Filling your sales pipeline is a high priority task that is often a major challenge. Many companies rely on their most outstanding salespeople to handle business development tasks such as routine prospecting.
This may cause sales reps or account executives to feel burned out because most of their time is taken up handling these tasks instead of the area where they are most valuable – closing sales.
What’s a good strategy to resolve this? Outsourcing business development.
Let’s review some of the details of outsourcing business development so you can make sure outsourcing is right for you.
What Is Sales Outsourcing?
Sales outsourcing is the process of delegating sales duties and processes to an external company. The external company becomes a virtual sales team for you and uses their expertise to enhance your sales strategy to close more deals and boost revenue.
Why Companies Outsource Sales
Companies typically outsource sales when they want to build their sales pipeline and scale faster.
They often use outsourced sales teams when they want to reach new markets and to take advantage of the outsourced team’s expertise, technology, and extensive services that they may not otherwise have access to if they chose to hire or keep an in-house sales team.
Another key reason why companies outsource is because it tends to be more cost efficient than hiring a full sales team, which requires full salaries and benefits.
Outsourcing Business Development: Why You Should and When You Shouldn’t
Outsourcing your business development processes is a big decision, which means it is not a decision you should make hastily. Take your time to consider all the things you need and want from an outside agency.
What to Consider When Outsourcing Business Development Representatives
Here are some things you should consider when outsourcing business development:
The Cost of Outsourced BDRs
Business development efforts often require a substantial monetary investment. You’ll need to weigh the cost versus the benefits to ensure you can gain a proper but realistic return on investment.
To do this, you must consider how much it would cost you to build an in-house team, your goals, and your timeline to reach these goals. This will give you a better understanding about the direction you should go in and your actual budget and expectations.
Outsourcing typically offers more straightforward costs that you can assess to see whether or not it works for your budget. Make sure you ask your prospective BDR team about hidden costs or fees before you sign on with them.
The Time It Takes to Get Business Development Results
Setting up a whole in-house team of BDRs takes a long time. Outsourcing also takes time, but getting the new team up to speed so they effectively generate leads according to your needs takes less time.
Some firms can start by working with your messaging, your customer journey, and playbooks because they already have the experts and infrastructure firmly in place.
Even if the firm needs to have a few meetings with you about your target market and other factors, it should take them no longer than a month or so to get up and running.
The Effort You’ll Need to Put In to Ensure Success
Realistically, you will need to be somewhat involved with the outsourced BDRs. How much you’re involved depends on the agency you select. In the beginning, they may require you to provide them with a vast amount of information. This may require a lot of effort on your part.
Without this effort, you may not get the qualified appointments you’d hoped for, which could cause friction with your sales team.
Make sure you are aware of how much time and energy you have to put in to help your outsourced sales team become successful.
How the Outsourced BDRs Align With Your Unique Needs
Make sure the agency you choose has some experience with other businesses in your industry or businesses with similar pain points and needs.
A best practice for ensuring that their experience matches your needs is to review their use cases. You can ask them for case studies and use cases that began with a situation similar to your own. This way, you’ll see how effective their BDRs were for their problems. You’ll likely gain confidence in their abilities to help your specific situation.
Here are some other questions to ask the outsourced agencies you’re considering:
- Which tools and technologies do your BDRs use?
- Do your KPIs align, and what are your projected returns?
- Can you demonstrate your positive track record?
- What are your average conversion rates?
- How can you support us in [insert specific area, pain point, or requirement]?
- Can you show us that you understand our needs?
- Have you worked with companies in this industry or sector before?
When Outsourcing Business Development Does Not Make Sense
Your Other Sales Functions Aren’t Committed.
Your account executives need to be motivated to follow up with the leads that come through. If outsourcing is a side bet for you, it can hurt your reputation.
Failing to follow up with calls or emails after your outsourced BDRs complete their job functions makes you and your agency seem uncommitted and careless.
Improve Your Sales Functions.
Make sure your account executives and other sales team members have streamlined processes for following up with leads. Most importantly, make sure you have enough team members to handle the volume of leads you anticipate receiving.
You Think the Benefits Don’t Outweigh the Cost.
Pricing for outsourced firms typically start in the thousands of dollars per month. Pricing is the most common objection BDRs hear when they are meeting with prospects over the phone.
