Sales Outsourcing Guide With 6 Dos & Donts for Choosing the Right Outsourced Sales Professionals

There are many ways that a sales leader or organization can gain scale, accelerate revenue, drive cost savings and augment their outsource sales team. One viable option is to outsource some of your work to outside professionals who specialize in the field.

Outsource sales team can be a good thing, but you need to make sure that expectations are set before the process begins.

  • When I began hiring salespeople, it was difficult to know which outsourcing company would be able to help my business meet its quota. It turns out that the most important thing is not just pay and commission structure.
  • What can you do to be sure that the candidate is a good fit?
  • Will your outsource sales team really affect the top and bottom line?
  • How can you ensure that your relationship with a sales partner is successful?

The first thing we do is define what it means to outsource sales, how to go about outsourcing your company’s sales efforts, and when you should or shouldn’t. Then I give some tips on how to choose the right provider for your needs based off of their service offeringspricing.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

What is Sales Outsourcing?

Outsourcing sales is when a business delegates parts of the sales process to outside individuals or agencies. Outsourcing can be done if the internal team lacks time, resources, and expertise in order to handle all aspects of their own processes internally. This way it provides flexibility for businesses that have more complex needs.

Reasons to outsource include the following:

  • Salespeople who lack expertise and experience in some areas of sales.
  • When it comes to scaling, this is a problem because you need outsource sales team representatives for only some campaigns.
  • The account executives we interviewed said that they often found themselves doing a lot of work for little pay. They felt as though their time could be better spent elsewhere, such as cold calling.

What sales outsourcing should NOT be:

  • In order to reach more customers, I began hiring resellers and solution partners.
  • In an effort to make a little extra money, I signed up some commission-only outsource sales team agents.
  • Some companies have found that assigning sales functions to other departments can be a way of finding new and fresh perspectives on the work.

Sales Outsourcing Equals Flexibility

When one part of outsource sales team is changed, the rest changes too. And thats a good thing!

Let me give you an example:

Outsourcing sales development has a negative impact on your Account Executives. This is because the SDRs will ask for different materials than what they are used to from their colleagues.

Why?

Account Executives focus on conversations and presenting product values in meetings. Sales Development Representatives secure such a meeting.

If you dont see this as a strategic investment, it might be difficult to listen and understand the feedback from your sales team. This could cause you to take an us vs them approach.

Is it Possible to Outsource Sales?

As it turns out, there are a lot of outside services that can be contracted to do your marketing. Some functions like lead generation are obvious while others may not be.

Finding a product/market fit

I didn’t think I would have to deal with this many issues when we first started our business.

Businesses need to change their offerings based on what they know about the market. We help them understand how buyers perceive products by interviewing customers who fit into our ICP.

When we were testing different outsource sales team incentives, it was crucial to find out what motivates the person and why they might not be doing well. This is done by asking questions like “What are their real pains?” or “How does your solution fit in there?”. I found that knowing these things helps tremendously when designing a compensation plan.

Productmarket-fit evaluation is essential to your go-to market strategy in any new territory you want to enter.

It is important to be aware that selling successfully in your home country does not always mean you can sell overseas.

Building a repeatable sales model

What are the best ways to sell? Sell direct or through channels, inside outsource sales team or field outsource sales team, inbound lead generation versus outbound cold calling.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering what is the best compensation plan for your business. What kind of pattern will you use that can be repeated? Where do you invest in order to scale your company? How does one generate predictable revenue streams with their outsource sales team strategy?

If you are selling to the US, it doesnt automatically mean that your product will sell in Germany. You can hire a outsource sales team specialist who does not consult with clients but instead goes out and meets prospects face-to-face.

Systematically generating leads

In the past, most outsource sales team were done in-house. Nowadays, they are outsourced to firms that specialize in this area.

There are many different ways to generate leads for your business.

  • These days, many companies are outsourcing their lead generation efforts to outside agencies. There is an ever-growing demand for content marketing specialists who can write articles and blogs that will be shared on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
  • Companies need to make sure they are finding the right buyers by focusing on who their target audience is and what motivates them.
  • I have always used outbound lead generation agencies to help generate new leads, but they are often not as effective because of the fact that people don’t want salespeople calling them.
  • Sales development reps are responsible for qualifying, following up and nurturing leads by email or phone. They also have the responsibility of discovering outsource sales team opportunities that would be good for your account executives.

Closing the sale or sales execution

When selling a product, field sales will be used when the target segment is large and there are many steps in the sale process. Inside sales will work better for smaller segments with simpler processes.

Sales professionals who work remotely are typically inside salespeople, which means they use the phone and web conferencing tools to sell products.

Field sales (Account Executives) are what you need for high touch, complex B2B sales to larger enterprises where there is a greater chance of multiple decision-makers involved. Field reps usually come from the same region and industry.

