Leads are the lifeline of any business. Ask any sales rep (or even a marketing associate) what they want more of and more likely than not they will respond with ‘MORE LEADS’. So how do you get to a point where your sales reps are happy and your marketing department is not any more overworked than they likely already are? Outsourcing may be your answer.
But how do you select a company to become an extension of your business? How do you find someone who will be the partner that helps you grow your business year after year? The key to finding the right fit for your outsourced sales extension is to know what questions you want to be answered before you even start looking. Setting the right expectations right off the bat will save you from the potential of a failed partnership.
Everyone involved needs to know what success looks like for your company. What do you want from this partnership? Setting goals that everyone is happy and comfortable with is important and can help you avoid a failed relationship.
Define Your Prospect
When bringing in an outside firm to assist with your sales process, it’s imperative to know who your ideal prospect is. Are they the Director of Information Technology or is it your VP of Human Resources? Knowing who your buyer is (both decision makers and influencers) will be the difference between countless wasted prospecting attempts and worse yet, dollars.
Be Honest About Your Sales Cycle
How long does it really take you to close a deal? Be honest, from lead, through the entire conversion process, all the way to close. Whether it takes you 30 days or 18 months, you need to be honest with everyone about how long your process takes. Typically the higher the ticket, the longer the cycle and there are pros and cons to both, but if you deny the simple fact of cycle length; you will surely set yourself up for a failed partnership.
Reporting and Metrics
What will your partner be providing you on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis? Reporting and metrics for success are critical for a happy partnership. You also want to make sure that you are getting the most value out of your spend so if you can obtain reports that provide you with critical industry information like buying trends or a key shift in your marketplace, you want that information as often as possible. Set up those expectations right away and on paper so that everyone is accountable.
Campaigns – Calls and Emails
Is your outsourced business development company going to be helping with your email nurturing campaigns or are they going to be reaching out to prospects who attend your monthly webinars trying to gauge interest? Many companies offer both in order to maximize your investment so be sure to work with your partner to create a call and email plan that everyone will be happy with.
The Right People and Technology
You should be looking for a company that has time-tested staff in place that have a proven track record in place for finding opportunities that close. Furthermore, you need a management team in place to help guide and mentor the process from start to successful finish.
Your sales and business development partner should have the right technology in place that will assist in dials, dashboarding and reporting, and proper segmentation of prospects in order to improve your ROI.
This takes us to references – do not be afraid to actually call or email the list of referenceable customers that you have been given. Research your potential partner for what may be said online and on social media. What are their clients saying and what are their former employees saying after they have moved on. Choosing a company that treats their employees well will likely mean that they value and respect their customers to the utmost level!
If you are ready to take your sales development function to the next level, email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!