FAQ Basics of Outsourced Sales & Marketing

outsourced marketing and sales,

 

What is Sales Outsourcing?
Sales Outsourcing is the act of transferring the responsibility of sales to an outside company. The Sales Outsourcing company will develop a dedicated sales team to represent your product or solution directly to your customers. The Sales Outsourcing company will train and manage the sales team as they are an extension of your organization. They will present themselves as your brand to the customer. Their focus is on new client acquisition and revenue generation.

Yes, many business processes have been outsourced, marketing, payroll, administration.  Sales can also be outsourced to a company that develops and manages dedicated sales resources.  Outsourcing Sales is very common for large and small companies.  The outsourcing company becomes an extension of your business, the sales team is specifically developed to meet your sales goals and expectations.

What are examples of outsourcing                                                                                                                                                                                      Outsourcing has been a business practice for 30 plus years.  Many industries outsources specific business practices that they may not do well internally, perhaps based on experience or internal knowledge. Sales Outsourcing has many forms such as the attached case studies.

What is the purpose of outsourcing?                                                                                                                                                                                    Outsourcing allows companies to focus on their core competences while having the outsourcing company provide support in areas where they may not have direct experience or knowledge.  Outsourcing also allows for scalability, speed to market, and staff flexibility, where an outsourcing company may supplement a portion of the work if the workload is heavy and the company does not want to increase staff levels.

What are the advantages of outsourcing?                                                                                                                                                                                     There are many advantages to outsourcing; including control of operational expenses, scalable staffing levels, reduced overhead expenses, decrease staffing levels and payroll expenses.  Reduction of HR costs is a large advantage for outsourcing solutions.

Are there any risks of outsourcing?                                                                                                                                                                                                     There are risks in all business relationships.  The key to reduce risk is to find an outsourcing partner that is reputable, has a substantial history in your industry and experience with methods of conducting business process.  It is essential to have a close transparent relationship with your outsourcing partner.  The outsourcing partner should be an extension of your business.

How do I control the outsourcing program/process?                                                                                                                                                                 The key to a successful outsourcing relationship is to have open and constant communication.  They outsourcing partner must have a clear and focused approach to making your partnership successful.  The single biggest factor in any vendor/client relationship is open and honest communication.

How long does it take to start a program? Sales Focus can launch any size team anywhere across the US or globally in 45 days or less. We have successfully launched teams as large as 200+ sales agents in 45 days. If you require a small team of 1 or 2 sales agents, we can typically launch that team in 15-30 days.

What size company does Sales Outsourcing work best for?
Any size company can take advantage of sales outsourcing. Sales Focus has represented small companies of less than $1M in revenue all the way to top Fortune 500 companies. We have solutions to fit all budgets.

What is the cost of Sales Outsourcing?
The cost is based on the number of sales agents, the level of experience and the geographic location of those sales agents. Typically, the cost to outsource your sales team is less than if you hired them directly.

Do I lose contact with my customers?
No, when the sales agents are in the field or on the phone meeting with your prospects, they represent your brand. The customer does not know who SFI is, so there is no confusion. All the Sales Intelligence we gather from the field is put directly into your CRM, so you have complete control and total knowledge of what is happening in the field.

How do I keep all the sales information about customers, competitors and marketing?
We will use your CRM; the data will be put directly into your CRM. You will not have to worry about transferring data or losing any information.

Is Sales Outsourcing confusing to the end client?
No, to the end client there is no confusion, as we present ourselves as your company brand. Contracts are on your paper/electronics, no confusion.

How are the Sales Agents trained on my product/service?
Each sales team is specifically trained on your product/service. SFI develops a Sales Toolkit that includes all training materials regarding the product, the process and the sales techniques. All our customers deliver the initial training, as you are the expert. We utilize this training as a trainer model for future expansion.

What makes a Sales Outsourcing program successful?
The number one success factor is open communication. It is essential to understand that we are an extension of your company and to be successful in sales we need access to resources in the organization. Clear, open and constant communication is essential to success.

