Are you thinking about hiring an outsourced sales provider to maximize your B2B lead generation efforts? We get it—it can be intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be if you have all the information to create a successful partnership.
Outsourced sales companies strategically prospect, qualify, and nurture leads with businesses that meet the client’s criteria. A lead generation company is responsible for building a sustainable sales pipeline and setting appointments for your business to meet with a prospect interested in your company’s product or service. While sales development representatives (SDRs) don’t attend the meeting, they provide the prospect with information about your company and how your product or service can positively impact their day-to-day operations.
We understand that sales outsourcing is a big commitment. However, it’s important to remember that with big commitments come big opportunities. As you’re thinking about whether or not outsourcing your sales efforts is best for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
If you’re saying, “I’m not even sure what sales outsourcing is,” then you’ve come to the right place. Sales outsourcing is when a company or organization puts its cold calling efforts in the hands of another business, specifically a business that specializes in B2B selling. Cold calling service providers allow businesses to focus on their everyday operations rather than generating new business opportunities.
Every company has its own purpose for outsourcing B2B sales efforts. These reasons include:
- Hating cold calling in general
- Lacking expertise and experience in some sales functions
- Not producing enough revenue to keep the business afloat
- Not having the budget to hire full-time in-house sales reps
No matter your reason for outsourcing B2B sales efforts, outsourced sales professionals are dedicated to generating high-quality leads for your business.
While there are many benefits to outsourcing sales efforts, it’s not for everybody. A common mistake businesses make when they initially start their B2B appointment setting program is anticipating an immediate ROI. However, it’s important to remember that creating a sustainable sales pipeline takes weeks—even months—of development before getting the opportunities you want and closing large-scale business deals.
If you’re looking for a quick fix to boost company revenue, then B2B appointment setting may not be the best solution for your business. Outsourcing sales calls requires patience and time to work with the outsourced sales team to perfectly craft a pitch and position the voice of your company.
Developing a sustainable sales pipeline doesn’t just occur overnight. There is a process in place that outsourced sales providers must follow to generate high-quality sales leads:
Outsourcing prospecting is the first step to developing a sales pipeline. Sales operations teams establish a list of businesses they’ve generated from a variety of tools and technologies. It’s important to remember that these are not lists of open business opportunities but a list of companies in your region that have the potential of building a partnership with your company.
Building a sales pipeline isn’t achievable without communicating with prospective businesses. Getting in touch with gatekeepers and key decision-makers (KDMs) to find more information allows SDRs to follow up with leads that make the most sense to your company and long-term goals.
Without routinely following up with prospects, your company has little to no chance of building and maintaining a sustainable sales pipeline. Lead nurturing and qualification is crucial in B2B appointment setting because it allows SDRs to build relationships with prospects, determine a timeline, and meet them when the timing is right.
As a result of lead nurturing efforts, SDRs create top-of-mind awareness for your business. When an issue comes up with a prospect’s current provider—whether it be HVAC, cleaning, MSP, or another commercial industry—your company will be the first business they think of when they’re looking to make a change.
When it all comes down to it, what SDRs are primarily striving to achieve by building a sales pipeline is scoring appointments with qualified prospects. Scheduling appointments with qualified prospects open up new opportunities for your business to convert hot leads into loyal customers.
When you decide to jump into a sales outsourcing program, communicate with your partner about your long-term goals with B2B appointment setting and what a successful appointment setting program means to you and your business.
Hiring an outsourced sales team isn’t a hands-off experience, at least not if you want to see substantial results. Your involvement with an outbound sales team is crucial for an effective B2B partnership—the more involved you are, the more success you’ll get in the long run.
An outsourced sales partnership is nothing without understanding each other from the inside out. Here are some ways to ensure you get the most out of your outbound calling partnership:
- Understand their process: Learning about the process of the outsourced sales staff allows you to understand how they generate leads. Every outsourced sales provider has a different method to their madness, so getting an understanding of their process provides you with additional insight on how they generate leads and put them through the sales pipeline.
- Train them to understand your business: Businesses are typically hesitant to outsource their sales efforts because they don’t think the sales team will be able to pitch their business as effectively as an in-house team. However, with proper training, the sales team can have a thorough understanding of your business and how you want your company’s voice to be represented.
- Provide them with relevant materials: Along with training, providing the sales team with relevant materials ensures that they pitch your company’s product or service accurately.
- Communicate with them regularly: Like any sales and marketing strategy, communication is key. Regularly interacting with the sales team allows you to understand what leads are coming your way and provides SDRs with insight on current trends in the market.
