There may well be one of, or a combination of, the reasons above here. Either way, at the moment the sales call issue or lack of them has become a problem in the business and by outsourcing it, they think they’re getting rid of the problem. This isn’t a great reason either.
You can outsource the activity, but you can’t outsource the responsibility.
Many small business owners are far too quick to outsource their cold calling or sales calls just to get rid of the problem of making the calls themselves, or giving them to a colleague who doesn’t really want to do them. Just because it’s easy to outsource the calls, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right decision.
However, if you are going to outsource the calls, here are some things to think about:
Tip No 1 – Consider Where They’re Going To Work From
Is the person you’re outsourcing your calling to going to work from their business premises? Their home? Your business premises? Your home?
How are you going to handle call costs?
Tip No 2 – How Do Their Calls Fit Into Your Sales Process?
How does their sales call fit into your sales process?
In other words, what is the outcome of the call? Is it a meeting? A conference call? A web demonstration? How is it moving the sales process forward? What is the next step after that – you don’t want lots of pointless meetings!
Tip No 3 – How Are You Going To Pay Them?
Percentage of sale basis? Payment per hour? These methods have their benefits and pitfalls and will affect the type of outsourcer you should go for.
A typical example I see often is a small business owner tries to convince someone to do their calls for them and expects the person to do it for just a percentage if the business owner makes a sale from that appointment. That rarely works, if ever.
Tip No 4 – How Are You Going To Manage Them?
Even if you’re outsourcing your calls to a company, you still need to manage the organisation and the person making the calls!
In addition to that, what do you consider under-performance? Do the outsourced organisation and/or the individual have the same perceptions? What are your expectations of success on this project? Have they been clearly communicated to all parties involved?
Tip No 5 – How Well Do You Know The Person?
Are they someone you’ve known for a while? Or just someone employed by a telemarketing organisation you’re talking to?
What’s this person’s reputation? Their experience? Their knowledge of your market sector and the people they’ll be calling? How much do they know about you and your company? What do other people say about them and their work?
Tip No 6 – What Training Are You Giving Them?
What training are you giving the person? If they’re from an outsourced company, they may well have had some sales training in-house – but it will only be delivered by their manager (not an experienced trainer) and if they’re an individual they probably haven’t done any for ages – not a good sign!
What training are you planning to give them on your products and services?
Tip No 7 – Who Are They Going To Be Calling?
In other words, where are they going to get their prospects from? Do you have a list of prospects on your CRM system or database that you want them to contact? Are you going to purchase some data to give them some leads to work on?
Are they using their own data? Have you got unlimited rights to contact the data in future?
Tip No 8 – How Long Do You Want Them To Work For?
If you can only cope with a certain number of additional appointments per week, it might not make sense to employ someone on a full time basis.
If they’re starting to make more appointments for you than you can cope with then perhaps it’s time to spend more time on sales, or hire a full-time salesperson to make the calls and do the appointments for you?
Tip No 9 – How Well Do You Understand The Process?
You still need to be responsible for this process and as an old manager said to me many years ago you can’t manage what you don’t understand.
What’s your experience with making sales calls and cold calls? Is it enough to support and direct an outsourcer that’s not delivering the results you want? Or are you just going to blame that company for not delivering and kiss goodbye to your investment in them?
Follow the tips above and you’ll avoid most of the problems involved with outsourcing your calls.