• 4 Questions You Need To Ask An Outsourced Sales Partner And 1 You Don’t

    You know your in-house sales team needs some help and you’re ready to talk with potential partners about B2B sales outsourcing. Start with the questions you’d ask any vendor about its qualifications and pricing. From there, continue with these questions, specific to outsourced sales and lead generation, to discover if the prospect is the right partner for you:

    1. How Would Our IT Systems Sync?

    Most companies are understandably concerned about how well their own customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other software will interface with what the partner is using.

    You’re probably working in one of the major CRM systems (Salesforce, Silverpop, SugarCRM). Ideally, the partner is prepared to work in your system, in which case moving the information it gathers for you into your system should be seamless. If the partner uses proprietary software, ask what format the information would come to you in, and what steps would be involved in loading that information into your system.

    2. How Do You Handle Scalability?

    One of the greatest advantages of working with an outsourced sales partner is that it has to deal with the financial and logistical challenges of sales process scalability, and you get the hassle-free benefits of changing staff size according to workflow.

    Ask a potential partner about the parameters of those changes: Is there a limit to the number of staff you can add or subtract? How often can you change the number of reps working for you? How much lead time does the partner need for a change in the size of the sales force it is fielding for you?

    3. What Approach Would You Recommend For Us?

    This is a legitimate question, of course, but also a way to find out whether a potential partner is serious about working with you in a partnership or if it just wants your money. Beware of a too-quick answer when you ask for a recommendation on a strategic approach early on.

    Is the potential partner doing discovery to understand your situation and your unique needs, or just quoting its highest sales offering? Is the recommended offering in its best interest or in yours?

    4. Can You Project An ROI?

    Like question 3, there’s a trick question embedded in this. You know your budget and your revenue goal, so go ahead and ask the potential sales partner if it can project an ROI on the approach it’s recommending. If the answer is “yes,” ask for an explanation of its calculations.

    Some companies will say anything to get a sale, so they’ll just make up numbers without gathering all the information they need for an informed projection. Does the potential partner understand the length of your sales cycle and the complexity of your sale? Is it overpromising on a dollar figure to get you signed up?

    5. Are Your Employees Experts In Our Field?

    This is one question you don’t need to ask. Although you’ll want to choose a partner with experience in your industry so the people making calls can represent your brand knowledgeably, those salespeople need to be experts in sales,  but not necessarily in the deep details of your industry. Definitely feel free to ask about how the reps will be trained, though!

    Partnering with an outsourced sales team is a big step, so do your research and ask some probing questions. The right partner can provide the manpower and expertise to help take you to the next level.

    Ready to learn more about what an outsourced sales partner can do for you?

    » Discover The Data-Driven Benefits Of Outsourcing Sales