The Ultimate Guide to Startup Sales Outsourcing: Expert-Driven Tips to Get You Started
Did you know that 50% of startups fail within the first five years?
That’s due to some major challenges these companies face during the early development stages… Most of which are associated with recruiting top talent, boosting sales, and cutting down costs.
So to escape that faith…
Many startup founders are shifting towards outsourced sales services as a solution. Simply because it’s a much more cost-efficient option with many advantages that are most fit to help young businesses survive.
In today’s guide, you’ll discover what startup sales outsourcing is as well as the outstanding advantages it can offer. You’ll also learn how to find the perfect sales partner for your startup.
Let’s get right into it!
What is Sales Outsourcing For Startups?
Startup outsourced sales is the practice of outsourcing the sales duties to a third-party provider.
A team of sales specialists with a good understanding of the industry and target market is hired to help the startup grow its customer base and increase profits. These sales professionals can handle a wide variety of sales tasks — including market research, lead generation and nurturing, and ultimately help you close deals more effectively.
Sales outsourcing for startups enables internal teams to concentrate more heavily on product development and innovation processes.
Why Do Startups Use Sales Outsourcing?
In-house hiring has always been the obvious option for startups even during the early stages of development. But with the rise of a lot of reputable sales outsourcing agencies in recent years, a lot of companies are leaning more towards outsourced sales solutions.
So that makes you wonder:
What is it that makes startup sales outsourcing such a captivating approach?
1. Time Efficiency
Startup founders often prefer to keep their teams small to cut down on costs and maintain control of their operations. However, that can quickly backfire as some of the best employees start to get overworked by the endless tasks they have to handle.
After all, internal employees can only make so much progress with other business aspects if they’re also handling sales and lead generation.
Outsourcing the process to an experienced team of sales representatives can save you hundreds of hours in the long run. All of which is time you can use to focus on core business functions and solve any vital business issues that might come your way.
More importantly, startup sales outsourcing can speed up your sales cycle and help you convert tons of valuable clients when you most need them.
2. Budget Friendliness
For a startup to stay as long as possible in the game, it has to cut down on unnecessary expenses that could jeopardize its existence.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a sales development representative in the US is $78,393 a year. That’s without the accumulating expenses of training new employees, buying office space and equipment, in addition to sales tools and technology.
On the flip side…
Sales outsourcing firms cost a fraction of what you would pay to hire an in-house sales team. They’re an optimal solution for startups at all phases who are looking to grow their sales teams and edge out the competition.
3. Talent and expertise
Perhaps the best part of all of this is that outsourced sales will deliver better results for your startup. And that’s due to the large pool of talents, tools, and expertise these sales outsourcing partners have to offer.
The thing is:
During the early stages when your sales funnel must be full and running, the risk of hiring inexperienced salespeople is too high. Because not only will such an internal sales team exhaust your budget, but it will also fail to deliver on what your startup needs most to stay alive.
Outsources sales teams for startups live for lead generation and deal closing. They take advantage of an experienced network to help you identify qualified leads and capture their full interest. They’re also always available to provide you with expert advice and support to help you meet your financial targets.
Perhaps you’ve decided to reach new heights with your startup and penetrate new markets. Or maybe your business is booming, and you’re looking to double down on that success.
An outsourced sales provider enables you to hire as many SDRs as you need, depending on your circumstances and organizational needs. You’ll be able to instantly reinforce your team with new talents without having to worry about hiring quality or expertise.
Want to hear the best part?
The opposite is also true! You can easily reduce your headcount and let some of the outsourced SDRs go without any layoffs. You don’t have to terminate contracts or be stuck with a fully equipped office space that you no longer use.
That’s key to keeping your startup flexible, especially during tough economic times.
What An Outsourced Sales Team Can Help You With
Outsourced sales partners can fuel your startup growth by providing a wide set of sales services — including lead generation and lead qualification.
They’ll conduct research and prospecting to find loads of potential leads that might be interested in your product. Then they’ll work on reaching out to those cold prospects to introduce the solutions your startup is providing.
The outsourced sales team will push all leads down the sales funnel through lead nurturing. They’ll also maintain contact with decision-makers using email marketing, phone calls, and LinkedIn to establish a trusting relationship.
The startup outsourced sales partner will close the sale by anticipating all objections and reassuring prospects of your product quality. But even when a deal is closed, an outsourced SDR will be there to help you with client onboarding while also attempting to upsell to increase your profits.
6 Tips for Implementing Outsourced Sales Strategies For Your Startup
If you’re looking to outsource your sales, here are a few tips that can help you get started:
1. Find A Reputable Startup Sales Outsourcing Agency
First things first:
Your outsourced sales partner is going to be representing your brand for a long period of time. And on top of that, it will be handling most, if not all, of your sales process.
The least you can do is make sure that you fully trust them with your sales process. And of course, trust here has to go beyond having a good gut feeling about their performance. You must also make sure that these salespeople have enough experience selling products like yours and dealing with similar clients.
