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.

    Have an Advertising Revolution

    Have an Advertising Revolution

    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!

    Is your marketing still in the Dark Ages?

    In the last decade or so, the world of marketing and media has undergone absolutely seismic shifts. TV’s share of total media-watching time shrunk by 10.75 percent over a five-year period, and it continues to fall. More and more viewers are watching streaming TV, which does not even have ads. Digital devices take up more than half of all media viewing time. The future of advertising has been here for a while now, but many companies are struggling to adapt to the pace of rapid evolution—and that even goes for marketing agencies!

    The rules of advertising have forever changed because of digital media. Ads that interrupt the viewing experience—so called “push” ads—often get tuned out or turned off. The public now has so many choices and vast control over which media they patronize on a regular basis. In such an environment, advertising must present content that naturally attracts the audience and holds their attention for a sufficient length of time. This includes gripping stories that engage and hold attention. “Storyselling” creates genuine value for a brand audience. If the value is not there, viewers will soon move on to more interesting narratives.

    Audiences also are now viewing media according to their own schedules, rather than waiting for pre-scheduled programming. That means brand stories must be transmitted 24/7, and across a wide variety of media to be effective. A major key now is to have brand stories that are so compelling that they are eagerly shared across the various social media channels, maybe even gaining viral movement. Since there is so much content on the Web, it is critical that a brand effectively differentiates itself as unique and outstanding from the many competing voices—and that starts with a fresh and compelling message.

    Marketing agencies need the vision and breadth of skills required to innovate advertising content and will produce returns for their clients. What is necessary is an integrated agency that fully understands brand management across a wide variety of media. Strategy and storytelling must integrate media efforts into a seamless whole, always keeping the audience’s needs and interests at the forefront of attention. This seamless integration of storytelling is what ultimately leads to content being shared on various social media platforms, moving a brand forward.

    Advertising, Web design, and content marketing over the various platforms are challenging. Not only do they require great storytelling, they must be based on solid market research data. Technology has to measure itself and adjust to realistic feedback. The audience must be targeted with great accuracy, the message adapted to their behavior. In your efforts to grow, SalesFish is here to help you as a full-service agency—one that is always working hard to help you stay ahead of the crowd!

    Call SalesFish today and our high-touch, dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals, and the marketing and sales tactics best suited to your specific needs. And, yes, we will also advise you on the best A.I. tools that actually work and complement the real people in your business!


    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
    The Screwtape Emails VI – Value of Good Enough

    The Screwtape Emails VI – Value of Good Enough

    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!

    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART SIX:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: Why We Love “Good Enough”

    My dear Wormwood,

    Our mission to destroy the success of the aspiring businessperson continues, as do your lessons on the most effective tactics. I call this next one the “Good Enough Deception.”

    You see, my dear Wormwood, to many, marketing is akin to going to the dentist—painful but necessary. Many a CEO winces at the marketing budget line item because they see marketing as a “soft” area of operations. Creativity, to them is “fluff”; operations and finances are the important things. So, when it comes to getting their marketing done, they are only interested in good enough to get by. They don’t get it, and that give our cause a real boost!

    The following are some ways we can use the Good Enough Deception to hasten your Patient’s downfall:

    • Cut off creativity: In today’s “attention economy,” being different and radically creative to stand apart from all the other competitive voices is crucial. But convince your patient that creative strategy is a waste of time. Have him cut short the creative process and stifle creativity with the CEO’s get-to-the point view of life. (Skip the gift wrapping, the card and flowers. How romantic.)
    • Give impossible deadlines: Have the Patient want it, and want it now. That will ensure that the creative “right brain”—from whence comes the level of creativity that catapults brands and sells out products—has no chance to develop true brilliance. The left brain sucks at creativity, and unrealistic deadlines put it in the driver’s seat to Mediocrity City.
    • Hire Low: Advertising legend David Ogilvy gave this advice: “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” Tempt your Patient into the disastrous decision to hire based on cost, rather than quality. Why get a senior marketing professional, when you can hand the work off to an amateur, a family member, or even a student.
    • Micromanage: Ogilvy also said to, “Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.” True creatives worth their salt do best with a long leash, so convince your patient to control the process. It will feel like the safe thing to do, but of course it’s the worst way to manage.

    I could go on, and perhaps we will discuss more tactics in the future. But we can sum up the beauty of the Good Enough Deception with one simple sentence: “We got our marketing done.”

    You and I know, Wormwood, that marketing is never “done,” but let’s just keep that our little secret, shall we?

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


    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
    Winning Attention

    Winning Attention

    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!

