Should You Outsource Your BDR Team?

Build an automated pipeline for your sales team, full of high-quality leads, without adding headcount to your sales staff. That’s the promise of outsourcing your business development team to a third-party provider. However, outsourcing this business-critical sales function to a third-party business development agency is much different than outsourcing your website development to a marketing agency or any other back-office business function. For some organizations, it can be a wise move. For others, it could be a costly mistake. In this article, we take a look at the growing trend of business development outsourcing. 

If you want to improve your chances of success, learn why other people fail and don’t repeat their mistakes. That was advice I received early in my sales career and I’ve always tried to apply it — in business and life. When companies decide to outsource their BDR team, they typically give the project a trial window. But in business, any failure is an expensive mistake. If your team is considering an outsourced BDR strategy, here are some key considerations to think about and to help you avoid an expensive mistake, which we’ve learned working with sales teams for the last couple of decades.

Benefits of Outsourced BDR

Key benefits of outsourcing the BDR role are speed and cost. Bringing in a full BDR program requires process definition, technology, tools, training, hiring, management and more. You can’t just hire a BDR and let them loose. The eco system of an effective BDR program is complex. Setting this up from the beginning takes time and money. 

Ramping up a BDR sales team from scratch can take months. However, utilizing an outsourced BDR sales team can be stood up in just a couple of weeks. The outsourced BDR sales agency will have the sales enablement, technology, process and even playbook templates already in place. This provides instant access to talent, who are proficient in using their system. If a company lacks the internal resources or experience setting up the BDR system, an outsourcing partner can be a great advantage. 

Outsourcing your BDR program enables you to buy a small portion of all the systems, tools, and processes and walk into a proven program to try something out. It can be a great way to test and get things launched. Then, as you scale, look to bring the program in-house once all the kinks have been worked out. 

Greater Flexibility

The third major benefit of outsourcing the BDR sales roles is that it will provide greater flexibility. Having an external BDR team allows the company to shift resources based on demand or launch a new sales campaign efficiently. Things can be turned on or off quickly. Again, this flexibility is an advantage when testing things out.

Quality Control

The good news is the calendar is full of appointments, and your account reps are busy with new prospect meetings. The bad news is, after tracking the pipeline, you discover very few of these outsourced appointments are turning into new clients. This can happen because there is an incentive to deliver appointments, any appointment, not necessarily high-quality sales appointments.

Be sure your BDR program has the reps leaning into the sales calls a bit deeper. Surface-level appointments are not enough. BDR’s should be having conversations, qualifying and stimulating interest before setting the appointment. This will increase the likelihood that prospects show up for the appointments and turn into real pipeline opportunities. The name of the game is not just the number of appointments. It is pipeline generated and most importantly won.

Trouble Identifying the Ideal Customer

Another area where companies struggle when outsourcing the BDR sales role is identifying the ideal customer profile or ICP. If the ICP is off-target or vague, it can be challenging for the outsourced BDR company. Alternatively, if the ICP is clearly defined it’s easier to build a tailored approach around their needs and wants. Be sure to spend extra time here as the entire campaign is built around the ICP. 

In Conclusion

There is plenty to consider when deciding to outsource your BDR sales efforts. BDR teams can be a force multiplier for sales growth and profitability within the company. Deciding whether to outsource the BDR process or not is a critical business decision. Instead of being a force multiplier, it can become an impediment to long-term sales growth.

For companies looking to figure out something new, outsourcing can be a great choice, especially if they do not have the time or experience to set up a full BDR program. Longer term, organizations can bring successful BDR programs in-house if they are up to the challenge of management/oversight and willing to invest in all the tools/technology needed.  Scale needs to be considered here as well.  Typically the larger the scale, the better case can be made, at least financially, to bring programs in-house.