Most business processes and functions these days can be outsourced these days, including marketing and sales activities. Depending on your business set-up and situation, outsourcing sales activities can be either a good or bad idea.
Maybe you don’t have the time, the people, the tools, or the money to do the work you need to drive sales. If you’re feeling stuck and your business is not generating the intended revenue streams, then sales outsourcing may be the answer.
If done right, it can help you scale your business and increase sales revenues, as well as save you costs. However, if done poorly and without much thought and preparation, it could hit your business hard.
In this guide, we’ll cover the essential things you need to think about before jumping on the outsourcing bandwagon.
- Think about your consumer and your product
There’s no denying that the tools and expertise offered by third-party sales outsourcing companies can boost your sales revenues. However, not all businesses may be suitable for sales outsourcing. For instance, if your product by nature is priced low and has a short sales cycle, you might not be a good fit. In these instances, it may be in your best interest to use automated tools for sales lead generation and client communications. Complement this with your inbound marketing strategies and you’re good to go.
If your product requires highly targeted consumers, has a longer sales cycle and is priced higher, say at least $1,000, then sales outsourcing may be right for you.
- Will you outsource a portion or all of your sales activities?
Assess your current sales team set-up and evaluate their performance. This way, you can determine in which functions they perform best or in which activities they need reinforcement (i.e., outsourcing). Doing this can also help you decide whether it’s best for your company to pass on some or all of the activities to a sales outsourcing firm. When deciding to outsource some of your sales functions, try keeping a small team of sales development representatives (SDRs) to continue working for your business. This ensures that you will have a functional team even if you decide to stop hiring a third-party sales team.
Some businesses prefer to develop their in-house sales team to have total control of all their operations. However, sales activities offer some level of autonomy for your SDRS, and you don’t have control over them all the time. Unless you use sales scripts, you cannot dictate what your rep says, or how he or she interacts with a prospective client. That said, sales outsourcing or creating your in-house sales team should not be viewed as giving up or staying in control. The key principle is being able to pass on the tasks to the most capable professionals, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re in-house or outsourced.
- Come up with a computation of ROI on outsourcing your sales
This may be easier said than done, but not impossible. Upfront costs for sales professionals may look expensive, but compare it to the costs of setting up your entire team, and you’ll end up typically spending more on the latter.
For instance, you might spend a total of $10,000 a month for a sales team extension, while you could shell out roughly $20,000 a month for hiring a sales manager and up to five marketing professionals. Also take into consideration that you may need to invest in your newly-hired SDRs in terms of training, and skills development initiatives. As such, they may not be able to fully support your need for income streams right away.
Consider all the potential in-house expenses before comparing it with your outsourcing costs. If you can, also come up with a calculation of the potential amount to be saved and the projected sales for each mode.
- Ensure sales and marketing are aligned
One of the best means to drive sales is to arm your SDRs with all the tools and resources, especially content marketing materials, that help convince prospects or leads to avail of your products and services. The same principle works even if you outsource your sales activities.
If you have an existing sales and marketing team, make sure that they’re operating seamlessly so you can duplicate or tweak some of the best practices before adding your external sales group. If you fail to do this, you’ll end up with a messy set-up that results in missed opportunities.
Make sure that the business marketing strategy takes into account your outsourced sales team, so both teams can work together to achieve the same goals.
- Identify the sales reinforcement services that your need
Most businesses hire the services of the cheapest outsourcing sales provider, which, as they’ll later find out, is not always the best mode of action.
Before assessing the best potential outsourcing partner, make sure that you have a clear set of time-sensitive goals you want to achieve. Performing a SWOT analysis of your business helps. Then, ask around or do your homework by finding reputable sales outsourcing groups online and offline. Study whether the firm’s expertise aligns with your needs. Do you need to boost your in-house team’s lead generation capacities? Do you want a firm that offers impeccable automated sales services or one that’s strong on social media and other digital platforms?
The Bottom Line
Sales outsourcing is gaining ground among businesses that don’t have adequate resources and time, or the capacity, to increase sales. Rather than starting from scratch, seeking the services of a third-party sales firm may augment your revenues faster. Before engaging in sales outsourcing, remember the key considerations discussed in this article, so you can get the most out of your partnership.
Ian Brown is a full-time blogger who regularly shares information on the newest innovations in the business industry. Ian also gives out tips on how readers can start their own businesses and what mistakes should they avoid to ensure that their endeavor thrives long-term.