    “Don’t take my word for it. Watch someone in the airport read a magazine. They whip through, usually backward, at about two seconds per page. They glance at the clock on the wall…They look at a page. They see your ad…If you can get them to take in your visual (or read your headline), your ad is a resounding success.” Luke Sullivan, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.
    If marketing is like dating, then advertising is the part where you walk in the room and see how many heads turn. To get noticed, you have to look good—but is looking good enough? Nope. Even that “love at first sight” moment is more about connection than just good looks. The greatest attraction is when we can see ourselves in someone else’s eyes, identify parts of ourselves in a kindred spirit.

    The great English poet Matthew Arnold spoke of the moment when,

    Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,
    When our world-deafen’d ear
    Is by the tones of a loved voice caress’d—
    A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
    And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
    The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain…

    It’s a hyper-competitive marketplace out there with a lot of pretty faces; only the most engaging and relatable will get noticed in the crowd. The best brands use carefully-considered imagery to aim at the heart, and woo their prospects by setting them on a pedestal.

    There’s no doubt that images can be compelling and are a crucial part of successful brand communication. But it’s not enough to have a nice-looking logo or a well-designed ad. Your visual presentation has to make a connection to something relatable. The best images tell a story, one in which your audience becomes the main character in your brand narrative.

    The problem with most brand presentations—from logos to ad campaigns—isn’t a lack of skillful execution; it’s a lack of connection. Form means nothing if it doesn’t express the substance behind your brand and how it relates to our lives. It’s not enough to have nice pictures, sharp graphics or clever ads. We’ve all seen or heard ads that made us laugh or moved us to tears, after which we’ve promptly forgotten the product. There’s a difference between getting people’s attention and inspiring them to say, “They really get me!”

    The effective use of imagery in brand communications is a big topic, so I’m going to give you a few timeless tips you can take to the bank, some really useful stuff!

    Feel What They Feel

    Any time you sit down to create an ad campaign, a Web page or a social media post, you’re going to have to decide how best to present to your audience. Do not function from what you like, from what seems to look nice, or from a motivation to tell people all about yourself and what you’re selling. Instead, decide what you want your audience to feel when exposed to your message.

    Veteran ad man and Hey Whipple, Squeeze This author Luke Sullivan advises, “Stare at a picture that has the emotion of the ad you want to do.” If you want to create an ad that will make people cry, expose yourself to ads that make you cry. If you want to create a YouTube video that will make people laugh all the way to their wallets, then spend an afternoon (or three) watching videos that get you rolling on the floor.

    The point is, get into the feel before you start creating. Once you are in the emotional position you want to put others into, you are more likely to choose imagery and headlines that will get attention.

    Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

    Do you have the confidence and self-control to make your ads as simple as possible? When it comes to advertising, it’s very true that “less is more.” I cannot tell you how many clients have nodded their heads in agreement at the concept, and then fought me when I sharpened the axe.

    Ads were not meant to be brochures. Brochures were meant to be brochures. Effective ads take one benefit and express it in an image (along with, sometimes, a headline and maybe even a little bit of copy).

    “Be visual and go short on copy,” writes Sullivan. “Granted, if you interest readers with a good visual or headline, yes, they may go on to read your copy. But the point is, visuals work fast…they translate, not surprisingly, better than words.”

    German industrial designer Dieter Rams preaches that, “Good design is as little design as possible.” He advocates a simplicity that concentrates on the essential aspects and not burdening others with the non-essentials.

    Certainly, today’s consumer reads less than even a decade ago and is bombarded with a constant overload of sensual stimuli. A simple, bold message stripped down to its essentials is more likely to slip through cognitive filters and get noticed.

    But beyond that, “Every element you add to a [design] layout reduces the importance of all the other elements,” says Sullivan. “And conversely, every item you subtract raises the visibility and importance of what’s left.” Aha! You can dilute your own key message with ads that are too busy.

    Abraham Lincoln once apologized that he didn’t have time to write a shorter speech. Sure, boiling down your ads to express one key benefit takes work; keeping your Home page from rambling takes skill and discipline. But better to have 100 people grasp one benefit you offer than to have 1 person read through 100 features you sell.

    Storyselling

    “If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.” Jay Baer

    Choose images that tell a story your audience can relate to—something true to life—and you’ll have them! Don’t just show photos of your product, show people using it in real life situations…or take the opposite approach. Depict your message with a completely unexpected scenario. I still remember one ad that showed a hippopotamus bobbing in the water, wearing a pair of water skis and holding a towrope. Now, this company could have used a glib picture of some perfect family enjoying a day waterskiing at the lake, and they could have given a rambling explanation of the power of their watercraft. Instead, they used an image that said it all in an unforgettable way. That hippo waiting to get up on the waves told a story.

    Show, Don’t Tell

    A picture tells a thousand words. If you can avoid adding more words to that 1000, do so. But if words help add impact, then be sparing—take the time to drill down to the best combination of brevity and impact.

    Now, that ad with the hippo could have added the words, “our engines are 30% more powerful than the leading competitor,” but, um…yawn.


    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