Outsourced Sales: Costs, Benefits, Challenges & More

    Outsourced Sales: Costs, Benefits, Challenges & More

    Businesses around the world continually look to streamline their operations, with the ultimate goal of saving money on overhead costs. Cost-effective strategies can improve profitability, and nowhere is this more important than in sales. Outsourced sales operations are being adopted by companies of every size and type, allowing them to reach new audiences, reduce risk, and generate leads. With this cost-saving opportunity, an outsourced sales team can transform sales operations, leading to improved revenue streams and new customers by leveraging the power of a dedicated staff.

    In this guide, we’ll explore the concept of sales outsourcing, including outsourced telemarketing services. Then, we’ll investigate how this practice can save money, improve efficiency, and stimulate business growth.

    Sales Outsourcing: An Overview

    In simple terms, sales outsourcing is turning over the sales operations (or a part of them) to an outside agency or individual. There are many outsourcing service providers, each with their own unique way of conducting these operations. Such providers have extensive training and protocols, and many employ advanced technologies to track customer engagements, providing detailed data to the clients they are working for.

    Can Third-Party Resources Really Improve Sales Processes?

    When one thinks of using a third-party sales resource to improve the operation, many companies tend to misunderstand the value inherent in this type of arrangement. Trying to revamp the sales model without farming out to a third party can often lead to trouble. Examples of potential pitfalls companies may experience when trying to save money on sales costs include:

    • Utilizing indirect sales providers and services, such as product/service resellers or so-called “solution partners”.
    • Handing over inside sales to employees not qualified or experienced enough to handle the unique tasks. Imagine what would happen if your product engineers also handled sales functions, including reaching out to potential customers – doing so could be a recipe for disaster.
    • Trying to create new opportunities by adding commission-only professionals or agents to the mix.

    In a loose sense, the above examples are forms of outsourcing, but the reality is that these three examples are situations a smart company will avoid whenever possible. Effective providers have the experience, the tools, and the tactics needed to handle the most critical aspects of operating a business: Engaging with potential customers.

    The Sales Picture: Changes and Challenges

    Regardless of the company, many small business operations struggle with the challenges of reaching new customers. The process of sales – attracting new customers and converting contacts into transactions – is already challenging enough. Small companies can face significant hurdles in this department. These hurdles may stem from a lack of experience on the sales team, especially in lead generation, or may require expenditures a company and its staff are unprepared for.

    Advancing Technologies

    Advances and shifts in technology can also create complications in the sales arena. New technologies and ever-changing practices become available on a constant basis, and these new features may force a company to adapt its selling approaches quickly. For example, changes in communications tools or evolution of customer preferences may necessitate a revised sales practice to leverage successfully, and many companies simply do not have the flexibility or experience needed to do so. Social media marketing is an illustration of shifting consumer preferences; using social media platforms effectively has been difficult for many business operations unfamiliar with the tools and techniques needed to succeed in this arena.

    Costs

    Costs represent significant a challenge companies face in selling. Overhead costs are always a concern, regardless of the size of the business in question. Doing more with less has become the mantra in the modern business world, and this has dramatically altered the sales landscape. Unfortunately, without careful evaluation and overview of practices, costs can run out of control. The direct costs associated with in-house, particularly the cost per lead generated, can harm a company’s profitability, especially as these costs increase over time through inefficiency. It is clear that a solution is needed to rein in costs and to improve efficiency. That solution is the outsourcing of inside sales.

    Outsourced Sales: Boosting Efficiency While Reducing Expenses

    outsourced b2b sales Boosting Efficiency While Reducing ExpensesInside sales outsourcing can improve both lead generation and execution for businesses. Highly-trained professionals use the latest tools and technologies to improve efficiency. An outside sales team is just that: a team working for a company that manages these practices all day, every day. With that kind of focus and that blend of training, tools, and results-driven performance, handing over sales to a third-party provider begins to make a lot of sense.

    Convert Sooner

    The first cost-saving advantage lies in this capability; while inside sales units in a given business may need to experiment with techniques or strategies as a sales campaign begins and before the desired goals are achieved, an outsourced provider is ready to produce results right away. This slashes overhead costs, particularly when ramping up a new initiative.

    Tracking & Tools

    Leading service providers also use rigorous tracking and reporting tools as a means of providing detailed sales information to their clients. This is a tremendous advantage in terms of direct costs such as cost per lead. In-house teams sometimes suffer from an inability to pinpoint leaks in the sales funnel, or may not be able to understand why certain leads are lost at different points of the campaign. The outsourced team, such as an outbound telemarketing team, collects and analyzes data to improve customer touches and generate leads efficiently. A related advantage is the safety net of responsibility: in order to succeed, an outsourced sales provider must produce results, and that means bringing in new customers and closing deals. To achieve these results, the provider takes on a significant portion of the risks involved in sales, and is thus responsible for delivering results.