Why Would You Outsource the Sales Execution in the First Place?

When a company tries to expand and grow, but the outsource sales team doesnt have enough time or resources, they can often feel overwhelmed with trying to manage their pipeline execution and follow-ups.

Sometimes, salespeople do not have the skills to pitch new products and sales outsourcing services.

In most cases, the best way to scale an outsource sales team is by hiring service vendors that can help your company grow without adding headcount.

What is the Cost of Outsourcing Sales?

Outsourcing can seem expensive, but youd have to compare that with the high costs of expanding your in-house team. These internal expenses could include:

  • Health and retirement benefits
  • Commissions and bonuses
  • Management personnel
  • When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough outsource sales team motivation. However, people are not just motivated by pay.

Lets say that the average salary of a salesperson is $60,000 and for an executive in charge of overseeing their performance it would be around $120,000.

Let’s take a look at what an internal sales team would cost:

With in-house outsourced sales people, the fixed costs are $60,000 per team member + bonuses and commissions for each sale. This is not including any tools needed to do their job.

When you outsource some of your functions, it allows for a smaller team size because the outsourced expenses can be adjusted to need.

A typical outsourced salesperson might charge between $1,000 and $5,000 per project. If you want to make it a permanent part of your team they will cost around the same amount or more depending on how big the company is.

If you’re looking for someone to manage your sales team, but don’t want the added cost of an in-house manager or HR specialist, consider sales manager outsourcing. You’ll get all the benefits without adding any unnecessary personnel costs.

When Is It a Good Idea to Outsource Sales?

When you’re trying to decide what outsourced sales and marketing tasks can be outsourced, take a look at your overall process and see which steps are the most important. Keep in-house only those that require the most attention.

If you outsource a part of your sales to someone else, make sure that they are committed and involved in the process. Not following up with emails or doing technical workshops after demos will hurt your businesss reputation.

Common reasons and triggers to outsource parts of your sales process include:

  • I would like to share with you some of the changes I made when it came to my professional sales outsourcing model and sales outsourcing firms.
  • When I introduced a new product that required more complicated sales techniques, it was very difficult to get my employees on board.
  • There are many markets that I am just now entering with my product, and it is important to enter these new areas.
  • Providing a challenging environment to outsource your sales force.
  • Increasing sales overall.

Sales outsourcing agencies tend to outperform your own team with:

  • When hiring salespeople for your outsource sales department, it is important to find candidates with experience in the specific functions that you are looking for. This ensures they will be able to meet your expectations.
  • State-of-the-art processes.
  • We now offer analytics and reporting to help companies better understand their performance.
  • Having a scalable business model that can match skills.

When NOT to outsource a sales function:

Companies that have nice products and glossy sales materials but don’t provide a good fit for the customer’s problems can spend months, even years trying to figure out what will work. You’ve heard this too?

The best way to deal with this is by changing the entire business model, so be prepared for a major change.

A pro tip for those of you sales outsourcing companies: make sure that the partner understands what they are selling and has a clear structure.

How to Outsource Sales: 6 Dos and Donts

1) Do Place More Emphasis On Capabilities Than Cost

When it comes to choosing a sales provider, there are many factors that need to be considered. Price is just one of them.

When you choose the cheapest option, you sacrifice expertise and leadership. Do you want to save a few dollars on an unqualified partner or invest in specialized teams that have experience?

You should consider many factors when you are assessing potential partners to outsource your sales team.

  • When you are hiring outsource sales reps, make sure that they know what is expected of them. It’s not enough to tell someone “get out there and sell”. You need to specify the goals.
  • When you are choosing a partner, make sure that they have the capabilities to help your company grow.

Perhaps you are looking to expand your sales force, but have not been able to get a return on investment.

Before you start with a new salesperson, its important to know what your business needs are and how they can help. Ask them about their process before committing.

Questions to ask your future outsourced direct sales and marketing partner during screening:

  • What are your strengths as a salesperson? For example, do you specialize in consumer or business-to sell to other businesses?
  • What is your experience in my industry and can you show me a list of companies that you have helped grow?
  • Can you provide a list of your past enterprise, mid-market, or SMB customers?
  • How will your company develop a strategy to sell products in new markets?
  • Do you have the knowledge and experience to handle discussions with executives?
  • What are some of the things you do to motivate your outsourced sales staff?
  • What level of risk are you willing to take on, and what kind of return can I expect?

2) Do Play An Active Role In The Partnership

The onboarding process for an outsourced sales provider can be a lot of work, but its worth the effort.

This is a recipe for disaster. Success comes from having an engaged and vested partnership with your new sales partner(s). Spend time and energy to build better business relationships, as the more you communicate throughout this process, the greater benefit it will be.

As you are constantly in contact with and guiding your own employees, it is important to be an active participant when forming a new sales partnership.

