Sales prospecting is one of the most costly and time-consuming parts of the sales process. However, it’s necessary to find the qualified leads you want for your business. With strategic prospecting, it’s essential that you continue generating leads day in and day out so your sales reps are only chasing leads that are likely to result in significant closed business opportunities.
As many as 40 percent of salespeople say that prospecting proposes the biggest challenges in their job. That’s not surprising given the fact that it takes so much time and effort only to produce one or two sales. That’s where outsource prospecting comes in!
Any smart business would utilize opportunities to streamline and optimize time-consuming tasks that other businesses can handle for them. You know how they say it takes a village to raise a kid? Well, it also takes a village to run a business.
And you cannot do everything on your own because that time can be used to do better things, like develop more products or expand into new regions.
In case you didn’t know, a salesperson, on average, spends just one-quarter of their day actually selling. Why not make their time more useful by outsourcing prospecting? In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to decide whether to outsource sales prospecting.
Why is Prospecting Important?
As much as sales prospecting eats up your resources, it cannot be denied that it’s an incredibly important part of your sales funnel. In fact, depending on your business niche, you may not have a sales funnel at all without prospecting.
Let us put things into perspective a bit. Seventy-two percent of companies with fewer than 50 new sales opportunities failed to meet their revenue goals. That may not even be a revenue goal for new businesses but survival.
As companies get more opportunities, the failure rate drops to 15 percent. With 100 or more opportunities, a company has a 96 percent chance of meeting revenue goals. But how do you get these opportunities? Through prospecting!
In other words, sales prospecting is vital for a business’s survival, let alone revenue and profit. That’s all the more relevant for B2B businesses who have to go out of their way to get new clients.
At the same time, prospecting is a slippery slope. While it’s important, it doesn’t always produce your desired results. In an ideal world, you’d want to convert every prospective lead. But the reality is that often new prospects are simply useless.
For most industries, the average lead conversion rate is below 10 percent. Moreover, B2B businesses post the lowest average, with B2B eCommerce at 3.2 percent and B2B tech at 1.7 percent.
It all comes down to the leads and how qualified they are. In other words, prospecting wrong targets is a recipe for disaster that will result in below-average conversion rates.
Therefore, prospecting isn’t just a resource-intensive stage in sales; it can also have a negative domino effect on the rest of your KPIs if you’re not doing it right. And let’s be honest, many businesses don’t do it right.
Quality lead generation is the key to efficiently utilizing prospecting, and for that, you clearly need an A-team of lead generators and salesmen.
Prospecting: The Great Time Sink
When prospecting is such a critical component for sales, you might wonder if it should be handed to a third party? Well, this might change your mind.
If you take a look at the activities, resources, and commitment prospecting requires, you’ll realize that it’s too much work.
It’s a long, laborious process that doesn’t even start until you have an arsenal of tools like lead generation tools, lead enrichment tools, or sales enablement tools. In addition, you need a lot of organic data like target audiences, buyer profiles, and segmentation data.
You can imagine that all these tools and data come at a cost.
Even if you have the data and the tool, you’ll need to pivot your strategy again and again to meet the needs of different prospects.
For instance, according to statistics, 80 percent of prospects prefer email, 50 percent prefer calls, 32 percent prefer industry events, 21 percent use LinkedIn, and 21 percent are good with text messages.
To add insult to injury, the prospects have different preferences as to when they wish to be connected. For instance, 20 percent want to connect during the awareness stage and only 20 percent during the decision stage.
On average, it can take up to 18 calls to connect with a prospect.
Despite all these efforts and time spent, as many as 50 percent of the prospects would not even be a good fit for your business.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that prospecting takes a lot of company time and, as a result, money.
Moreover, prospecting may even result in burnout for salespeople, making them miss sales or not do a good job when they actually connect with a prospect.
The digital blueprint to creating an effective prospecting plan.
How Outsourcing Prospecting Can Help Your Business
Outsourcing critical yet dispensable tasks like sales prospecting can help your business optimize the sales funnel and increase revenue. Here are the benefits you get when you outsource prospecting in favor of keeping it in-house:
Saves Time and Money
We have already established that sales prospecting is a time-hungry job that takes up salespeople’s time and the company’s resources. By simply outsourcing this sales team job to another business, you can free up your salespeople’s time to focus on actual sales.