    Other Advantages

    There are many more advantages companies can enjoy when choosing to farm out sales to a third-party provider. To summarize the many advantages of outsourced inside sales practices, the benefits include:

    • Time and Cost Savings – outsourcing teams are equipped with the tools and knowledge to get campaigns up and running quickly, ultimately saving money over in-house operations.
    • Reduced Risk – by outsourcing some or all of its sales, it is also outsourcing some of the responsibility to a third-party provider. This can be an effective risk management strategy, especially for smaller businesses in competitive market sectors.
    • Improved Performance – outsourced telemarketing professionals and teams have the experience, the focus, and the training to deliver results.
    • Market Expertise – there are many third-party providers that have unique insights into specific markets, giving them an advantage for specialty sales. These insights can spur new ideas and new ways of connecting with customers in a given market niche.
    • Safe Business Growth – many smaller firms simply do not have the budget or the resources for a dedicated in-house team. By engaging with an outside provider, they can gain the advantages of a dedicated team without the overhead and training costs associated with creating their own department. This can help the business grow safely, without unnecessary risks or expenses.

    Choosing the Right Outsourced Sales Provider

    Now that we understand sales outsourcing and have explored a few of the many advantages of adopting this model, the question becomes: How does one choose a provider?

    Different companies have different needs and varying goals. Some companies may benefit from outbound telemarketing options, while others need a full suite of inside sales services. Many companies can benefit from a dedicated customer service department tied to the sales operation, such as a call center.

    Identifying Sales Needs

    The first step in evaluating a service provider is to take a close look at the specific services the outsourced sales companies offer to their clients. Some may offer customized sales solutions, while others may incorporate a range of services into one package. Make sure that whichever provider you choose for your company’s growth has the services you need to make the sales operation as efficient and as effective as possible.

    Specialty Providers

    Some outsourced companies specialize in specific fields, such as healthcare, technology, agriculture, or defense contracting. These providers can be invaluable in taking sales to an entirely new level, and have industry knowledge that is critical in connecting with customers. If your company occupies a unique niche in your market, it is a good idea to seek out specialty providers, if available.

    Capabilities

    Capabilities are the most important consideration, yet too many companies focus solely on the costs associated with outsourcing sales. While settling on the lowest-cost provider sounds like it makes sense, the reality is that budget-oriented service providers rarely have the technology, the experience, or the mastery to achieve the desired results. Remember: it is more important to partner with a provider that can deliver.

    Create A Partnership

    Finally, understand that in order to achieve the results you want from your sales services provider, it is important that the provider is able to create an active partnership. Demand interaction from your provider, especially in terms of regular data collection and reporting practices. The stronger the business relationship, the more capable and successful the partnership between business external provider.

    Contact SalesFish today to speak to a sales expert.

    Cold Calling Techniques to Warm Up Your Sales

    Cold Calling Techniques to Warm Up Your Sales

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    Cold calling can leave even the most seasoned pros with a chill. It’s always worth polishing up the tools you use to break the ice, and teaching them to your team. Here are our faves of the experts’ tips and tricks for warming up your technique.

    Aim for quality, not quantity

    You may think that a longer list of prospects is key to eventual success with your cold calling, but it all depends on the quality of those leads. In her article for Entrepreneur, Jane Porter advocates doing some research when it comes to your clients. If your product or service best serves large companies or organizations, then make sure your prospect list reflects that. Of course, even the most well researched prospect list doesn’t guarantee a “yes,” but you set yourself up for a higher rate of success when you target the right audience for cold calling.

    Try a strategic name drop

    Do you and your prospect perhaps have a mutual contact or friend? Easy enough to find out with a simple dash through Linked In. Don’t underestimate the value of a well-placed name. It may just be what tips the scales in your favor. Leading sales expert Brian Tracy believes that having a common denominator helps to relax your prospects when cold calling. If you don’t have an initial or obvious mutual connection, then it’s time to hit up LinkedIn and see where your circles overlap.

    (Read 7 cold-calling mistakes you’re probably making right now.)

    Master your voicemail approach

    Kraig Kleeman, who bills himself as “The World’s Greatest Cold Caller,” reminds us that only 1% of voicemails get returned. Those aren’t good odds at all for your bottom line. Though banks like JP Morgan and Citigroup are in the process of axing voicemail, Kleeman urges you not to give up. You want people to call you back? Spend time refining that voicemail and consider writing a script that you can customize for each client. Sales expert and Salesforce partner John Barrows of is a fan of the 30-second or less voicemail during which you leave your name and company at the end of the message, not the beginning, to avoid any hasty hang ups based on false assumptions your prospect might have about your company’s services.

