How to Stop Salesperson Burnout in One Simple Step: Outsource Cold Calling
As a sales director, your team are your most important asset. You want them to be happy, healthy and productive; but if they’re burned out or overworked this won’t happen.
Employee well-being and workplace safety should be a priority for every employer. Burnout is a serious problem that causes high rates of absenteeism, low productivity and can ultimately lead to staff turnover.
We’ve all been there: you walk into work on Monday morning feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead, only to realise that you have three meetings scheduled back-to-back and you’re also expected to hit your call targets. And answer questions about why the numbers on the board aren’t where they’re supposed to be.
This, coupled with the fact that work isn’t the only source of stress in our lives, means that your salespeople can quickly become overwhelmed and demotivated.
As a sales director, you’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to keep your team motivated and engaged. But when it comes down to it, there are only so many hours in the day – and even fewer resources. That’s why outsourcing cold calling can be such a valuable tool: it allows you to focus on what matters most while still maintaining a high level of productivity.
With this blog post, we’ll explore why outsourcing cold calling makes sense as well as how you can implement this practice within your own company or organisation.
Why outsource cold calling? Because salespeople HATE Cold Calling
Most salespeople break out in a bit of an involuntary nervous sweat when they hear the words “cold calling campaign.” In fact, studies have shown that salespeople don’t just hate it – they’re actually afraid of it.
48% of B2B salespeople are afraid of making cold calls, according to HBR. And that fear is basically driven by our inherent fear of rejection. There’s also this perception that cold calling is high effort and low pay-off. And, it is – if you’re picking up the phone believing that. Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy.
Cold-calling results in stress and anxiety for many salespeople
But if you’re a salesperson, cold calling can be one of the most stressful parts of your job. You have no idea if they’ll answer. If they do, they might not want to talk to you. You might have a tough gatekeeper to circumvent. You might annoy or interrupt them. They might be rude to you. They might… hurt your feelings. Which, ultimately makes you feel a bit rubbish. And there comes the cyclical stress response to cold-calling – it’s tough to build resilience when there’s such a lack of positive reinforcement.
So why do we make our reps do this? Because it works: Cold calling helps us get new leads into our pipeline so we can convert them into customers later on down the line (hopefully). And cold calling is statistically the single best channel for booking meetings.
But… cold calling only works WELL for people who are good at it.
Studies show it takes just two to three touches to connect with a prospect for 42% of top performers. That’s only true for half of the rest of the sales team. For them, it can take 18 calls to connect with a prospect. Which is a bit soul-destroying.
When salespeople are expected to continually perform tasks they find anxiety-inducing, it leads to chronic stress. Chronic stress can lead to burnout – a syndrome characterised by emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced feelings of personal accomplishment.
Salespeople are particularly vulnerable to burnout – with the pressure of hitting often aggressive revenue and sales activity targets. And there are studies that show that Sales Call Anxiety contributes to burnout for this demographic.
We don’t need to tell you that exhausted salespeople who feel they’re not achieving their goals are less likely to send your revenue soaring through the stratosphere.
What can we do about cold-calling anxiety?
The first step is to recognise that cold-calling anxiety is a problem. It’s something that many salespeople don’t like talking about, even though they feel it every time they go into a sales call – and that means they’re less likely to get help dealing with it.
Training, of course, helps. And we have our own training academy built around the feedback we’ve had from clients that their own salespeople are reluctant to pick up the phone – particularly millennials. Our training helps people get over their telephobia and get on the phones.
If your salespeople aren’t enthusiastic about cold calling, are they the best people to be doing it?
That’s why you should outsource cold calling
Outsourcing cold calling to a prospecting agency can be more successful than doing it in-house. Because a prospecting agency (presumably) hires top prospectors.
What the figures above show (that top performers are twice as likely as everyone else to engage with a prospect within two to three touches) is clear. There are some salespeople who really excel at cold calling. And that’s why we only employ people who don’t get sweaty palms when picking up the phone.
The financial case to outsource cold calling
First, there’s the fact that having a dedicated team of top-performing cold callers is going to get you much better results. Using people who fall into the “rest of the sales team” category from the stat above is going to mean your prospecting campaign is less efficient.
Outsourcing your telemarketing boosts sales. Research by Marketo shows that outsourcing sales prospecting to a third-party provider can reduce the sales cycle time by up to 50%.
Additionally, a study by The Black Report found that companies that outsource their lead generation activities can experience a 43% better conversion rate than those who handle it in-house.
Outsourcing cold calling increases productivity and efficiency
Outsourcing your lead generation activities allows you to free up internal resources and enable businesses to concentrate on other critical areas of their operations. In the case of sales teams, it allows your salespeople to do what they actually do best – convert leads. Rather than going out hunting, they can just bring home the bacon. Pre-cured and smoked to perfection. Apologies, vegan readers.
The study by Marketo referenced above also showed outsourcing lead-generation activities can allow businesses to focus on their core competencies, leading to a 32% increase in revenue growth.
The potential ROI from outsourcing your cold calling is also significant:
A report by InsideSales.com found that outsourcing B2B cold calling can reduce the cost per lead by up to 50%. Similarly, a report by Infinit-O states that businesses can save up to 60% on operational costs by outsourcing B2B cold calling. So, in other words: if you want more money in your pocket and less stress on your shoulders, then outsourcing should be part of your strategy from day one as a sales director or business owner.
The Advantages of Scaling Up Your Sales Efforts with Outsourcing
The advantages of outsourcing your cold calling are obvious. By having a professional make the calls for you, you can focus on other areas of your business and expand your reach to a larger audience.
A study by Harvard Business Review found that businesses can increase their sales growth rates by 5-10% if they outsource cold calling. The report suggested that this is because outsourcing your prospecting can provide your business with greater flexibility and expand your sales potential beyond your current markets.
Harnessing the power of specialisation
You’re a sales director, and you know that cold calling is not your strength. You may also know that many of your team can say the same. Many may have failed so miserably at it in the past that they’ve simply stopped doing it altogether.
But, is that just because your salespeople were forced to attempt nailing a specialist competency they aren’t a specialist in?
Specialisation is key to success in any field; why should sales be any different?
Outsourcing can provide a fresh perspective on how things are done; which might give you some new ideas for improving your own performance as well as getting more out of the people who work under you (and vice versa).
The key is to outsource cold calling to the right partner
Overall, the decision to outsource cold calling to a prospecting agency can potentially result in increased sales, improved conversion rates, faster sales cycles, and greater revenue growth. However, it is important to note that the success of outsourcing also depends on the quality of the agency and the alignment of its strategies with the goals of your business.
Are your sales team exhausted and demotivated due to the endless cycle of cold calling? Or have you given up on cold calling completely?
It’s time to make a change and boost your team’s productivity and morale. Outsource cold calling to Smartlead Marketing and see the difference it makes. Get in touch to learn more about how our expert team can help you achieve better results, improve your ROI, and reduce the high cost of burnout for your business.