How do you manage/track success?
Each program is developed specifically for our clients. SFI develops KPI’s that are tracked every day to ensure success. We have constant tracking of sales agents as they enter the field each day and when their day is completed. We provide complete access to this data to our clients, so you know exactly how each sales person is performing.

Can I hire the sales team after the contract expires?
Yes. Our contracts allow for the flexibility to hire the sales agents after the contract expires.

Does Sales Focus do Commission Only Sales Programs?
No. We do not believe commission only programs provide the level of success and brand protection we provide to our clients. Our focus on providing quality sales professionals who are committed to driving new revenue and acquiring new customers, while representing your brand in the utmost professional manner.

What is a Pay for Performance Model?
Pay for Performance is a commission only model. SFI does not offer Commission Only or Pay for Performance.

How do we get started?
We start off by having a conversation and understanding your needs and your goals. SFI pioneered the Sales Outsourcing industry in 1997 and has worked with every industry across the US and Globally. We have a trademarked process S.O.L.D. that we implement to begin the process. Once contracts are finalized, we immediately begin the S.O.L.D. process with a Kickoff meeting to have a complete understating of your expectations. Once you are ready to go, we move quickly and efficiently, we control all aspects of the process and are able to Launch the team in 15-45 days.

What happens if a sales agent is not meeting quota?
We track all sales agents daily; we view activity levels (KPI’s) and evaluate performance constantly. If a sales agent is not achieving expectations, and we have provided them with every opportunity to succeed, it is our responsibility to replace that sales agent at no cost to you.

How many salespeople do we need to start with?                                                                                                                                                                         We do not have any minimums or maximums on the number of sales agents you can start with. It is your decision.

Can a Startup company do Sales Outsourcing?                                                                                                                                                                             Yes, we have worked with many small startup businesses. SFI can bring the level of experience that most small startups don’t have internally. Many startups don’t know how to hire, train and manage sales professionals. We bring this expertise to all companies, large or small.

Does Sales Outsourcing work for companies not based in the US?                                                                                                                                 Yes, we have launched well over 350 Non-US based organizations. Sales Outsourcing is a natural fit for Non-US companies, as we have the connections, facilities, management and experience to be successful in the US market.

Can I launch a sales team outside of the US?                                                                                                                                                                                   Yes, SFI has partners throughout the globe that allows us to launch sales people anywhere in the world. They are locally managed in their country, but you are working with one company, SFI, who is providing consistent service.

How do we protect our brand?                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A major focus for SFI is to protect your brand. We have represented some of the world’s largest brands, GE, AT&T, PPG, and many more. Companies come to SFI because we focus on brand protection. Every sales person is an employee of SFI, not a contractor, we have control over the process and verify backgrounds, drug testing then makes sure each person is put through extensive training, conducts role playing and passes an assessment test to ensure we are protecting your brand.

How long do we have to commit to the contract?                                                                                                                                                                         Your minimum commitment to SFI is 90 to 180 days depending on the type of contract. At that time, you can grow, shrink or stop your service completely. Our focus is to make you successful. We have contracts that have lasted over 9 years, as we continue to provide superior service.

Can I get exclusive territory rights on my product?                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, once SFI engages with a customer, we do give you exclusivity into that territory and first right of refusal across the US.

Can you also manage my existing sales team?                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, we can. We have a solution called Co-Sourcing where we can take over the management of your existing sales team. We can incorporate them into our training and management.

How can you build a sales team of any size anywhere in 45 days or less?                                                                                                                     We have complete control over all the aspects of building and managing the sales teams. We are very process oriented and over 20 years’ experience developing dedicated sales teams. Whether you need 2 people or 200 people, we can deploy a quality trained team in 45 days or less.

Are the Sales Agents dedicated to my company or are they shared?                                                                                                                               All sales agents are 100% recruited and dedicated to each client. We do not cross sell or share sales staff.

