Over the past 3 years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the way buyers buy. With the adoption of digital content marketing, automation tools, and social media – sales have become an integrated process that requires both sales and marketing to contribute to generating, engaging and developing real sales opportunities.
Sales outsourcing success is no longer about picking a list of leads to call setting appointments, doing a feature and benefits, show and tell meeting, and closing business. Below are a handful of questions for you to consider when deciding what type of sales outsourcing or outsourced sales and marketing engagement to pursue.
What part of the funnel do I need to outsource right now?
There are multiple sales and marketing functions that can be outsourced. When we speak to companies, we often discover that they don’t need to outsource all of it at once. Here are some of the questions we will ask them to pose to themselves:
- Do I need more top of funnel leads?
- Do I need more sales qualified leads?
- Am I generating enough leads to hand to an outsourced closer?
- If I hired a sales engineer internally could they be supported by a strong outsourced sales and marketing team?
- Do I need automation specialists to reduce time spent developing leads?
With sales being increasingly process driven, not all companies need to hire a full sales outsourcing team. Smart outsourced sales and marketing with solid integration into your existing team can save you time and money, decrease risk and increase your speed to market. Often starting at the top of the funnel is the best way to initially engage. You can start to generate deal flow without the six figures a full engagement will typically cost. The relationship can then scale as a sales pipeline is developed and deals start to close.
Do I have access to the talent I need to ramp my sales and marketing efforts?
Sales has gotten more complicated. With the buyer now controlling the sales process you need to have an aligned sales and marketing effort. This requires the talent to execute campaigns, manage lead generation efforts, develop messages, manage technology platforms, perform the required ROI analysis, train reps and most importantly, have the talent required to close the sale. From Gabriel Sales’ sales outsourcing perspective, the more complex the sale, the more processes you are going to need to manage. An outsourced sales provider can ensure that you focus and drive excellence in every discrete phase of your sales cycle with specific tactics. You need to be clear what talent you have in house already so your outsourced sales and marketing company can fill the gaps you need filled.
Do I have the technical knowledge and team required to execute in this new buyer driven sales landscape?
Sales execution is no longer just about making or scheduling meetings, making presentations, writing a proposal, and then closing the deals. The combination of more decision makers and influencers on the buyers’ side, the expectations that your company will be bringing experts to the table, and the advent of the sales technology stack that allows these teams to communicate fluidly means you need to know how to manage processes and technology. Understanding of the technologies and how they can be applied are more critical than ever to controlling. Does hiring a full-time staff member make sense to manage these processes and systems?
Am I looking for Operational Expertise?
Operational expertise takes time to develop because it is driven by measurement and verification against feedback loops. To truly drive operational expertise, gathering data and benchmarking against it is critical. One of the major benefits of plugging into your outsourced sales partner’s existing sales machine is that the system has already built for you and ready to go. There is a machine, feedback loops and historical data already in motion. By starting smarter, you learn faster.
Do I want to build Operational Expertise and then bring it in-house?
The reality of outsourced sales is that once the system is built and fully implemented it is possible to bring this process in house. If building a system and then transitioning this system is something you may be interested in long term, discuss this with your partner upfront. We have found that if this is done effectively, we can often transition all or parts of the process at the right strategic time for our partners so everyone wins.
Do I need to focus on my core business?
All of your talent needs to be focused where they can create the most value. So ask yourself these questions:
- Do my executives and management team need to focus on client satisfaction and product development?
- Do they need to generate business or can they simply focus on closing business?
- To grow the company, do we need to grow our delivery along with sales?
- Is time better spent in business development?
- Can I staff sales engineers to do the deep technical part of the sale and leverage an outsourced sales and marketing partner to source business and develop business?
- Can I simply hire one closer internally for the 10% that is now the art of the close and use sales outsourcing for the day to day grind of generating new sales qualified opportunities?
Do I really need to add full-time executives (and the long-term fixed costs) to my management team?
The kiss of death to any company is too many strategists and not enough employees to execute. Outsourced service providers can bring strategic expertise to the table at the right time and then eliminate the costs. This allows you to focus more budget on execution. Getting the initial sales efforts off the ground takes strategic insight and leadership, and often requires senior executive talent on both the sales and marketing teams. Pulling technologies together also takes some advanced technology expertise. All this requires a significant investment. The beauty of going to an outsourced provider is that once this investment is made, you don’t need to continue to carry these fixed costs.
With the buyer taking control of the sales process outsourced sales and marketing and sales outsourcing now looks much different than it did even 3 years ago. Being clear on what talent you have, what talent and skills you need in the short term and what talent skills and team you want to build internally in the long term will help your sales outsourcing partner provide the best return on your investment.