It’s 2023! Businesses need to be nimble, flexible, and driven to succeed. Hiring an outsourced sales team is the quickest way to leverage expert skills and state-of-the-art technology to drive revenue and scale your business.
Sales outsourcing provides you with a team of skilled professionals, with access to powerful software and technology. It also gives you the freedom to grow and shrink the areas of your business you want to focus on, as quickly as you need to. It even costs less and is more effective!
So, how do you know when to outsource your sales? What are the benefits and drawbacks? How do you evaluate outsourced sales companies to find the best team?
In this guide, we’re covering everything you need to know about outsourcing your sales. When to outsource, the pros and cons of outsourcing your sales, how to evaluate an outsourced sales team, and the best sales outsourcing companies to consider!
Let’s dive right in!
Hiring an outsourced sales team is not ideal for every type of business. Done right, the benefits are huge but knowing when to outsource and when to keep your sales in-house is key.
In broad strokes, you will benefit from outsourcing your sales if:
These challenges can be resolved by outsourcing to a team of dedicated salespeople with the skills, capacity, and tools needed to handle the areas your in-house team is struggling with.
This allows them to focus on the aspects that will benefit the business, like attending to the customers at the right point in their sales journey. Outsourcing frees up time and internal resources that can be used more efficiently and effectively.
The type of business you have and what you’re trying to achieve are also important things to consider when you’re deciding to outsource.
Most businesses will benefit from outsourcing their sales and drawing on the efficiency and expertise of a dedicated sales team of experts.
That said, the types of business that will benefit most from an outsourced sales team are:
When budgets are tight, it can be difficult to poor funds into recruitment and staff, without first securing the sales.
An outsourced sales team will be able to scale sales quickly and effectively, in a way that a limited number of in-house salespeople can’t.
A team of experienced and skilled salespeople can help new companies break into the market and scale their sales quickly to get established.
This means there is no need to invest in an in-house team until the company revenue can support them and allow for the recruitment of top talent.
Over time, the sales funnel process has evolved and many prospects spend much longer doing research and making comparisons before they buy.
When it comes to complex products, like software and data management infrastructure, the sales process can be lengthy. Prospects do their due diligence and more than one person is involved in the buying process.
From the sales perspective, there are likely to be many prospects at various stages of the sales funnel that remain there for some time and require a lot of nurturing.
For a small in-house team, this can be a challenge. Especially if they’re not equipped with the technology and automation needed to handle a large volume of leads at any one time.
An outsourced sales team can handle this and will have the tools needed to keep close tabs on many different prospects, for a longer period, without losing them.
If you’re looking to branch out into a new market or establish a presence in a new location, it can be time-consuming and costly to use in-house resources from the beginning.
Using an outsourced sales team that is familiar with the market and/or location you’re expanding into can help you get up and running quickly, without wasting precious resources.
The outsourced sales company you choose can draw on their expertise in the space, their connections, and established relationships to benefit your business.
If you’re branching out to a new country, hiring a local sales team will benefit you as they know the ropes of doing business in that location, like the local laws, economy, and business practices.
This will help you limit risks and prevent you from spending your resources in ways that are not efficient in that location.
Check out this very short video by Sales Force Europe for some insight from their expansion into Europe:
TLDR – The Businesses that Will Benefit the Most From an Outsourced Sales Team Are:
There are loads of great benefits to outsourcing your sales! Let’s look at some of the biggest advantages of using an outsourced sales team for your business:
In recent years it has become crucial for businesses to be agile and flexible. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this even clearer. The pandemic forced many companies to change how they do business very quickly, growing some aspects and shrinking others to stay on top.
Scalability in sales is important at the best of times. Using an outsourced sales team allows you to grow rapidly, without needing to make permanent hiring decisions.
Hiring new salespeople takes time, and they take time to be effective in their roles. Outsourcing means you can start scaling up as soon as you decide to do it.
It also allows you to shrink rapidly if you need to, without being tied into permanent staff contracts. If you need to divert funds in a different direction, you can do that much more easily if you’re using an outsourced sales team.
The ability to grow and shrink different aspects of your business quickly can be the factor that makes or breaks a company, especially during periods of global economic uncertainty.
According to McKinsey & Company, “future-ready companies share three characteristics: they know who they are and what they stand for; they operate with a fixation on speed and simplicity; and they grow by scaling up their ability to learn, innovate, and seek good ideas regardless of their origin“.
Outsourcing sales can help businesses achieve these aims in the quickest and most cost-effective manner, for success in rapidly changing times.
Outsourced sales companies work with many clients, across numerous industries. Most have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge that few internal sales teams can offer.
They also have the capacity and the resources to hire great sales talent. These individuals are people that many smaller companies and start-ups would not be able to attract or retain.
Your sales team, made of individuals with a high level of expertise, will have access to the pool of knowledge, ideas, and connections of the whole company.
This is a huge benefit, especially for newer businesses and those without the time or resources to invest in building a great sales team from scratch.
Omnichannel support and customer engagement have never been more important. Today, you need to be able to offer seamless engagement with customers across all channels. These include phone, email, social media, and chats on both social media and company websites.
Using an outsourced sales team with experience in digital engagement will improve your omnichannel support. They know exactly how to do it, and they have the right tools to make it work.
When you’re branching out into a new (or just new-to-you) market or location, it can be highly beneficial to use an outsourced sales team.
Training your in-house sales team for a new vertical and/or new location, targeting a new audience, and getting all the practicalities ironed out can take time and cost a lot of money. Outsourcing is much quicker and it can be much more cost-effective.
An outsourced sales team that is familiar with the space and the location will be able to help you get going immediately. They can also help you figure out all the ins and outs of your new territory.
If they’re familiar with the location they will have insight into relevant legislation, local economies, and how people there do business. They will also have contacts and existing relationships that can benefit you.
It takes money, time, and training to get the most out of a new software solution. Many companies do not have the resources to buy the best software tools, or the knowledge to use them to their best advantage.
The power of tools to provide useful insight and inform strategies is an advantage that many companies miss out on because they don’t have the right tools or they don’t know how to use them well.
According to SalesForce, “76% of sales professionals say using sales analytics has significantly or somewhat improved their ability to provide customers with a consistent experience across every channel”.
Access to quality analytics and expert insights from that data allows sales people to be more effective and efficient. It frees up their non-selling time to be used actively selling.
If you use an outsourced sales company, you’re able to draw on their knowledge and the systems they use. If you partner with a company that uses great software, you can benefit from their sales and analytics tools, and their data insights.
Generally, outsourced sales companies are paid based on their performance. In addition to service level agreements, the more new sales they generate, the more they’re paid.
This creates accountability and incentivizes a proactive and innovative approach to sales. Their own success is directly tied to your success and they have to produce results.
This is true of any employee, especially those earning commission. However, an outsourced sales team has their own company to please, as well as yours.
They also have a much bigger pool of ideas and experience to draw from than your employees do. The net result is that outsourced sales teams tend to perform better than internal ones.
TLDR – The Benefits of Using an Outsourced Sales Team Are:
The disadvantages of outsourcing your sales are mostly related to the level of control you lose when you outsource and the initial money you need to put in before you have seen any results.
Let’s look at some of the cons of outsourcing our sales in more detail:
When you outsource your sales, you’re giving an outsourced sales company control over your company’s sales. There are varying degrees of this, depending on how many sales function you outsource and how many remain in-house.
Outsource sales company use their different tools, software, and methods. These may not tie into your systems well, especially if one of you changes the tools you use at some point in the relationship. It is important to check that their tools and yours can integrate and can share relevant information, particularly for your CRM.
The methods they use might work really well for them but not for you. For this reason, it is important to get a clear understanding of how they work and what they do, before you commit to partnering with them.
Customer information and privacy, especially in industries that handle sensitive information like medical records, can be a challenge. If your outsourced sales team does not handle that information correctly, it can blowback on you.
To combat this, it is important to find out the specifics of how they handle and protect your data. If they already work in your sector, they’re likely to have the right measures in place but do not assume this is the case.
Make sure they’re explicitly aware of your requirements and can tell you exactly how they will ensure they meet them.
A good outsourced sales company will build relationships for you, rather than for themselves. However, there is some risk of the outsourced company building a network that you don’t have access to when your relationship with them ends.
The risk of this is higher if the outsourced sales team is paid purely on commission and if populating your CRM with contacts is not part of the system you use.
To combat this, make sure that they have to populate your CRM to be paid. You should also make sure that their sales method includes communication and contact with your company throughout the process. Key meetings, communication, and final offers/proposals should include or be authorized by your internal staff.
The cost of contracting an external team may be higher than employing an internal one. This can be prohibitive for businesses on a very tight budget.
The choice comes down to what is financially viable in the short term, vs what the most beneficial investment will be in the long term.
While the immediate cost of an outsourced sales team is most likely higher, you’re also most likely going to get a lot more for your money.
When you outsource, you’re not just getting salespeople. You’re also getting their cumulative expertise, their systems and tools, and their industry connections.
An outsourced sales team is part of a whole company, and you’re getting access to all that, as well as the salespeople in the team.
TLDR – The Disadvantages of Using an Outsourced Sales Team Are:
So, how do you evaluate an outsourced sales team to find the best one for your business?
The first step is to determine your requirements. Here are five things to consider:
Knowing what you need is key to finding a provider that will meet those needs effectively. With a clear picture of what you’re looking for, start looking at different options to see what they offer.
Here’s what to consider when you’re assessing your options and choosing the best sales outsourcing company for your needs:
The services they offer must meet your requirements and they must be able to provide you with a proven track record. This can be case studies, a client list of clients in your industry, or references and reviews. They should also be able to give you a detailed breakdown of what they have achieved, and how they did it.
How well with the services they offer meet your needs? They need to be able to provide the core functions you require to meet your objectives. They also need to provide them in a way that will work best for your business.
For example, if you’re selling internationally, they must be able to curate messaging that is relevant and appropriate for the regions you’re working in.
They must also be able to engage with customers at the correct times for that country’s time zone. This can be in person or through automation but it must be provided for.
The individual talent on your team is just as important as who the company is. They should be able to tell you exactly who will be on your team, and what value they bring to the table. Evaluate this against your requirements to see if there are any gaps.
A good outsourced sales team will include a manager that oversees the team’s performance. They will be the point of contact between you and the team. They will also be able to advise on ways to maximize the opportunities and handle any issues.
The team itself should be a mix of individuals who have strong sales expertise and a range of skills for things like:
Your team should be a group of talented and experienced individuals who can meet your needs to fulfill your outsourced sales program requirements.
When you’re partnering with an outsourced sales company, it is important to choose one that will be beneficial to your reputation and represent you well.
This means finding a company that shares your core values and will be able to carry that through in their interactions with customers on your behalf. If your company culture meshes well, it will also be that much easier to work with them and form a solid relationship.
What data can they provide for you? How detailed are their analytics? How skilled are they extracting meaningful insight from the data they have?
These aspects are especially important if you need help determining new target markets and revenue opportunities.
They’re also important as the data, analysis, and insight that can be gathered from various tools is a huge advantage for sales. They can be leveraged to make the most of every opportunity and to inform changes in strategy for better results.
TLDR – What to Consider When Evaluating an Outsourced Sales Team:
Hiring an outsourced sales team might seem expensive, especially if hiring a talented and experienced team. Still, it usually works out substantially less than hiring an equivalent team in-house.
Several factors determine if outsourcing your sales team is a cost-effective option for you or not. The most obvious is a direct comparison of costs between an in-house sales team and an outsourced sales team.
Individual sales reps earn more or less the same, whether they work for an in-house team or an outsourced sales team.
In the USA, in 2022, a sales rep’s salary averages at around $60,000 per year (plus benefits). An average sales manager’s salary is $70,000 (plus benefits) per year.
In addition to your manager and sales rep’s salaries, there are also costs for:
These costs add up quickly, and you are responsible for all of them, whether your team is on leave, off sick, still learning, or just not performing.
When you use an outsourced sales team, you’re only paying their fees, which might be slightly more than a sales rep’s salary, but you’re getting everything else included.
This video by SupportZebra gives a quick snapshot of the costs your outsourced sales services carry for you:
The services you pay for are delivered with no interruptions, and they carry all the additional costs, which are spread between all their clients.
Then there is that you’re getting access to a professional team using professional tools and programs. These benefits might not be immediately apparent, but if you look at what it would really cost you to achieve the same, there is a big difference.
Generally, outsourced sales services charge between $1000 and $5000 per project, a dedicated team that acts as an extension of your team ranges between $8000 and $15000 per month, or more as the size of the team grows.
That equates, roughly, to getting an entire team with a manager and all the other costs included, for less than it would cost you to hire two sales reps and one sales manager to work in-house, before benefits and all the additional expenses!
Cience is a Denver-based agency, that focuses on multi-channel prospecting and in-depth research for B2B lead generation. They offer both software solutions and managed services for research, prospecting, lead response, and sales.
Cience works with companies of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, around the world. They combine flexible, innovative approaches with the in-depth analytics of a data-science company. Their approach is strategic and focused on creative, data-driven sales acceleration.