    Dan Sincavage

    Dan is a Co-Founder of Tenfold and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Dan oversees the Tenfold sales organization, manages strategic partner relationships and works with key enterprise accounts to ensure their success with the Tenfold platform.

    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    How to Write Ads That SUCK: Part 1

    How to Write Ads That SUCK: Part 1

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agencytelemarketing servicestelemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    I am going to teach you how to create ads that suck more than a five-story vacuum factory. In truth, most of the ads I see are monuments of major suckitude that virtually ensure their own avoidability. They are either so dull and unimaginative that they become invisible, or so obnoxious that they have people trampling one another to get to the mute button. These kinds of ads have no chance of pausing the scrolling thumb on the social media newsfeed, unless it is to tap the even smaller downward digital thumb of disapproval.

    Follow any of the following suggestions and you’ll be sure to be unfollowed; follow all of them and watch your business go down faster than a fat kid on a seesaw. (By the way, using terms like “fat kid on a seesaw” falls under point #3.)

    1. Look like everyone else.

    In middle school, being the same as everyone else is “safe.” But in the world of advertising, being the same is death. Most businesses think that their ads need to look and sound like ads. The truth is that feeling safe is the least safe position for an advertiser.

    For instance, almost every Realtor I’ve worked with has gone into a fetal position when I’ve suggested not using the ubiquitous headshot. I once had a professional photographer take fun, personable images of a firm’s Realtors. One agent’s photo in particular was fantastic–she and her dog, a very photogenic weimaraner, were both smiling into the camera. It was adorable. Everyone I showed the photo to had the same comment: “I’d work with that realtor!” Unfortunately, she opted instead for the boring, overused formal look because she felt like people wouldn’t think she looked “professional enough.” (Hint: Nobody likes your glamor head shots except you. The rest of us just roll our eyes.)

    So, to suck, make sure your ads look like ads, especially like everyone else’s.

    1. SHOUT!!!

    Use bold, ALL CAPS and multiple exclamation points as often as possible!!!!!! Roy H. Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” says that “Every beginner’s solution is to put an ‘attention getter’ into the ad. Bright colors, loud noises, exclamation marks, and crazy stunts are the sad little attention getters most often used. The effect on your beautiful customer is much the same as sneaking up behind her and shouting, ‘WATCH OUT!’”

    Cheap tricks like this are just…annoying. As the Wiz says, “Is that any way to start a relationship?”

    1. Cross the line

    There’s a fine line between humor or impact and just plain offensiveness. Cross the line. Go boldly forward like a raging bull in a china shop. If you think it’s funny, go with it! Don’t give it a second thought, consider the sensitivities of your audience, or run it by diverse sources for feedback, and you’re on the superhighway to Sucksville.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is an art to provoking enough controversy and reaction to benefit your business, but it’s risky and it requires a very skilled and experienced professional to pull it off (and sometimes even professionals fall flat on their faces.)

    Damn the torpedoes…and watch your reputation sink.

    More tips on ads that suck to come in a future blog. For now, these three points, properly applied, will produce spectacular failure.

     


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    A Healthy Workplace = ROI

    A Healthy Workplace = ROI

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agencytelemarketing servicestelemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    According to a study by the CDC, about 1 in 5 (21%) of adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.

    The US Dept. of Health and Human services has found that less than 5% of adults are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. And only 1 in 3 achieves the recommended amount of physical activity each week.

    So what does this mean for you and your business?

    You could potentially be losing money through the efforts of unhealthy employees.

    There are plenty of studies that show, that when implemented, a workplace fitness program can pay for itself when implemented, so let’s look at a few of the benefits:

    IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY
    Studies show fit people have more vitality and tend to think more clearly. Having good physical health means having enough energy to complete the daily to-do list.

    LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS
    According to a Forbes Magazine survey, over half of all small businesses find Health Care costs to be a “crititcal issue”. With the rise in health care costs, saving money on healthy employees makes sense!

    LESS STRESS
    Exercise increases your health and your sense of well-being. Studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue. It improves alertness and concentration, and it enhances overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate (at work!).

    ABSENTEE REDUCTION
    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that healthier employees are less likely to call in sick. This of course reduces the expense of sick days and lost productivity for a business. Which in turn creates the potential for higher morale, because no one has to cover for anyone else. (Happy Employees, which is our next point).

    HAPPIER EMPLOYEES
    When you’re healthy, you feel better. If you feel better, less stressed and energetic, you can be happy! Imagine the whole sales floor or office getting the job done and getting along with one another. With smiles on their faces, and some pep in their step. It’s a profitable proposition.

    Recently Gallup’s Business Journal points out that consistency and active engagement are crucial for success. If your business is willing to put in the time and energy to research and implement a wellness program, your investment will be well worth it.

     


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales