How to Outsource Cold Calling—Your Ultimate Guide
We’ve all heard it. Cold calling is dead. But is it true?
Not in the least.
In fact, since more companies have stopped making personalized calls in favor of digital marketing, cold calling can be more effective because fewer phone calls are being made. While it may be a little more difficult to get people on the phone these days, research shows that seven in 10 buyers say they accept cold calls and 92% of buyers said they set meetings after an outreach that started with a cold call.
Yet, cold-calling campaigns to business owners are not among the favorite things for sales and marketing teams to do. In fact, most hate it. So, many sales teams just go through the motions or avoid it as often as possible. Even those that do it regularly often give up too soon. Almost half of sales reps stop trying to reach a prospect if they don’t connect on the first call.
That’s why so many organizations have now turned to call center services to augment their sales and marketing teams by outsourcing business development activities.
What is Outsourced Cold Calling?
Outsourcing is when businesses hire third-party providers to handle parts of their business, delegating certain tasks to professionals. Outsourcing cold calling to an outbound call center staffed with cold calling experts can be an efficient and cost-effective way to general leads, appointments, and sales.
There are outsourcing companies, including marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer where you can hire sales and marketing professionals to build a team of freelancers; or companies like TDS Global Solutions that act as a consultant to find the right cold calling partner for your needs (if that’s what you’re looking for, we’ve got a list of some of the top ones a little later in this article).
Outsourcing has become common across most industries as a way to stretch resources to reach more potential customers and reduce the burden on marketing and sales teams. By outsourcing lead generation and appointment setting, for example, you can let your marketing and sales teams focus on more-qualified leads that require activation.
Preconceived images of a telemarketer are far different than what you’ll actually find in top-flight cold calling companies. The best call centers employ sales professionals that have experience in generating demand. They go through significant training, including mock calls, and benefit from industry best practices to get conversions.
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The Benefits of Outsourcing Cold Calling
Why outsource your cold calling? Besides reducing the workload for your in-house team, you get cold calling experts that have optimized sales scripts and know when it’s time to leave the script to engage prospects. There are plenty of other benefits, too.
When you work with the best cold calling salespeople with years of experience, you’ll significantly improve your efficiency and productivity. Not only will you get better cold calling outreach, but you will also free up your in-house team to work on closing deals rather than cold calling.
Lead Generation at Scale
Outsourcing can also produce lead generation at scale. No matter how large your salesforce is, you may not have the bandwidth to reach out to every potential customer. You can outsource your sales development as your primary way of cold-calling, to add to what your staff is already doing, or focus on specific areas, industries, or regions.
For example, let’s say you provide accounting services to small businesses and medium-sized businesses in Kansas City. There are more than 50,000 businesses that might benefit from your services, but you’re never going to contact the vast majority of them. Outsourcing services can scale as large as needed to contact as many prospects as you want.
You can also scale for peak selling times or focused selling events without having to bring on new employees.
Experienced Cold Call Sales Professionals
Outsourced cold calling teams know how to target decision-makers, handle calls efficiently, and leave a high-quality voicemail when necessary. They specialize in making these types of calls and know how to talk to business owners and consumers to get results.
Your Partner Handles the Follow-ups
It often takes multiple calls to get a decision-maker on the line. An outsourced call center will make repeated efforts and handle the follow-ups to set appointments, generate leads, and prepare prospects for sales activation.
You Define Your Target Audience; Your Partners Find Quality Leads
Outbound call centers also excel at following your target audience guidance to create and build out custom lists of high-quality leads. They know how to segment prospects to provide the greatest return on investment when it comes to lead generation. This can lead to greater ROI and, in turn, profitability.
The Best Tools, Training, and Technology
Companies that focus on telesales will invest in the most efficient technology, alleviating you from having to make such an investment. They’ll also provide consistent training and coaching on communication skills for their call center agents. If they don’t perform up to your expectations, they won’t retain you as a client, so they will do what it takes to keep your business.
The Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your Cold Calling
There are some disadvantages to outsourcing your cold calling, however, and you should be aware of them when making your decision about whether or not to use an outsourcing company.
When you outsource your cold calling, you do not have as much control over the process as you do when it’s handled by your in-house team. The best providers will let you listen in on calls and monitor performance, but there’s a level of trust you’ll need to establish to ensure they are representing your company well.
Lost in Translation
No matter how well-trained SDRs are, they may lack the intimate knowledge of your products and services that your in-house team will have. You may also not learn the crucial insights about customers that would happen if your in-house team made the contact.
Language or Cultural Barriers
When offshoring cold calling (or any telephone-based business process, really), call center agents’ accents or English proficiency can have a major impact on customer satisfaction. In addition, cultural differences can sometimes lead to confusion or miscommunications. For these reasons, many companies opt for nearshoring partners, or else focus on finding an offshore partner with high levels of English proficiency.
Your in-house sales and marketing team are focused on generating revenue for your company, and yours alone. Call center agents at many providers are often splitting their time between different clients. This means, unless you’re contracted for full-time hours, you won’t have your agents’ full-time attention.
Top 10 Companies to Use for Cold Call Outsourcing
If you’re wondering how to outsource cold calling, we’ve got a list of which companies do cold calling. These are companies that will provide telemarketing services, reach out to leads, and set appointments.
Call Motivated Sellers
Call Motivated Sellers specializes in real estate cold calling in English or Spanish. Whether you are a real estate agent, broker, wholesaler, or investor, Call Motivated Sellers handles personal calls to prospects and potential customers. Each agent is prescreened by clients to ensure a comfortable fit with your brand and messaging, and ultimately, more successful marketing campaigns.
Dial America offers a range of DTC and B2B services, including inbound call centers and cold call outbound calling. With more than six decades worth of experience in telemarketing, its reps make as many as 100 million calls every year from its 19 US-based call centers. Besides extensive training, Dial America also believes ongoing coaching is key, providing an industry-leading 12:1 agent-to-supervisor ratio.
Flatworld Solutions has call centers across the world and provides both inbound and outbound calling services. Flatworld Solution’s marketing strategy is to make calls on your behalf to existing and potential customers to discuss products and services. They are one of the more affordable cold calling solutions on the market with rates starting as low as $8 an hour which can result in increased profitability for your business.
Sales Hive features professionally-trained, US-based cold callers. Its reps make more than 1,000 dials each week and book thousands of meetings. Boasting an average conversion rate of 9.5% for each conversation held, Sales Hives provides dedicated cold-calling SDRs for each account rather than switching between different clients each day.
SAS provides lead generation services, including telemarketing and appointment setting, as well as market research and outbound surveys. Their sales process utilizes US-based agents that are trained in upselling and cross-selling techniques, and who are available to make calls during the day and outside of normal business hours. SAS focuses on small and medium-sized businesses, supporting more than 5,000 companies globally.
Superhuman Prospecting hires US-based reps with diverse backgrounds. Every SDR is put through dedicated sales training and receives daily coaching and support. Superhuman Prospecting creates custom cold calling scripts and makes multiple rounds of calls to increase conversion rates. The company provides cold calling, lead generation, appointment setting, and sales prospecting for B2B companies.
Strategic Calls uses custom list curation for B2B prospects, targeting C-suite and executive-level contacts, as well as cold calling for B2C companies. Based in Rochester, NY, Strategic Calls specializes in professional appointment setting to reach decision-makers that fit a client’s ideal customer profile to introduce services and book sales appointments.
Upcall processes leads within seconds. When a lead comes in, US-based reps will engage with prospects by phone or text, including multiple callbacks. Its algorithms match leads with the best sales professionals based on expertise, geography, and campaigns. Upcall says its average rep has between five and 10 years’ worth of sales experience.
WorldWide Call Centers
Worldwide Call Centers has more than 25 locations worldwide to provide local calling into global markets, including the US. This provides multiple options for companies, who may choose to hire offshore telemarketing services at lower rates. Worldwide Call Centers is paid on commission, so they’re motivated based on results.
