Unlike training up new internal employees, an outsourced sales team can already have proven sales techniques and strategies in place to hit the ground running. Hiring an outsourced sales company is a big and sometimes risky decision to make, especially if you’re just starting out as a business owner e.g businesses can contract or the economy withers.
Situations change, however, advice on efficiently hiring the right outsourced sales professional for you, remains the same.
1. IDENTIFY DESIRED OUTCOMES
It may seem obvious, but whatever your desired business outcomes are, you will want to be crystal clear on these before approaching potential outsourced sales companies. Once you’ve defined these, you can then look at how your potential partner will contribute.
Consider the following before approaching potential partners:
- Who is it that you are trying to sell to?
- What market do you need to break into?
- Do you want to expand across a new region?
- Do you want to introduce more effective renewal management with current customers?
2. WHAT CAN THEY OFFER?
When hiring outsourced sales professionals, you want to ensure they have the experience and insight required in your particular business sector. It’s important to consider the strengths and capabilities your potential partner has to offer and whether it’s what you specifically need.
What can they offer in terms of :
- Ability to Execute
Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer, it’s far more satisfying when speaking with someone who knows what they’re talking about and can answer questions about the specific niche they’re trying to sell. This type of approach is most likely to come from a specialized team possessing expertise in a certain field.
Yes, when you hire sales professionals they will (hopefully) have client relationship skills down to a T, but It’s crucial to understand how their processes, expertise, and tools can benefit your particular scenario.
Tip: Look for case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients that speak to the firm’s process and solution elements provided.
Questions to ask potential partners:
- What are your core competencies? E.g Consumer sales, B2B sales-specific, other?
- Can you outline your proven track record of selling in the enterprise, mid-market, or SMB segments?
- How does your team’s sales expertise match up with my particular area? How can you demonstrate that?
- How will your team support and enable expansion into a new market segment or location?
- Does your team have the depth of experience to have executive and decision-maker business conversations?
3. ENSURE THEY REPRESENT YOUR BUSINESS
First Impressions Count
Your outsourced sales management team is the first interaction any potential customers or clients will have with your brand and it’s therefore vital to ensure they are strong ambassadors. As representatives of your business, can you be confident these individuals are selling in a manner that reflects well on you?
Outsourced sales companies should be completely invisible to your customers, as far as they are concerned, the outsourced team members are part of your team. You want to be sure they create a great first impression, and that your product or service is their number one priority.
Consistency is key
Well-equipped outsourced sales companies employ trainers and content writers to ensure messaging distributed on your behalf is in line with your company’s voice, style, and values.
In fact, with focused professionals on your side, you may find your messages are clearer and more resonant than ever.
When you hire sales professionals they should be continually focused on improving interactions with clients so that your preferred message will make it to your prospects loud and clear when your outsourced team is delivering it.
4. BASIC VS PREMIUM
There are several points to consider before you seek to hire sales professionals for your business, however, it’s worth remembering that the cheapest solution is not always best. If you want clients to feel as though they’re talking to an outsourced call center, you can outsource the entire process, measure it with KPI’s and leave the outsourcing company to pick the people who will do the work.
Alternatively, if you want your clients to experience that they’re talking to one company, which is at all times committed to solving their problem, a basic call center is not for you.
In this case, an outsourced sales company is what you are indeed looking for- sales professionals who will work with and alongside your current team.
Deciding which scenario is for you depends largely on your situation, and which experience you want your clients to have when they speak to your company.
- Using a compensation model that includes some level of fixed compensation, as well as a way to reward success will give sales reps stake in the relationship and incentive to deliver results.
- Ask what level of return you can expect and if they are willing to share risk relative to results delivered?
5. INTEGRATION IS KEY
When you’re looking for ways to improve your sales processes and generate better results, professional outsourced sales companies can bring fresh ideas and opportunities to the table for you to implement into your current strategy.
You must be able to consult your outsourced sales team about their efforts and the larger trends in your specific industry. Together, your teams can outline KPIs, build a seamless handoff between external and internal team members, and determine the best way to ensure you’re staying on track.
Keep up the communication
After you hire your potential partner you will want to ensure there is regular communication between the two of you. That’s why it’s important to find a company that will honour this and provides regular feedback without you having to ask for it.
Building a good relationship with your outsourced sales team will be worth your while and beneficial to both parties. Be fully engaged with your new partner, the same way you would be in constant interaction with your internal team, you want to remain in the loop so that you can take action when needed. Establish an open channel of communication so your outsourced sales team feels comfortable contacting you when needed.
Your new partner should be open to:
- Getting educated on your business’s strategies, processes, goals, and KPIs.
- Explaining their methods, allowing you to understand their selling process —from generating leads to closing deals.
- Getting trained up on your products and brand rather than waste time searching for or recreating content.
- Sharing their activities, objectives, and results. Participate in weekly touch-base meetings to stay connected on performance, gaps, and key initiatives.
- Working towards shared goals. Work closely with your outsourced team to regularly evaluate these and drive alignment on what success looks like.
- Explaining their tools/platforms – ask what they use to leverage successful sales growth and why?
6. ALIGNING OUTSOURCED SALES WITH YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
Sales and marketing need to work together to achieve the same goals, for optimum performance overall and to reach performance metrics speedily.
Constant alignment between the two is therefore paramount to your success and you will want to be able to meet with your outsourced team’s manager regularly to set clear expectations.
How to align your outsourced sales and marketing teams:
- Listen to feedback: Insights from frontline salespeople who have more customer interactions than most will become a valuable asset to your organization. You can then use this information to incorporate into your marketing strategy. If you have an in-house marketing team, invite key members of your marketing team to regularly interact with your outsourced sales team.
- Encourage your sales team to regularly report their findings. For example, sales can inform marketing on what makes a lead higher quality and why. You can incorporate this information into your marketing strategy, which will improve your lead generation/qualification process.
- Develop buyer personas together – Make sure both teams are targeting the same audience. If this has already been developed internally be sure to present this data to the sales team for a consistent understanding.
- Assessing KPIs– does the sales partner have the right metrics and evaluation tools to properly measure results?
Tip: Great outsourced sales companies will also have analysts who can track successes or issues, then create a feedback loop to adjust messaging or target prospects differently where needed.
Extra questions to consider when selecting your outsourced sales professionals:
- How well does the provider drive thought leadership and creativity during the proposal process? Are they just speaking to what you asked for or are they providing innovative ideas for how to reach your sales goals? This is a good indicator of what you can expect from a partnership.
- What would my sales team look like and what is the ratio of managers to reps? Who will be managing them?
Outsourced sales is a thriving and proven trend with an overload of potential providers out there. Once you know what to look out for, however, identifying the right outsourced sales professionals needn’t be a chore. A partnership with a good sales provider has the potential to boost current revenue and create new revenue streams faster and more efficiently than you can from scratch by giving you that competitive advantage.
Pearl Lemon Sales is an all-in-one, award-winning sales agency and can provide an outsourced sales team who work alongside your company ethos and goals to deliver the results you need.
If you’re still finding it difficult to decipher the right provider for you, why not reach out to the Pearl Lemon Sales team today.