Which Business Processes Are Worth Outsourcing?

October 02, 2019

Outsourcing certain business processes lets you mitigate the costs of hiring and managing for those departments. The right outsourced partner delivers specialized expertise and a proven strategy developed over years of doing business. 

Many of the companies I’ve worked with at EBQ achieve significant ROI through outsourcing their non-core business functions. Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution to some of the most significant challenges businesses face in attempts to scale. 

According to Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey of why companies choose to outsource:

  • 59% use outsourcing as a cost-cutting tool
  • 57% say it enables them to focus on their core business
  • 31% say it enhances service quality

Another key figure from the survey revealed that 78% of companies feel positively about their relationship with their outsourced provider. When connected with the appropriate partner, the engagement can be beneficial for both sides.

Choosing which efforts are worth outsourcing is a critical decision for your business, so let’s dive into which functions you should consider delegating to another firm and why. 

4 Businesses Processes to Outsource

  1. Specialized data building
  2. Lead generation
  3. Customer services
  4. Administration

1. Specialized Data Building: Save Time for Your Reps

Sales reps have a limited number of hours in the day to make sales, and parsing through inadequate lead data wastes their precious time. Outsourcing lets you save the time it takes to build an accurate and targeted database.

The quality of your lead data is essential for your outbound sales efforts. When prospect information is inaccurate or incomplete, too much time is spent tracking down the right phone number or point of contact. 

It’s no surprise that 46% of sales reps cite lead quantity and quality as their top-selling challenge, far exceeding rules and procedures at 11.5%.

Top Challenges According to Reps

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Your sales reps can be more productive if given a more relevant and precise lead database. While quantity is also important, a high volume of unqualified leads will only slow down the sales process. 

The best way to meet both quantity and quality needs is to build a targeted database of hand-collected lead data. 

This involves quite a bit of manual research, typically using tools such as:

  • LinkedIn to verify current roles and companies
  • BuiltWith to collect information about technology needs
  • Datanyze to analyze readiness and intent to purchase

Clearly, ensuring such accuracy at the prospect level takes a significant amount of time and effort, which is the main reason why outsourcing the construction of a lead database is the logical choice for so many companies.

In the case of the Economic Development Corporation for the city of Converse, Texas, an outsourced team created a database of target accounts from a list of 25,000 trade show attendees.

The outsourced data team analyzed the attendee list to find relevant companies and manually collected associated contact information — a tactic that resulted in 25 sales meetings set for the event.

Imagine if the EDC team alone took on the challenge of creating a lead database from the broad list of 25,000 attendees. By outsourcing the task, the internal teams could focus on developing their sales strategy and preparing for the event instead. 

That lesson is easily transferable to your business. By lessening the responsibility of building a lead database, your sales reps will be freer to focus on what they do best.

2. Lead Generation: Mitigate Constant Hiring and Training

In B2B sales, sales development reps (SDRs) generate qualified prospects by calling cold leads and following up directly with inbound marketing leads. But the SDR role is one that experiences high turnover, and the costs of hiring and maintaining an internal SDR team may end up costing more than the return you get from their efforts. 

Of course, the need for a dedicated SDR team may depend on variables such as the cost of your offering and the length of your sales cycle. 

But if an SDR team is fitting for your organization, outsourcing the function helps you avoid the costly need to consistently hire and train new reps. 

According to the 2018 SDR Metrics Report by The Bridge Group, annual turnover for the SDR role averaged 39% last year. Considering that the report found an average ramp-up period of 3.2 months for the role, managing the team can involve more onboarding and training than actual lead generation.

On top of the costs of recruiting new reps, there are also the expenses for office space for the internal team, sales acceleration tools, and benefits for full-time employees. 

Compare the costs of building a lead generation team internally vs. one outsourced vendor that charges on a monthly basis:

Cost of building a lead generation team

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It’s wise to find a firm that provides a built-in management structure, as opposed to a single sales development specialist. You can see from the graph above that the full department bundled together results in annual savings of more than $250,000. 

Another significant benefit of outsourcing your lead generation is the expertise that comes from a specialized firm. 

An established firm that provides lead generation services has the experience and knowledge to execute your strategy. Specialized firms use a proven process developed over years of doing business, which enhances their ability to onboard new reps.

3. Customer Service: Keep Up With Inbound Inquiry Volume

Customers increasingly expect companies to go above and beyond when providing support. Outsourcing your customer service can be cost-effective and give you the ability to provide comprehensive assistance for your buyers. 

Providing standout support is key for earning the loyalty of your customers. According to Zendesk, consumers rank excellent customer service as the number one factor impacting their level of trust in a company.

Exceptional customer service means being available to your customers when and where they need you. 

It’s expensive to build a customer service department that can keep up with inbound volume, especially for a function whose benefits can be difficult to measure or report as a dollar amount. On top of high-turnover and operational costs to build the department, you need a large enough team to support customers across all of their favorite channels. 

Phone support alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Companies need to listen to customer feedback about which channels they prefer and consider giving customers the option to reach out through phone, email, webchat, and even social media. 

Outsourcing helps you build and maintain a customer support workforce without those internal costs and without the need to consistently hire new reps.

4. Administration: Get CRM and Marketing Automation Expertise

Growing companies should make use of CRM and marketing technologies to track and nurture their customers more efficiently as they scale. Due to the importance and complexity of the tools, companies should have a dedicated power user for the configuration and maintenance of these platforms.

But hiring for expertise in these roles often means paying out a salary of more than $100,000 per year. Fortunately, outsourced firms can often provide experienced administrators at a fraction of the cost

The cost of outsourced Salesforce admins ranges anywhere from $1,000–$10,000 per month, tremendous savings when compared to the median outsourced admin cost across the country.

How much does a Salesforce Admin cost?

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Whether or not you should outsource your Salesforce administration can depend on a number of factors, such as how many administrators you need and how much customization your instance requires. 

Similarly, filling the role of a marketing automation specialist internally can set you back up to $103,500 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.

Marketing automation specialist salary

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Outsourcing this function can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars per year. A full department to support the admin is bundled into that cost if you choose the right firm.

When you outsource administration, you’re hiring experts who have worked with a variety of configurations and can recognize opportunities for improvements to ensure you get the most out of the tool. 

Outsourcing Helps You Scale

Outsourcing lets you scale your business processes efficiently and effectively, while keeping costs lower than if you handled them internally. 

The companies we work with at EBQ see a 200% ROI on average as a result of outsourcing certain business processes. When companies outsource processes like data building, lead generation, customer service, and administration, they alleviate costs dedicated to office space, software, hardware, and retaining employees. 

Most importantly, outsourcing provides specialized expertise for those particular business functions and allows your internal team to remain focused on what your company does best.