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We’ve seen it before: B2B sales are complex. Additionally, 73% of marketers agree that capturing leads today is more difficult than it was a year ago. There are a lot of moving parts in your sales department, and it’s often difficult to know where to begin setting up your sales team – let alone know how to maintain that team once it’s up and running.
What’s more, the cost of doing things in-house has skyrocketed so high over the past decade that 59% of businesses outsource to cut costs. It is no secret that keeping a sales team in-house can be expensive and time-consuming from the organization’s perspective. On the other hand, sales outsourcing can help you save time and money while also freeing up much-needed time and resources to focus on more important things.
In this article, we’ll break down the concept of B2B sales outsourcing and what sales functions need to be outsourced to the experts. More importantly, we’ll go over how an outsourced sales agency can supplement your team’s efforts so that you have more time to do what you do best – selling.
What is an Outsourced Sales Team and How Does it Work?
An outsourced sales team is a group of outside experts that work together to assist your in-house sales team. The outside sales experts may focus on one specific area of sales, such as lead generation or delivering leads to your doorstep, or a mix of different sales functions. But no matter how you look at it, an outsourced sales team works with one goal: generating high-quality leads for your company.
In most cases, outsourced sales teams are non-employees who are contracted to find new opportunities on behalf of your organization. They are hired because they have the skills and expertise to sell your products/services – skills that you may or may not possess in-house.
What are the benefits of B2B sales outsourcing?
- No growing pains for your in-house lead generation team
- Focused on strategic growth
- Outsourced sales teams free up more time for your in-house sales team to close the deals
- They help you realize your strategic goals faster and more efficiently
- Outsourcing provides access to highly-skilled expertise that you may lack in-house.
Outsourced teams are often made up of people from different backgrounds, from marketers to entrepreneurs who have the desire to sell and become part of a team that loves to sell.
What are the Main B2B Sales Team Functions?
You must outline your main sales functions to kick-start your team into the right trajectory for the year. Your main functions are the things that you must accomplish to help your team achieve its goals.
These sales functions can be broken into two broad categories: customer-facing functions and non-customer-facing functions:
- Customer-facing functions – These sales functions directly impact your ability to interact with and sell to your customers. These include lead generation, lead management, and customer service.
- Non-customer-facing functions – These are the sales functions that don’t directly impact your interactions with customers, such as product/service quality control.
The main functions of the outsourced team will depend on the products or services offered by the company but will usually include:
- Lead generation – This is the process of initiating interactions with prospects that result in future selling opportunities for your business. In lead generation, the end goal is to get potential customers to take the next step in the sales process, such as providing their email addresses and phone numbers or scheduling a meeting with you.
- Lead qualification – This is the process of determining how likely your leads are to purchase your product or service. This process can be challenging due to the prevalence of lead-generation websites, spam emails, and marketing lists that make it difficult for businesses to identify interested prospects.
- Lead nurturing – Customers who have enquired about your services or products but cannot commit to making a purchase at that moment may need some persuading before buying from you. Lead nurturing includes companies’ strategies to educate potential buyers on how a product/service can help them overcome their challenges.
- Pipeline management – A sales pipeline describes your customer’s journey from initial purchase to deal closing. Salespeople are responsible for creating a workflow to monitor each lead or opportunity stage, keeping a database of all leads and opportunities, and updating customer data regularly.
Every company will have its own unique sales process, but most B2B sales teams will have general sales activities in common. For example, selling a product or service will usually start with lead generation, which is finding and engaging with potential customers to uncover their needs. Next follows a detailed analysis to figure out which of your offerings might solve those needs.
Lead generation often happens via cold calling or email but can also be done through professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn. For example, if you’re selling software, you would need to create a couple of blog posts that introduce it to the world and demonstrate its functionality and benefits to the prospect during various sales process stages.
What Sales Team Functions Usually Need to Be Optimized?
