What You Need to Know About Inside Sales Outsourcing

What You Need to Know About Inside Sales Outsourcing

Imagine waking up to a dashboard of rising sales figures, all achieved while you were focused on core business strategies.

That’s possible with ISR outsourcing, and it’s quietly revolutionizing how companies, big and small, approach their sales strategies.

It’s gaining traction due to the appeal of turning over the time consuming and expensive process of hiring, onboarding and managing inside salespeople, and as a needed business accelerator.

Here’s why you should read this article.

Almost all of the content you’ll read on the subject is either an; AI generated article geared for SEO, or a puff pieces aimed at converting you.

We’re changing that.

While ISR outsourcing has the potential to transform your business, we wanted to share over a decade of experience within this space to ensure you’re well informed before handing over your hard earned cash to a third party.

We’ll provide a candid look at the business model from an insider perspective, and why it works for some and not for others. We’ll examine the different approaches to ISR outsourcing, key components needed to ensure success, and choosing the right role to be effective.

Let’s Define ISR Outsourcing

ISR outsourcing is a strategic business practice where companies partner with specialized external service providers like Wave Representatives to execute various sales activities that are traditionally performed by an in-house team (W2 employees).

This approach includes handling business functions such as prospecting, appointment setting, account management, and even deal closures. By offloading these tasks to an outsourced partner, a business can then focus on core competencies while still ensuring that its sales pipeline is actively managed and growing.

Successful providers leverage sales talent, cutting-edge software, and proven sales processes to drive favorable outcomes for their clients.

A strong benefit to businesses that opt for ISR outsourcing is they enjoy the flexibility of scaling their sales efforts up or down in response to market demands, without the commitment and overhead of managing a full-time internal sales team.

When ISR Outsourcing Works

ISR outsourcing works when it’s a collaborative relationship between the client and the provider managing and supporting their sales efforts.

We found many lead generation companies started rebranding themselves as sales outsourcing providers when they saw this market expand. It also attracted hundreds of newcomers wanting to capitalize on the growing trend of sales outsourcing. Unfortunately, this resulted in a lot of companies experiencing bad results.

Here’s why.

There’s a big difference between a true sales outsourcing provider where team members are client branded versus a lead generation company, that does business under their own name.

When you sign up with a service provider that’s working on your behalf, and perhaps even providing “dedicated salespeople”, they’re likely doing it under their brand, not yours.

This should be a red flag.

Because not only does this approach confuse your prospects, it also doesn’t provide you with a very important benefit.

Your data.

When you have dedicated + branded inside salespeople on your account, you should always benefit from all of the account, contact and activity updates generated by the team (this is our approach).

When you realize that 97% of your ideal customers aren’t ready to buy today, it’s essential that you add these people to a nurture campaign, so you can capture that future business.

A cheaper service will cost you a lot more money by throwing away 17% of prospect who are gathering information, 20% of prospect who are problem aware, and 60% of prospects who aren’t problem aware.

Many lead generation companies focus on mass email to “SPAM your TAM” (total addressable market). Your brand can become a casualty of these tactics, since building trust is the key to sales, services that leverage email only, or LinkedIn only campaigns to reach your prospects create noise, and potentially alienate potential clients.

Active on LinkedIn? Do you find yourself getting random direct messages, assuming you’re in the market for products or services you haven’t expressed interest in? And what about your inbox? Are you constantly sifting through unsolicited emails, pitching without bothering to understand your actual requirements?

Everyone is getting the, including your prospects. Adding to that noise will likely ruin your chances of winning their business in the future.

Okay, Before You Keep Reading

I know that was a lot of information to take in. We thought about breaking this up into multiple articles, but now that you’ve already made it this far, let’s look two scenarios.

If you’re a B2B company selling either directly to businesses or leveraging channel partners, inside sales outsourcing could be a great fit.

As a provider, we see market conditions degrading significantly over the next year. If you dig through our articles, you’ll find that we’re consistently on target with our predictions due to our business model requiring us to keep current on trends.

Consider the scenario where a business must quickly adapt to sudden shift in the market or aims to service a higher percentage of channel partners without the substantial overhead of expanding with an in-house team.

ISR outsourcing becomes an attractive solution, offering flexibility and speed when addressing both of these challenges.

You’ll also benefit from the expertise of sales professionals who are skilled at identifying and reaching target markets using the latest techniques, all without the typical obstacles associated with building an internal team yourself. More about that later.

Ready to keep reading? Let’s start getting into the dollars and cents of this business model.

Pay As You Go – ISR Outsourcing

Cost Savings

Outsourcing inside sales can result in substantial cost savings for a business, because it dramatically reduces the financial burden of hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house team, which includes more than just salaries. (see below)

The benefits are easily quantifiable; with companies on average saving nearly $30,000 annually per inside sales representative by choosing to outsource instead.

By choosing to outsource, businesses eliminate numerous direct and indirect expenses associated with maintaining an in-house sales department. These costs include, but are not limited to, recruitment expenditures, salaries, benefits, and the monetary commitment of office space. We cover this more in our white paper “Why Outsource“.

The flexibility of the pay-as-you-go model with outsourced services comes with the added benefit of paying solely for actual services rendered, which can translate into substantial financial savings, particularly for startups or companies in expansion mode.

Also, partnering with an outsourcing provider can significantly mitigate risks linked to employee turnover and market volatility, offering businesses a level of flexibility not found within a fixed, in-house structure. Outsourcing also brings with it the expertise and efficiency of proven inside sales management to optimize the sales process and achieve better performance outcomes, mitigating the need for an inside sales manager.

In addition to these perks, Wave Representatives along with a few other providers are software experts, able amplify the effectiveness of your sales teams efforts, providing training and ongoing optimization. As a result, companies can deliberately skip the hefty price tag associated with integrating these sales tools on their own.

Inside sales outsourcing presents a cost-efficient, risk-mitigated approach to sales with enhanced sales performance and better scalability.

Access to “Skilled Professionals”

Most sales outsourcing providers offer salespeople that are already with the agency to work on your account. While “on tap”, skilled professionals who can start immediately might sound good, this approach doesn’t provide the best results.

Over the years, we found that hiring new talent, ensuring alignment with the role and the client worked better, because new hires are coachable, eager to prove themselves and bring in fresh perspectives, giving this approach a clear advantage.

Industry Expertise

An outsourced sales provider will likely have experience across several industries, bringing unique insights to help you differentiate over your competitors. For example, while we focus on technology as a company, there are many subcategories, and we found lesser known sales strategies used in one, gave us an advantage in others.

Enhanced Efficiency

Partnering with an experienced sales outsourcing agency can dramatically enhance efficiency. For example, most agencies have learned to streamline the onboarding process, and screen for qualities that will produce the best results.

Because of this optimization, they can effectively reduce the time and resources spent on hiring and training new employees to provide a return on investment.

Additionally, the flexibility of an outsourced team allows you to scale your sales operations, keeping pace with market demand. This flexibility ensures that your company can focus on its core competencies, drive innovation, and enhance productivity.

Ultimately, inside sales outsourcing is a strategic maneuver that allows businesses to remain agile, competitive, and financially sharp.

Key Components of ISR Outsourcing

Next, let’s discuss some of the key components that separate offerings, and make or break an ISR outsourcing strategy.

B2B ISR outsourcing should be a multifaceted approach to B2B sales growth, encompassing several key components crucial for successful integration into your overall GTM strategy.

Generalist Teams

Sometimes, the inside sales role can be comprehensive, where the job function is completely handled by a sales outsourcing company like Wave Representatives, or it can be specific to certain sales roles, to complement the efforts of the internal sales force.

Inside Sales Representatives (ISRs)

Inside sales can encompass the full spectrum of duties, often a cornerstone of lead qualification for most companies. Slow lead response time is often the biggest contributors to losing prospects when they’re most likely to convert. By partnering with an agency, you gain the advantage of proven sales methodologies aimed at improving lead response time.

By embracing a multichannel strategy, it ensures your team can engage leads across various mediums – e.g. email, phone, social media – to broaden reach.

Specialized Teams

Three “specialized roles” gained popularity over the last ten years, each of these inside sales roles focus on specific activities with the right sales tools.

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

SDRs focus on enhanced efficiency with lead qualification and moving new business through a clients pipeline, this role is seamlessly integrated with established sales and marketing frameworks. They engage in activities ranging from targeting potential customers to managing lead qualification before handing them off to senior salespeople.

Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

BDRs focus more on driving new business, and amplifying sales activities through sales tools like Apollo, using multiple channels to reach targeted buyers with very polished messaging. You’ll find the SDR/BDR role blur on job descriptions, sometimes becoming interchangeable due to their similarities and not having explicate definitions.

