X Factors to look for when Choosing a 3rd Party Vendor
Opening the doors to new business is a critical stage of the sales cycle, particularly within the B2B enterprise world. As such, sales organizations need to do all they can to expand the breadth of their global outreach, remove friction points in the buyer’s journey and move prospects from engagement to conversion faster.
Delegating the responsibilities of initial outreach and engagement to a 3rd party vendor is a powerful tool that can help sales teams reach and exceed these goals. Of course, outsourcing the initial stage of your sales cycle does come with risks that need to be addressed and mitigated. To help with this, we’ve written this guide to make sure that you aren’t flying blind when you’re selecting the right vendor to work with.
Transform your business, modernize your sales organization and accelerate the sales cycle for your reps by partnering with the right lead-generation & outbound prospecting agency. Your business can expect a greater amount of sales-qualified opportunities, a higher level of quality conversations with decision-making prospects and more useful data that can be utilized for future endeavors once you’ve synchronized on goals and objectives for the partnership.
Ultimately, your vendor becomes an additional sales arm that exists as an extension of your team and augments your overall sales capabilities.
Some of the benefits you gain by utilizing an agile, remote outbound prospecting team:
- Achieving greater spread of territories and regions where new business can be opened
- Increasing flexibility and agility in the sales resources that you can deploy
- Greater GTM velocity
- Extracting on-the-ground buyer insights
- Lowering the overall costs/overhead and ramp time for your sales organization
- Reducing the risk of committing permanent resources to untested markets
- Increasing your sales organization’s ability to focus on closing activities & conversion
Of course, there are risks that come along with outsourcing, which you should be aware of when you’re planning out your relationship. Some that you should consider when selecting a third-party vendor:
- Choosing the wrong partner
- Exposing sensitive information
- Lack of alignment in how to properly approach new customers
- Enforcing uniform sales principals to outsourced company/lack of synchronization
Building, implementing and ramping an in-house research & sales development team is both costly and time-intensive, which are the most valuable resources available to an enterprise. However, Chief Revenue Officers, heads of Global Sales and other business leaders can bypass these issues by outsourcing lead generation and outbound prospecting responsibilities.
Like every venture, you must understand how to best mitigate the risks involved to best position yourself to take advantage of the opportunities available. Bain & Company asserts that while many companies view outsourcing as a mere cost-cutting measure, working with a third-party vendor can be a powerful tool for mature sales organizations to achieve greater spread of outreach, expand the flexibility of their coverage and to strengthen their existing capabilities. Get in touch with us if you’d like to better understand how to navigate the world of B2B outsourced sales services for enterprises.
Some of the factors that you should be looking at if you’re in the process of selecting a 3rd party vendor to build sales-qualified pipeline:
- Research Methodology
- Prospecting Methodology
- Data/Insights/Visibility/Performance Measurement
What does it mean to outsource Lead Generation & Outbound Prospecting?
All successful businesses are built upon the foundation of an effective sales organization that generates revenue via a predictable, repeatable and scalable process. An outbound sales development team serves at the forefront of these efforts in order to identify & engage prospects who are the most likely to move through the buying cycle. Delegating the responsibilities of initial outreach to the SDR team frees up capacity for Account Executives to focus on negotiating, closing and bringing the prospect to the end of their buyer journey. It’s well-documented that prospecting for new customers and partners should be a separate and specialized task from other segments of the total sales cycle. As such, outbound prospecting requires a different skill-set and mentality. These responsibilities should have their own separate KPIs, with people specifically focusing on achieving them.
In addition to systematically generating sales-qualified leads, outsourcing your pipeline generation responsibilities and outbound prospecting efforts to a dedicated mobile team can provide your sales organization with the agility to cover more territories, get representation in new regions faster, and extract actionable information from potential new customers. By allowing your vendor to take responsibility of the early stage of the sales funnel, you will also free up capacity for your sales organization to focus on the negotiation and conversion phase.
The lead generation vendor should be responsible for identifying & pre-qualifying target accounts, building their outbound prospecting campaign to match the buyer personas according to your ICP/Buyer Persona, handle the cold-calling, email, and social prospecting; all in the service of qualifying, following up and nurturing leads by email and phone and to discover sales opportunities to deliver to your own Account Executives. In a nutshell, an SDR-as-a-service vendor will handle the opening part of the sales cycle and position your in-house Account Executives for the closing segment.
It's also important to note that outsourcing the responsibilities of outbound prospecting to a lead generation vendor does not necessarily mean that you replace your existing sales development efforts. Rather, a remote mobile outbound prospecting team should be viewed as a valuable addition that augments your overall efforts and provides valuable support to the SDR/BDRs that you already have working for you. Your lead generation vendor should be an extension of your existing team to help you reach new markets faster, more comprehensively and with better visibility.
Outsourcing your sales development responsibilities to a dedicated outbound prospecting team opens a lot of opportunities and introduces a lot of benefits to your organization. However, there are risks that need to be considered and mitigated before moving forward together. The right lead generation vendor will help make you aware of what you should be cautious about in order to mitigate the potential negative effects.
How does working with a 3rd Party vendor benefit your organization?
An outsourced SDR team is a tool to help fill your pipeline, keep your sales team focused on having productive conversations with decision-making prospects, and dedicating the majority of their efforts to the negotiation, conversion & contract signing phase of revenue generation. Leveraging a mobile, agile SDR team allows your sales organization to cover more ground, test out new markets and expand into new regions faster. It can be deployed and redeployed with targets based on region, product, campaign or goal.
