In other cases, there’s a fear of the unknown. Business leaders, for example, have a hard time envisioning another company representing their brand well. Leadership feels they need to manage and control the customer experience. Yet despite these concerns, there are numerous business and operational advantages to outsourcing sales activities.
What sales outsourcing can do for your companyBuyers may have access to more information than ever, but knowledgeable sales agents are still needed to answer questions and provide a human touch when an automated or self-service system isn’t enough.
Also, many sales organizations struggle to increase lead generation, improve conversion rates of qualified leads, and shorten protracted sales cycles. Along with a lack of product or vertical industry expertise within the sales organization, these constraints hurt overall sales execution. Consider that nearly two out of five (37 percent) sales reps fail to make their quotas, according to CSO Insights. While there are a number of reasons for these shortcomings, the findings underscore rich opportunities for using outsourced sales resources to strengthen operational and business results.
In our experience, companies can benefit from an outsourcing sales solution in four key ways to accelerate sales:
1. Sales outsourcing can help you target new or underserved marketsSmall businesses, mid-market, and even enterprise companies are often stretched when it comes to having the right number of salespeople to cover different territories and vertical industries. In addition, companies often have numerous business leads available to them that they’re unable to pursue due to resource constraints.
As part of your long term market strategy, outsourced sales resources can focus specifically on developing vertical or geographic markets that require greater attention. Meanwhile, companies can also use an outsourced sales team to test new approaches to sales and product positioning. From there, the results can be analyzed and fine-tuned before being extended to a larger base of customers and prospects.
2. Sales outsourcing can help you leapfrog technology constraintsInvesting in the latest tools is one thing. Having the knowledge and expertise to leverage those tools is another. It’s not just about having the tools, it’s about knowing how to get the most value out of them, which is why you need experts.
Companies can achieve time-to-market benefits by outsourcing to a partner that has built and maintains state-of-the-art data and technology environments. For example, companies can benefit from the use of an outsourced partner’s analytics tools. Data science and analytics platforms can help salespeople determine the best time to call a customer or to extend an offer, among other actions. Also, artificial intelligence combined with analytics can help sales leaders analyze thousands of data points to gain a deeper understanding of prospect needs and employee performance issues to take corrective actions that can strengthen operational and business results.
3. An outsourcing business model can help you break out of silosSales outsourcing allows companies to manage to outcomes in a more direct way than can be sometimes done in an internal sales organization. The reality is many teams operate in a silo. Most internal sales teams, for instance, don’t regularly collaborate with marketing or other departments. Additionally, each team may not approach issues holistically and instead maintains a laser focus on departmental tasks. An external team is better positioned to work cross-functionally within an organization, to improve the overall sales execution. An outsourcer may also be able to work with shorter timeframes that are difficult to accomplish internally.
4. Sales outsourcing can help support new product or service rolloutsOne of the greatest advantages to outsourcing sales and marketing is that it can allow a company to use an outsourcing partner as a sandbox environment to test out new campaigns and promotions as part of their sales strategy.
For example, a technology company partnered with us to call customers and prospects about new products it’s testing. The company then analyzes the results and determines whether or not to launch the product into the market or make revisions based on feedback it has received. In some cases, we help to assess how a product is being received in the market, determine an effective price point, and evaluate what the sales cycle is going to look like for that product.
A Strong Sales Team also Requires a Clear Sales RoadmapToday’s cutthroat market is putting increased pressure on sales and marketing teams to energize sales and achieve sales growth. Being successful requires more than just a strong sales team, and organizations need to have a clear roadmap that helps them get the desired results. Our Customer Acquisition Services team believes in the following five-step approach to optimize sales growth:
1. Develop a clearly focused and executable strategy: This might sound obvious, but unfortunately, several organizations are encountering problems developing sales programs and strategies that are aimed at the right customer segments. Therefore, business leaders first need to leverage data to understand customers’ needs and determine which segments should be treated with which products or services.
2. Develop feasible processes: In order to attract and engage customers, organizations need to have executable processes. We often meet executives who complain that their organization’s sales processes are outdated or difficult to conform to the changing demands of customers and the market. Rather than tackling the entire process problem in one go, we recommend that organizations focus on improving a single process related to a particular geography or customer segment or product.
3. Select the right tools: Business leaders need to take a look at the technologies used to support the sales process, and determine which ones are working well, which are no longer needed, and which are underutilized. This insight will help organizations identify gaps within the sales process and existing tool functionality, allowing them to determine what other technologies are needed to support the organization’s needs.
4. Ensure the right execution: Having the right tools is just the start. You need to know how to use them to be successful in helping the sales organization reach its objectives. We recommend evaluating the organization’s objectives, assessing the readiness of the tools and processes to achieve these goals, and then acting on gaps to ensure you have the right execution.
5. Encourage an adaptable culture: The right business culture is essential for organizations. To quote management expert Peter Drucker, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Business leaders who think they can be successful simply by having a robust strategy are wrong. In fact, less than 30 percent of sales and marketing leaders who attended a Revana webinar on igniting sales growth last year said they were satisfied with their organization’s culture.