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Building Top of the Sales Funnel: In-House or Outsourced

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, November 16, 2022

How to Build the Top of the Sales Funnel

Every small and mid-sized business cares about one thing: a consistent flow of sales. Every time you close a new customer, your company drives revenue, the means to your company’s growth and expansion. After each close, management askes itself, “How do we get our next customer?”

What Does a Sales Funnel Need to Survive?

It goes without saying, that a sales funnel needs high quality sales leads. But who puts those leads into the funnel are your sales hunters or SDRs that are skilled at making hundreds of calls per week. However, that’s still not enough to feed the sales funnel. Now let’s add technology and sales automation and those that are experienced or certified to use these tools.

The Cost of Building the Process

Now it’s time to put some numbers the tools and people to fill the sales funnel. This is separate from the cost of marketing and their programs. How many hunters or SDRs do you need and what is the consistent time commitment they will perform outbound calling efforts week after week. In addition to calling, if the hunters or SDRs are to manage the deals, you know the amount of outbound calling will go in cycles. What will that do to the sales funnel.

So the decision must be made: Do you hire a dedicated in house hunter team or do you outsource the efforts with a company that specializes in the field?

Building the In-House Hunter Team

Let’s discuss the costs associated with building an in-house team of sales hunters or SDRs.

Finding the Right Talent - In a low or high unemployment rate, finding the right talent is like finding a needle in a haystack. Now add the skill of knowing something of the industrial industry and you’ve narrowed your talent pool to very low numbers.

Salary, Benefits & Commissions - Let’s say you found a few to fill these positions. Add the salary, benefits and the negotiated commissions, and work from home, you have a bit of a hefty bill to pay every two weeks. Let’s not forget, they will need training and software in order to do their job. That’s always a cost most forget to include.

Software Tools - It is worth mentioning software as its own line item. To effectively hunt and communicate with prospects, you need a CRM. There are many choices in the market, everything from free to $15k for the year. Let’s not forget our favorite social media tool for professionals, LinkedIn. You can use the ‘free’ version, but most want to use Sales Navigator, which includes another $1k for each person on your team. These are the main software tools, but if you use a bulk email sender, or other tools, those are cost factors as well.

List Development - It’s imperative that before you get your hunters or SDRs on the job, they will need clean, quality lists. These lists will need to contain the right level contact, with title, email and most importantly, cell phone numbers. Everyone works from home…right? Every time the hunter or SDR makes a call and the person is no longer there or the phone number doesn’t work, that just costs you money. Consider top-quality data providers such as MNI's IndustrySelect for industrial data with unmatched accuracy.

So now you need to get a list that is high quality for the sales rep. Do you know where to go? Have you used that list before? What was the quality? These questions are imperative to understanding the cost of purchasing a new list, and the cost for using an old list.

Outsource: The Caution First

Let’s first address the caution. Not all outsource lead generation companies are the same. Time, effort and discussions need to happen in order to know if you have the right company. First, do they have our industry experience. Just don’t take ‘yes’ for an answer, get a reference or two…and call.

Next, understand their process. The more transparent, and the more they prove their process by ‘doing’ the more you’ll gain confidence in their deliverability and abilities. Again, calling a couple references and asking their right questions will help reveal their true experience.

Finally, Terms of the Agreement. Are they asking you to sign a contract for the next year for over $15k per month? Or do they want you to experience it first, try out a few of the leads generated and cancel at any time. Yes, these terms do exist.

Outsource: The Benefits

Now that some of the common pitfalls are out of the way as you know what you need to do to validate them, let’s get to some of the benefits.

Streamline sales’ efforts and time. Now, it is always good to have a portion of the sales reps time on their own calling efforts, but outsourcing will allow their time to be more productive as they are working on identified deals.

Experience. While you’ll get more inexperienced talent that may or may not stay for more than a year, you have no worries. Outsource companies take that responsibility off your shoulders. In addition, good outsource companies retain their talent for the long term as they have a better understanding of what the job takes to be successful and accommodates accordingly.

Eliminate the high’s and low’s with a steady stream of qualified sales leads ready to enter the funnel. When done right, the outsource company knows your perfect customer and targets those with the right pitch to get them to move today, or be nurtured and move forward for future sales.

What’s the Next Step?

Decide which direction is best for you, and how much or little you want to outsource. A good outsource company will help you through that process. Those good ones are in it to win it. So grabbing too much business may mean short term dollars. Those that work and communicate effectively will be around for the long term.

Learn more about outsourcing with SalesLeads’ Prospecting Services in partnership with IndustrySelect.


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