You may think it costs a fortune and that you don’t have direct control over the results. This can make it scary to venture into the unknown if you’ve never used these kinds of services.
Look at the Actual Value That Comes With the Cost.
Cost savings is usually one of the main reasons for outsourcing. Bringing on an in-house team is quite expensive. BDR salaries range between $47 to $62K, according to Indeed. If you want a true business development expert, the price can increase even more!
You also must spend months training your new team members. In fact, team members that have clocked less than a year at your company shouldn’t be expected to bring strategy or innovation to your company in the first year.
This causes your efforts to slow down. This means it will take a full year after onboarding for you to see significant results or ROI from your new SDR team.
You Worry About Losing Control Over Your Sales Development Activities.
Control is another top reason why companies opt out of outsourcing sales. BDRs are in direct contact with your clients, and you don’t know if they will represent your company well.
Essentially, you don't want them to mess anything up without you there to supervise them.
Allow BDRs to Thrive On Their Own.
It may seem like total loss of control to have sales reps out of sight. Consider this: Your in-house staff can’t be monitored by you 24/7 while they complete their tasks.
Good BDRs are self-managed most of the time, and the work they complete is usually a solo endeavor.
Outsourced sales agencies have a system of check and balances to ensure their BDRs are performing the proper activities by checking performance analytics.
Remember, agencies are only as successful as their clients are. They will have a vested interest in providing you with the best results possible.
Your Business Model Won’t Work.
This is a major factor that determines whether or not you should outsource business development. Outsourced sales doesn’t fit well with B2C, B2C2B, or B2B2C models. This is typically because of the price point of your products.
Average contract values less than $1,000 won’t be able to keep outsourced BDRs and account executives. Your business model may also be a bad fit if you have a short sales cycle or large pools of horizontal leads.
Invest More in Marketing and Advertising.
Businesses like this typically do better when they invest more into marketing and advertising, which can also be outsourced.
7 Benefits of Working With an Outsourced Business Development Team
Here are some key benefits you can experience when you work with an awesome outsourced business development team.
1. They Allow You to Generate New Opportunities.
When you use an outsourced sales team, you can gain access to new regions and markets without sacrificing sales for long-term benefit.
BDRs who work smoothly and efficiently on your lead generation and qualification can be used to test new markets, introduce new products, and open new opportunities for AEs.
2. Their Prospecting Efforts Result in Better Leads to Fill Your Pipeline.
More leads aren’t always better. Outsourcing your business development means you get higher quality leads.
The BDR team works with your sales team to identify your key qualifiers for leads, then applies that to their process to deliver you the people who are more likely to close.
3. They Can Improve Your Close Rate.
Better prospecting with an outsourced BDR team means better leads. Better leads are more likely to close with your sales reps or account executives.
4. They Can Increase Customer Satisfaction and Retention.
This benefit is often overlooked by businesses when they consider outsourcing. Freeing up your internal team from cold calling, prospecting, and other sales development tasks means they have more time to dedicate to building relationships with your clients.
This means that they will be more likely to follow through on their promises and follow up on time.
Your team essentially gets to do the things they do best, which can increase their happiness. This, in turn, provides a higher quality experience to your customers and clients.
5. You Get Access to a Team of Experts Instantly.
Outsourcing means that you don’t have to wait for a team of BDRs to become experienced. You gain experts instantly. The BDRs that agencies have on staff are highly specialized and often have years of experience prospecting and generating leads.
They know what’s what when it comes to business development and will apply their knowledge to your business from day one.
6. They Free Up Your Time.
Outsourced BDRs mean that you can focus your attention on more important matters that only you can attend to. You won’t have to take your time building processes and KPIs for an in-house team. You won’t have to onboard or train either.
This can be a huge time saver for you and your sales team.
7. It Gives You Flexibility.
Changes to your BDR program can be costly and time consuming when conducted in-house. Outsourcing gives you the flexibility to change your sales needs and can help you to grow new programs quickly.
They also know how to shift resources to where they are most needed so you can keep costs down, while maintaining maximum productivity and good results.
BDRs are the champions who help you scale and grow your sales. Outsourced BDRs provide you with an extra advantage that reduces the burdens you’ll likely experience when you try to build your own BDR team.
Start taking advantage of an outsourced BDR team to focus on delivering the best results to help your sales reps win.