CloudTask is a B2B lead generation company headquartered in Miami, Florida. They cater to SaaS companies in various industries. CloudTask is focused on both sales and customer success and offers a full suite of services to their clients.
Their approach is to combine the benefits of technology and data with human insight and creativity to develop specialized and personalized solutions. CloudTask’s outsourced sales teams provide 24/7 support, in multiple languages, which is great for companies doing business internationally.
MemoryBlue focuses on sales development and consulting. They offer a range of sales development and management services for companies looking to outsource their sales and lead generation.
In addition to outsourced sales services, they also offer sales development, leadership, recruiting, and training for in-house teams. This is especially useful for companies with an existing, in-house team that they’re looking to grow rapidly, by furthering skills development and adding new talent.
Operatix is a sales acceleration company for B2B software vendors. Their focus is on accelerating growth through sales development for companies of all sizes, from emerging vendors to global tech firms.
Operatix has offices in North America and the United Kingdom. Their approach draws on account-based marketing and account-based selling, as well as extensive networking and relationship building. Operatix is great for companies looking to outsource SDRs, scale their teams quickly and grow their business.
Televerde is a B2B marketing, demand generation, and sales acceleration agency. They provide outsourced sales, as well as data and technology solutions for sales and customer support.
Televerde offers a full suite of marketing and sales services and can manage sales end-to-end, or be employed for specific outsourced sales functions. They emphasize providing solutions that are successful, repeatable, reliable, and scalable.
ServiceSource provides outsourced services for B2B businesses globally. They offer a full range of outsourced inside sales, customer success, renewals management, and channel management solutions.
ServiceSource works with software and technology brands of all sizes, from emerging players to some of the biggest names in the industry. They function as an integrated but outsourced extension of each client’s business. Their approach is holistic and combines data-driven insights with innovative, personalized strategies from experienced human talent.
MarketStar is a sales and marketing outsourcing company. Founded in 1988, they’re one of the most well-established outsourced sales providers in the industry. They offer flexible channel and direct sales solutions to companies around the world, both big and small.
MarketStar provides outsourced sales teams of experienced, expert salespeople, as well as operations for automated and in-field resources. Each team is tailored to the unique needs of the client and how many of their sales functions need to be outsourced. They can manage sales development or run sales from end to end, depending on the needs of the client.
Summary – The Best Sales Outsourcing Companies Are:
In conclusion, hiring an outsourced sales team can help you gain a competitive advantage when you want to grow your revenue and scale quickly or break into a new market.
Outsourcing your sales can also benefit your business by giving you access to better talent, expertise, and technology. Acquiring these in-house can be a challenge, especially if you have budget and time constraints!
In this guide, we have provided everything you need to determine if an outsourced sales team is right for you and to evaluate different outsourced sales companies, as well as a selection of the best agencies and providers to choose from!
What will you outsource first?
Outsourcing sales can be hugely beneficial. You will benefit most from outsourcing your sales if:
- You are a startup or on a tight budget
- A tech or software company, or any company with a complex product
- Looking to break into a new market
- Your in-house sales team cannot deal effectively with the volume of leads they need to attend to.
- Budget constraints are limiting your ability to attract and retain top sales talent in-house.
- Expertise in your sales team is limited to specific sales functions, which is detrimental to other functions and the success of your sales team as a whole.
- Your in-house sales team is spending too much time on manual admin tasks like data capture and not doing enough selling as a result.
Check out the full guide for more into on when to outsource your sales and how to do it.
Using an outsourced sales team offers some great benefits. These include the flexibility to scale up and down quickly, greater sales expertise and better technology, great omnichannel engagement, professional analytics and insights, quicker growth and developing a solid foundation for your business revenue. Check out the full guide for more on the benefits of sales outsourcing.
There are many great sales outsourcing and sales development companies in the UK and the USA. The following options offer excellent services to businesses of all sizes, in every industry, globally: Clience, CloudTask, MemoryBlue, Operatix, ServiceSource and MarketStar. Check out the full guide for more info on each of these companies and what they offer.
Forbes: Outsourcing Sales: When Does It Make Sense For B2B Tech Companies?
Deloitte: 2021 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing Survey (infographic)
Deloitte: 2020 Global Outsourcing Survey
Durham Lane: 12 Reasons to Use a Sales Outsourcing Company (e-book pdf)
Hiver: The Complete Guide to Outsourcing Customer Service
TTEC: Sales Outsourcing: 11 Benefits of Outsourcing Sales (infographic)