Channel Development Representatives (CDRs)

CDRs focus on channel sales, and ensuring your partners are engaged using a modern toolset and strategies. Since we started in channel sales, we find fewer competitors in this space, but we’ve recently noticed some of the lead generation companies adding “channel sales” to their capabilities. CDRs become essential team members, and will work alongside your direct salespeople to keep partners engaged and educated on products. If you’re a B2B tech company that sells through the channel, this provides an easy return on investment.

Required Tools

Customer Relationship Management

CRM systems stand at the heart of modern inside sales operations, as mentioned previously your data should be considered gold, valued as a close second to the opportunities generated by your inside salespeople.

Good outsourcing providers bring high levels of expertise in integrating and automating these systems through sales engagement platforms. Wave Representatives started using these systems in 2014, finding it an absolute necessity for success.

Our experience with technology can be found here.

When your inside salespeople are equipped with the right tools, it enhances the potential of every customer conversation. By tapping into cutting-edge conversational intelligence, sales outsourcing companies craft communication strategies that resonate more personally with customers.

Any potential outsourcing partner should be able to integrate directly to your business’s CRM system, ensuring transparency and better strategic alignment. However, it’s important that you’re leveraging a widely adopted CRM from either, Salesforce, HubSpot, or Microsoft Dynamics due to ensure integration options.

In addition, the infusion of AI-driven chatbots and the use of signal based selling software illustrates how leveraging the right set of technologies can increase customer interactions.

Sales Pipeline Management

Managing your sales pipeline is key to ensuring sustained revenue growth. a good provider equipped with the right tools, can oversee every aspect efficiently, employing proven tactics for lead nurturing and conversion.

With the right people, processes and technology, your extended team is able to set measurable goals, forecast deals, and pinpoint areas that are slowing down the sales process, ultimately boosting sales and improving conversion rates.

Sales Performance Analysis

Your company should benefit from the better sales methodologies and tools to maximize conversion rates. These tools use advanced analytics to deliver valuable insights into your CRM, enabling data-driven decisions. Weekly reporting is replaced by real time insights, allowing them to stay focused on refining their sales strategies, while you’re kept in the loop on progress.

What do you think?

I know this is a lot of information, and this is very condensed version of what we’ve learnt over the years when providing sales outsourcing services.

The next section deals with choosing the right partner. This is where most company’s will pitch you on their services, I’ll certainly provide you with our experiences and what we’re doing, but who you choose to parter with is up to you.

Choosing the Right Inside Sales Outsourcing Partner

Selecting the right ISR outsourcing partner is vital for a return on investment. When considering a partner, key considerations include transparency, alignment with your organization’s goals, success accountability, efficient processes, and communication.

To ensure success, it’s crucial to choose a company that not only offers scalability but also approaches sales with a consultative demeanor. Meaning, the service fits around your company, versus the other way around.

The right partner will be the one whose values reflect your own, promoting stronger collaboration and more effective unified sales strategies.

Foreign versus Domestic

We have firsthand experience with hiring in the Philippines. We found that the time difference, >15 hours ahead caused a significant challenge with finding quality candidates. This is because you’re only able to fill roles with people willing to work graveyard shift.

We found that while we could reduce our clients costs with an offshore option, the results with US based teams provided better ROI. So, while a core value propositions of outsourcing is lowering your costs, it needs to be balance with quality of work.

Reviewing Case Studies and Testimonials

To truly gauge the impact of a potential sales outsourcing partnership, look into real-world case studies and testimonials. We find that many of the review sites are flooded with fake reviews, which is why we offer real-world testimonials.

Integrating Into Your Operations

To successfully integrate an your new inside sales team, you’ll first need to define the exact sales functions you plan to outsource, ensuring that they dovetail seamlessly with your G objectives. (ISRs, SDRs, BDRs, CDRs).

While your provider should handle sales training, we’ve found that it’s vital that the customer provide product training. This ensures the new team possess a deep understanding of your value proposition, and can contextualize this knowledge into their conversations.

We highly recommend leveraging conversational intelligence to record these onboarding sessions, so new recruits can onboard faster. It also provides a good repository for your salespeople to come back to when they have questions.

When it comes to execution, focus on specific sales functions like lead generation, customer engagement, and channel sales support, ensuring these activities resonate with your overarching business aims. Remember, optimal results are achieved when both you and your partner are aligned.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

A clear and consistent line of communication is the key to success with an outsourced inside sales team. We recommend setting up a Slack channel to speed up information flow between your in-house and outsourced teams. This channel should facilitate the review of team goals, strategy discussions, and account targeting as a team.

Regular communication channels, through real-time messaging platforms, and shared dashboards, are vital for collaboration and monitoring performance.

