5 Common Questions Regarding Outsourcing Sales
“Sales outsourcing” means working with a third-party partner to manage or enhance your company’s sales efforts. Outsourcing sales has become a popular option for companies that want to grow quickly, that are looking to expand into new markets, or that just want to find a way to improve their business processes and meet their growth goals.
If you’re considering outsourcing, you may be wondering whether or not it’s the right fit for you. We’ve compiled a few of the more common questions, along with reasons that outsourcing sales might be a good option for your business.
#1 - Can You Outsource Sales Without Losing Your Values?
Your culture and brand are important to your company; you’ve invested a lot into building a personality and image for your company. Will outsourcing your sales to a separate team compromise the culture you’ve built?
The good news is that, even when working with an outsourced team, you can still emphasize the things that are most distinctive about your brand. And, yes, culture matters - both your internal culture and a willing, helpful, agile culture on the part of your outsourced sales partner.
The best way to accomplish this is by working to build a diligent partnership with your outsourced sales team leaders from the beginning. By investing time in sharing your company’s culture and values, you’ll develop a more successful onboarding process and a stronger foundation for long-term success.
When you begin outsourcing sales, it’s important to connect early and often so that your outsourced sales team can develop a full understanding of your goals.
In addition, an outsourced sales team should commit the training resources needed to keep your efforts on track over time. Their on-staff training professionals should be able to ensure your outsourced sales team has an in-depth understanding of the solution you’re offering and that they present it properly to potential clients.
#2 - Can You Outsource Sales in Pieces, or is It “All-or-Nothing”?
Outsourcing sales doesn’t have to mean giving up full control of your program and handing it over to some unseen external entity.
In fact, the way your sales outsourcing program will be set up can vary depending on your needs - your sales outsourcing program may look very different from what’s put in place at another company. When starting a relationship with an outsourced sales team, you’ll want to define the sales process and assign responsibilities:
- Who will make contact with prospects?
- What types of communication tools will be used (calls, sales chat, email marketing platforms, social selling, etc.)?
- At what point will the lead or customer be handed off to the in-house team?
- What will the prospect/customer experience be like throughout the sales flow?
By taking time to set expectations, you’ll be better able to ensure a seamless experience for your customers. This also gives you a chance to determine which tools work best for your business and its outsourced sales implementation.
Some firms may outsource the entire sales process from prospecting to sealing the deal, while others may choose to outsource only a particular function or piece of the sales process. For example, you may decide that you want to incorporate AI functionality, like a Managed Sales Chat option, as an initial point of contact and an opportunity to gather and score leads before turning them over to your team.
A sales outsourcing partner could help you implement this initial lead capture piece, before transitioning future outreach to your team. This gives prospective customers a way to connect with your company and get the information they need, without feeling like they’re making a serious commitment. It can also give your team the option to gauge interest and obtain any information needed for your sales follow-up process.
#3 - Can You Outsource Sales without Spending a Ton of Money?
There is definitely a cost associated with outsourced sales. However, the expenses of an experienced, highly trained, results driven outsourced sales team can be offset both by new revenue earned and by a reduction in other sales-related expenses.
For example, bringing on an outsourced sales team can help you cut the time, effort and expense required to train and retain in-house sales professionals; hiring an in-house sales team may cost you nearly half a million dollars annually in salaries and benefits.
That doesn’t even take into consideration the high cost of turnover and repetitive training for an in-house sales team. Research shows that sales team turnover averages about 20 percent annually, and that it can take an average of nine months to get a sales team member fully up to speed.
At less than half the cost, you could bring on a managed service company’s high quality sales team, in addition to benefiting from their experience, knowledge and expertise in the field.
To offset the expenses associated with sales outsourcing, consider the increase in sales productivity you may gain from having a knowledgeable outsourced sales team supporting your business.
Take the example of DirectTech Labs, an AI and behavioral science company, which contracted with managed sales provider CloudTask to add bandwidth and close more sales.
Following the implementation of new prospecting and lead nurturing techniques by the CloudTask team, DirectTech secured more than $2 million in new business and generated a 21X return on their outsourced sales investment.
Outsourcing part or all of your sales process comes down to knowing your company’s numbers - specifically, your average customer lifetime value (LTV) and your customer acquisition costs (CAC). Your CAC must be lower than your LTV by a predetermined margin in order for your company to remain profitable. If an outsourced provider can bring you new sales at a lower CAC than an in-house team, why wouldn’t you try expanding your team in this way?
#4 - Can you Outsource Sales if You’re Selling a Complex Product?
Many technology products, including SaaS and infrastructure offerings, include a lot of technical detail and moving parts. For this reason, you may be wondering whether or not it’s possible to efficiently train an outsourced sales team on the intricacies associated with your product.
However, when it comes down to it, a good sales team is selling one thing - a solution. Working with a team that has experience in the best overall sales strategies makes sense because they can be trained on your product when you start the outsourced sales relationship. The more important - and harder to duplicate - differentiator they bring to the table is their wealth of sales knowledge and their experience in applying it.
Combining their communication skills with an ongoing commitment to training means that they’re ready to listen to prospective customers, get to the heart of their business needs, then communicate benefits and a solution.
In fact, they often don’t have to provide a complex answer; technical professionals can usually be brought in for nuts-and-bolts support, if necessary.
The outsourced sales team’s job is, instead, to build trust and nurture the potential relationship. Given that technology products and corporate buyers are generally associated with longer sales cycles, it’s more important than ever to engage potential buyers throughout the sales process. There’s no reason a managed services team utilizing sales best practices can’t play a role in providing this support.
#5 - Can You Outsource Sales and Still be a Successful?
The answer to this question is an unequivocal YES.
Outsourcing sales doesn’t mean that you place a lower value on the sales process. Instead, it often implies the opposite; when you outsource sales, you’re showing that you’re committed to putting tried-and-tested sales techniques into practice and working with knowledgeable experts.
In fact, when you outsource sales, you may find that you’re actually able to commit more time and energy to creating a strategic, repeatable sales process, in partnership with your sales team’s business relationship manager. By removing portions of the sales and marketing process from your plate and focusing your internal efforts on strategic areas where you can excel, you’ll reap better benefits for both your team and your overall organization.
It’s time to stop wondering whether or not you can outsource sales and still keep your company moving forward. A partnership with a managed sales team not only makes financial sense - it can play an integral part in helping you achieve the sales and growth goals you’ve established for your business as well.
Have you considered outsourcing sales to a managed partnership? What questions do you want answered before taking the next step? Let us know in the comments below:
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