What Outsourcing Sales Can Do for Your Company
One of the biggest dilemmas a business owner has to face is whether to keep sales 100% in-house, or outsource part (or all) of those sales functions to a 3rd party provider. This certainly is not a decision that should be made lightly! That being said, there are several benefits associated with outsourcing sales, and this may be the right path for your company to take.
Let's talk about what sales outsourcing is, how it works, and why you should consider investing in it.
What is sales outsourcing, exactly?
Simply put, sales outsourcing is when you delegate all or part of your sales process to an outside agency. It could include a number of sales functions, such as:
- Market research
- Development of buyer personas
- Lead generation
- Fielding inbound/outbound sales calls
- Creation of an overall sales/marketing plan
The beauty of sales outsourcing is that you can make it whatever you need it to be. If you want an agency to handle all of your company's sales processes, that's certainly within your reach. On the other hand, if you only want to delegate specific tasks to a third party provider, most agencies will work with you to make that happen as well.
Okay, so how do outsourced sales teams work?
An outsourced sales team will work as your partner to help you achieve your business goals. The team should be able to leverage their expertise on a variety of sales functions in order to help your business grow — from developing an effective sales strategy for your company to training your reps on how to make the best use of the tools and platforms available to them.
You can work with an outsourced sales team only for as long as it takes to complete a specific project, or you can develop a long-term partnership with them to ensure that all of your business needs will be cared for moving forward.
Reasons why you should consider sales outsourcing for your business
Every business and situation is different, so you need to take your unique circumstances into account when making this decision. Here are some potential reasons why you may want to outsource some or all of your sales functions:
- The workload. If you only have a handful of employees on your internal sales team, then they may not be able to handle the workload that's associated with a large number of leads.
- Market penetration. If you want your business to enter new markets (either in terms of geography or industry), then you may need the support of an outsourced sales agency that has the skill set and experience to make your initiative a success.
- Budget restrictions. You may not have the budget to hire top-performing sales reps as part of your regular staff. If that's the case, you may want to consider contracting with an agency instead.
- Lack of resources and/or experience. Hey, not everyone can be a master of navigating sales platforms like HubSpot and Mailchimp; and your sales team may not be able to spend all day following up on leads when they're focused on other duties. Working with a third party may give you the "bandwidth" needed to focus on your core competencies without letting your sales process fall by the wayside.
What are the benefits of outsourcing sales?
We've already danced around this question a little bit, but now let's really dig into it. Here are just a few factors that may answer the "why?" of sales outsourcing for your business:
1. Sales outsourcing can help you to minimize "growing pains."
There's something called the "Peter Principle" in management — the notion that employees are promoted to their level of incompetence. If you're not vigilant, something similar can happen with your business. As your company grows, you may need to expand your sales team, your offerings, and the scope of your marketing campaigns. Without the needed experience and infrastructure in place, you may end up with sub-par results from your efforts.
That's where a reputable outsourcing agency comes into the picture. Your outsourced sales team can help you to navigate the challenges of testing out new markets, new products or services, and even new selling methods. The results can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights for the next iteration of your campaign.
Bottom line? Why learn from the "school of hard knocks" as you grow your business, when you can partner with an experienced guide instead?
2. Sales outsourcing can help you to make the best use of available tools.
You may not be up to date on the latest and greatest CRM platforms or sales enablement tools. But guess what? Your outsourced sales team will be.
Partnering with an agency that stays ahead of the curve in terms of new technology can help your company to quickly compile, analyze, and interpret key data points. What this means in practice is that your selling will become "smarter" over time. You'll be able to save precious time by consolidating your list of customers and leads into one centralized database, and by focusing your time and energy on the prospects with the highest potential value to your business.
Moreover, your outsourced sales partner can help you to improve the overall customer experience by engaging your audience through a number of channels: Google search, social media, live chat, email, etc. Customers today expect to connect with brands on their platform of choice. By engaging with them on the channel they're most comfortable with, your outsourced sales team will enhance your brand reputation and close more deals in the process.
3. Sales outsourcing can help you to improve your performance.
Working with a third party agency can actually help your in-house team to deliver a better, more consistent performance across the board. For instance, your outsourcing partner can help you to develop a more standardized approach to performance metrics, and give you a "living example" of how to implement best practices. They can offer a range of helpful suggestions and observations that will help you to streamline your internal sales process.
Should your company outsource?
Now we come to the crux of the matter. The answer to that question really depends on several factors, such as your company's rate of expansion, the experience and qualifications of your in-house team members, the budgetary constraints you have to work with, and so forth. You'll also want to make sure that you're okay with a loss of control over day-to-day sales operations (perhaps the biggest single drawback to outsourcing).
On the other hand, sales outsourcing can save you precious time, help you to develop sales processes that are both effective and repeatable, and yield a better ROI than what you've experienced with a 100% in-house solution. While you're the only person who can give a final answer to the above question, you should definitely consider all the benefits around sales outsourcing that we've discussed when making your decision.
Factors to take into account before outsourcing sales
Here are a few key factors that you'll likely need to consider before taking the plunge and outsourcing your sales to a third party agency:
- Find the "why." In other words: Why should we outsource this function? Are we simply unable to perform this in-house? Is this primarily a cost-cutting measure? This should be your first step when considering whether to transfer a certain sales task to an outsourcing provider.
- Define your goals. This is where you need to get specific. What results do you want to see after outsourcing the sales function? How will you measure progress towards your objective? If you're targeting several markets at the same time, you'll also need to determine if the same level of outsourcing is needed for each one.
- Ensure internal alignment. Sales outsourcing is not the kind of thing you announce to your team the day before it happens! You'll need to make sure that all the key stakeholders in your company are on the same page before committing to a specific outsourced solution. For example, are your sales and marketing teams onboard with your new direction? Does everyone understand how the solution will affect their current roles and responsibilities? It's important to sort these important details out before moving past the point of no return.
How to hire the right outsourced sales team for your business
Once you decide to outsource, the next big step is finding an agency that's a good match for your business. You should be able to verify a reputable agency's track record, and perhaps even talk to their previous or current clients. At a minimum, look for an agency with at least 3 years' worth of relevant experience with the sales function you want to delegate, and a working knowledge of selling techniques that apply to your industry.
As more and more companies realize how much time, money, and effort outsourcing can save, expect to see this solution become increasingly popular. And if you want to see more results from your efforts, don't hesitate to contact our team of experts at Leadium for a free consultation. We can help you align your revenue goals with specific data analysis, lead nurturing, and outbound growth strategies, and then turn your plan of action into reality. Contact us today to learn more.
The beauty of sales outsourcing is that you can make it whatever you need it to be. If you want an agency to handle all of your company's sales processes, that's certainly within your reach.