Outsourcing sales teams are becoming a popular solution to accelerate revenue, drive cost savings, or augment sales teams for businesses. This allows businesses to hand off the high costs of payroll, turnover, hiring, and management, which distract them from business growth.
While it’s great to note that many businesses have achieved success through adopting an outsourced sales team, it’s also important to understand that the industry varies in quality. Too often businesses make decisions on outsourcing based on inflated numbers on outsourcers’ websites.
The ideal outsourced sales partner should be highly transparent, agile, and customizable, as well as work diligently to provide suggestions and implement solutions to improve the current infrastructure and workflows and help your business meet its sales goals. Learn more about the value of outsourcing with the outsourced sales team calculator.
What Is an Outsourced Sales Team
An outsourced sales team is an outside agency or collection of individuals that help a business delegate parts or all of its sales process. Based on internal metrics and KPIs, outsourcing is typically adopted when the internal team lacks the time, resources, or expertise to successfully carry out the sales process steps to achieve their sales goals.
The value of outsourced sales teams is that they already have invested in the necessary training and resources to equip their teams to boost sales for a diverse range of client companies. This includes recruiting and hiring, management, technology, and overall sales strategies. This makes outsourcing more affordable, less time consuming, and less stressful than building an internal sales team.
What types of work do businesses outsource for sales? It can vary from qualifying leads, lead generation, setting sales appointments, inbound and outbound call campaigns, CRM management, and closing deals. The ultimate goal of outsourcing sales is to increase conversion rates and build a more predictable revenue stream.
Is It Better to Outsource Domestically or Internationally?
Outsourcing is typically associated with offshoring work overseas. However, there are many domestic options to support outsourced sales work. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. While international teams are much cheaper on the surface than domestic teams, there are many hidden expenses and challenges that prevent their ability to maximize revenue. These include lower production quality, decrease in overall performance, poor brand association, language barriers, time zone differences, and communication challenges. The cost of these challenges far exceeds the initial price difference.
Next, we’ll discuss six key traits to look for when finding the right outsourced sales team for your business: Transparency, Comfortability, Cultural Context, Affordability, Reliability, and Credibility.
What to Look for in an Outsourced Sales Team
Transparency: You should keep an eye out for outsourced sales partners that over promise solutions. Sales strategies and solutions are contingent on the company and industry. Your outsourced sales partner should be honest that there will not be immediate results, but rather an initial investment phase to ensure quality business growth. They should be open to answering questions about their team’s core competencies, level of sales expertise, technologies to leverage, and potential risk and returns from the engagement.
Comfortability: Your outsourced sales team should not move too quickly to define solutions for your business. They should first cautiously assess your company culture, current process, and scope in the market. Ultimately, you decide what parts of the sales process steps you will be handing over and which you will keep in-house. Your outsourced sales team should understand and consider your business’ core values and company culture, and allow you to feel that you have greater control over the sales process, not less.
Cultural Context: Your outsourced team needs to share and understand the cultural context that you desire for your potential customer and your internal team. It is important to ask how you want to be represented in the marketplace, how you want your brand to be associated with potential clients and does the outsourced partner share your values and vision. Answers to these questions will help to determine whether a domestic or international option is best for you.
Affordability: Your outsourced sales team should be comfortable running through an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of their outsourced sales services versus your business hiring in-house. Ideally, their outsourced services should lower costs for your organization and improve profitability. However, the cheapest option is not always the best. Your business should emphasize capabilities over cost, as well as the increase of revenue alongside expenses.
Reliability: An ideal outsourced sales team has experience selling multiple solutions with diverse sales processes and sales cycles. They should provide a reliable method that’s proven successful across different industries and business sizes. By focusing their attention and effort specifically on the sales process steps, your internal team can focus on the bigger-picture sales strategies. You should want to meet regularly with your team to ensure your goals are aligned.
Credibility: Finally, your outsourced sales team should have proven experience through case studies, client reviews, and other data. They should not just be a basic call center focused on customer service or IT, but a true sales center focused on driving revenue. Your business should ask: How well does this outsourced sales team drive thought leadership and creativity during the proposal process? Are they just giving you what you asked for or providing innovative ideas for how to reach your sales goals?
Hiring an outsourced sales team is a fluid extension of your business. You should feel that your outsourced sales partner tailors their approach to your company culture and only saves your business on time and costs.
Other than lowering costs and increasing revenue, outsourced sales teams should also offer a new perspective on your sales processes for further business growth. For example, implementing a new CRM technology, entering new markets (by geography or segment), or even drastically changing your sales model (e.g., introducing the SDR/AE split).
Overall, the ideal outsourced sales team should challenge your own sales forces to brainstorm new and diverse approaches that best fit your company’s values and mission.