Energy Sales Outsourcing
Why Outsource Energy Sector Sales
Different industries require different selling strategies, and nowhere is the necessity for industry expertise more apparent than in the energy sector. Selling energy requires sales reps with specific knowledge and experience who can engage the customer, understand the nuances of different strategies for energy billing, and convey the value of your energy solution to the customer in convincing ways.
There are a few important factors to look for when engaging a sales outsourcing provider for your energy company.
Experienced Executive Team
One of the first pages you should visit on the website of a prospective sales outsourcing company is the one that hosts the Executive Team. Make sure such a page exists--you don't want to entrust your sales function to a company that won't show the faces of the people who run it. Ideally, the company you are considering will have executives with experience in the energy industry.
Also look for other clues on the website about how big of a focus energy sales is for the outsourcing company. Do they have a separate page dedicated to energy sales outsourcing? Better yet, will they provide you with a case study from the energy industry? You can also ask in your initial phone call whether the company has one or more current energy sales campaigns, how large they are, and what areas of the country are currently covered. This is also a good opportunity to find out if the company you are considering is bound by any non-compete agreements for energy sales in your area.
Precisely because energy sales requires a certain expertise, you are advised to have an effective ongoing training program for your reps. Look for an energy sales outsourcing company with a heavy focus on sales training. One clue that a company is serious about sales training is whether they hire their reps as W-2 employees or 1099 independent contractors. A company with a stable, dedicated W-2 sales force is much more likely to invest time and resources into a good training program than one with independent reps that come and go.
Another indication that a sales outsourcing company has developed an intensive training program is if they offer sales training services separately from their outsourcing or consulting offerings. If you feel you need further clarification, ask for details about the company's training program. It should include regular sales meetings (at least weekly, if not more often), ride-alongs, role-playing, and one-on-one training sessions. A reputable company will have no problem with you sitting in on these meetings and monitoring the training being given as often as you desire.
Quality Brand Representation
One of the biggest nightmares for any company is sales reps dragging your brand name through the mud by utilizing unethical or shady sales tactics, or misrepresenting the services you provide. Some companies shy away from sales outsourcing for fear that they will have to relinquish control of the sales process. In actuality, though, an outsourcing company may be better equipped than your own company at keeping your sales function under control. Because sales is a core competency for them, they can focus entirely on sales training and management, providing you with regular updates and results, and ensuring that their reps maintain high standards of representation.
Again, look for a company that hires with a W-2 model rather than a 1099 model, to ensure that the reps stick around and are incentivized to produce quality results over the long-term. Similarly, a company with a well-defined program implementation strategy and realistically determined forecast model is more likely to support your sales goals than a company that promises the moon but has a sketchy plan for delivering.
Using common sense and due diligence, you should be able to find an energy sales outsourcing company that is a good fit for your business and can bring results in line with your objectives. To give you a good idea of what you might expect from outsourcing your energy sales, Netpique sales outsourcing would be glad to put together a complimentary proposal, together with a projected revenue forecast.