To further bolster this integration, sales outsourcing should be woven into the fabric of your overall marketing strategies, necessitating unified brand messaging for enhanced visibility and brand recognition. This is especially true with sales development representatives that are following up on leads generated by marketing.

Foster a Collaborative Relationship

Outsourcing is most effective when it transforms into a real partnership. Cultivate a collaborative relationship with your sales outsourcing company by clearly outlining the objectives and expectations from the get-go. This sets the stage for a symbiotic relationship, with aligned values and goals driving effective communication and shared success.

Search for a partner that operates with transparent and well-defined processes, symbolic of their efficiency and ability to mesh with your internal teams. We believe that when you foster collaboration, an outsourced sales team becomes virtually indistinguishable from your internal team, working in lockstep to achieve superior outcomes.

A strategic partnership with a sales outsourcing company that is accustomed to your industry and can offer quality service, scalability, and a consultative approach will be instrumental in driving sales growth and improving sales performance.

Provide Ongoing Training and Support

Sales requires a commitment to ongoing training and support. Outsourcing sales training to specialized teams harnesses expertise in proven sales methodologies, covering essential skills from prospecting to closing. Outsourced sales experts offer continuous improvement by adapting to market changes and discovering new tactics before being widely adopted.

These upskilling opportunities ensure that salespeople remain sharp providing you with a competitive edge. Coupled with the inside sales management providing oversight, ongoing training and coaching support guarantee quality service.

Common Challenges and Pitfalls of ISR Outsourcing

ISR outsourcing is a strategic move for many businesses looking to streamline their sales operations and focus on their core competencies. However, like any business strategy, it comes with its own set of challenges and pitfalls. Businesses considering this approach must understand the potential risks to mitigate them effectively.

Lack of Alignment with Business Goals

When a company outsources its inside sales functions, one significant challenge is ensuring that the outsourced team is in sync with the company’s objectives and culture.

This misalignment can tarnish the presentation of products or services and manner of engagement with potential clients, ultimately impacting customer relationships.

The outsourced team may not fully embody the brand’s values or understand its long-term goals, leading to inconsistencies that can harm the company’s reputation and its connection with clients.

Insufficient Communication and Feedback

Again, good communication channels and feedback loops are paramount in maintaining harmony between the business and the outsourced team. Without effective communication, there’s a real risk of disjointed strategies that are slow to adapt to business needs and market changes.

Insufficient communication can lead to missed goals, ineffective strategies, and an overall drop in performance quality.

Limited Control over Sales Activities

Outsourcing sales activities often comes with a relinquishment of direct control over certain aspects of the sales process. This can introduce inconsistencies in how solutions are presented, how clients are engaged, and how the sales are managed.

This is why we’re focused on brand consistency. We feel that an outsourced team should be integrated like all team members, dedicated to the account and understand how to successfully deliver the brand’s message.

Cultural and Language Barriers

When dealing with US markets and diverse customers, cultural and language barriers are risks that can complicate the sales process. Misunderstandings and miscommunication can occur between the internal staff and the outsourced sales team, threatening the efficacy and success of outsourced sales efforts.

Since our focus is primarily on US based technology companies, we ensure that our clients outsourced teams can effectively engage with the target market and represent the company accurately by hiring all inside salespeople in the U.S.

Most Sales Outsourcing and BPO providers, almost exclusively leverage offshore talent.

Successful ISR Outsourcing

ISR outsourcing is definitely a strategic move that’s successfully propelled many businesses towards greater revenue growth and efficiency. However, when considering a sales firm, it’s crucial to look beyond; ranking high on google search, good reviews and low pricing to understand if their service aligns with your target market and your company.

Since there’s an over abundance of ISR outsourcing providers.

Companies who are looking for short-term gains with qualified leads often find many providers give them leads that waste their time.

Even when guarantees of only being paid for qualified leads, it’s usually your teams time to find out if they’re qualified or not.

If you’re looking for a long-term strategy, a sales outsourcing provider should plug into your go-to-market strategy and help your marketing teams to connect with ideal customers.

When a sales outsourcing provider is fully integrated into your sales operations, you’ll gain the benefits of faster recruitment, onboarding, training and management. Dedicated full-time inside salespeople provide improved sales services, faster response to customer inquires and the capacity to scale expand sales efforts to match demand.

The right partner should help you improve sales processes, target the right market segments, and implementing better sales strategies and tools.

We hope this article was a helpful and provides you with some insights when considering a quality sales outsourcing partner.

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