Outsourcing an essential need for any business can be challenging. Outsourcing your sales is no different. There are many sales outsourcing pros and cons to consider to determine if this is a viable and strategic move in relation to your particular business. In the bullets below, I have tried to provide some of my thoughts into sales outsourcing Pros and Cons as I see it and I hope it is helpful for you and your team if this option is being explored.
Pros of Sales Outsourcing
Bringing on an outsourced sales person we have always found to be a cost effective way to scale sales. No full-time salary, no severance, no government burdens to worry about… and you can pay for the amount of sales help you need. So if a person 8 days per month or 64 hours per month is what is needed, just pay for that. If times are lean, drop down the amount of sales help, if times are booming, ramp up. Tie your spend to your revenue.
Bring on Dedicated Resources
Using a part-time sales person allows you to ramp up sales with a resource purely dedicated to selling. The individual brought in to assist has no other function in your organization. There aren’t any water cooler discussions, there are no team lunches, when they are working, they are billing and it is all sales focussed.
Utilize the Type of Sales Help You Need Most
There are a wide variety of sales outsourcing options. Some firms can do sales from target research to qualification call to pitching and proposing to close and post close. Others specialize in just lead generation. The benefit here is that if you already have a solid sales team or group of Account Managers as an example, you may only really need a lead generation service to identify targets, qualify them and once qualified and they have an interest, pass them over to the internal team to do the rest of the work.
Leverage a Pre-Established Network
For one new B2B client, we were able to bring them into sales meetings with prospects within 1 week of getting started with contacts in our network. This is not always the case but where it happens it can help drive traction early. These sorts of meetings also help the sales person to better understand the offering in a low-risk environment. We have always found that it is really only when pitching the solution to prospects that you really begin to understand the nuances of it and sell it effectively. Reading over literature, brochures and doing classroom training is great but there is no replacement for face to face or direct conversation.
Cons of Sales Outsourcing
Not a Dedicated Resource
For some firms, they see this as a challenge, and I think a good case can be made that if a firm is large, they have an established sales infrastructure and methodology they have refined over time, bringing on full-time sales people is justified. Having a part-time person may not give you the amount of time you need to sell and service the particular client base being targeted.
May Have Their Own Methodologies They Follow and Tools They Use
When a part-time outsourced sales resource is brought in to assist, they may bring with them their own sales methodologies and tools. This may be a good thing or in some cases may not as their methodologies and preferred tools don’t match with the firm’s methodologies. Having a full-time resource on payroll means you can teach them your system and you expect them to follow it.
May be More Difficult to Monitor Them from a Sales CRM Usage Standpoint
Another challenge with outsourced sales – and this has never been the case with us – is that the sales rep may not add the target contacts and leads to the sales CRM short-changing you. In some cases, outsourced sales people feel the relationships with the end targets they develop is theirs versus yours. Bottom line here is that if you are paying them, the work they do from a sales perspective and the associated targets they identify should be in your sales CRM system.
If you want to learn more about outsourcing pros and cons or if you’re looking for sales and marketing assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For great insight into startup sales and marketing, feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.