Thanks to the internet and social media, buyers can now conduct their own research before buying. While this is a good thing, for an inside sales team, following potential leads through their online journey can be an overwhelming process. This can lead to endless tasks trying to capture leads that may or may not convert. Not only do such activities waste time, they can also result in burnout.
The main job of your sales team is to sell, and they cannot do this if they spend their day chasing every single prospect who interacts with your brand or competitors. Such top of the funnel tasks should fall to a support team, whose role is to help sales teams cut through the noise, ensure prospects get the answers they need, and guide prospects through their top of the funnel journey up to a point where they are ready to buy. At such a point, your sales team can jump in ready to close the sale.
In this article, we will discuss why lead generation in b2b doesn’t all have to fall on your inside sales team. But first, let’s have a deeper look at how role corruption is affecting your inside sales reps’ daily sales performance.
Role Corruption: How It Affects Inside Sales Team Performance and What To Do About It
The 2018/19 Sales performance report by CSO Insights shows that only 54.3% of sales people hit their sales quotas in 2018, a steep drop from the 2014 rate which stood at 63%.
Inside sales teams work in the office, hence it’s common to find them tackling extra activities that do not fall within the purview of their core roles. While most of a sales person time should be spent on selling, research shows that most sales reps spend roughly 35% (14 hours a week for a 40-hour week), selling.
As administrative tasks continue to corrupt salespeople’s roles, this eventually leads to lower productivity. Sales practitioners recommend conducting a time study to understand what your sales team is doing with their time. Such a study is particularly important if you notice lower sales performance. If your time study reveals that there are non-selling activities taking up sales people’s time, consider outsourcing those activities.
Some common admin task that inside sales team find themselves stuck with include:
Winning high-value leads means prospecting strategically. But in order to prospect strategically, salespeople have to work with leads that are already warm. More so, they need to find more information about the customer, beyond just their name and phone number. This process can be time consuming.
ii. Pulling Up and Updating Customer Records
Some customer support activities such as upselling, cross selling or subscription renewal may require the involvement of an inside sales rep. But others like updating customer information or identifying upsell opportunities do not require the involvement of a salesperson.
iii. Data Base Cleanup
Any time spent cleaning up and updating contacts could be spent on closing new opportunities
Besides wasting time on admin duties, poor sales performance can be linked to other reasons such as:
- Trouble generating new leads
- Low conversion of qualified leads
- Long sales cycles
- Lack of expertise in vertical industries
What B2B Lead Generation Services Can Do for Your Company
While it is important to have an inside sales team, outsourcing some of their sales responsibilities can augment their performance, leading to more revenue.
From a sales standpoint, when you outsource some of your inside sales team’s responsibilities,
- You can find and tap into new or underexploited markets,
- Have better support during product roll outs, and,
- Have access to expertise that will help you stand out within your area of focus.
Operationally, finding the right lead generation agency will allow you to:
- Overcome technology constraints
- Break company silos
- Enable better implementation of omnichannel lead generation campaigns
- Implement best practices in data analytics
But despite these benefits, many decision-makers often find it difficult to outsource any sales responsibilities. The two main reasons for this reluctance include:
- Sales VPs and tops managers feel they will relinquish control of their sales processes,
- Uncertainty over the ability of a b2b lead generation company to effectively represent their brand or deliver a great customer experience
While these fears may not be unfounded, there are b2b companies worldwide that have reaped massive benefits by outsourcing some of their lead generation and other sales activities to outside agencies. The secret? They work with a dedicated team.
How Does a B2B Lead Generation Agency Support Your Inside Sales Team in Achievement of Its Core Tasks?
Below are some common benefits of having a b2b lead generation agency working with your team:
A. Generate More Revenue
Lead generation agencies are in the business of attracting customers. Their core role is to generate leads. Their expertise is also drawn from implementing dozens of campaigns. Here’s why you’re likely to see more revenue while working with a lead generation agency:
- Your campaigns will borrow from years of practical experience on what works and what doesn’t.
- Personalized, industry specific lead generation that targets your company’s bottom lines
- An outside-looking-in perspective that results in improved strategies
B. Reach New Opportunities
Small and medium sized businesses may not have the necessary capacity to reach new territories or to prospect across different industries. Additionally, it’s possible to have many leads but lack the resources to pursue them.
Further, if you are experimenting with new sales approaches or trying to understand product positioning, outsourcing to a b2b lead generation company is a great way to do it. For instance, to test the market prior to a new product release, the lead generation agency can run product tests on prospective customers. Based on the data received, the company can then decide whether to revise or launch the product.
C. Access to a Full Suite of Marketing Strategies
Lead generation agencies employ a collection of strategies to generate leads. In addition, agencies know how to combine campaigns to maximize ROI. For instance, combining SEO, content marketing with Ppc.
When working with an agency, all you need is to agree on the deliverables and they will handle all the implementation.
D. Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Tools
Lead generation agencies are experienced in using cutting edge tools for lead nurturing and analytics and they can help you leverage the data collected by those tools in more meaningful ways.
For instance, you may have the right tech stack but not know how to leverage it for insights. But when you have experienced analysts to help you, they can glean insights such as when to target customers with offers or when to call them. Such insights can be very useful to inside sales teams when deciding which leads to go after and when.
E. Performance Monitoring And Testing
The only way to know if your campaigns are working is by monitoring, testing and changing. But its not always possible to monitor performance if you don’t have the necessary software and expertise. Lead generation agencies, especially those providing outbound lead generation service for b2b SaaS, have access to AI tools that can help speed up data analysis across countless data points, resulting in a deeper understanding of what prospects want.
By working with an agency, they can monitor the efforts from your team, perform tests on different strategies and recommend more effective ways to run your campaigns.
The business environment is getting tougher: competition is high for ever shrinking opportunities and as findings from a Sirius Decisions Study shows, 64% of companies are experiencing increasingly longer sales cycles, some by more than 30% in just one year. Not to mention, customer acquisition costs are going higher and higher for most companies. This is therefore not the time to fight to maintain control over your functions, but to find how you can leverage the experience of third-party companies to augment your sales performance.
You may wonder what your inside sales team will be doing while your agency is busy generating leads for you. The answer is simple: they will be preparing their sales pitch (including developing their natural voice), learning their sales material, gathering industry intelligence, and learning yours and your competitors’ products.
This kind of preparation is important because you wouldn’t want your b2b lead generation agency to land you high quality leads, only to have your sales team botch it on their first call because they weren’t prepared. Would you?