Whether they’re looking to supplement their internal teams or build pipeline, many executives are considering outsourcing their Sales Development team. There’s a tremendous amount of demand, and the industry is growing exponentially (something we’ve seen with the latest update of our Market Map).
However, outsourcing comes with challenges. Anybody with an internet connection and a telephone can set themselves up as a sales prospecting organization, but that doesn’t guarantee success. In our recent study, we found that only 32% of respondents would outsource to the same firm again.
How can you choose the right SDR outsourcing company? How can you get the best results? Here are the top factors that you need to consider.
Where is the company based? Offshore companies are cheaper (typically half the price), but local providers are generally better suited for outreach to enterprise-level businesses where a high level of English is required.
For example, if you need personalized emails and calls made to prospects in the US for a high-ticket product/service, then outsourcing to an offshore company could backfire. Trying to ‘save money’ by going for a cheaper option is a false economy if they’re not suitable for your target market. On the other hand, if you have a low-ticket offer and you’re looking to increase your outreach, then offshore will likely be sufficient for your needs.
It’s common to view an outsourced service like a machine, producing leads on demand. However, that machine is made up of people, people who’ll be directly contacting leads on your behalf.
When assessing a company, find out how their SDRs are recruited. Will you be able to communicate with and assess them directly? Will you be able to listen to recordings of their calls to hear how they interact with your prospects? The difference between an SDR who’s just dialing it in and one that’s highly motivated will have a huge impact on your results.
Outsourcing your SDR team isn’t a case of set it and forget it. You can’t just hand the company a list and a few scripts and then walk away. You need a strong relationship, where they have a seat at the table.
This is essential if you run into problems. They should feel that they can come to you, explain the problem, and come up with suggestions to move forward. If they don’t come forward, they’re either acting as a commodity, or you’re treating them like one. By treating them like the extension of your company that they are and giving them input, you can work together for better results.
A standardized approach
There are three variables you have to manage when prospecting: The marketplace, the message, and the messenger. When you’re considering an outsourced SDR function, you have to choose a company that can help control those variables.
The marketplace, or who you’re reaching out to, is straightforward. So, if the company you choose has a standardized process, with control of the messenger, the only variable you need to solve for is the message. This means you can easily troubleshoot any problems that come up and pinpoint the issues, allowing you to focus exclusively on optimizing the message.
Traditionally, SDR performance is measured on how many meetings are booked. However, not all appointments are created equal. If your outsourced company is using hard-sell techniques on poor-fit prospects, you might get plenty of meetings… they just end up going nowhere. To encourage a more meaningful approach, you might also monitor their meeting-to-opportunity acceptance rate as well as the meeting attendance rate.
It’s unlikely you’ll be offered any kind of guarantee (if you are, that’s a red flag). However, a good outsourcing company will work with you to agree on what is a reasonable result against your KPIs, then work hard to make it happen.
Ensure your outsourced firm doesn’t operate in a black box. You want to understand the processes and messaging they are using, and if successful, be able to use those with your own in-house SDR team. You’ll want to develop or validate your SDR playbook with information gleaned from the outsourced team.
Successfully outsourcing your SDR program is a challenge. However, by considering their location and their culture (and how those fit in with your ICP), then making sure you’re both working together and agree on how to measure performance, you can give yourself the best chance of success and take advantage of the many benefits of an outsourced SDR team.
If you’re looking to successfully outsource your Sales Development program, then Tenbound can help you implement the best strategy for your business. Contact us today for a no-obligation exploratory call.