If you're thinking about outsourcing your sales team, you're not alone. In today's climate, more and more companies are turning to outsourcing as a way to cut costs. However, training an outsourced sales team can be difficult because the sellers often don't know the proper messaging to use, questions to ask, and intricacies of what actually makes a prospect a good fit to be a buyer (or not). The fact that career progression is often taken out of the picture makes things worse.
The truth is, most outsourced sales teams don't live up to expectations. We've spoken to thousands of sales leaders, few of whom speak highly of their experiences hiring a remote "smile and dial" team.
The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to increase the efficiency of your outsourced sales team. By agreeing on a starting pitch script, identifying responses to use for common objections, and setting up weekly mock cold calls, you can help your team hit the ground running and start generating results quickly.
1. Agree on a starting pitch script
One of the most important things you can do when training an outsourced sales team is to agree on a starting pitch script. This script should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should introduce the company and explain what it does in a way that is easy for prospects to understand, with a sincere emphasis on the PROSPECT and not the seller (one of the mistakes we see most often).
It's 100% okay if sellers don't have this memorized, at least they'll be using messaging that you and your team have bought into. Some additional things to keep in mind
Don't ask "have you hear of our company XYZ? Odds are, they haven't. And so what if they have? Encourage sellers to show value out of the gate by pointing out something unique on the business that ties into your value proposition, explaining how similar companies work with you to solve a problem they likely do, then asking if there's mutual interest in speaking further.
And yes... this is something YOU have to do (even if you're VP or CXO level). Nailing the messaging used by your front-line is nothing short of critical.
2. Identify responses to use for common objections.
Another helpful tip is to identify responses to use for common objections. This will help your team sound more confident on calls and will make it easier for them to overcame objections that come up frequently. Ask for feedback across the board for the 5-10 most common objections. By having canned responses ready to go, your team will be able to address objections quickly and move on with the call without getting tripped up.
3. Set up weekly mock cold calls.
One of the best ways to train your team is to set up weekly mock cold calls. During these calls, team members can practice their pitch, learn how to handle objections, and get feedback from experienced salespeople on their performance. By going through this process regularly, your team will be better prepared for real calls and will be more likely develop good habits that lead to success.
4. Define what success looks like for your team.
It's important to set clear goals for your team and define what success looks like. This can include metrics such as the number of calls made, number of appointments booked, or revenue generated. Having specific targets in place will help your sales reps stay focused and work towards a common goal, ultimately improving their performance and helping you get more out of your outsourced sales team. Work with your point person managing the remote team to agree on a list of metrics you'll receive on a well defined cadence. Look closely at call outcomes, and listen to the recordings of connected calls, we can't stress this enough.
5. Train your team on your product.
One of the keys to getting more out of your outsourced sales team is ensuring that they have a deep understanding of your product or service. This can be accomplished through regular training sessions where reps learn about new features and functionality, as well as how to effectively use those features to engage with potential customers. Based on the number of buyer personas you target, and the number of products you sell, we suggest giving sellers a (# of products) x (# of personas) chart that maps value propositions for each scenario.
6. Ensure they have the right tools and resources to be successful
This can include things like a CRM system, contact lists and prospecting tools, as well as support from sales enablement staff who can provide coaching, feedback, and guidance. Recording calls is essentially for any new seller in a role. We recommend using a free tool like Otter.ai or Fathom.
7. Coach them on how to prioritize who to reach out to.
If you're calling cold leads, we recommend re-prioritizing leads where the seller can confirm an accurate mobile number, perhaps because they've reached their voicemail before. Sellers should also target leads who have opened up previous emails, downloaded marketing content, or shown some other signal of recent interest.
8. Hold them accountable to performance metrics
It's important to give your outsourced sales reps clear goals and expectations. Whether this is tied to a quota or simply meeting daily call volume targets, it's crucial that they have clear guidelines and accountability for their efforts. Both companies should agree on call dispositions and qualification criteria, so that both parties are clear on what constitutes a "win" or a "loss."
9. Celebrate their successes (and learn from their failures)
Just like in-house sales reps, outsourced sales reps will have both successes and failures. It's important to celebrate their wins and learn from their losses, so that you can continue improving your overall sales process. Pay attention to what drives the best performance, and tune your approach accordingly. Calling sellers out on Slack or sending out group emails is an easy way to encourage a job well done.
10. Continuously assess whether outsourced sales is the best option for you
At the end of the day, it's important to periodically assess whether outsourced sales is the best option for your business. Oftentimes, companies hire outsourced sales teams before they've validated an effective outbound sales process in the first place. It's usually ideal to bring sales in house at some point, to align incentives and keep broad-spanning knowledge close to home.
To conclude, spinning up an outsourced sales team can be a great way to boost lead flow without the headache of recruitment, costs tied to full time employees, and churn. That said, all sales and marketing leaders need to have a practical, well defined plan in place to ensure success.