In-house or outsourced sales function?
When it comes to inside sales processes like cold calling new prospects, generating qualified leads, setting appointments and nurturing cooler opportunities, every company needs to make a smart decision about how to use your limited internal resources.
But, it can be difficult (and even scary) to commit to working with an outsourced lead generation partner, especially if you’re trying a call center for the first time.
Embrace your skepticism about an outsourced sales team and ask smart questions
It’s OK to start out skeptical. After all, it’s a big decision! Many of our longstanding medtech and B2B clients started out in same position: Working with a limited internal team. Wondering how to achieve aggressive sales opportunities and revenue growth. Curious if trying a new approach with outsourced lead generation calling will be a good choice.
The good news is that even on the first project, most Volkart May clients achieve a 10:1 or greater ROI on their investment. And, the majority extend their engagement or return for future projects. We even guarantee 10 qualified leads within the first 60 days of every engagement.
Outbound calling for sales prospecting and lead generation is a proven and effective technique that helps B2B businesses and medical device companies reach their sales performance and marketing strategy goals. Cold calling can also be an effective way to gather business intelligence, which may lead to a competitive advantage and increased market share.
How to decide if outsourced lead generation is right for you
That said, not every project or type of sales activity will be the right fit for outsourcing. Here’s what we’ve learned from our track records of 30+ years of experience, and some questions you can ask to ensure your organization makes the right decision about outsourced sales prospecting.
1. How well do you know your market? Do you know how many prospective clients you have?
Outbound calling brings many advantages that digital lead generation campaigns do not. Instead of clicks and likes in your target audience’s inbox, a live conversation engages potential buyers for thoughtful questions and valuable exchanges of information. Your team shares details about your solution and the problems it can solve; potential customers open up about their challenges, business goals and company background.
- If you’re well-established in your market, outsourcing sales prospecting can help you share your story with new buyers. Using dedicated resources expands your capacity, so you can cover more ground in less time. And, it keeps internal sales reps and marketing teams focused on other areas of the sales cycle.
- If you’re bringing a new solution to market, expanding into a different geography or changing something in your story, outbound phone calls can help you quickly test and refine your approach with immediate voice-of-customer feedback. In addition to qualified leads, you’ll walk away with daily insights into how your target market.
2. Can you agree on the definition of a qualified lead?
This may seem like a simple exercise, but it’s essential for success when outsourcing lead generation or sales prospecting to external sales firms. One of the biggest benefits of outbound calling is its measurability. Every day, your outsourcing partner call center should share with you real time sales calling metrics, such as dial attempts, decision-makers reached and leads generated.
Without a clear and consistent definition of “qualified lead,” there’s likely to be confusion and finger-pointing. (It can happen in in-house campaigns as well.) Marketing uses one definition, the sales team another and your external vendor a third set of criteria. Get everyone on board with a lead scoring system and you’ll set the foundation for an effective outbound calling campaign.
3. Do you have clear goals for your sales outsourcing project?
Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you and your outsourced sales prospecting partner evaluate your project and determine if it’s a good fit. Once you get started, clear calling objectives will help you measure progress and adjust your campaign as needed. Call objectives also keep business development reps focused during the actual conversation with your target buyer.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to accomplish every objective in a single call. Your outsourced call center partner may also recommend different ways to achieve your goals than you would use with an internal team. A good fit comes when you have a collaborative relationship and trust the expertise and experience of your outsourced team.
4. How large is your prospect list?
Your calling partner may have minimum quantities or certain geographic areas (such as North America only) for their projects. Some call centers, like Volkart May, focus on business-to-business calls rather than consumer sales. The more you can share upfront about your target buyer, the faster you’ll find an outsourced partner aligned with your needs.
- If you have an established sales prospect list in your CRM or sales database, an outsourced sales prospecting company can help you convert those companies into qualified sales-ready leads.
- If you’re just getting started and need to identify decision-maker names and titles, gather opt-in email addresses or gather background demographics, your outsourced calling partner can help you acquire a customize a purchased listto your specific needs. Both are good fits for outsourcing.
5. Where do you need the most help in your sales strategy and pipeline?
Outsourced sales prospecting is especially valuable for “top of the funnel” activity. This can include cold calls to make prospects aware of your product or service, lead generation campaigns, sales appointment-setting, and other information-gathering calls.
By using dedicated resources solely focused on your business development needs, you can accelerate activity and keep your sales pipeline filled. The biggest advantage to outsourcing early-sales funnel activity also keeps your internal sales team focused on what they do best: closing deals.
6. Do you have organizational buy-in to sales outsourcing services?
Perhaps the most important question to ask if you’re considering outsourcing lead generation or sales prospecting relates to buy-in across your company. Often, the budget for these projects resides in marketing, while the leads generated are sent to sales. That makes sales “responsible” for follow-up and ultimately, determining the success or failure of the program.
We’ve found that open communication, defined roles and responsibilities, and getting all stakeholders involved at the start of the project are crucial. Unless all parties are supportive of the effort, there’s a high risk that even perfect performance by your outsourced calling partner will end up marked as a failure.
Outsource sales prospecting with proven results
As your sales partner at Volkart May, we understand the gravity of the decision when it comes to trusting a third-party with your company brand. If you’d like to learn more about our team and approach, contact us for a one-on-one discussion to make informed decisions for your organization.