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I have the opportunity to join calls with our inside sales team during the sales process frequently. It is exciting to speak with executives at companies who are in the beginning stages of creating an inside sales team themselves or are entertaining the idea of outsourcing. Choosing to outsource the function is often the result of these conversations, usually because these companies haven’t quite mastered best practices yet and need support. I really enjoy the task of taking on engagements to help develop the inside sales function, whether we continue our efforts after the first few months once up to altitude, or whether we hand off the inside sales processes to them once they’re running at full capacity.

During the initial discussions with sales and marketing executives, there are always common themes in the questions that are asked. As AG Salesworks is a top consideration for many companies out there, I thought it would make sense to address the questions that I hear the most:

1. How many opportunities should I expect to see per month, after the team is fully ramped?

The answer really depends on anything from your average ticket price to the titles being called, or to the type and quality of leads being called on. On average, for one full-time inside sales rep, you can expect 8-12 leads to be uncovered per month. The key here is to not be shocked if your outsourced team does not hit 12 leads in month one. It takes a month or two to reach that goal, and the key is to be patient and make the necessary tweaks in scripting and process during this crucial ramp time.

2. How do I know where to buy my list from?

There are so many great list procurement options out there today. You need to determine if you want a huge database of thousands of contacts for the volume aspect, or a smaller, more targeted list that may have higher accuracy when it comes to contact information.

3. How will data, opportunities, etc. be shared?

With the sophistication of CRM integration options out there, it is an easy process to transfer information back and forth. You just need to figure out the information that is most relevant to you when looking at metrics and data with your outsourced team, and work together to determine the best hand-off process.

4. How many calls do you make?

Gone are the days of tracking every call made. What really matters is the quality output that results from those calls. Focus on the number of quality conversations per day instead of the number of calls. Averaging 8-12 conversations each day is a good metric.

5. How should I measure the quality of the leads that are passed over?

It’s crucial to track the opportunity from creation to pipeline to close. Make sure your outsourced team tracks their leads and ensures that the first call happens with the prospect and your sales rep, and that there is a real opportunity there. If the second step is a demo, that is a perfect example of a great quality lead. If the prospect explains that there is no opportunity for two years and that the rep should call back in 18 months, that should be marked as unqualified.

There is so much to think about as you embark on the journey of creating your own inside sales team or outsourcing it. It can be overwhelming, but keep these questions in mind as you start talking with firms out there.

Have you considered outsourcing your inside sales and/or lead generation efforts?