How to maximize engagement with your new partner:

  • Understand the process that they use to generate leads and close deals.
  • The same way you would train an internal hire, make sure your outsourced sales team is educated on the businesss strategies and goals.
  • Provide your team with the relevant and available sales enablement materials so they can spend their time more wisely.
  • Make sure to meet with your outsourced team regularly, and get involved in their work. In addition, make time for weekly touch-base meetings where you can discuss performance gaps or key initiatives.
  • Ensure that your outsourced sales team is looped into all internal meetings, including forecasting sessions, business strategy discussions and key objectives for the salesmarketing teams.
  • Successful outsourcing requires constant communication and collaboration. Meet with your outsourced team on a regular basis to ensure they are doing their outsourcing sales jobs, and set clear goals so that both parties know what success looks like.

Some business-to-business deals are more complex than they seem. A new article discusses 10 ways to build rapport internally so that you can successfully navigate these types of transactions.

3) Do ensure sales and marketing are aligned

One way to avoid this is by ensuring that you have constant alignment with your extended sales team. Its also important to connect them and insert them into marketing processes so they don’t feel like outsiders or disconnected from the company’s strategy.

Sales and marketing need to work together. Salespeople can help marketers by finding leads, while the latter can provide insights on how best to position products for success.

How to align your internal/external sales and marketing teams:

  • Make sure to have your marketing team in constant contact with the salespeople who interact more directly with customers. They will provide invaluable insights for you.
  • Create buyer personas to ensure that marketing and sales are targeting the same audience. Present your findings with other departments in order to get a better understanding of how they see their customers
  • Encourage your sales team to report on what they find in the field. For example, a salesman can tell marketing why one lead is more qualified than another and how that might be different from their experience with other leads. Marketing will then know better who should get contacted for information about products.

A study conducted by Eloqua found that most marketers are not aware of how to use call recordings as a sales tool. This article offers the insights they need.

4) Dont Get Lost In The Selection Process

Its easy to get lost in the process of finding an outsourced partner when there are so many options available.

Its easy to want to drag out the selection process, but you have a limited time before it becomes too difficult for your business.

Questions to consider during the selection process:

  • A proposal provider should be able to come up with creative ideas for how you can achieve your sales goals. If they are only giving an answer that is based on what was asked, then it may not work out well.
  • What kind of sales team do I want to build? Who will be managing them and how many managers should there be for each employee?
  • Does this provider have the experience to help me? It is important that a salesperson understands your needs and can actually provide you with what you need. For example, if I needed someone who specializes in selling to SMBs, it would be essential for them to have current teams working on accounts of similar size.
  • Are we aligned on the metrics that are most important to success? Do they have tools and processes in place for measuring results?

5) Dont Expect Immediate Results

When you hire an in-house salesperson, it takes time for them to learn the business. When hiring outsourced sellers, give them a similar learning curve period.

It is true that you can save a lot of time on the hiring process by simply plugging in an as-a-service sales team, but it isnt always easy. It takes around 90 days for new hires to learn your value proposition and start delivering results.

How to onboard your outsourced sales team smoothly:

  • The best way to motivate salespeople is by giving them a stake in the relationship and incentive for success. This can be done with variable compensation that includes some level of fixed pay, as well as rewarding performance.
  • Salespeople need to be trained on the products and brand from day one. They should also have a coach who can help them with their performance.
  • When you hire an outsourced sales team, make sure that they know how to contact you if there is a problem.

6) Dont Engage With A Basic Call Center. Find A True Sales Firm

There are many call centers that do not have the same experience as a sales center. Call centers usually provide customer care or technical support, while there is no need for these departments in a sales department. A different type of training is needed to succeed in this field.

Expect your vetted sales partner to:

  • To have a successful sales team, the members need to be carrying quota.
  • Finding an external sales team is a great way to either supplement or increase the work that your current internal teams are doing.
  • Reach new geographical regions or time zones that you did not have access to before.
  • The lead development process should be fully integrated and feed you opportunities, not just leads.
  • Salespeople have a variety of methods to choose from in order to get the job done. These range from more traditional, tried-and-true techniques all the way up through sophisticated new strategies.
  • Make sure that you have a system in place to drive quota attainment. It is important for your business so that it can be predictable.
  • Provide a stack of innovative and flexible tools that includes your own proven techniques.
  • Provide analysis and forecasting to guide strategy. You can’t just rely on reports; you need an analytical approach that provides the necessary insights for making strategic decisions.

Essential Takeaways

Outsourced sales is a proven and booming trend that includes: hiring, training, coaching, process development. All of these things are done by high-yielding experts.

By partnering with a third-party sales provider, you can quickly and efficiently increase your current revenue as well as create new streams of income.

When considering how to improve your outsource sales team, you should follow the dos and donts above. This will give you a better return on investment.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.