I was going through the Phone Works Inside Sales Compensation Report - Q4 2008 which got me thinking how outsourcing or contracting a solutions provider like ReadyContacts for certain areas of inside sales such as lead qualification can really help curb costs. The survey and report by Phone Works are quite comprehensive and good to go through especially if you need a benchmark to compare costs for doing some of these activities in-house versus using a vendor.
I won't advocate outsourcing everything and relying only on a vendor for all your inside sales and lead management needs but given the cost of having full time inside sales reps or executives, it's possible to segregate some of the activities which can be done just as well by a dedicated vendor not only to save on salaries but also to use this arrangement to your advantage and focus your inside sales force on more important areas like generating appointments.
For example, the survey shows the average base salary for a telesales representative responsible for appointments to closing sales over the phone can range from $44K - $100K with an average of $65K. A sales development representative responsible for generating leads, developing the lead databases, keeping the lead pipeline full, qualifying leads to set appointments would draw an average base salary of $54K or an average total package of 86K. It's possible to contract activities like lead list building, phone-based lead verification and lead qualification on "pay per delivery" model at a lower monthly spend than recruiting a full-time tele-sales representative for these activities. However, the efficiency really kicks in once you leverage the fact that you have those activities taken care off by a third party so you can now have your internal telesales team focus on setting appointments or converting those leads.
Eventually, there are a lot of things to weigh out before deciding whether it would benefit the company to contract some of these activities or grow the internal team to handle them but, it's the combination of the two working well together that we have seen work the best. So if you are wondering whether it's a good time to grow your inside sales team, this is an option to start thinking about. Are you leveraging third party vendors for your inside sales? What's your experience been?