Outsourcing sales support allows your team to focus on closing deals without burning out your sales reps. When done right, it can help shorten the sales cycle and generate stronger ROI.
Sales Support Definition
Sales support includes a variety of functions that help salespeople close deals. It has a wide range of applications, including:
- Lead generation: Sales development representatives (SDRs) should focus on calling qualified leads, but filtering prospects can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. With the assistance of sales support, they can focus on engaging leads with higher chances of conversion.
- Marketing: Client-facing sales support roles collect customer feedback through interviews or surveys. These insights can help create an effective marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience.
- Customer service: Clients are more likely to feel heard if sales support is active. These functions help create an environment where feedback is considered, encouraging sales reps to better understand and communicate with customers.
Sales support can increase sales performance, as it:
- Reduces SDR workload: Paperwork and other administrative duties take up 64% of salespeople’s time.1 With the help of sales support, they can focus on revenue-generating activities to boost conversion rates.
- Increases efficiency: Sales support tasks like collecting and organizing data help salespeople better understand the market and their target customers.
- Yields better and faster outcomes: B2B sales cycles are usually longer, as they involve more decision-makers to convince. By reducing the workload of salespeople, they can concentrate on nurturing leads and converting them faster into customers.
Sales Support Specialist Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of a sales support specialist can vary, but they generally include:
- Assisting SDRs, account executives, and customers;
- Collecting market data for the sales team;
- Managing and organizing customer relationship database;
- Making suggestions for enhancing the sales process.
The minimum requirements for this position are:
- BS degree in marketing or business-related courses;
- Customer service or sales experience;
- IT skills;
- Communication skills;
- Analytic skills.
Here is what a sales support specialist may expect to earn as a salary yearly:
|Resources||Average Annual Salary for Sales Support Specialist|
Sales support salaries can become higher depending on the following factors:
- Education: Sales support specialists with a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business-related fields typically get a higher starting salary.
- Relevant experience: Sales support specialists with experience in customer service or in other administrative roles are likely to require less training and have a shorter onboarding time, allowing them to leverage for a higher salary.
- Certifications: A tangible proof of knowledge and skills can help negotiate higher salaries.
- Additional skills: Sales support specialists with additional skills relevant to their responsibilities require less training to achieve business goals.
Aside from salaries, sales support specialists can earn more through bonuses and commissions.
Pros and Cons of Sales Support Outsourcing
|Boosts sales team productivity||Data management concerns|
|Streamlines sales processes||Lack of control|
|Builds positive relationships with customers||Quality issues|
Here is a rundown of the benefits and drawbacks of sales support outsourcing to help you decide if it’s the right move for your company.
The benefits of outsourcing sales support are:
- Boosts sales team productivity: Outsourcing sales support allows you to tap specialists that unburden your team, enabling SDRs to spend more time with clients and focus on closing deals.
- Streamlines sales processes: Sales support staff help streamline sales processes, preventing missed opportunities.
- Builds positive customer relationships: Fostering positive relationships can help increase customer lifetime value.
- Saves costs: Hiring two sales support specialists for your team can easily cost you six figures in one year for salaries alone. By outsourcing, you don’t have to pay for salaries and benefits as well as tools, equipment, and training.
The possible pitfalls of outsourcing sales support include:
- Data management concerns: Outsourcing sales support processes require you to hand over sensitive information about your business and customers. Some agencies do not prioritize data protection, which can severely impact your business reputation.
- Lack of control: You cannot directly supervise an outsourced sales team, as they work independently of your organization.
- Quality issues: Some outsourced sales support tasks require direct client interaction. Your reputation can be severely affected if the specialist fails to represent your brand according to your standards.
You can mitigate the risks associated with outsourcing sales support by choosing a reliable service provider.
A Guide to Finding a Reliable Sales Support Agency
A reliable sales outsourcing agency has trained staff to help achieve your goals quickly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to find a trustworthy sales support agency:
Step #1: Identify the Business Reason
First, determine why you are outsourcing sales support. Is it to unburden your sales team, increase efficiency, handle customers, or scale your business? Answering this question will help you determine the type of solutions you need.
The top reasons companies choose to outsource sales support are:
- Lack of workforce and resources: A clear indication that you need to outsource sales support is when your sales team is overworked, causing them to fail quotas and objectives.
- Budget constraints: 59% of companies outsource processes to save costs.2
- New markets: Entering a new market or an underserved segment means an increased burden to your sales team on top of their existing responsibilities.
- Too many manual tasks: Although most companies invest heavily in automation, many tasks require a human touch, such as compiling paperwork or creating sales materials.
You can conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis on your sales process to determine which aspect requires sales support.
Step #2: Request a Quote
Most sales support prices are visible on agencies’ websites, but custom solutions usually require requesting estimates. Request quotes from multiple service providers to determine the fair price for the solutions you need.
By comparing the estimates with your budget, you can get a shortlist of agencies to move forward with. Take a close look at their prices and analyze which provider offers the best value for your money.
Some sales support outsourcing companies offer a dedicated team, while others allow their staff to work on multiple projects simultaneously. An agency that provides an exclusive team can help you reach your objectives faster.
Step #3: Check their Sales Support Qualification
After determining which companies fit your budget, you can streamline your list by taking a closer look at staff qualifications. It is crucial to ask the following questions:
- What are the qualifications of their sales support specialist?
- How do they assign a specialist to a client?
- What training do the sales support specialists have before they take over your campaign?
- What is their experience working in your industry or niche space?
It’s important to work with a sales support outsourcing agency that values communication to prevent problems. Pay close attention to how they respond to your queries and concerns.
Step #4: Check the Reviews
Customer reviews will give you an idea of what to expect from the sales support outsourcing agency. Most companies have reviews available on their websites and feature some of their success stories, but it’s also recommended to check third-party review platforms.
If you want to do more due diligence, you can get in touch with the company’s previous clients and ask about their experience working with the service provider.
With proper implementation, sales support can increase sales performance and conversion rates. The best way to achieve that is by working with a reliable service provider with a skilled and trained workforce.