How To Rate An Outsourced Sales Vendor
Are you partnered with an outsourced sales vendor, but unsure of how to evaluate the quality of their service offering? You’re not alone. After all, outsourced sales agencies are supposed to be the experts, so you may be taking their word on a lot of the qualitative and quantitative feedback their team is providing. It can also take months for an outsourced sales agency to launch campaigns and actually start generating results, which means the benchmark for success will move as the engagement progresses.
In this blog, let’s cover how you should go about evaluating your outsourcing partner, and what to do if the results don’t match your expectations.
Do Their Reps Go Through Rigorous And Ongoing Training?
A sales program without high-performing, reliable reps is doomed to fail.
Consider what kind of experience your reps have. Do they have prior work experience? What do the vendor's screening and hiring process look like? What type of training program do reps go through before they are staffed to your account? Do you have the opportunity to reject a rep if you don't feel that they meet your standards? These are all incredibly important questions you need to be asking. FullFunnel’s reps undergo a two-week soft-skill training program administered by sales training experts and also receive product training from their managers prior to being staffed on any client accounts.
Many firms make the mistake of hiring new and inexperienced reps (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but throw them into the fire without any proper training or experience. As a result, many of these firms have very high churn, and there’s a strong chance you’ll have to replace reps just as they were just starting to hit their stride. Constantly cycling in new reps as your existing ones were starting to be productive makes it very difficult to hit performance benchmarks.
It’s critical that you have confidence in the reps tasked with making your sales program a success, and that these reps are given the training and tools they need to succeed.
What Kind Of SDR Management Do Reps Receive?
Although rep quality is incredibly important to the success of an outsourced sales program, the infrastructure and guidance surrounding those reps are just as important. Raw talent will only get you so far if you don’t have a manager behind you to provide constructive feedback, ensure procedures are being followed, and motivate you to perform at your best. Ensure that your outsourcing partner (or your potential partner) has a strong SDR management program in place, and that your reps have an adequate support system around them. Keep in mind that the vast majority of reps are still entry-level professionals and need supervision to grow properly, and at the very least, someone with more experience to bounce ideas off of.
What Kind Of Processes Are In Place?
Strong CRM hygiene is a critical part of any successful sales program. Are your partner’s reps well-trained and well-versed in CRM usage? Are they logging all of their activity? A big reason many firms are hesitant to outsource sales is that they fear their CRM and internal processes being contaminated by a partner who isn’t sure what they’re doing. That is a very valid fear, because even if your outsourced partner is hitting their goals, if they fail to log their activity properly, you will lack the visibility needed to make sound business decisions. Beyond the CRM, it’s also important to consider whether your outsourced sales partner has standardized processes for things like prospect research and outreach.
This is where a strong SDRM function can come into place, as reps left to their own devices might end up winging things and creating a disjointed sales program that lacks the refinement and uniformity that comes with a strong set of processes. This is a recipe for disaster in the long haul. Remember, a sales team is only as good as its processes. Your sales team should have a playbook created that it can follow to reach its goals, regardless of who comprises your team. That playbook is the home of your processes and observations, and is your roadmap to success. If your partner is not documenting its processes and the “how and why” behind its efforts, it is likely not a great partner.
Is your outsourced sales vendor receptive to your needs? Is your point of contact easy to talk to? Communication is an incredibly important part of an outsourcing relationship, so if your partner isn’t keeping you up-to-date on the developments and focus areas of your engagement, you aren’t going to see success.
You should have open lines of communication with your outsourced team at all times, and anything else is unacceptable. Your partner should be following up on requests promptly and ensuring your needs are being taken care of. To facilitate these open lines of communication, you should be leveraging a tool like Slack so both parties can provide daily updates, as well as hold weekly check-in calls. The reps you are working with should also be logging everything in the CRM and using real-time dashboards so you that you always have full visibility into what’s happening with your sales program
When working with an outsourced provider, you should feel comfortable asking any and every question about what’s going on with your sales program. If you aren’t getting this from your outsourced partner, you should be looking elsewhere.
Is The Team Hitting Their Goals?
Ultimately, sales is a numbers game. If you aren’t hitting your numbers, something isn’t going according to plan. Is your outsourced partner hitting its targets and driving revenue for your firm? If your partner isn’t hitting its goals, is it making efforts to pivot?
It’s important to consider that a winning sales program isn’t built overnight and that it will likely take some time to see a return on your investment. However, if you’re well into your engagement, and you still aren’t seeing any return on your investment, and there seems to be no effort to pivot strategy, that’s a problem.
Any reputable outsourced sales provider will leave no stone unturned and will be constantly testing and iterating new ideas to get on the right track. If you sense your outsourced sales partner is not taking the necessary steps to make your program a success, or is not being honest in regards to performance, you need a new partner.
FullFunnel is unique because we are a platform solution to your demand generation challenges. If we find that outbound is not a successful method for bringing in qualified lead traffic and generating revenue, we can pivot to a digital marketing-focused approach.
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If your firm is struggling to hit its sales goals, and is having an even harder time determining whether outsourced sales is right for them, we can help. FullFunnel is a global revenue operations as a service provider that helps redefine the ways organizations approach sales, marketing, and customer success. Request a free consultation to learn more about our unique approach to sales that drives revenue and desirable outcomes for your firm.