At its simplest, B2B sales outsourcing has three components, as the name suggests. Firstly, it involves direct connections between businesses. Secondly, it’s a way to maximize sales. And thirdly, it’s a sales method which is “outsourced” to a third party service provider. As such, it’s an alternative to traditional sales systems that exist entirely within companies, and it has plenty of advantages over those older ways of operating. Let’s look at how it works in more detail before moving onto some of the reasons why you might want to give sales outsourcing a try.
Capitalize on the Advantages of Outsourcing Your B2B Sales
When you outsource sales, that doesn’t mean losing control over the strategic direction of your business and it doesn’t necessarily mean moving your entire sales team over to an external company. But it does mean harnessing the specialist sales expertise of external providers. Sometimes, companies choose to transfer their day-to-day sales operations completely. Others prefer to use outsourcing for individual campaigns, when a little bit more capacity is required and their core team can’t deliver.
It can also be employed for specific sales tasks. For example, you could choose to outsource your market research operations, bringing in specialists to research your client base and find out exactly what they want. Conversely, you might wish to move your lead qualification systems to an external provider with expertise in inbound marketing and responsive phone-based sales. And the same applies to both lead conversion and customer relationship management. Thanks to cutting edge outsourcing experts, all of these sales functions can be performed out of house. It’s just a matter of choosing which functions you would prefer to delegate.
Using Outsourcing Well Can Have Huge Sales Advantages
At first glance, outsourcing might seem intimidating, particularly for small businesses with relatively tight margins and a tradition of keeping close control over sales professionals. But that’s largely a mirage. Much of the time, SMEs find that the benefits of B2B outsourcing outweigh their anxieties about control, providing that outsourcing is done right.
Those benefits can be transformative for all kinds of business. For example, if you are branching out into a new product sector or geographical area, outsourcing can bring in local or sector-specific expertise that your core team doesn’t possess. In cases like that, it could be used to hit the ground running fast in an area that you aren’t familiar with, while you train existing staff to hone their knowledge or recruit new permanent staff to fill the gap. Outsourcing your sales operations is also a great way to innovate. Used well, outsourced sales teams can allow companies to try out new ideas before mainstreaming them in their own office.
Then there are instances where sales forces stagnate and a stimulus is required. Whether the causes are burnout or the inability to take in new ideas, outsourcing sales functions is often a good way to inject dynamism into your sales operations. Specialist sales companies can bring in agile, up to date ideas about customer liaison, lead qualification and CRM. And if you bring them in on a short-term basis, they can provide a motivation to your own sales team to shape up and improve their performance.
Finally, outsourcing can be a wholesale substitute for standard sales structures. If companies are experiencing sluggish sales and their metrics on lead conversion aren’t trending upwards, outsourcing can be an effective solution. In some sectors like real estate, more efficient sales teams can be the key to unlocking regions or retaining customers, and this kind of efficiency is where outsourcing excels.
How Can You Introduce A Streamlined B2B Sales Solution?
We know that outsourcing sales operations can have huge benefits for a wide variety of SMEs, but there are also dangers when outsourcing is handled poorly. For instance, existing customers might resent dealing with unfamiliar contacts, core sales teams could become demoralized, and managers may lose control over the overall direction of their sales strategy. These are real risks, so outsourcing needs to be done properly.
Firstly, it pays to understand which type of businesses are well-suited to outsourcing sales operations. Generally speaking, outsourcing works well when companies have large quantities of incoming leads (such as real estate brokers, vehicle leasing companies, or IT suppliers). And it functions best when these leads need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. So, if you operate in a highly competitive, lead-based sector outsourcing could be the ideal solution.
You also need to be clear about the purpose of any outsourcing operation. There’s no sense in duplicating work between core teams and outsourced providers. And there’s no sense in tasking external companies with performing work with a low return. Because of this, it makes sense to audit your sales operation before outsourcing, to understand where external contractors can add value, and tailor your commissioning around those findings.
Choose the Right B2B Sales Experts to Enhance Your Business
Outsourcing sales operations can be hugely beneficial if you know what you are looking for and understand how it can enhance your bottom line. But there’s another key aspect to the process that needs to be considered: The need to find a partner who is responsive to your needs, will implement your plans faithfully, and who has the skills to deliver. Not all outsourcing companies meet those criteria, so be sure to research your partner thoroughly.
Ideally, both you and your outsourcing provider need to have a complete understanding of the task in hand. For example, if you take qualifying leads out-of-house, the external sales representatives need accurate information about your products and how the sales funnel works following initial contact. If not, as customers move on to Account Executives to close the deal, misunderstandings could develop, resulting in poorer lead conversion rates.
Everything has to work together, or as closely as possible, making it vital to provide outsourcing companies with high-quality briefs. And your partner needs to be honest about any difficulties that arise. Outsourcing is a process, not a magic spell, and teething problems usually arise. So both sides need to have a strong working relationship.
Revolutionize Your Inbound Marketing Systems with Strategic Outsourcing
By now, you should have an idea about whether your business meets the criteria for outsourcing sales operations or not. If your sales figures are stagnant, you need to expand confidently, your lead qualification systems are dysfunctional, or you just want to try something new, Upcall could well supply the perfect solution.
Upcall specialize in providing teams of “Upcallers” who are experts in handling inbound marketing challenges. As a first point of contact between clients and companies, our teams can field calls and draw customers into sales funnels, qualifying leads diligently before handing them on to your own executives.
At the same time, Upcall’s service provides real-time data regarding contacts and leads, while delivering efficiency gains below the cost of a full-time sales employee. Whether you need a temporary solution or a long-term replacement for your sales staff, help is at hand. Outsourcing could be the way forward, and Upcall are ready to help you take the first steps.