[GUIDE] Should You Outsource Your Sales and Marketing?

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Sales and marketing are interwoven processes essential for business growth. Outsourcing some of these tasks allows you to access a specialized workforce and related tools without investing in the upfront cost of building a new business function.

What Do Outsourced Sales and Marketing Mean?

Sales and marketing processes are interconnected. The marketing team is responsible for looking for potential customers, while the sales department focuses on converting leads. 

Outsourced sales and marketing mean that you hire a third-party service provider to handle certain tasks. You could also outsource your entire revenue operation to a full-service provider that specializes in business growth.

Outsourced Sales Definition

Outsourced sales involves delegating specific tasks or the entire process to a third party, an independent freelancer, or an agency. 

The most frequently outsourced sales tasks are:

  • Appointment Setting

Appointment setting is a strategy that focuses on identifying prospects that fit the company’s ideal customer profile. These prospects are more likely to become customers with the least time and effort. 

This strategy allows account executives to focus on closing deals without having the pipeline run dry. By outsourcing your appointment setting process, your business can enjoy the benefits of an appointment setting program without worrying about the expenses and risks associated with building an in-house team. 

  • Sales Support

Sales support refers to various functions that help sales teams close deals. Usually composed of administrative tasks, this support can be a client-facing function that bridges the gap between customers and the company.

Sales support duties are repetitive and time-consuming, which makes them perfect for outsourcing.

Outsourced Marketing Definition

Similar to outsourced sales, outsourcing marketing entails hiring third-party contractors to take over specific tasks or run an entire campaign. These are examples of commonly outsourced marketing tasks:

  • Lead Generation

Lead generation entails generating consumer interest in a product or service. Salespeople rely on this process to ensure the pipeline never runs out of opportunities, allowing them to convert leads into customers faster. 

This strategy is a great candidate for outsourcing, as it calls for expert knowledge and often involves a lot of time and effort. 

  • Content Creation

Many marketing strategies leverage high-quality, relevant content such as videos, blogs, ebooks, and infographics. Creating this content requires specialized skills, which makes it another ideal candidate for outsourcing. 

How Outsourcing Sales and Marketing Processes Help Achieve Your Business Outcomes

When done right, outsourcing sales and marketing processes can improve your business outcomes by: 

  • Improving lead quality: Outsourcing lead qualification tasks can bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams without overworking your employees. This minimizes missed opportunities and ensures your sales pipeline will not run out of high-quality leads
  • Uncovering new opportunities: Many businesses find expanding difficult due to a lack of resources. By outsourcing sales and marketing functions, you can leverage the workforce and expertise of service providers to explore new opportunities or underserved markets. 
  • Boosting Revenue: Outsourcing sales and marketing processes allows you to generate more revenue by making your pipeline efficient. 

Should I Outsource My Sales Function? 

Building an in-house sales team involves hiring full-time employees to fill various roles. This setup provides full control over your workforce, but requires a significant amount of investment and time. 

These are the main differences between outsourcing and building an in-house sales and marketing team:

  • Investment

Establishing an in-house sales and marketing team requires a significant investment. On top of salaries, which can easily cost six figures annually, companies must provide benefits, training, equipment, and incentives. These expenses can significantly impact your bottom line as you add team members.

Here’s a quick overview of the average salary for sales and marketing positions:

Sales Team
RoleAverage Salary
Sales Development Representative$49,607 per year
Customer Success Representative$53,375 per year
Account Executive$69,204 per year
Sales Manager$67,876 per year
Marketing Team
RoleAverage Salary
Marketing Specialist$56,460 per year
SEO Strategist $54,544 per year
Brand Manager$64,653 per year
Marketing Director$83,974 per year

Outsourced sales and marketing services are not always low-cost, but if the initial investment is lower than building an in-house team, they can still make sense to outsource. 

  • Rollout

Building an in-house team can take months. A survey by Bridge Group Inc. reveals that the average ramp-up period of sales representatives is 4.5 months and that finding managers to guide them can take even longer. 1

Outsourcing agencies can launch campaigns in a few weeks, as they have a team of experts on standby, ready to take on your task. Since their sales and marketing talents have already been screened and trained, they can immediately start on your projects. 

How to Choose a Reliable Outsourced Sales And Marketing Agency

Outsourcing sales and marketing tasks have several potential pitfalls, including:

  • Alignment issues: An outsourcing agency may implement your sales and marketing processes differently from your company standard, which can cause misalignment with other departments. 
  • Data management concerns: Outsourcing sales and marketing tasks involves handing over customer and business data. Some agencies do not prioritize data protection, which can damage your business’s reputation. 
  • Lack of control: Most sales and marketing agencies work independently, making it difficult to provide direct feedback to their daily operations. 

The key to mitigating these downsides is choosing the right service provider for outsourcing. You can use the following factors to evaluate which sales and marketing agency is the right fit for your business: 

Workforce Quality

An outsourcing agency’s quality of service depends on its staff, as they will be responsible for carrying out your marketing and sales strategy.

If you plan to outsource appointment setting, ensure that the agents assigned to your campaign are skilled and experienced SDRs. 

Communication

You are bound to have questions and feedback as you outsource your sales and marketing processes, which is why choosing an agency that communicates well is important. 

A sales and marketing outsourcing company that values communication is responsive and does not hesitate to answer your questions and concerns. They also have multiple communication channels, and reaching out to them is uncomplicated.  

Cost

An affordable solution is useless if it does not help achieve your objectives. By being aware of the reasonable prices for outsourced sales and marketing services, you can locate an agency that provides excellent value for money.

The pricing model of sales and marketing outsourcing companies vary, but they usually include:

  • Fixed price: Services such as lead generation are typically fixed prices. The rates depend on the cost per lead (CPL), which varies from industry to industry.
  • Profit sharing pricing: Outsourcing agencies get compensated depending on the project’s outcome. This pricing model encourages the agencies to provide the best possible results.
  • Retainer-based: This type of pricing structure is common among custom solutions. The cost can vary depending on task complexity, timeframe, and objectives.

To get a better idea of what is the fair price for the services you need, it’s recommended to request quotes from multiple providers. Doing this will also enable you to shortlist which agency can offer the best value for your money. 

Should You Outsource Sales and Marketing Processes? 

Outsourcing your sales and marketing processes is worth considering when you:

  • Lack expertise

Some sales and marketing functions require expertise that might not be available within your organization. Outsourcing allows you to tap the expert workforce of an agency without paying for salaries, benefits, and other expenses associated with hiring full-time employees. 

Outsourcing is also an excellent solution if you do not have enough workforce. By looking at employee performance evaluations, you can determine whether you need more people for your sales and marketing functions. 

  • Want to cut expenses

Outsourcing sales and marketing processes allow businesses to save up to 70% on operating costs.1 This gives them more budget to develop products and invest in new or underserved markets. 

Bottom Line

Outsourced sales and marketing functions can help improve business efficiency. Delegating these tasks to a reputable service provider allows you to increase return on investment (ROI) and significantly reduce the risks of outsourcing.

References

  1. https://blog.bridgegroupinc.com/hubfs/resources/2017_SaaS_AE_Metrics.pdf?t=1499884088889
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