What is outside sales?                                                                                                                                                                                Outside sales refers to face to face sales with your customers.  An outside sales team meets directly with prospect in a face to face sales approach.  The outside model still must conduct much of the selling virtual, however the outside sales professional develops and manages the relationship on a personal face to face relationship.  Knocking doors, conducting face to face cold calls and attending networking events are all requirements to a successful outside sales team.

How do you succeed at outside sales?                                                                                                                                                              All sales teams need to be managed to a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).  Every sales person needs clear direction on what they should achieve daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.  Success starts with proper recruiting of the right individuals, they comprehensive training and daily management are all keys to successful outside sales programs.

What is inside sales?                                                                                                                                                                                        Inside Sales, sometimes referred to as virtual sales, is a sales team or person who does all their selling via electronics.  Telephone calls, emails, webinars, etc., but they never meet face to face with the prospect/client.  Inside sales can be very effective with a specific product or service that needs a large buying audience and a low investment.  Inside sales typically conducts the full life cycle of sales, from lead generation to closure.

What is the difference between outside and inside sales?                                                                                                                  Inside sales person do not meet with the prospects face to face, the outside sales person meet the prospects face to face.  Outside sales people still must do a lot of inside sales work, via electronic communications, but when it’s time to speak with the prospects, you conduct your meetings face to face.  The inside sales person will not go face to face, the entire life cycle of sales will be conducted virtual.

What is inside sales experience?                                                                                                                                                                Selling virtual can be much more difficult than doing face to face or outside sales.  By conducting the entire sales process virtually, the inside sales person must have experience in doing the sales process electronically.  They must have clear communication skills, they must have discipline to conduct the daily activities and they need to have a clear understanding of the sales process.

How can I improve inside sales?                                                                                                                                                            Managing and Improving insides sales professionals begins with hiring the right people with the right skill sets.  They must be hard working, and have great communication skills.  They need to have energy and enthusiasm that comes through in their voice.  They need to be extremely knowledgeable on the product or service they represent, as they need to paint the picture virtually, which can be much harder than selling face to face.

How do you manage an inside Sales team?                                                                                                                                                                Management should be focused on tracking and reviewing the sales persons Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).  A good manager is also a good coach, they understand the process and can teach by example.  Inside sales needs discipline, it needs hard work and clear focus, but like all great sales people they must have a plan, clear communication and knowledge of the product/service they are selling.

What is b2b sales?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   B2B sales is Business to Business sales.  The focus of B2B sales teams is typically to knock every door on every floor.  B2B is focused on commercial sales, and the sales teams focus should be on meeting as many potential clients as possible.  Business to business sales can also be referred to as door to door sales.

How to get into b2b sales?                                                                                                                                                                                  B2B sales takes a clear focus and work ethic.  Successful B2B sales people have discipline, they know how to develop and execute sales plans.  They have strong communication skills and are willing to learn and listen.  Many B2B sales teams will use new graduates and mold them into a successful model that has a proven track record.

What is b2b selling process?                                                                                                                                                                                  A B2B sales process is dependent on what you are selling and to who. Developing a successful process is key to finding new clients.  The B2B sales process may include lean generation techniques, qualification techniques, presentations skills and communication skills.  Every sales process needs to be specifically developed for your business and with your targeted client in mind.

How do you generate leads for b2b sales?                                                                                                                                      Generating B2B leads is a focus every company must have.  First you must develop the ICP or Ideal Client Profile.  Who are you going after?  There are many factors in developing the ICP, such as; Industry type, size of company, geographic location, revenue of company, plus who within the company should you target.  Is your product going to be purchased by a “C-Level” person or by procurement or HR.  Once you have developed your ICP, they next step is to find out what is the best method to communicate to the targeted ICP.  Emails, phone calls, SEO, advertising, or some other method.  Lead generation needs to tracked closed so you can discover what is working and what isn’t working.  Once you find the right method, constantly refine your message and have a focused approach.  

How to Thrive in the Era of Virtual Customer Acquisition