Salespeople prove their worth by developing strong relationships with prospects, so they consistently close high-quality deals. However, while emotional intelligence and strategy help convert late-stage leads, it doesn't do much to support the top of funnel activities required to keep the pipeline running. Many of the best sales executives resent those tedious tasks for distracting them from their top opportunities.
Outsourcing sales support solves this challenge by offloading all of those tasks to a dedicated virtual assistant so your team can focus solely on the strategic and relationship-building activities that close deals.
Here are six ways virtual sales support can help your team drive revenue and some tips to help you decide if outsourcing is an effective solution for your business.
1) Maintain a Full Pipeline of Prospects
Maintaining a healthy pipeline is the foundation of sales success. Without it, your team will always be struggling to keep up.
However, prospecting is extremely tedious and time-consuming. It's easy to fall behind when the pipeline is busy and then go through low activity periods after all your late-stage opportunities have closed or dropped out. Getting into this habit creates a very volatile pipeline that makes it difficult to generate consistent revenue.
Outsourcing prospecting lets your sales team focus on closing deals without worrying about where their next leads will come from.
All you have to do is give your virtual sales assistant criteria for your target accounts, including:
- Company size
And any other key characteristics of your target audience.
Your virtual sales assistant will use this information to ensure your pipeline always has new prospects.
2) Personalize Emails with Less Effort
Personalized emails are proven to get more responses than generic ones yet; few salespeople personalize beyond easily automatable phrases like names, locations, and site interactions.
A virtual sales assistant can help your team personalize with less effort by finding you prospect information such as:
- Recent LinkedIn posts
- Company news
- Mutual education
- Mutual interests
These kinds of personal details make it easy to personalize emails in a way that's far more authentic and engaging than the standard fields. This will help your messages stand out from the numerous generic outreach emails prospects receive each day and kick off engaging conversations.
3) Engage in Social Selling Consistently
A study from the International Data Corporation found that 75% of B2B decision-makers leverage social media when making purchasing decisions. This includes reviewing company profiles, seeking advice from their network, and interacting with brands directly.
If you're not already, you can take advantage of this engagement by incorporating social selling into your sales strategy. It can help you build your brand's reputation and fill your pipeline with warm prospects who already have a relationship with your sales team.
Despite its' effectiveness, social selling can be challenging since it requires consistent engagement for best results.
If your team doesn't have time to scan their network every day and find the best interaction opportunities, outsource this process to a virtual sales assistant. If you give them the criteria for what kinds of people and topics you're interested in, they'll provide a daily list of relevant social posts for your team to comment on and contacts they should reach out to.
Outsourcing the research portion of social selling lets your team more time creating helpful interactions that keep them top-of-mind with high-priority connections.
4) Prevent Leads from Slipping Through the Cracks
Not all leads are ready to close shortly after their first interaction with sales. Some need weeks, if not months, to do the research and budgeting required to figure out if a solution is right for them.
When many reps hear that a lead wants to delay the sale, they often make them a low priority since they'd rather focus on opportunities they can close in the current quota period. Though this approach seems logical, it disregards slower prospects who are highly qualified and capable of converting into substantial deals.
Outsourcing your sales pipeline management can prevent these leads from slipping through the cracks by ensuring that every lead has comprehensive notes and follow-up reminders on their records. These follow-ups keep your solution top of mind for prospects and provide resources that can aid their research process.
Depending on your preferences, they can manage all interactions with slower leads until they're ready to hop on another call. Outsourcing this process allows your team to focus on the hottest prospects while the remaining leads in your pipeline receive the nurturing they need to convert later.
5) Leverage Predictive Reports
Your CRM should be your sales team's source of truth. From predicting which leads are most likely to close to revealing your pipeline's weaknesses, its reports can give your team a clear path forward.
However, you can only leverage the reports if your CRM is kept fully up-to-date. Any missing or outdated information will result in inaccurate predictions that distract your team from the real issues.
When your sales team is jumping between back-to-back calls and preparing for custom demos/presentations, it's not practical to expect them to add every detail to your CRM. Data entry is also not a good use of their time, even if they do remember.
Outsourcing sales support offloads CRM maintenance to dedicated virtual assistants, so your team doesn't have to slow down, and you can leverage predictive reports.
6) Focus on Improving Your Playbook
Ultimately, outsourcing sales support frees up your sales team's time to work on the project that will have the most lasting impact on your company's success: improving your playbook.
You could be reaching out to five hundred prospects a day, but few will ever respond to your outreach or move forward after the intro call if you have poor templates and pitches. Maintaining a strong playbook ensures your team is following the most up-to-date best practices for closing deals.
With the time your team saves from not having to do all of their tedious sales tasks, they can spend more time on activities that unveil and support those best practices, including:
- Experimenting with subject lines
- Testing new messaging
- Creating new sales pitches
- Developing better responses to common objections
- Working with marketing to create more relevant collateral
And a variety of other strategic sales activities that drive conversion rates.
The more sales support tasks you outsource, the more time your internal team has to become masters at selling your offering. This allows you to significantly increase revenue while only marginally increasing costs.
Is Outsourcing Right For You?
Despite all of the benefits of outsourcing sales support, it's not the right solution for every business. Typically, the organizations that get the most value from this kind of support have these characteristics:
- Use a CRM or would like to adopt one. One of the biggest benefits of this kind of support is enhanced data integrity.
- Have a multi-stage sales process that involves calls, surveys, paperwork, onboarding, etc. that all require coordination.
- Have a sales leader and/or team that excels at closing deals but is weighed down by admin work.
If this sounds like you or you have questions about if this is a good fit, our team is happy to chat. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or download our free guide to learn more about how we can support your team.
About the author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.