We can’t begin this article without briefly refreshing your memory on what outsourced sales are and why they're important.
According to the sales gurus over at Sales Hacker, outsourced sales are defined as anytime a business delegates part of the sales process to outside individuals or agencies.
Sounds simple enough and trust me, it is.
A small business, a startup, or an established organization can choose to outsource for a plethora of reasons. They may lack the time, wish to save on overhead costs (recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, etc.,) or don’t have the resources or expertise to handle their sales process in-house. Sometimes, they simply wish to just focus on what they do best.
Outsourcing has been done for generations. However, it often carries a negative connotation due to many BPOs lacking technology and the right personnel to deliver what they promise. Let’s not let the bad outweigh the good.
Hundreds of organizations (many of which you probably didn’t know about) have outsourced their sales departments. However, you’re likely not able to tell the difference between one who outsources or one who handles their sales process in-house.
The Covid era expedited the use of virtual and remote sales, and with it came the use of newer technologies and sales tools that were popular but not widely used pre-2020.
Video for sales, virtual meetings, AI, among others, seem to have been adopted out of nowhere, and ramping up a team needed to be done on the fly. Outsourced sales teams have been using these tools for years to meet KPI’s and for lead generation. Therefore, in-house teams that were forced to work remotely had to take crash courses while BPO’s began to flourish.
In addition to this, for what you would pay an in-house SDR, account executive, and sales manager, you could get an extra 3-4 SDRs in an offshore BPO. They will often generate more leads, prospect better and show you increased ROI while improving brand awareness.
There are many ways to measure outsourcing sales success, and it doesn’t all have to translate to instant ROI or a full pipeline.
Let’s look at one example where outsourcing helped make a huge impact. Metadata, a company that helps automatically optimize hundreds of account-based marketing campaigns across paid media, was able to generate 93 qualified sales appointments in 7 months, resulting in a 6.5X ROI.
Metadata was lacking the manpower and bandwidth to reach out and follow up with hundreds of prospects that were just sitting there. The outsourcing partner was able to:
With 93 qualified sales appointments generated, Metadata’s account executive was able to convert 12 into closed deals.
As we’re nearing the end of this article, and I bet you’re asking yourself an important question. How does an organization select the right sales outsourcing partner?
Though there is no short answer, we will try our best to jot down a few filters that no organization should overlook when searching for the right partner overseas.
The BPO’s location will affect the overall price. For instance, here are a few of the most popular destinations and their average cost per rep per hour.
Historically, India, China, and Malaysia have been the most popular destinations. But, popularity and price alone aren’t going to cut it.
For instance, India has the world’s largest population of English speakers in the world but infrastructure issues such as water and electricity in many parts of the subcontinent create doubts among people looking for an offshore partner.
Every region tends to specialize in different workforces. India and Pakistan tend to specialize in IT services, while the easy-going, free-spirit workforce in the Philippines is in customer service.
Countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia have also been on the rise as popular BPO destinations due to their proximity to the US and large population of English speakers.
Perhaps more important than location, you need to keep in mind transparency between both parties. Setting clear goals and expectations is fundamental when achieving success with a partner you’ve never met in person.
The best way to set clear expectations and transparency is to set clear reporting, management, and milestones by both parties. When located thousands of miles away from each other, you still want daily reports. Additionally, you should have them show you the tools and metrics they’re using to achieve your goals.
Getting started with outsourced sales is quite simple. First, you need to have clear goals in place as to what you expect from the organization you will be working with.
Next, you should research the most popular locations for BPOs. Then see what companies in those areas rank the highest in terms of organic searches on Google.
Check review sites such as G2 for what your competitors are saying about the top-rated BPOs.
Lastly, many of these organizations offer free appraisals and pilot runs. These are to show you what they can do in a few months’ time. If an organization doesn’t meet you in the middle for some sort of beta run discount, you should only consider them if they have excellent prices and outstanding reviews.
Also, you should also know that not every BPO will be a good fit for your company and vice versa. Great organizations will evaluate whether or not you’re a good fit for one another. For example, a great company won't waste time quoting you if they can’t deliver what you expect.