Raise your hand if your company is outsourcing a responsibility or two. Is it manufacturing? Distribution? How about marketing? Whatever the job or service, you’re in good company. Everyone from IBM to General Electric is abuzz about outsourcing.
But when the topic of outsourcing a sales force comes up, many of those hands pretty much fall to the side. Because sales are seen as a core competency, some companies hesitate to relinquish control over it for fear of the effect it’ll have on customer experience.
Some companies — including ones we’ve worked with — welcome the challenge outsourced sales present, successfully utilizing it and experiencing tremendous results.
For example, take a client of ours in the automobile industry. The company brought us in to identify and reach out to past customers with a lot of equity in their vehicles, as well as those nearing the end of their lease. The goal was to offer a promotion that prompts the customer to purchase a new vehicle.
We used analytics to understand exactly when we’d need to contact these customers based on the make and model of their cars. That data also helped us determine the strongest ways to contact each customer, looking at the optimal time, day, and communication channel to best engage an individual.
In the end, that client saw an average return on investment of 3,000 percent on the costs of our sales program.
While strategies will vary by industry, outsourcing arms your company with a number of useful advantages. Outsourcing sales can help you:
1. Explore new markets.
Your company may excel at the highest end of enterprises and most strategic accounts, but a huge group of smaller prospects could pose a problem for your team. You just don’t have the manpower to engage in a successful way.
If you’re trying to break into a new market or underserved industry, tap an outsourced sales team to focus on this audience. The additional resources can often drive better performance than the ones already working at maximum capacity.
2. Roll out new services.
Many new product rollouts take on the qualities of laboratory tests. You introduce an element, measure it, and adjust going forward. However, this might not be something you want to do across your entire organization.
By having an external team handle the rollout, you can take advantage of expert sales capabilities without taxing your larger internal sales organization. Hire a team already familiar with new product unveilings, and give yours an opportunity to learn from the outsourced sales laboratory.
3. Introduce omnichannel engagement.
Integrating all of the different capabilities from the likes of ad-tech, mar-tech, and CRM with your sales force can be challenging — if not a significant investment.
Spare the headache (and a chunk of change) by outsourcing the work to those who already have a proven technology stack that enables multichannel sales and marketing activities. Whether it’s voice, chat, or social, you leverage a team familiar with moving buyers from web to sales, which is a leap forward for your customers.
4. Gain new proficiencies.
While you may be an expert on your product and your customer, outsourced sales providers are experts in selling. They’ve developed and understand the best practices necessary to manage pipelines and convert leads to sales.
Selling is their primary focus; there’s no trial and error. It’s all best practices in building relationships, moving prospects through the sales funnel, and managing expectations of existing customers. The reports, processes, and tactics are already in place.
5. Reduce cost of sale.
The expense of onboarding and staffing outsourcers is often less than internal groups. Not only do sales providers have built-in efficiencies that make it much more cost-effective to cover certain markets, but you also typically pay only when a sale is made.
The same can’t be said for internal sales. You may pay them a commission, but you’re still responsible for salaries and benefits — not to mention the costs often associated with hiring and training.
6. Increase profits and revenue.
Most sales providers bring the analytics necessary to predict and identify the best possible prospects. These analytics also help them prioritize incoming customers based on the individual’s buying journey.
Use that information to help focus your strategy. It’ll help improve efficiencies and cut expenses so you can see a major impact on profit, revenue, and ROI.
Outsourcing, in general, continues to become more specialized. You can find a provider to fill almost any gap in your services, and that includes sales.
Bringing a team to focus exclusively on the specifics of sales frees your workers to not only focus on other areas critical to your business, but to also open your company to new markets, conversion methods, and production techniques that can increase sales performance and scalability. In fact, a Harvard Business Review survey notes that 79 percent of respondents feel outsourcing sales helps that department scale faster; 78 percent of that audience reports outsourcing leads can increase call and sale volume.
Did your hand lower when asked about outsourcing services? Well, think about whether it can help raise your sales results, and maybe next time you can happily keep it in the air.