B2B Demand Generation

Bring BANT Into the Future

with TelAffects

Do You Have the Skills and Time? Or Should You Outsource?

Americans aren’t strangers to the concept of outsourcing.  In fact, most of us have embraced outsourcing in our personal lives for as long as we can remember.  We hire third-party resources to mow our lawns, clean our pools, change the oil in our cars, and even educate our kids.  When my drain in my bathtub was backing up this morning, I had a choice to make.  Should I dust off my tool box and fix the problem myself or should I find an outsourced solution and call a plumber.  That decision was pretty easy because I lack the two basic elements to solve my plumbing problem – time and skills.  With a full calendar staring back at me, I realized I simply didn’t have the time to invest in diagnosing and fixing my plumbing issues.  I also realized that even if I could quickly assess the problem, I probably lack the plumbing know-how and tools to fix the problem.

B2B decision-makers often face a similar choice.  As they evaluate the issues and tasks that need to be addressed to meet their goals and objectives, they assess the availability of skills and time.  Do they have the resources on their team with the talent required to solve their problem?  Do those resources have the time to take on another objective?  Sometimes they determine they have the skills, but not the time.  Sometimes they determine they have the time, but not the skills.  Sometimes they determine that they lack both.  They don’t have the expertise to effectively accomplish a task, and they don’t have the time to acquire the expertise.  There may even be times where they determine that they have both the time and the expertise, but they outsource it anyway simply because it’s easier or cheaper or both.

Businesses can outsource their recruiting, payroll, accounting, marketing and logistics.  Today there is really no business function that can’t be outsourced.  That includes the inside sales function.  Most B2B-focused sales environments leverage some type of inside sales support.  It might be to qualify leads and schedule appointments for a field sales person, or they might own the entire sales process (from lead to close) for a particular product/solution or market segment.  Some of it or all of it can be outsourced.  The outsourcing of inside sales typically falls into one of three categories – tactical, supplemental or strategic.

Tactical.  These are usually short-term projects or projects with a very narrow focus.  Short-term projects might be tied to support a specific marketing campaign or event.  An example of this may be outbound calling to promote a new product announcement and generate new leads.  Another example might be to support an event.  Pre-event calls can help attract the right audience, and post-event calls can transition attendees to the next step in the sales process.         

Supplemental.  This is work that’s done in tandem with internal resources.  In fact, the internal team and the outsourced resources might perform the same tasks and have the same objectives.  Many organizations choose outsourcing to grow their inside sales teams because third-party providers can scale quicker, cheaper, and easier than they can internally.  They eliminate the overhead and headaches associated with recruiting, hiring, onboarding and managing new team members.

Strategic.  This type of outsource scenario occurs when an organization realizes they simply lack the resources, talent, skills, and time required to execute a sophisticated inside sales initiative.  Further, they lack the desire and time to acquire what is required.  They turn to third-party resources who can not only execute the required tasks, but who can own the entire process.  They have the expertise to develop the strategy; recruit, hire and train the appropriate resources; assemble the required resources/infrastructure; develop the supporting KPI/reporting tools; provide ongoing training, coaching, and project management; conduct analytics to drive performance improvement and make recommendations to drive future strategy.

No matter what you’re outsourcing, whether it’s tactical or strategic, the key to a successful engagement is clear and open communication.  Clearly define your objectives and communicate them to both your outsourcing partner and your organization.  When I called the plumber to my house I tried to provide clear boundaries and expectations for the problem I was experiencing and the solution they would provide.  I also told everyone in my family that a plumber would be at the house, so no one was caught off guard.  Applying the same principles to your B2B situation will help you to save time and resources and not just redirect them elsewhere.


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