Although B2B sales outsourcing provides numerous financial and logistical advantages over handling all of your sales functions in-house, misunderstandings about what outsourcing involves are common. These misunderstandings can create dead ends in your path to finding the right outsourced sales and lead generation partner.

The confusion arises from a lack of clarity about the underlying model for an agreement with a sales partner: It’s a solutions-based contract, not a transaction-based contract. In this way, it’s more like finding someone to paint your house than it is like buying new tires for your car: There’s no standardized product involved, just an array of options, offered by providers with widely varied competence. Your challenge is to find the exact options you need, and the sales and lead generation partner that can provide them most effectively.

Start your buying journey by understanding the truth about outsourcing programs:

1. Outsourcing Programs Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

Some low-price, low-value services are more concerned with fitting you into their pre-packaged offerings than they are with providing solutions for the pains you’re experiencing.

Your unique needs could involve some combination of inside sales, lead generation and nurturing, channel marketing, database building and maintenance – or more. Don’t settle for an out-of-the-box solution that solves some of your sales troubles but misses others. You also don’t want to pay for functions and services that you don’t need, just because they come with a standard program.

2. Outsourcing Programs Aren’t Equal Across All Providers

Since choosing an outsourced sales partner is a solutions-based purchase, you need to look not just at the services potential partners are offering, but the quality of the results that those partners will deliver. For instance, the complex nature of the sales lead generation process means that each firm competing for your business will offer a very different program. More importantly, their results will be very different as well.

These differences make comparison shopping challenging: You should be more concerned with finding the best value, in terms of the projected ROI, and not just the lowest price.

3. Outsourcing Programs Aren’t Services That You Set And Forget

A great partner will minimize your workload or manage the program to your needs, but success requires collaboration. Whether you outsource your entire sales department or just certain functions or channels, it is essential that you work cooperatively with your partner.

If a potential partner tells you that you’ll rarely have to meet with the client services team, view that as a red flag: You should work with a partner that wants to work with you.

Using these three guideposts and asking the right questions as you search for an outsourced sales partner will help you find your way to greater results.