s sales processes and culture could not have existed in the same form even a decade ago.
Our outsourced inside sales teams have conducted sales calls from Binghamton, NY on behalf of clients based in places as far away as Australia and the Philippines. A suite of software tools developed in the last few years makes our work immeasurably easier, from internal communications to collecting and analyzing data.
Certainly, it’s true that tools like these have eliminated certain types of work--generally, mundane tasks salespeople used to dread (for instance, putting data into spreadsheets, or manually dialing numbers). Using these technologies, our employees are free to focus on higher-level work that is far more likely to generate results (for instance, researching client websites and Linkedin profiles before reaching out, and then tailoring their pitches accordingly)--and more difficult to replace with bots.
One decade ago it may have been hard for a sales manager at a growing tech company to wrap their head around using an inside sales team based thousands of miles away in a small city in upstate New York. They might have asked questions like: “how will we know they are actually working?” or “how will I provide them with feedback the way I could with an in-house team?” These tools have given us great answers to these questions, allowing Bandalier to create economic opportunity in parts of the country where start-ups and jobs in tech are usually harder to find.