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Sales Outsourcing: Get More Leads Without Hiring a Salesperson

I’ve got three questions for you:

  • Are you tired of dealing with lead generation yourself?
  • Frustrated with not having enough sales leads?
  • Too busy to train a new salesperson? 

Yes? 

Perhaps, sales outsourcing is the way to go. Though a risky move since it involves entrusting your valuable leads to a third party, it may be a smart decision. Especially if you have to focus on core business ― the exact reason for 57% of business executives from Statista survey.

If done right, outsourced sales will help you hit sales quotas or get more qualified leads. Here’s a famous quote to back it up:

“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.”

Interested to know more about outsourcing your sales functions? 

Read on to see how it helps your business and how to choose the right provider.

What is sales outsourcing?

Sales outsourcing is the practice of hiring an external team or individuals to work on part or all of the sales process. The tasks range from generating leads to making appointments to closing deals. By hiring an external sales team, you get the help you need without having to add another employee to your payroll.

Here’s what a typical sales funnel looks like:

Usually, sales contracting companies help you fill your pipeline faster. For example, check out these numbers from one sales outsourcing company.

  • Reduce sales cycle by at least 50%
  • 3x greater pipeline volume
  • boost revenue by 75%-900% in the first year

Their promises are quite tempting, right? Let’s add more to the temptation. Below is a list of leading companies that rely on outsourced sales:

  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • Mailchimp
  • Dropbox
  • Bell Atlantic (Verizon)
  • HubSpot
  • Zoho

Why do businesses choose to outsource some of their sales processes?

Outsourcing may not be your first option, but this practice offers many advantages. Let’s look at some of them:

1. It is a more cost-effective alternative to hiring a full-time sales team

The high cost of recruiting, training, and managing an in-house sales team can be avoided by outsourcing sales. On average, a salesperson costs between $4,000 to $20,000 a month, excluding commissions. And in most cases, it will take months of training before they’re productive. New salespeople take around three months to get ready. 

2. It’s an efficient way to break into new markets

If you’re working with a team of sales professionals outside your own country, you may tap into new markets. Sometimes, an outsourced team already has existing relationships in the new target market.

3. It frees up your time to work on other core tasks 

If you’re like most business owners, you wear a lot of hats. Outsourcing your sales process will take some of the pressure off yourself and focus on other areas of your business that need your attention.

4. It gives you access to a diverse group of sales task specialists

One advantage of sales professionals in an agency is they’re a team. That means you can reach out into a larger talent pool and find the best possible person for the job ― those with the right skill set, experience, and drive. 

5. It allows flexible staffing

Truth is, the business economy is unstable. And that’s why you scale up and down. An outsourced team brings in extra help during busy times, but you can down-staff the team when things slow down. So yes, it allows you to scale up or down as needed.

PS: Sometimes, outsourced sales teams are more productive than in-house teams simply because they’re motivated by commissions and other incentives.

Do all these benefits sound good to you?

Let us help if you’re just starting. 

Start with a directory-like website like Clutch to help you find top sales outsourcing companies. We also recommend the round-up of sales outsourcing services in this article

Signs that you need to outsource your sales

Let’s assess if you need that external help. Here are some of the signs you might need outsourced sales:

  • You’re not generating enough leads. Or, if you have an existing sales team, but they aren’t bringing in new prospects, it may be time to outsource sales. Maybe it’s because they lack motivation or have poor training.
  • You’re consistently missing your sales targets because leads aren’t sales-ready.
  • You don’t have the resources to support a sales team, like extra time or budget.
  • When you’re losing customers at an alarming rate. It could be that your current team isn’t able to match customer needs with your product or service effectively. 
  • When you’re expanding into new markets. That means breaking into new potential markets, and you need sales professionals who are familiar with that market.
  • When you need expertise that you don’t have in-house. Sometimes, you need specific skills or knowledge to close a deal.
  • When you’re undergoing a merger or acquisition. An outsourcing partner will help keep things running smoothly during the transition.

Now I understand that a question may pop into your mind ―  Should every business use sales outsourcing? The short answer is No. Outsourcing is not for every business. Let’s look at the reasons.

Here are a few situations when outsourcing your sales operations might not make sense. 

  • If you have a super unique product or service. It may be difficult to find a sales team that has the knowledge and experience to sell it effectively. 
  • If you have a small budget for sales, outsourcing may not be the most cost-effective option. 
  • If you need to maintain a high level of control over the sales process, it may be better to keep it in-house. 
  • If you have a small customer base. It may be more efficient to handle sales yourself. 

Here’s the most important No: 

If you have a successful sales team in place and they’re working on a product with a strong product-market fit, there’s no need to outsource sales. That’s when your brand value proposition already holds up, and your product solves your market’s problems, so salespeople find it easy to sell your product.

The same logic applies to sales outsourcing, too — only when you have a product-market fit should you consider outsourcing sales. Outsourcing your sales will not solve your product-market fit issues.

