Should Services Companies Outsource Sales Development?

The success of any business depends largely on its sales success, but more demanding buyer expectations, accelerated sales processes, and the need for greater scalability (among other factors) are driving many organizations to outsource sales development — including service companies.

If your company is a service business, you might be questioning that decision. After all, selling services isn’t like selling products. It’s a complex conversation, one that requires total in-depth knowledge of offerings and hyper-alignment with individual customer needs.

It’s true that outsourcing sales development comes with unique considerations for service companies, and it isn’t right for all of them. But it is right for many, and in this guide, we’ll tell you why — plus how to determine if outsourcing is a good option for your business.

Quick Takeaways

  • Nearly 80% of sales professionals report that outsourcing sales has enabled them to scale faster.
  • Productizing service offerings makes them more tangible for buyers and easier for SDRs to sell.
  • When outsourcing sales, your target audience must be clearly and accurately defined.
  • Outsourcing is often more successful for service companies with large markets.
  • A quality sales outsourcing agency team will take time to understand and demonstrate knowledge of your company’s unique needs.

Why do companies outsource sales development?

For one, sales is a stressful business — that’s nothing new. 

What is new is a considerable shortage of quality sales talent felt across industries, while at the same time sales best practices and buyer expectations are evolving at a more rapid pace than ever. It’s tough for many companies to keep up with, and in many cases it makes more sense to outsource than continually lag a step behind the pack.

And while outsourcing requires an initial financial investment, the ROI quickly comes back in spades. Outsourcing saves companies up to 30% on operating costs, and 79% of sales teams say they’ve been able to scale faster and more efficiently by outsourcing.

79% of sales professionals say they have been able to scale faster by outsourcing sales.

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Despite these clear benefits, service companies have unique considerations to keep in mind when they think about outsourcing sales development. The good news is that service companies can and do outsource sales — it just requires the right preparation and approaches.

Let’s dive into a few of the most important things for service companies to think about as they explore outsourcing possibilities, plus how to decide if it’s the right decision for your business.

Outsourcing Considerations for Services Companies

It’s Easier When You Productize

Products are tangible — they’re easier to evaluate and thus easier to buy. If you’re looking to outsource sales development and want to think about ways to streamline the sales process for your SDRs, consider productizing your offerings either in packaging or delivery.

Productization is the process of putting defined pricing and parameters around service offerings so that they can be sold much like products. It’s proven to have several sales-related benefits, including accelerated growth, lower customer acquisition costs, streamlined sales processes, and greater scalability.

Graph showing the benefits of productization, including boosted growth, streamlined processes, lower customer acquisition costs, and greater scalability.

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Here are some productization suggestions:

  • Give each service a title and description — This helps buyers understand each component of your offerings and exactly what they’d be getting from investing in each.
  • Package your services — You can create service “products” by offering varied service packages that meet different customer needs.
  • Emphasize product-like components — For example, do you create project roadmaps? Deliver monthly KPI reports? These “products” can add a more tangible element to your offerings.

The more you can make your service look and feel like a product, the more likely you’ll be able to generate curiosity and conversations. Further, the SDRs at your sales outsourcing agency will have a clearer sense of how to describe, position, and pitch your solutions.

Your Target Audience Must Be Well-Defined

Your agency will have the most success selling your services if they know exactly who to target. A great agency, of course, will have the right sales tools, technologies, and methods in place to get to the right buyers for their clients. But first, it falls on you to provide the right information about your target audience.

If you’re thinking about outsourcing sales development, it’s a good idea to revisit your ICPs and buyer personas to make sure they’re updated, complete, and aligned with your current offerings. Once they’re finalized, document them in shareable ways so your agency and their SDRs have easy access to them as a strategy and sales enablement resource.

Beyond helping your sales team, matching your solutions with specific and well-defined buyer audiences is much more effective for services companies than taking a wide-net approach.

A Sizable Market Helps

Product companies can generally churn up conversations with “right company, right person” targets, but services almost always have to manage a third variable — right time.

What this means is that your sales strategy could target the exact right buyers and your SDRs could do everything right, but if the timing is off on the buyer’s side (for whatever reason), the deal will likely fail to close.

This is sort of just the name of the game for service sales, and a big market makes it possible to turn over more rocks in search of those that are the right fit.

And while you can’t necessarily change the size of your market, you can honestly consider it in your decision to outsource. Does your potential sales volume make it worthwhile to outsource sales development to an agency? If you’re not sure, outsourcing may not be right for you.

Your Agency Should Understand Your Niche

Even large service providers have niche offerings and audiences across their portfolios — much more so than product companies. Your sales agency doesn’t have to be an expert specifically in your industry or field (they’ll be pros at applying best practices in different markets), but they should be adept at learning about your unique brand, offerings, audiences, goals and needs.

It’s a key capability to evaluate as you meet with short-list potential agencies. Ask yourself: Is their team taking time to learn about what we do? Do they have any similar clients? Are they showing a clear understanding of our company?

When you outsource sales development, you should feel 100% confident in your agency’s ability to represent your brand well and engage with potential buyers successfully.

So — should services companies outsource sales?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t 100% yes or no. As you might have guessed, it depends on the specific company and a variety of other factors. The key for you is to know how to evaluate your own company and potential providers to make the right decision. Remember:

  • Think about productization. Are your service offerings sellable?
  • Be sure your target audience is well-defined and accurate.
  • Consider the size of your market. Is it large enough to warrant outsourcing?
  • Evaluate agencies’ ability to show understanding of your company.

Outsourcing delivers significant benefits to your business and empowers your teams to focus on other mission-critical and growth-oriented business priorities without worrying that your pipeline will suffer. With the right preparation and the right choice of provider, you can be sure that outsourcing sales development will take your business to the next level.

At RevBoss, our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.