If you work in sales, the thought of outsourcing some of your sales efforts has probably occurred to you at one time or another. After all, it sounds nice to be able to build up your team without the long-term commitment of adding on staff headcount, salaries and benefits.
However, because of expense, training or time, you may have hesitated instead of signing on the dotted line with an outsourced sales firm.
If you just haven’t been able to decide that the time is right for adding outsourced sales, take a closer look. If you see any of these signs, it may be time to give serious thought to adding an outsourced sales team to support your company’s efforts.
#1 - You’re spending all your time recruiting
When managing a sales team, you spend a lot of time reviewing resumes, conducting interviews and seeking qualified talent for your team.
Sales teams generally have high rates of turnover – some as high as 20% annually. Because salespeople are generally passionate, driven personalities, they often jump around.
The average time for training a new salesperson is around nine months, so that means months of a new staff member taking time from you and your existing team to become fully educated on your processes and goals. And then, if they leave, the process starts all over again.
Outsourced sales solution: A fully-staffed professional team at the ready
Working with an outsourced sales team means you’re not responsible for the constant management of the recruiting process.
Instead, your outsourced team leaders keep your team fully staffed at all times, so you can feel confident you have a full roster of sales professionals producing results.
#2 - You’re itching for the challenge of conquering a new market
Growing your business’s market area is like playing the game of Risk; you need to make sure you have an adequate team on the ground before seeking to conquer a new area.
If you’re ready to expand your sales operations to a new city, state or country, it can be costly and time-consuming to relocate your staff members. It can be even more so if you choose to build a new staff from the ground up, because you lose the benefit of institutional and cultural knowledge necessary to launch in a new area.
Outsourced sales solution: A team that’s ready to go in and win new business
Hiring an outsourced sales team can be a highly-efficient way to make moves into a new market.
The same goes for launching a new product, whether in a new market or your existing one. If you’ve created a great product, you may be ready to sell it, but you're not sure exactly which tactics will work to attract attention and get the sales ball rolling.
By outsourcing, you share the sales responsibilities with a professional sales team that has done this before, and that can fill in the gaps where you might be unfamiliar.
Sharing the workload can make you more productive and give you the opportunity to learn best practices from your experienced outsourced team to prepare for additional new markets in the future.
#3 - You’ve been told to cut budget, but increase productivity
Do more with less.
It’s a pithy sentiment, but it’s not always easy to make it work when you’re the one responsible for those “do more” results.
In a perfect world, you’d achieve more by throwing resources at your sales quotas. You’d staff up, get people on the phones and going door-to-door and spend money to make money.
In reality, adding staff, getting them up to speed, retaining them and training them is expensive.
Outsourced sales solution: Do more, pay less
Outsourced sales teams provide you resources at reasonable rates. Consider the cost of bringing on a new salesperson (typically at least $10,000 to $15,000), then factor in salaries, retention and training, then multiply it times the number of salespeople you’d need to onboard in order to hit those goals.
With an outsourced sales team, all the different roles you might need to hire for are included, such as representatives who can make outbound calls, chat services, training and quality assurance.
The efficiency that comes from outsourcing all those services in one convenient package is hard to beat.
#4 - You feel over your head with training
With the vast amount of sales technology available, you need a team with a wide variety of skills and talents, including sales automation, customer relationship management, data analysis and more. However, maintaining teams with these and other valuable skills sets can be costly and time-consuming.
One discouraging statistic says that 84% of sales training is forgotten with the first 90 days after completion unless there’s continued follow-up.
With that low ROI, it can feel impossible to dedicate the time and resources needed to keep your sales team on track.
Outsourced sales solution: Ongoing reinforcement by dedicated trainers
A good outsourced sales team will have training and quality assurance resources focused on improving your sales success rates.
These team members help bring your outsourced sales development reps and chat team up to speed. They then monitor their efforts and continuously coach and train them to make sure concepts are developed, rather than forgotten.
#5 - You find leads stashed here, there and everywhere
Have you ever experienced that horrible sinking feeling when you find a box or spreadsheet filled with trade show lead information that got stashed away, and then forgotten about for weeks or months after the event? It seems like there’s no point in even attempting to make contact because it’s been so long since the initial connection.
Even if you haven't encountered this particular type of lead loss, there are still plenty of other ways for prospects and leads to go by the wayside in a fast-paced corporate setting.
In fact, even though data shows that a quick turnaround on calls generates the best possibility of a follow-up conversation, many companies don’t have the resources available to handle them expediently.
In fact, in a test of 400+ companies, only 7% responded within five minutes of receiving an information request from a prospect; over 50% waited more than five days to follow up.
Outsourced sales solution: A streamlined, centralized lead management process
If you’re connecting with a prospect but don’t have the bandwidth to nurture the relationship, you might as well have not made the initial connection at all. With an outsourced sales team, you’ll have the resources available to pool your prospects and leads, then make concerted efforts to connect with them.
For example, B2B software provider Ipswitch had thousands of Marketing Qualified Leads gathered but needed help to organize them and start making contact. Through their outsourced sales relationship, they were able to start connecting with the leads, and secured more than 60 new appointments weekly to convert their prospects and move them through their sales funnel.
#6 - You’ve got a leaky funnel
You have a great product. You have great pricing. Yet somehow, your sales just aren't reaching the goals you've set. Why?
As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
If you’re getting prospects in the door with your marketing, but then struggling to seal the deal with them, there’s some element missing. You just need to figure out what it is.
Outsourced sales solution: Insight backed by experience
When you work with an outsourced sales team, their whole job is to … sell. They have experience with a variety of products, audiences and industries, and chances are, they’ve seen issues similar to yours when working with other clients.
Your outsourced sales team can help you identify your issues and resolve them, so you can seal up those leaks in your funnel. And, they also have the knowledge and expertise in the sales arena to be able to tell you if the goals you’re shooting for are realistic and a good fit for your business.
#7 - You want to give your team room to grow
More than 40% of sales reps say prospecting is the most challenging part of their jobs. If you see that your team is constantly getting bogged down in the prospecting process, they won’t be able to grow, develop and lead other areas in the future.
If you have shining stars on your staff that you want to train for promotions or advancement, do you really want them spending 25 of their work hours per month just leaving voicemails?
Outsourced sales solution: Hand off what they don’t like to make room for what they do
If your in-house team isn’t in love with prospecting, but does have a flair for client presentations or other sales roles, take the opportunity to place them where they can shine.
Your outsourced sales team members can handle the initial contacts and manage the arduous prospecting process, leaving additional bandwidth for your team members to excel in the areas that are most interesting to them.
So, what now?
Have you faced these or any other issues pointing to the need for sales support? Investing in an outsourced sales team can give you the resources and firepower you need to keep pushing your sales efforts forward, without creating stress and strain for you and your team.
Have you brought on an outsourced sales team, or are you considering it? What signs have led you to outsourced sales as a potential solution to the sales issues you’ve faced? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below: