Is SDR Outsourcing the Right Move for My Business?

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The introduction of sales development representatives (SDRs) is one of the most significant changes to the sales profession over the last decade. The unique skill sets required to manage and train SDRs have many businesses struggling to adapt.


Outsourcing sales teams is one of the most effective lead generation tactics for working with professional SDRs and driving more revenue for your company.

Get to Know Sales Development Representatives

SDRs most commonly take on the function of outbound prospecting. They conduct research and contact potential clients who could be interested in the product or service your company provides.

Skills to thrive as an SDR

SDRs face numerous challenges, such as frequent rejection or/and high-performance expectations for their quotas. 

SDRs use the skills below to overcome this challenging workflow: 

  • Resilience: Making calls and sending emails are the two main functions SDRs perform daily. An SDR is likely to encounter a lot more no’s than yes’s, and bouncing back after each call is necessary. Resilience is the practice of staying positive and energetic under such situations.
  • Organization: An SDR’s needs to be highly organized. Time management, prioritizing assignments, making calls, and attending meetings are all part of maintaining a strict calendar necessary for success.
  • Adaptability: Adaptability is a trait that all SDRs must have, as prospects’ location, language, culture, market, business needs, and messaging are diverse. 
  • Coachability: Being closed to feedback stunts an SDR’s abilities. An SDR must be willing to receive coaching from peers and managers to nourish their skillset.
  • Communication skills: The ability to build genuine relationships is bound to an SDR’s communication skills, which demand interacting with people through several channels.
  • Training an SDR to develop these skills takes time and effort. Still, with the proper process and willingness for self-development, SDRs gain insights to provide solutions, master the sales stack, have a positive outlook, and fill their pipeline.

Why have SDRs become essential for businesses?

SDRs make first contact with prospects and are essential in the effort to move them further on the sales funnel. Because SDRs take on the time-consuming process of generating qualified leads, Account Executives (AEs) are free to concentrate on closing deals. 

Adopting a segmented sales approach with the right skills and experience is a surefire way to generate predictable revenue growth. Both in-house and outsourced SDR teams can drive optimal outcomes.

Outsourced OR In-house Sales Teams

Your pipeline dries up fast without an SDR team consistently generating leads. You can use automation and lead-sourcing technology to streamline your operation, but you still need SDRs to conduct outreach.

Building an in-house sales team has advantages but comes with the cost of hiring, onboarding, training, and day-to-day management. Outsourcing your SDR function means partnering with a sales provider who specializes in building these types of teams.

You should analyze a wide range of factors to decide how to structure your outbound sales strategy. 

Services you can outsource

Outsourcing the SDR function is the most common type of sales outsourcing, but not the only one. Here are different types of services from a sales provider:

Appointment Setting

Also known as outbound sales, appointment setting is a strategy in which specialized SDRs schedule business meetings by cold calling, emailing, or LinkedIn outreach. It’s one of the best-outsourced functions to fuel your pipeline and drive revenue by consistently generating leads. SDR outsourcing is largely understood to be the same as outsourced appointment setting.

List Building Services

In simple terms, list-building services offer data collection of your potential prospects. Precise contact data ensures your list has the right contacts to guarantee campaign success.

Lead Qualification

SDRs don’t aim to set appointments for this outsourcing service. They uncover critical prospect info by conducting surveys via cold outreach. 

These questions can be “What are the challenges you’re going through? / Do you have a current solution? / Who would make the purchase decision?” etc. The answers are then turned over to the client’s sales team so they can do their own outreach for sale.

Having detailed intel about your prospects’ business needs accelerates time-to-close.

Building an In-house Sales Team

Generating leads through an in-house sales team can be an option for your business if you have enough time, expertise, and resources. 

The following table shows the pros and cons of setting up an in-house team: 

ProsCons
More controlCost
Streamlined communicationTraining
Contributes to cultureTurnover
Pros 
  • More control: You can assess and calibrate the assignments conducted by your sales team on the spot. Ensuring your team meets its deadlines and runs its planned workflow smoothly increases performance.
  • Streamlined communication: A project evolves in multiple stages, and the whole team should maintain strong communication to keep up with the changes. Working within the same systems can facilitate better communication and avoid missed opportunities.
  • Contributes to culture: Sharing common cultural backgrounds and speaking the same language prevents misunderstandings and adaptability issues. The collaborative atmosphere in the workplace motivates your sales team to achieve optimum results.
Cons
  • Cost: There are a few essential costs when building your sales team: SDR salary and benefits, software, data, and hidden ones like training and tools. These expenditures only increase when your team grows.
  • Training: SDRs need long-term training and experience to nurture their skills, so a dedicated budget is a must. The training process doesn’t only cause higher costs for the company but also requires time and effort. 
  • Turnover: The average tenure for an SDR is only 18 months. Finding top talents in the labor market is challenging, especially if your company is located in a small city. You can hire workers remotely but only if you adopt a remote-friendly work culture first.

Building an Outsourced Sales Team

Almost 54% of companies outsource part of their operation to connect with customers because of budget limitations, excessive workload, or expansion to new markets.

Outsourced sales teams come with pros and cons: 

ProsCons
Working with professionalsLoss of control
Multiple service optionsProviding confidential data
Cost-efficientRisk to brand reputation
Pros  
  • Working with professionals: You gain immediate access to a vast pool of trained professionals when you opt for outsourcing your SDR team. You can drive consistent revenue by partnering with a B2B sales provider with experience generating sales in your industry.
  • Multiple service options: There’re a lot of sales providers from which you can outsource SDRs and many service options to choose from, such as appointment setting, advanced account research, and list-building services.
  • Cost-efficient: The main reason 70% of companies choose to outsource is cost reduction, as it’s more profitable than setting up an in-house team. The average cost of partnering with a sales provider is between  $8,000 to $15,000 per month.
Cons
  • Loss of control: Outsourcing a sales team means less control over your sales process, as your provider will have their own established processes. Working with a reliable partner decreases the possibility of failures and hitches.
  • Providing confidential data: Data privacy risks arise when you outsource your sales function to untrustworthy companies that can jeopardize your business’s security.
  • Risk to brand reputation: An outsourced sales team working outside your office can lead to communication problems or other damaging obstacles. You can avoid these problems by finding a partner who recognizes the importance of protecting your brand reputation. 

In the video below, SalesRoads’ president, David Kreiger, talks about the importance of choosing a reliable partner to secure your brand reputation by explaining how an appointment setting program can tarnish your brand if it isn’t structured right.

Both outsourced and in-house sales teams have pros and cons. Consider each potential impact to decide the best option for your business.

How to Find a Reliable Partner

The most crucial factor to avoid risks when outsourcing your sales function is to work with a reliable third-party sales provider.

You should consider the following points to ensure effective results:

Commitment

Having a trial period is essential to measure the efficiency of your outsourced sales team. 

Tip: Some companies assign you their best SDRs for a couple of months until you sign a long-term contract. Demand to specify in your agreement that you’ll work with the same SDRs after you sign a commitment.

Spammy practices

Ensure the sales provider doesn’t send many templated emails and uses auto-dialers or cookie-cutter programs. These practices can annoy prospects, lead to a bad brand reputation, and risk your business.

Tip: Avoid sales providers implementing their lead generation strategy via algorithms, automated messages, cookies, pop-ups, and spam emails. Building an unbreakable bond based on trust through one-to-one communication increases close repeat businesses.

High-quality SDRs

Professional SDRs have years of experience, which means they should get fair salaries. 

Tip: Consider asking about SDRs’ expertise and compensation structure to ensure you’ll work with top professionals in the market.

Capability over the cost

Choosing the cheapest B2B sales provider can make you sacrifice leadership, professionality, and data privacy. Clearly define your business needs and the partner’s capabilities.

Tip: Calculate the expected return on investment and examine case studies, tools, and technologies the provider leverages for sales acceleration.

When deciding among several sales providers, prepare a table to compare and contrast these points to find the best option for your business, and always look for proof.

Bottom Line

A sales team with experienced SDRs is more than a requirement today. If you lack the resources and expertise to build an in-house sales team, consider outsourcing your sales function among several service options from a reliable third-party provider. 

SalesRoads Content Team

SalesRoads Content Team

The SalesRoads content team is always working to help you scale your revenue by delivering powerful sales insights and education
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