Outsourcing the initial outreach phase of the sales cycle to a mobile SDR team means that they can focus the entirety of their attention on engagement. By separating these two segments of the sales cycle, you’ll have better visibility into what’s happening on the front lines of your business’s expansion. A dedicated outbound SDR team ought to keep meticulous documentation of their outreach so that, in addition to delivering sales-qualified opportunities and appointments with decision-makers, they also deliver actionable insights and qualitative data about your prospects’ goals, priorities and pain-points. This information will be necessary for your sales team to close these potential deals but will also be valuable to other departments within your organization like Marketing or Product/Offering Development.
Why should enterprise organizations work with a 3rd Party Lead Generation/Outbound Prospecting service provider?
Outsourcing shouldn’t only be viewed as a cost-cutting measure. Working with a third-party lead generation vendor is a powerful addition to a sales organization that wants to gain more flexibility in their outreach in addition to further strengthening their existing capabilities.
Your sales reps will spend more time negotiating, converting & closing opportunities. Not all salespeople have the same type of skill-set, mentality and aptitude. Some are natural closers & negotiators whereas others are most gifted at nurturing a prospect through the middle of the sales funnel. Others are great at engaging, finding new customers and opening the door to new business opportunities. At Infinityn International, we focus on hiring & training reps who are dedicated to honing their sales craft in the opening segment of the sales cycle. A true lead generation vendor employs specialists in this initial outreach stage.
When you employ a dedicated outbound prospecting team to generate sales-qualified pipeline, your sales organization gets to connect with qualified prospects who have explained their priorities & pain points and are ready to learn how your business can help them. That being said, there are a lot of questions that you should ask before you commit to developing a partnership with a vendor.
Questions You Should Be Asking
1.) What will your Lead Generation Vendor deliver?
Defining the parameters of a service level agreement is always critical. As such, both parties should be aware of what the responsibilities are and define them together. A Sales-Qualified lead should include all of the material gained during the prospecting journey in order to guarantee that your sales organization will have warm conversations with future buyers. A full-service sales development agency will conduct research prior to engagement, have an initial discovery & qualification call in order to determine the prospect’s priorities and, ultimately, deliver a booked appointment with a qualified prospect with all of the research gained during the initial outreach.
This is also a question to ask yourself before you pursue outsourcing your outbound prospecting efforts with a third-party vendor. Ideally, the strategy for outreach should be defined beforehand, so that a lead generation vendor can begin to execute as soon as possible.
2.) Which regions can your vendor cover?
For modern sales organizations, particularly within the technology world, global coverage is critical. Working with a 3rd Party vendor can be an excellent solution towards accelerating this process and getting sales resources into underrepresented areas faster than it would take to build and recruit an in-house team. As such, it’s important for you to know that your sales development agency hires and recruits with an international mindset, with representatives who can speak the language and understand the cultural nuances of the countries that you want to prospect in.
3.) How quickly can your vendor begin to execute?
Achieving greater speed for new product launches or to maximize the return on existing campaigns is one of the key benefits of working with a 3rd party sales development agency. Before you proceed with outsourcing these responsibilities, you should have an understanding of how quickly your pipeline can be filled. For reference, at Infinityn International, we have a track record of delivering results immediately after the initial training period.
4.) How do you define a sales-qualified lead?
This is something that we've spoken about before but it’s definitely worth your consideration. While there are multiple leadgen vendors in the marketplace, there is hardly a consensus as to what a properly sales-qualified lead actually is. As such, you should be careful in understanding that not all vendors define a qualified lead the same way. For some, a lead can be merely a verification of contact details or a list of automated emails sent out. For more sophisticated agencies, a proper sales-qualified lead should guarantee a meeting with a prospect who has explained their business’s goals & priorities and shared the relevant pain-points that your product/service addresses.
5.) How do you conduct research?
Researching a prospect both prior to the initial engagement , as well as after those first initial outreach steps have been undertaken, will help you nurture your opportunity through the sales cycle. Researching sales prospects can help in the pre-qualifying stage, when you’re building your target list of accounts, but is also critical during outreach, so the SDR knows which topics to discuss to best create interest and urgency within your prospect.
The initial outreach segment of the sales cycle encompasses both qualification and discovery. Engaging a prospect doesn’t only mean arranging the meeting for Next Steps, rather the qualification process should include discovering the prospects’ overall business goals, priorities and pain-points. A proper lead generation vendor will be sure to package up this qualitative data to deliver to your Account Executive in order to best position them to continue ushering the prospect through the funnel.
6.) How will you align with our sales strategy?
Communication is the key to a productive sales development collaboration. A proper lead generation vendor will serve as an extension of your existing sales organization. For us, this entails a white-labelled approach where our representatives adopt your company’s branding when they go out into the field to engage your prospective buyers. In order to accomplish this, we believe that a rigorous training period where our reps can drill your command of the message and fully master your product’s value proposition is necessary.
Communication plays a crucial role in alignment in several other ways, particularly your vendor’s ability to report on performance and deliver on the established KPIs. Just as the SDR/AE relationship should be close in an in-house organization, you should expect the same kind of relationship with a 3rd Party vendor.
If you’re interested in learning about our reporting and KPI structure or the benefits of working with a white-labelled, mobile SDR team, please feel free to reach out us!