If you’ve come this far, let us help you get started.

What to look for in a sales outsourcing provider?

So let’s get this up already. Here’s what you should look for when choosing a sales outsourcing provider. 

Costs: Outsourcing sales can help you save money, right? But know that not all providers are created equal. Be sure to get a cost estimate from each provider you’re considering, so you can compare your options.

Services: What exact services does the provider offer? Do they handle top-of-the-funnel sales tasks only? Make sure the provider you choose offers the services you need. Ask them to provide specific deliverables when sharing their proposals. How many calls/interactions will be handled daily, weekly, or monthly? How many leads will be prospected (if the sales team is doing cold outreach), and so on?

Provider Location: You’ll want to consider time zones and language barriers. If your sales team will be doing cold calling, they must be based in a country where there’s no conflict during office hours and speak the target audience’s language.

With so many sales providers, it’s difficult to tell the good from the bad. Here’s how to identify them:

  • Look for a proven track record. Good sales providers have a proven track record of helping their clients close deals and hit their targets. Be sure to ask for references from past clients and check out online reviews before making your decision.
  • Sense if they have a consultative stance. The best outsourcing providers will take the time to understand your business goals and objectives before making any recommendations. 
  • Committed to customer service. Outsourcing providers committed to providing excellent customer service is a huge plus. They’re willing to answer inquiries or weekly sales reports if needed. 

The cost of sales outsourcing

Here is the truth (and the answer that’s most vague), IT DEPENDS. There’s no set cost for sales outsourcing.

In general, pricing usually changes based on:

  • The number of salespeople required
  • duration of the project
  • size and scope of your project 
  • typical sales process
  • the location of your target market

But to give you a concrete idea, outsourced sales professionals usually charge about $1,000 to $5,000 per project in average. Big enterprises might also pay more.

So how does outsourcing sales really work?

Again, this depends on the project you ask the outsourcing partner for. Some handle everything in the sales process ― from lead generation to closing the sale. Other times, they may only generate leads, so it’s really up to the business.

But here’s how it goes. These will help the sales agency or person to close more deals.

1. Introduce the product

This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s critical to ensure the salesperson is aware of what he/she’s selling. Take the time to go over the features and benefits of the product, and make sure they understand how to convey it to customers.

2. Provide sales enablement materials

By definition, sales enablement refers to any processes or technologies that help empower sales teams to work more efficiently. So this may include a detailed presentation of the product, specifications, and information sheets.

3. Establish SLAs (Service Level Agreements)

SLAs set clear expectations between you and your outsourced sales provider. It specifies that the sales agent is required to provide weekly progress reports or that they will respond to inquiries within 24 hours. It’ll also indicate the number of leads they should provide within a timeframe. 

4. Coordinate communication with the in-house team

This is all about keeping everyone aware of the status of the deal. The sales agency or person should be the point of contact for all communications regarding the sales transaction. Coordination with the in-house team helps ensures that all information is relayed accurately. 

When neither hiring nor sales outsourcing applies

Getting back to our argument, sales outsourcing is not a good fit for every business. Especially if you’re a start-up. Even more so if you’re a start-up with a tiny team ― like a one-person team for marketing and sales.

But the good news is there’s a marketing automation platform that can help you automate the sales process without hiring more people.  Encharge is a marketing automation platform that supercharges your sales cycle.

Here are the features you’ll love:

Encharge featuresThe problem and solution
Automated email follow-upsFollowing up 4-7 times through email results in a reply rate of 27% versus sending just 1-3 emails getting a reply rate of just 9%. Meaning if you don’t follow up with a sales lead, you might lose a positive opportunity.

Encharge lets you send follow-ups or resends triggered by a recipient’s activity.
Lead scoring systemIt’s hard to know the customer who is most likely to buy. Prioritizing becomes difficult by manually gauging a customer’s temperature. Unfortunately, only 25% of leads should move forward to sales.

Encharge automates finding the leads that are the best fit for your business. They save you time by focusing first on sales-ready customers.
Integrations with CRM, Calendly, billing software, and moreIt’s a general fact that many marketers and sales use more than one stack to monitor customer lifecycle. 

Encharge lets you integrate with your CRM like Salesforce, appointment scheduling software like Calendly, and billing software like Chargebee. Pretty much everything you need to close a deal.

Is sales outsourcing for you?

Outsourcing your sales is a way to hit your monthly sales quota ― without hiring a full-time salesperson. You may be hesitant to outsource this important function, but the help from a good sales outsourcing agency will let you feel secure that they’ve got your sales covered.

Then again, if you’re just building up your business, you’re fine. 

There’s a way to increase your leads without hiring salespeople or even outsourcing the sales function. 

Use Encharge, a tool that helps marketing and sales work better. So that’s the smart promotion of your product plus accelerated closing of purchases.
With our free trial, try out all of the features in automating your sales emails and see if it’s a good fit for your company. Get started today!

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Camille Richon
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