Starting with the down turn, and in combination with Tim Ferris’ (now almost classic) 4-Hour Work week, many small business are at least open to outsourcing most functions. However Tim Ferris’ painted a slightly rosy picture of how easy this could be. This is especially true when outsourcing sales. As any executive who has attempted sales outsourcing will tell you, outsourcing sales is not always a quick path to profitability or as straight forward as advertised. This is especially true when dealing with companies that have hung their shingles over the past 3-4 years.
Here are several perspectives to consider as you consider sales outsourcing for your company:
The One Eyed Man is Not Necessarily King in the Land of the Blind
As an outsourced sales company we are experts in sales processes, and all the tools required for successes. However if you do not have a sales process already in place it will take us at least one or two sales cycles (taking buyers through their buying process and your sales process) to refine our collective approach. Sales outcomes will not change overnight because buyers don’t change the way they buy overnight. We typically let our clients know that the more they can stay engaged through the initial 3 to 6 months the smoother and faster outcomes we will be able to collectively produce (more on this below). Most companies are successful for a reason and that typically starts with the sales knowledge that is out our clients’ executive’s brains.
If you do not understand why your buyer buys we can help you nail this down with some consulting workshops and then real time feedback from buyers. But it will take time before the path to growth becomes clear and concrete.
Can you stay engaged especially during the initial 90 days of launch?
Numerous entrepreneurs see outsourcing as a one time deal – you sign an agreement with an outsourced sales company, and afterward sit back while your new outsourced sales reps start closing deals. Obviously, as we all know, closing business is never that easy.
We have found that executives that stay engaged during the initial 90 days lead to our greatest success stories. You don’t need to stay hands on daily but we do recommend that you attend the weekly meetings and digest the data. There will be insights you will have and failures and rabbit holes you will be able to help your sales outsourcing partner to avoid.
We love the feedback, because they allow us to fix issues quickly to get the best results.
Embrace the Pareto Principle when Creating Content to Support Sales Outsourcing
As an outsourced sales and marketing company we are trying to build a repeatable communication process. What we find across 100% of our engagement is that 80% of your deals are going to care about the same 20% of the information. It could be the same objections that need to be overcome. It could be the same business pains you solve. You should expect your sales outsourcing partner to have a process to help document what 20% of information needs to be shared to drive that 80% of your engagement. You should then expect to create content that will give the buyers the ability to educate themselves digitally in these areas.
Embrace the Pareto Principle when Following Up with Leads
As a sales outsourcing company we have embraced automation technologies for one reason. Once an outbound lead has been generated (agreed to accept additional information either through an eMail campaign or cold call campaign) we use this technology to help us score a leads propensity to buy. Because what we typically see is – of the leads that do agree to engage only about 20% have an immediate need (next quarter or two) and the remaining 80% are interested but nowhere close to being ready to buy. Success in the age of digital buyer education requires that you use an automation technology to score leads. You should expect your sales outsourcing partner to be adept in the use of these tools.