You have probably heard of sales outsourcing. Just like outsourcing any other business processes, it is a standard practice in today’s business world, especially among B2B companies.
Although companies usually outsource to lower some of their costs, sales outsourcing is not only cost-effective. It is also a way to increase quality of your sales and hand over this essential, yet delicate part of business into more experienced hands.
Keep reading this article to find out what exactly sales outsourcing is and what its biggest benefits are. Moreover, find out what some of the best cold calling and email techniques used in sales outsourcing agencies are.
What Is Sales Outsourcing
Sales outsourcing is very common in today’s business world, especially the B2B one. Simply put, sales outsourcing means hiring sales professionals outside your company to assist or individually maintain your sales processes.
Some companies opt to outsource just parts of their sales processes, usually only hiring business development representatives. However, some companies completely let others handle their sales and develop long-term partner relationships with their sales outsourcing partners.
Companies that are hired for sales outsourcing are called outbound call centers, Telemarketing agencies or sales outsourcing agencies.
6 Biggest Benefits of Sales Outsourcing
Not everybody in business advocates sales outsourcing. However, no one can deny its benefits. Every company needs effective sales at all its stages to keep being successful. Sales outsourcing is especially beneficial for young companies and start-ups that haven’t yet built their brand and don’t have established sales channels.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of sales outsourcing.
No recruiting costs
Many start-ups and small businesses don’t have professional recruiters at their side, nor do they have resources to form their own sales teams. According to SHRM, the average cost-per-hire in the US is $4,129. In Germany, research shows it amounts to around €4700.
However, with sales outsourcing, these companies save not only money but also time and other resources they would need in order to hire experienced and successful salesmen. It is especially tricky to find good B2B salesmen, so B2B companies often outsource their sales.
Sales training and guidance
Every businessman knows that salesmen need intense training at the beginning and regular guidance to keep being productive. When utilizing sales outsourcing, you get trained business development representatives that already know the best sales techniques. Moreover, sales outsourcing companies usually provide guidance from superior salesmen to their business development representatives in order to maintain their output.
Latest technology and multi-channel approach
Sales outsourcing companies’ mission is to be the best at sales to attract more clients. Therefore, they leverage the latest technology to gain more insight into their prospects and be more effective at what they do.
Moreover, business development representatives often use social selling to gain advantage over their competitors. The multi-channel approach in B2B sales includes contacting prospects over LinkedIn, Xing and other networks, which increases the chances of getting prospects’ attention and setting a business meeting.
Irrespective of your sales outsourcing call center’s pricing model, there will always be some key performance indicators that will ensure your outsourced sales team’s productivity. That way, you will get a goal-oriented team that will use the best of their abilities to schedule that next call, meeting or make the sale for your company.
Reporting and accountability
Sales outsourcing companies have to measure their output to demonstrate their effectiveness. Therefore, you will receive detailed reporting from your sales outsourcing partners on a regular basis. This also adds to their accountability and gives you insight into the work they performed for you.
Most companies’ main reason for outsourcing is cutting costs. It is no different with sales outsourcing. Apart from recruiting and training costs, there are other costs that companies cut by outsourcing: infrastructure, technology, maintenance and more.
Best Cold Calling Tips Used in Sales Outsourcing
Although a multi-channel approach is necessary, the phone is still mostly used and a highly effective sales tool. Outbound call centers train their employees to get the maximum out of each call they make.
Find out what some of the best cold calling tips that are used in sales outsourcing are.
Build resilience to rejection
Business development representatives need to build their resilience to rejection if they want to last in their professional track. One of the biggest lessons learned in sales outsourcing businesses is to embrace the rejection: don’t take failures personally and march on!
Some research goes as far as stating that it takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Other sources say that in B2B sales, almost 20% of calls to businesses go unanswered or to voicemail.
In any case, even when prospects do pick up, they are often not interested or don’t have time to talk. Skilled salesmen know how to respond to these common objections – but they also know when to drop the prospects and avoid being seen as pushy. By doing that, they are also taking care of your brand reputation, which is especially important in B2B sales.
Keep information updated in the CRM
One of the basic, yet essential instructions that business development representatives get in sales outsourcing is to keep the information in their CRM updated. At the end, the effectiveness of sales also depends on the smoothness of the sales process.
If there are more people working on the same account, they need to know of each others actions in order to negotiate effectively. Even the information on prospects that are not fit at the moment needs to be properly filled so someone else can pick it up later and check if anything has changed.
Therefore, sales outsourcing specialists know that keeping a good CRM hygiene is essential to effective sales.
Make a script and follow it
One of the most effective sales outsourcing techniques is following a script. A script is sort of a written scenario or algorithm that salesmen make to increase the chances of the specific call’s desired outcome – more information, another call or meeting.