The process that would usually take months can become a weekly thing. With fresh, reliable leads at their disposal, salespeople in your team can do a better job at pitching the product or services by focusing on the leads. They don’t have to spend time looking for them either.
Sales reps spend 20 percent of their billed hours on lead generation. All those hours can be spent on tasks that help increase your revenue, like reaching out to a bigger number of leads and spending more time on individual leads.
Basically, with less time spent on prospecting, the sales team can do a better job with actual sale pitches.
Now, you’re probably thinking that outsourcing would cost you money too, so how can it help save money. It’s simple, really, because time is money. The more time you save, the more money you save.
Plus, you’re likely to see better sales numbers and, hence, more revenue with better sales performance. In other words, the revenue increase offsets any costs of outsourcing prospecting.
More importantly, you’ll also save a ton of money on lead generation and prospecting tools that you no longer need.
Better Quality Leads
Do you know how they say it’s better to do one thing well than ten things poorly? Well, that applies to lead generation as well. If you have expert lead generators do all the prospecting for you, chances are your leads will be high-quality.
Increasing quality leads is the number one priority for as many as 68 percent of B2B professionals. Why? Quality leads convert easily, and that’s the end goal with all your sales efforts, more sales.
Now, the quality of a lead is subjective and may depend on a number of factors that vary by business niche or industry. However, one thing is clear lead generation is a science of its own. Companies specializing in lead generation can clearly do a much better job than your sales or marketing staff.
Going back to doing one thing well, that’s what their job is, and that’s what they are being paid for. So like any other business, they have to be good at it. However, it’s up to your business how you can leverage their services to earn quality leads that convert more.
Sapper Consulting is a lead generation and sales consultant company that can make B2B lead generation and appointment setting seamless for small businesses. Sapper Consulting can produce convertible leads specific to your business with a team of experts and a foolproof strategy.
Growth in business is virtually impossible without looking for new opportunities out there. As discussed above, every new opportunity lowers your failure rate and increases revenue potential.
With sales meeting outsourcing, you can create new sales opportunities that your in-house team was too occupied or incapable of getting. Again, going back to the earlier point, for lead generators, prospecting is their job, so they are good at it.
They can even help your business get meetings you never thought you could get. And really, sometimes all it takes is a meeting. Once you have it, you can send in your best salesperson to do their magic and convert.
Similarly, with prospecting out of the way, your sales and marketing teams can focus on other important opportunity creation activities. They can focus on improving marketing and sales strategy. They can work with other teams to incorporate feedback from leads that didn’t convert into the product or service to make it even better.
In simpler words, by designating prospecting to the experts, you inevitably create new opportunities for your business.
Beating the Competition
While your competitors are busy gathering leads through prospecting, you probably already have a deck of leads ready to go to your best people. How does that sound?
One of the ways to beat the competition, regardless of the industry, is to leverage technology and services to streamline common yet critical tasks. Yes, there are some tasks that you simply cannot outsource, but sales prospecting is not one of them.
Every lead lost to a competitor is a loss of revenue opportunity. For many B2B businesses operating in highly saturated industries or areas, it all comes down to the quality of leads and the speed with which they can reach out to them.
It’s no surprise that 53 percent of marketers spend half of their budget on just lead generation. By outsourcing prospecting, businesses can fasten the lead generation process and reach out to prospective clients before their competitors do.
This may sound hyperbolic, but prospecting is a time-sucking blackhole for your sales and marketing teams. The two-thirds of their day that they spend on prospecting, as per average statistics, can be spent better elsewhere on more important things.
Plus, by utilizing a reliable lead generator, you can gather quality leads for your business with a seemingly higher conversion possibility.
The chances are that outsourcing this responsibility of the sales team may even be cheaper than doing it in-house.
Sapper Consulting can help take over your prospecting layer of the sales funnel and help produce leads you need, and set appointments that help take your business forward. Don’t let time-consuming, resource-intensive tasks hold you back from reaching the big picture stuff.