You can also engage freelance marketing and sales teams using a variety of online platforms that connect businesses with freelancers. Some of the more well-known platforms include:
How Do Outsourced Cold Calling Services Work?
While cold calling companies all work a little differently, they generally follow a similar playbook for their marketing strategies. Starting with a list that either you provide or they generate, they will target customers that meet your qualifications. Using sales scripts and detailed notes about your products and services, they will place calls with your goals in mind. Cold callers are trained to keep prospects on the phone and deliver crucial information to generate interest and conversions.
The best sales reps can leverage sales calls to help build your pipeline and increase revenue.
Types of Cold Calling Services
There are different methods of cold calling services that can be utilized, including:
- Lead generation
- Appointment setting
- Direct selling
- Customer support
Building an Effective Cold Calling Process
Even though you are outsourcing the actual calls, building an effective cold calling process requires insight and oversight from your company. You will want to help define your target audience and provide relevant market research to help focus call scripts and messaging.
Since these reps will be representing your brand, you also want to ensure they mirror the tone and style that fits your company.
The more information you can provide, the better playbook that can be developed. You will also want to provide feedback consistently to make sure you’re getting the type and quality of leads you want.
You will also want to ensure that any provider you work with follows the legal requirements for cold-calling and any internal rules or restrictions you may have. This includes things such as:
- The National Do Not Call List
- Efficient process for removing people from call lists upon request
- Secure way to handle transactions
- Restricting calling times to certain periods
You may also have your own do not call list, such as prospects you are already engaging with or are being targeted by your in-house team. You don’t want your outsource providers calling these at the same time your SDRs are pursuing them.
Who Should Outsource Cold Calling?
If you’re wondering if outsourced cold calling is even possible, the answer is yes. However, outsourcing will work better for some organizations than others.
A recent sales study conducted by The Bridge Group found that the average SDR could do about 45 dials per day. For the last decade, 50 dials per day have been the standard expectation for effective cold outreach.
If your SDR team is struggling to reach this number, then your organization is likely a perfect candidate for outsourced cold calling. That’s not to say you’ve created a poor environment for your SDRs, it’s just that they’re doing more than cold calling when a more focused approach could help move the needle.
As award-winning author and respected executive coach, Mike Hawkins said:
You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results.
Thus, sales teams that are not primarily focused on cold calling are likely the best suited for outsourcing this function. By doing so, you’ll be able to give your best account executives the chance to focus on upsells and closing deals, and allow your SDRs to focus on nurturing qualified relationships with potential customers.
Is it More Cost Effective to Outsource Cold Calling for Sales?
Cold calling is only effective when it leads to sales. When you’re outsourcing your cold calling, you’ll want to pay particular attention to your conversation rates. In many cases, however, when you outsource your telemarketing to a high-quality outbound call center, you can significantly increase your reach and lower your customer acquisition costs.
When you outsource, you can focus your team on higher-value work without giving up on lead generation.
The average salary in the US for a sales development rep is more than $45,000 in 2022, with bonuses and commissions adding another $5,000 to $25,000 annually, according to Payscale. All in pay including benefits can push total compensation up around $80,000. In major cities, it may be significantly higher.
By comparison, pricing for outsourcing cold calling starts as low as $8 to $10 an hour for some providers, although you’ll likely pay between $20 and $50 an hour for highly-trained call center reps. Some providers will also set lower hourly wages and use pay-for-performance incentives.
Ready to Outsource Your Cold Calling?
Only you can decide whether you’re better off outsourcing your cold calling to an outside company or keeping it in-house. There are pros and cons to each sales strategy. If you’re trying to grow your lead generation, struggling to find new prospects or SDRs, or trying to grow your business rapidly; outsourcing is worth your consideration.
Regardless of what you decide, you need a trusted CRM software solution to manage your sales pipeline. You want a seamless way to manage deals, track prospects and customers, and record every touchpoint. Close is a trusted partner for sales and provides the tools sales reps and sales leaders need to drive revenue.
Try Close free for 14 days and see how you can grow your deal pipeline.