To make a better informed decision, you should rely on testimonials, online reviews, or simple word of mouth by asking about the outsourcing agency’s reputation. Check out case studies on their website so you can tell if they can help you reach your objectives.
Here are a few questions you can ask them during the meeting:
- Do you have experience working our my industry?
- Have you sold any similar products or services?
- What is your sales process like?
- How would you measure success in sales?
- Are you able to support us scale up and down? And what are the procedures like?
2. Define Sales Objectives
Once you’ve decided on an outsourced sales partner for your startup, it’s crucial to have a clear vision of what your startup is trying to achieve.
The outsourced team needs to have an attainable objective to work towards. Setting a SMART goal from the start will keep both of you on the same page and save you time in the process.
A SMART goal is:
This step is also vital for measuring your outsourced sales team’s performance. And that brings us to the next important tip to keep in mind…
3. Identify Success Metrics
Defining success metrics is often a tricky part because many startups end up following vanity metrics that rarely reflect actual growth.
Your focus at this stage should be to set actionable metrics that truly indicate progress, even when your sales are yet to go through the roof. You must define clear KPIs to track the outsourced sales team’s performance so that you’re able to spot trends and make insightful decisions later on.
You’re not going to expect immediate outcomes with the new team. However, when enough time has passed, you should start seeing some of the promised results. For example, you may see an increase in the number of appointments or a decrease in the length of your sales cycle.
4. Inform Internal Teams
It’s always important to keep internal startup teams updated about the new outsourced salespeople and what’s expected from them in terms of joint work. Inform your employees about the overlapping work duties and all the changes in the working structure.
This is going to help you save a lot of time while ensuring a smooth sales process for your startup.
5. Keep an Open Mind
Outsourced startup salespeople live and breathe sales and marketing, and they’re all about new angles and unique ideas. They’ll provide a fresh perspective on your growth strategy and help you discover new opportunities.
That’s why you must keep an open mind and be more receptive to change.
Find an ideal risk to reward balance that you’re comfortable with — then go for it! You’ll be surprised by how many strategies and sales technologies your startup was missing out on.
6. Start Small
Still not sure about startup outsourced sales?
Perhaps you’re afraid of losing deals with huge potential partners in your industry. Or maybe you’ve had a negative experience with outsourced sales that you don’t want to go through again.
Whatever your reasons, the option to start small is always there.
Dip your toe in the water by only outsourcing some of your sales to a trusted third party. Pick a strategy that’s beyond your current team’s talent and hire an experienced sales partner to handle it.
You can always have an internal sales manager supervise the external SDRs, then scale up your outsourced team based on your needs and comfort level.
FAQs About Outsourced Sales for Startups
How Do You Build a Sales Team for a Startup?
You can either build a sales team for your startup by hiring in-house SDRs or outsourcing the work to a sales partner. But it all starts with knowing your product, understanding your target market, and then hiring the right team.
It’s often tricky to hire an outsourced sales team for startups. Knowing your product inside out is crucial because it’s the first step in shaping your unique value proposition and building a solid sales strategy. Only then will you be able to study the market, outline clear business goals, and put in place the right techniques that can help grow.
With such in-depth knowledge under your belt, your startup will be in a much better position to make smart hiring decisions. You’ll now be able to look for candidates or sales partners with a proven track record and relevant knowledge in your industry.
How Do I Hire a Sales Team?
Whether you’re convinced of outsourced sales for startups or want to keep everything in-house, it’s always a good idea to prepare a detailed job description. This should include the sales challenges you’re facing with your current team structure (sales duties) and how you expect new sales reps to solve them (skills and qualifications).
You have to decide between in-house hiring vs an outsourced sales team for startups as both options have some benefits to offer. The truth is, outsourcing tends to be a better strategic approach for start-ups because it brings faster results while being more cost-effective. Trustworthy outsourcing firms provide valuable support during crucial early phases in the form of proven sales strategies and scalability.
If your startup is looking to hire internally and offer contracts, however, you must advertise your positions on job portals such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter.
The last step is to shortlist your final options so you can have an interview with a few of them. You should be looking for experienced SDRs with outstanding communication and problem-solving skills. You must also take their potential for learning into consideration to guarantee that the sales team in your startup is always improving.
How Much Does It Cost to Outsource a Sales Team?
The cost of outsourced sales for startups varies greatly depending on various factors including business needs, industry, team size, level of expertise, and sales cycle length. Yet, outsourcing is a much better option financially compared to recruiting and training in-house salespeople with fixed contracts.
Some outsourcing firms charge a flat monthly fee, while others may offer a commission-based pricing model. To give you a close estimate, your outsourcing costs could range from a few thousand dollars per month to tens of thousands.
It’s essential to note that a high cost for a sales service doesn’t necessarily reflect its quality — and neither does a low cost. The best way to evaluate your startup sales outsourcing options is to compare them based on specific metrics such as customer acquisition costs (CAC), sales conversion rates, and ultimately return on investment (ROI).
For instance, if you’re more on a sales service where your performance is much better, it may be worth extending your outsourcing budget; and vice versa.