Time to Outsource Your Sales Support
How much time do your salespeople spend selling? A study found that for most salespeople, only 35.2% of their daily schedule is spent on sales-related activities. In a forty-hour work week, that’s only about 14 hours and five minutes! What are they doing? The good news is they’re probably not hibernating at their desk or binging 71 episodes of Friends. Instead, they’re spending more time on low-conversion activities, fighting a growing field of competitors and heightened expectations. It’s a byproduct of the digital revolution, and can be overcome by revamping sales processes to align with the times.
But how do you start boosting the productivity of your salespeople without increasing overhead costs? Some brands are considering an outsourced contact center as part of their sales process, funneling qualified leads to their sales team. If you’re in that camp, here’s how to outsource your sales support and achieve exceptional results.
ALIGN THE GOALS OF YOUR SALES AND SUPPORT TEAM
Every step of the sales process depends on the preceding one to set the standard for success. Any misalignment between your people, goals, or practices will hurt lead conversions and revenue. What does that mean for an outsourced partner? Their activity goals should carefully align with your sales goals – or risk underperforming in their vital role.
This starts as early as the RFP. An outsourcer that works to create a holistic picture of your business, market vertical, and primary goals has built the knowledge to swiftly synchronize their efforts with yours. And within the service level agreement, your partner should map out the processes that will turn your sales goals into a reality. With these early actions, your inbound or outbound sales support team proves their comprehension of your goals. Each mile shapes the marathon, and their informed actions will help them do their part to generate leads that are eager to buy.
SHARE YOUR CRITERIA FOR QUALIFIED LEADS
But how useful are the leads you’re receiving? Think of it this way: when you’re at a top-rated Zagat’s restaurant and you order a steak, you expect a mouth-watering piece of USDA Prime Grade Beef, not a coarse Commercial Grade cut. You’re paying for the quality. The same idea applies to outsourcing your sales support. Your outsourcer needs to provide your salespeople with juicy leads so they can close more deals, upselling and cross-selling whenever possible. The ability of your outsourced agents to generate qualified leads depends on how well they understand your buyer personas. Before day one of their prospecting, your outsourced agents should be able to articulate the following:
The demographics of a qualified lead
The customer goals and pain points satisfied by your products or services
Your buyer’s budget
The number of touchpoints needed to make a sale
Your place in this equation is to share your knowledge with your outsourced program manager. The strength of your outsourcer’s training and coaching program will define the knowledge base of your agents. However, no one should expect you to don your professor cap and teach 50+ the qualifying questions to identify your target customers. That’s our job.
Thorough training is central to our own M.O., and it’s helped to deliver spectacular results. In fact, following that process for a U.S. based mortgage company enabled us to increase the client’s qualified prospecting by 216.7%, justifying their decision to reshore mortgage lead generation. Those results were no fluke. An informed outsourced contact center is one that regularly hits the mark.
PRE-DETERMINE YOUR KPIS
With goal alignment and an eye for exceptional leads, your outsourced sales team is on track to enhance your revenue generation. At least, that’s the theory. The best intentions can fall short without the right performance measurements to track your results. That’s why it’s important you and your outsourced partner specify all of your KPIs in advance of your program launch.
If you’re working with a partner that’s experienced in outsourced customer acquisition, they’ll know the leading indicators that demonstrate efficiency and results. Conversion rate is your primary yardstick of success, but here are some other KPIs that exhibit a healthy lead generation program:
Customer Acquisition Cost: What does it take to motivate interested prospects to pull the trigger and make a purchase? You likely have an idea of this metric from an organizational level, but efficient brands know their expenses at each step of the customer journey. Outsourcing alone can help to reduce costs, but the performance of your sales support team will drive richer savings. And if your partner is measuring acquisition, they can make real-time adjustments to their processes.
Cost per Lead: Again, this metric performs best when there is true alignment between your business and your outsourced partner. If the customer contact channels you decided upon at the outset are not performing well, your partner can use this metric as an early warning and recommend a change. That way, your prospecting goes the path of least resistance and yields the most qualified leads.
Monitoring these KPIs makes your outsourced team more responsive. Awareness helps you adapt. Plus, if your outsourced partner has a quality assurance team in place, they will be better equipped to evaluate and enhance their program, generating more leads for your salespeople to transform into customers.