Every sales function is important, but certain sales functions are naturally more crucial to sales success than others. In our experience, there are three main sales functions that most companies struggle to optimize and that often require outsourced assistance and automated tools:
Customer relationship management, sales automation, and data analytics
- Customer relationship management (CRM) – CRM tools are great tools that help you manage your sales funnel, track customer details, and run your sales team efficiently. By optimizing your sales CRM, you can make sure that your sales team is focusing on building better relationships with customers, which translates into loyalty and more revenue opportunities in the future.
- Sales automation – It is not uncommon for sales teams to spend a significant amount of time on activities that can be automated. For example, you may currently be spending a lot of time scheduling and following up on sales appointments. A sales automation tool can help you significantly reduce your time managing your sales pipeline and sending emails and SMS notifications so you can shift your attention to more important matters.
- Data, analytics, and reporting – Sales teams need access to data, analytics, and reporting in order to optimize their performance. With the right tools, you can view key metrics and statistics, share data with your team members, and measure your performance across multiple aspects.
Which Sales Functions Should Be Outsourced or Left Inhouse?
When it comes to sales, businesses need to ask themselves whether they are the right organization to address a certain sales challenge. As a sales leader, you have many tough decisions ahead of you. Do you rely on B2B sales outsourcing for your sales functions or keep them all in-house?
We’ve broken down some tasks that would be best outsourced and others that should be left in-house:
- Lead generation should be outsourced – Lead generation is a necessary but often time-consuming activity. Finding the right people to talk to and gathering information from them takes time. It also takes time to process the leads and ensure they are relevant to your business.
Sales outsourcing, in this case, is the right path to follow because you don’t have to worry about finding, hiring, and training a new team. It also allows you to focus on other essential marketing activities, such as testing new marketing strategies or improving your website’s functionality.
- Lead qualification should be outsourced – When dealing with lead generation, the last thing you want is to end up wasting time and money by getting the wrong people into your sales pipeline. It’s important to verify every lead’s value to your business and make sure they’re a good fit for what you do. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if you work with a small team that doesn’t have dedicated lead generation staff.
A third-party sales service, on the other hand, specializes in lead qualification. Often, it has the tools and experience to make sense of your data. It can also collaborate with your in-house team to make the process smoother.
- Lead nurturing should be kept in-house – Even though it’s easier to hire a vendor to do your lead nurturing for you, there are still benefits to keeping it in-house. You will have greater control and better results, as you will be able to provide a tailored approach to your lead nurturing that suits your business.
What’s more, in-house team members will always have a better understanding of your product. They can provide valuable feedback from the customer’s perspective and better serve their needs.
- Sales forecasting should be handled in-house – You can outsource sales forecasting, but it’s important to have a degree of control over the process. An in-house sales forecasting consultant offers a hands-on approach that integrates with your existing systems. That way, you have full control over the data and can make adjustments as needed.
An outsourced sales team has many benefits for businesses that are looking to optimize their sales function distribution model. The most obvious benefit is scalability. You can easily expand your in-house sales team with an outsourced sales team as needed.
Outreachly’s No-Risk Service: The Only Sales Functions Outsourcing Agency You Need!
Are you struggling to generate leads for your business? Are you tired of putting in all the effort and not getting the desired results? Well, look no further than Outreachly! Our No-Risk Sales Service is one of its kind; a lead generation tool that guarantees results in just 28 days!
But that’s not all. With our No-Risk Sales service, our customers only pay for positive results only. That’s right – if you don’t get the results you want, you don’t pay a thing! The service is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, which makes it all risk-free for you. Outreachly’s No-Risk Sales Service is fully-managed, so you don’t have to worry about finding new opportunities for your business or creating sales content for your leads – everything is handled by our in-house team, so you can focus more on selling.
So don’t wait any longer – join the next demo and grab your LinkedIn leads for your business with our No-Risk Sales Service!
Sales is a challenging and complex function, and it’s clear why many businesses are unsure where to begin when setting up their sales function distribution model. When setting up your sales team, the most important thing to remember is that different sales functions are best suited to different optimization methods.
This means that you should do your research and determine which sales functions are best outsourced or left in-house. With this information, you can confidently set up your sales team, knowing that it’s optimized to generate the most revenue opportunities possible.