Of course, no one says one should follow the script down to the letter. Still, writing down all the possible objections that will be thrown your way and knowing your response to them is very useful during cold calling. After a while, salesmen rarely need their scripts and memorize their flow instead.
One of the biggest mistakes made in sales is not following up. It is usually coupled with unclear processes and messy CRM hygiene.
Namely, following up with prospects after they didn’t have time at the moment you called or for any other reason is crucial. The Ideal number of calls to reach a sale is six, so business development representatives make sure to use every opportunity to go deeper into conversation with their prospect.
Another trick used in sales outsourcing is following up with forgotten leads and prospects. A lead that was not a good fit a year ago is potentially a good lead now. In B2B sales, it is crucial to maintain good relationships with leads even if they are not a good fit at the moment. Who knows, the person you are talking to right now may change her job soon and start working for a company that needs your product or services. Guess who will he or she will think of first if you leave a good impression and follow up with some casual, resource-rich emails?
Focusing on the learning curve
Instead of focusing on missed opportunities, successful business development representatives concentrate on what they learn when failing. In other words – persistence is the key! Training and guidance in sales outsourcing centers often includes building up stamina and learning from your own mistakes.
After all, knowing that a certain market is hard to penetrate or that a certain sales technique doesn’t bring results is valuable. It narrows the focus of the entire sales team and what may be seen as failure is actually just a lesson on what doesn’t work at the moment.
Ask the right questions
There is a myriad of sales advice on how to lead a conversation. Asking the right questions is essential in sales outsourcing, and it takes both preparation and practice.
It is best to ask the open-ended questions at the beginning of a conversation and combine them with closed-ended questions. In the earlier stages of the sales process, open-ended questions give business development representatives a lot of insight and create a relaxed atmosphere.
Skilled salesmen also know how to adapt questions to the conversation and not the other way around. It has long been presumed that salesmen are successful because of their great pitch. However, it turns out that the most successful salesmen ask the right questions in addition to their good listening skills.
A popular method used in sales outsourcing is SPIN selling, which focuses on four types of questions: Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-Payoff.
Focusing on both quality and quantity
In order to get the best results, business development representatives need to focus on quantity of sales activities they perform in a day. However, quantity should not be given priority over quality.
This is especially important in B2B sales that usually take longer but emphasize the necessity for maintaining a good brand image and keeping up with prospects instead of going for a pushy approach. As sales outsourcing is often used in B2B sales, it is important to take one of its best practices and find the right balance of quality and quantity.
Best Email Tips Used in Sales Outsourcing
Apart from cold calling, email is one of the best sales channels out there. Research shows that 74% of adults prefer email as a method of commercial communication.
In sales, there are your usual sales emails and there are sequences of automatized emails. Here are some of the tips that salesmen in sales outsourcing use to catch their prospects attention in written communication.
Personalizing emails makes it more probable that prospects will open them, read them and book a meeting with you. Business development representatives personalize both subject lines and intros to email with their prospects’ names. However, personalization goes beyond that in sales outsourcing. It also includes research on the prospects’ interests, activities or other relevant information.
For example, a good way to start an email to someone is to mention you’ve both attended a certain event lately (if you saw it on social media), or that you felt inspired by your prospect’s latest post on LinkedIn.
Less is more
Shorter emails that are on point tend to have higher chances of being read and comprehended. In this case, less is surely more. In sales outsourcing, business development representatives often experiment with the length of their emails and track their effectiveness in their CRM.
Don’t waste your prospects’ time: research shows that sales emails between 50 and 125 words received the highest response rates anyways.
Informality is the new standard
Unless you are dealing with an academic crowd, informality is the new standard. By addressing someone by their name instead of Mr. or Mrs., you are presenting yourself as their equal, as a professional they can talk and confer to.
In addition, creating informal emails creates a relaxed atmosphere and helps you connect to your audience better. Of course, this doesn’t mean one should drop all formality and start using slang in emails. Balance is the key here!
Start the conversation
Just as in cold calling – you need to ask the right questions and make a one-way conversation into a two-way one. In sales outsourcing, business development representatives often ask their prospects of their biggest issue with their field of interest or how they can assist them.
It’s important to remember to experiment and see which questions trigger your prospects to respond, start the conversation and eventually book a meeting.
Measuring, tracking and optimizing
Successful sales outsourcing agencies get their good reputation because they do a good job. Besides having skilled and trained staff on board, they also constantly optimize their performance to deliver more value.
Their performance optimization usually relies on technology that is nowadays available to sales teams everywhere within the best CRMs on the market. Experimenting, sharing knowledge and finding out what works best in accordance with the industry’s best practices is what sets the best sales outsourcing agencies apart from others.