In a previous article, we have talked about the pros and cons of outsourcing your sales team. If you have read that article and decided that you want to go in that direction, there are some things you need to know about managing your outsourced sales team. What are these important points?
Managing your outsourced sales team depends on many factors, and they include things ranging from transparent communication to good links between them and your inside team. You must be good not only as a leader but also as a planner and listener. Setting goals and careful monitoring are key to developing this important skill.
In this article, we will go over many tips and tricks regarding this topic. We will go into some detail relating to them and discuss how to implement them into your own business. Towards the end, there will be a section that explains how we, PGN, can help you with our high-quality sellers and advisors in relation to this topic.
Without further ado, let us get started with the first section of the article:
The first thing you must decide after choosing to outsource your sales is just how much of your sales branch you will delegate to the managed service company or whomever you have chosen to partner with. This is important because it will determine the type of relationship you have with them and, thus, the necessary steps towards successful management.
To be sure, there are pros and cons to both partially outsourcing your sales and doing it completely. If you opt for the former, you will still retain some control of the process within your in-house team, but if you choose the latter the following tips we give you will be much more relevant as your sales will depend on your ability to manage the team you outsourced your sales to. You should think carefully about what is best for you and your company and make a decision based on that.
That said, if you continue reading you will notice that things are not so black-and-white, and that the way you treat your outsourced team should not be that different from how you treat your in-house team. That said, there are still some differences. Read on to find out more.
Aligning everyone's efforts
This is perhaps the most important tip we will give you when it comes to "managing" an outsourced sales team. What it involves is, essentially, account-based thinking, which is an important philosophy taking the approach of building relationships in order to ensure success.
When we hear the word "manage", we immediately think of, well, management. More specifically, we associate it with giving commands and trying to control a situation to the tee. But management, in this case, is not so much about control as it is about communication. Too rigid an approach will just suffocate your partner and make them feel like they cannot properly do their job.
Instead, focus on building up a tight connection between all aspects and parts of your company. Be wary of isolating teams as this will result in disharmony and will hurt your long-term success and development. Making sure everyone is on board with your plans and goals will go a long way in ensuring that both your in-house teams and those you have outsourced parts of your process to stay on track.
When it comes to the latter, specifically, it is good to sit down with them and discuss whom exactly they should target with their sales efforts and explain to them what sort of approach you are looking for. They are not omniscient and need this sort of guidance if they are to perform in the way you want them to. Likewise, do not be opposed to hearing out their suggestions.
Setting goals for the team you outsourced your sales to is a must, but you should also think about your own in-house team. Both of them need to be clear on where you are trying to go and on the overall process, you wish to employ in getting there. Keep in mind, as well, that outsourcing any part of your company leaves your in-house team unencumbered and they can be utilized in other ways (thus creating a kind of win-win situation).
If you focus on this kind of open communication rather than strictness and inflexibility, a lot of the guesswork will take care of itself. Also, notice how this approach does not make too big of a distinction between your in-house team and the managed service company. This is important because it makes everyone feel integrated and makes the entire process smoother and more seamless.
It is impossible to talk about managing a newcomer to your company without mentioning onboarding. Onboarding is essentially the process of familiarizing your new employee or the managed service company you have decided to outsource your sales to with your own. Through this process, you are getting them acquainted with your company's philosophy, structure, and goals.
Make sure that they know your sales process and how you approach the market. As we have mentioned in the last section, they are not omniscient, and every little bit of extra information helps. Of course, this requires you to have a thorough understanding of your own process, which is even more reason for you to become closely acquainted with it.
Get their agents familiar with your company's value proposition. Make sure that they understand the key points of your business. They do not need to know all the technical ins and outs down to the last detail, but they do need to know the important details and the value that they are trying to offer to your potential customers.
Likewise, make sure that they understand your business' culture. For example, if you pride yourself on being an advocate, a thought leader, or an innovator, it would be good for the outsourced team to embody those values in their communication with your prospects.
Playing an active role in the partnership
Finally, it is necessary to point out that outsourcing your sales team is not a set-it-and-forget-it sort of deal. It is an ongoing process in which you have to remain a constant participant. In this section, we will give you a list of points that are good to generally follow when managing your outsourced team.
Understand their selling process from generating leads to closing deals.
Treat them as you would treat internal hires—integrate rather than separate.
Loop them in on internal meetings where your company discusses forecasting, business strategy, and key sales/marketing objectives.
Provide them with sales enablement materials so they do not have to waste time searching for, creating or recreating content.
Touch base with them at least once a week in order to talk about what they have been doing. Challenge their activities, objectives, and results, doing your best to stay connected on performance, gaps, and key initiatives.
Do not expect immediate results. Give them time to adapt and trust that they will eventually get on board with your company. If this takes too long, however, it might be time to start thinking about hiring someone else.
Getting advice from specialists
As with anything, managing a company that you have chosen to outsource to is best learned through the advice and guidance of an expert. Although we have given you tons of useful tips in this article, it is one thing to know all of this in theory and something entirely different to have experience with applying all of this in practice.
Until you have acquired said experience, your best bet is to have reliable help. Where do you get said help? Read on.
Working with the PGN
We at PGN specialize in connecting innovative technology with business buyers and provide match-making, testimonials, ratings and a network of local consultants to assist with deals. That said, how exactly does that make us helpful to you?
If you are looking to ways of managing the companies you have outsourced your sales to, then our expert sellers and advisors can give you great advice and even practical help when it comes to these things. We can even help you with outsourcing your sales. Do not risk making a mistake in ignorance. If you are unsure about this topic, be sure to contact us.
And there you have it. In this article, we have given you some invaluable tips on managing an outsourced sales team. From broad pieces of advice to more specific tips, we have equipped you with a useful theoretical background which is enough to get you going.
However, more advanced concepts are difficult to get across in a simple article and require some expert advice and experience to be properly grasped. If you are interested in such a thing, then do not hesitate to contact us over at the PGN and let our expert sellers and advisors help you out.