The concept of outsourcing isn’t new to anyone — having a job done in a more cost-effective manner in a location outside your office is commonplace in the tech world. Yet for some reason, that idea hasn’t matriculated into the sales development space. Why?
“The benefits are well documented, as companies can leverage experts who have built businesses around these specific processes (and who can often provide them at lower costs), so they can focus on perfecting what makes their business great.” — Dan Paul, Managing Director @ demandDrive
There are a handful of stigmas associated with outsourcing that get in the way: Cost, Quality, Brand Representation, and Security come to mind as the top reasons a company would balk at an outsourced SDR model. The benefits, however, often outweigh the potential risks — something that a lot of organizations don’t bother to explore.
Let’s dive into each one to better understand if outsourcing is the answer your business is looking for.
When it comes to outsourcing your SDR team it’s often assumed that your total cost will decrease (which is great), but you take a slight hit in quality to make up for that. On the flip side, you could pay top-dollar (more than you might pay for an in-house team) and make sure the service reflects that.
What if I told you that you could save over $100K annually (for a 3 rep team), and you don’t have to take that hit in quality to get it? Pretty compelling stuff. You’re not going to get that with every firm out there, but there’s a chance that you actually get the best of both worlds when you outsource instead of picking a compromise. We’ll share some more numbers like the link above in a later post.
Like the above example, quality goes hand in hand with cost. If you pay less for something, you expect to get less in return. The same goes for the opposite. All of this depends on the pedigree of who you work with and what the base level of their service looks like.
As experts in sales development it’s the jobs of those firms to deliver high quality leads directly to your sales team and let you focus on making your business the best it can be. Remember, you’re a technology company, not a sales development company. If the company you’re outsourcing to can be trusted to deliver high-quality results, let them do what they do best, regardless of what you assume based on their pricing estimate.
What’s worse, an SDR who has no experience or training making calls in your office, OR, an SDR who’s been through a rigorous training program making calls outside your office?
Brand representation is often associated with training (and should be) — regardless of where the rep sits, if the training program is lackluster then that will reflect on the capabilities of the rep. Organizations that specialize in outsourcing will often under-fund and shirk the training process in favor of producing a high lead quantity (read: low quality), and those reps are liabilities when they represent you and your brand. If they get the proper training before hitting the phones then you can be rest-assured they’ll put their best face forwards while prospecting. Those are the reps you can trust.
Security and Control
Keeping a function as forward-facing and beholden to sensitive information (like your SDR team) close to the chest makes sense. It’s a liability to have that info out of your control for fear it falls into the wrong hands.
Just like you trust a host to manage your SaaS solutions, you can trust a well-respected firm to do the same with your reps. It’s not always a liability to relinquish control of that info — the track record of the firm you work with determines whether or not you can trust them with your data. Doing your due diligence beforehand allows you to give another organization access to your data without constantly being concerned for its safety.
AKA why demandDrive is the Partner for You
Outsourcing can be beneficial when done correctly — simple as that. Not really groundbreaking stuff, but knowing that it can go right should push you passed the pre-conceived notions mentioned above. Otherwise the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) that accompanies the idea of outsourcing takes over, and it never gets done.
The question is — how do you find the right firm? Is there a list of criteria to look for when picking a company to help with outsourcing efforts? In short, no. Outsourcing isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of operation, it should be custom-built to fit your needs as an organization. It’s important to understand what’s more compelling for you and your business and find a firm that can fit that rather than the other way around.
Cost: When it comes to working with an outsourcing company, they often have set prices for a monthly (or quarterly/annual) program fee. There’s always a little wiggle room, but generally price breaks only happen if you add on more reps to the program. Finding someone in your price range is key, but where you can differentiate the good from the bad is how they treat passed leads.
Cost Per Lead models are also not the way to go when choosing an outsourced partner. We tackle those notions in this blog, but in summation: Mismatched incentives and lower lead quality often make the model more expensive and yield a lower ROI than a flat-rate model. Get more bang for your buck by working with the demandDrive model and only paying for the leads that match a pre-determined criteria.
Quality: The process and methodology behind discovering leads is what sets a high-quality firm apart from another. Keeping it scalable and repeatable ensures that you’re getting leads delivered on a regular basis, and those are the leads you want to speak with. Setting the expectations beforehand eliminates any kind of misaligned incentives and ensures that your team has a constant stream of sales leads to action.
Knowing which company provides the right caliber of reps and training to get you those leads is where it gets dicey. It’s easy to over promise and under deliver. Find a company with a track record of success and someone who’s upfront about their capabilities.
Brand: A company that touts their training program is more than likely a company that will accurately and effectively represent your brand — and you want to make sure your brand is represented in the best light. The damage that an untrained caller can do (whether they’re in or out of your physical office) can seriously impact your selling opportunities. A training program like demandDrive’s really helps prepare SDRs before they hit the phones, so you know they’ll have your company’s brand in mind.
“Rent-A-Callers” and other high volume/low quality firms simply can’t be trusted, as they often don’t have your best interests in mind. Going back to misaligned incentives, callers that only care about passing meetings won’t care about how they represent your company — they just want raw results. On top of that, you’re missing out on the value that a dedicated SDR could be bringing your sales team. Looking passed those initial metrics will help you find the firm that works for you, and not just for themselves.
Security: Companies that use SaaS solutions should be very familiar with the idea of outsourcing (at least a little bit), and the concept of hosting information on servers outside of your office closely mirrors the outsourced SDR function. It’s one thing to know that you have to protect sensitive client data, but it’s another to know that you’re able to relinquish the hold on that data and trust it in the hands of another company.
This is less about finding a “trustworthy” company and more about coming to terms with letting go of the data in the first place. The flexibility and scalability of a high-quality outsourced model is too good to pass up. The right company will understand security is a concern, and treat your data with care.