- Set attainable goals: Most sales outsourcing partnerships require appointment goals in their contracts to ensure that leads are being generated and filtered through the sales cycle. However, it’s important to make these goals attainable by the sales team. If they aren’t providing the leads you want, this is the time to discuss ways to adjust the pitch and get more business opportunities through the door.
A recent study by Forbes shows that businesses spend an average of $180,000 on in-house sales staff salary, at least $100,000 on various tools and technologies to optimize their efforts, and more than $100,000 on an office yearly. Not every business has the funds to gather an in-house team, which is why many companies decide to outsource their sales efforts.
The cost of an outsourced sales company is significantly less than an in-house team, making it more of a budget-friendly option for companies that want to keep costs low. In addition to being lower cost, outsourced sales firms also save valuable company time onboarding new employees.
Before choosing an outsourced cold calling provider, here are some questions to think about:
- What is your budget for a sales outsourcing program?
- What’s important to you in an outsourced sales program?
- How much of a sales pipeline will they build you?
- How many qualified appointments can they guarantee?
- How much will they contribute to your revenue?
- How many team members will be working on your program?
If you know what you’re looking for and what a partner can deliver, you’ll be able to make a more informed, cost-effective decision.
When looking at different companies to partner with, it’s important to consider the different tools and technologies they’re working with to generate leads. How do they find prospective businesses? How do they maintain communication with prospects?
A big mistake that companies often make when looking at sales outsourcing companies is focusing too much on the cost and not enough on their capabilities. By choosing a low-cost option, you sacrifice expertise, technology, and the ability to achieve the results you want.
Before partnering with an outsourced sales company, consider the following:
- Your needs and what you expect them to deliver. What kinds of sales appointments are you looking for? Do you want more project work or more long-term contracts? Are you targeting a specific niche market? How much are you looking to grow over the next six months? Over the next year? Knowing the answers to these questions and communicating them to the companies you’re considering will help you make a decision.
- What are the capabilities of the companies you’re looking at? Once you know your needs and you’re confident in expressing them to potential partners, look at the capabilities of each company you’re considering. What tools do they use to set B2B sales appointments?
There are a variety of ways to measure the success of your B2B lead generation program. One of the most efficient ways to measure your ROI is having an efficient CRM tool to track progress. CRM tools provide both you and the sales outsourcing company with dashboards and reports about leads in the pipeline, opportunities available, and how much you’re getting back for what you’re putting into the program.
CRM tools like Salesforce Sales Cloud provide full transparency for you and your appointment setting program. During weekly or monthly results meetings, your program’s account manager will go over these components of the CRM with you to discuss what’s succeeding in the program and where improvements could be made.
Results meetings with account managers are a two-way street. While the account managers provide you with information about how the program is doing, it’s up to you to ask questions to gather further insight. Here are some questions you should ask account managers during results meetings:
- How many dials did it take to get an appointment?
- What products and services are we highlighting? Do the prospects seem interested in these company attributes?
- What trends are SDRs finding in the market?
- What objections are the prospects giving?
- What do prospects say they’re looking for in a B2B partner?
Asking these questions allows you to have full transparency of your program and ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Outsourced sales companies often offer more lead generation services than B2B appointment setting. While cold calling efforts are significant for developing high-quality business opportunities, some businesses also look to take a more digital approach.
A digital approach to sales could include:
- Website development: A website should have a clean design, engaging copy, and achieve functionality. Businesses with an optimized website are more likely to land business deals than companies without a user-friendly website.
- SEO services: SEO services are key to driving your business’s website to the top of every search engine. Using keywords that online users look for in the search bar helps businesses achieve that and increase user engagement.
- Social media: While social media is a great platform for connecting with loved ones, it’s also a critical tool to generate high-quality leads. By optimizing your business’s company profile, you can send direct messages and post targeted ads to reach your target audience.
- Marketing collateral: No matter what lead generation method you use, sales efforts can be maximized with the right marketing collateral. From engaging videos to sell sheets, these pieces of content can be embedded into your website, social media, or email marketing campaigns to catch the eye of prospects.
Outsourcing sales efforts isn’t the best solution for every business. However, if you’re on the fence, ask yourself these questions to determine what’s the most logical method for your B2B lead generation. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we partner with businesses in unique industries to help them convert cold leads into long-term customers.
If you’re looking to optimize your sales process, reach out to us today to schedule a demo of our B2B lead generation services!