No doubt you’ve met people in your life and immediately thought to yourself, “Wow, he/she is a born salesperson. You know the type: convivial, confident, well-spoken, engaging, and persistent. Some people are just naturals at it; and while there are tools to help one improve in certain techniques, not everyone is cut out for it. There are some key ingredients required for someone to become a successful salesperson. They include passion for the product or service; a deep understanding of how the service or product works; and a clear idea of who the customers are, and where and how to find them.
Selling in tandem with marketing is demanding, time consuming work and can be easy for those who have a knack for it and painful for those who don’t. Sales are the most important success tool for businesses looking to grow, and an arena that can sink a business if not well managed by the right personnel.
Evaluating whether your business team includes someone who can manage the sales/marketing aspect of your business successfully in an important thing to do from the get-go. Finding out you don’t is not something you want to discover when it’s too late to recover.
And it may also be that you or your team is better at closing than prospecting. Identifying the missing ingredients to creating a winning sales strategy is critical to your success.
And if you are not sure you have the right person- or all the right elements to succeed what do you do? Well, outsourcing may be the answer you are looking for.
The concept of outsourcing has gained increasingly more popularity in recent years. Perhaps you’ve entertained the thought that delegating some of the important tasks to people outside of your business team might be worth considering?
Let’s examine some of the pros and cons.
Pros of Outsourcing
When you are able to outsource some of the more time-consuming, but necessary responsibilities that support your business, you free up your time and the time of others to focus on other matters that require your personal attention.
For one thing, outsourcing means you don’t have to hire additional employees and manage taxes, vacation, sick time and and benefits for them; rather you hire an outside source as an independent contractor. Whether independent contractors work in your business office or elsewhere, they are self-directed, responsible for their own time and duties, and don’t require the kind of attention and oversight that employees often do. Additionally, hiring an independent contractor, whether an individual or a company, gives you access to talent outside of your locality — whether in the next town or on the other side of the world — they can do what you need them to do from wherever they are. The most important consideration is finding the person or team with the skills, talent, experience and availability you need to get the job done right and in a timely manner.
Good Reasons To Outsource Your Sales Team
Outsourcing is a business tactic that has become more and more common over the last decade. There are a number of ways that an outsourced sales team can be of tremendous value. They can help you:
- Increase your top and bottom-line revenue
- Set Appointments, manage customer service and close deals
- Handle prospect pipeline management
- Even out your workload
- Reduce overhead
- Lower training costs for employees
- Provide flexibility for seasonal businesses
- Offer industry knowledge based on their experience
- Target markets based on extensive industry knowledge and experience
- Help improve processes
- Grow your business beyond what your staff has the ability or time to do
- Help create consistency that is the difference between slow growth and fueling rapid growth
Workload — Everyone wishes from time to time they can be in two places at once, but we all know that that is not only impossible, but impractical. Spreading yourself too thin won’t help your business grow. This is where an outsourced sales team, however, can be helpful. You can off-load tasks to them that they are better suited to handle because they have the time, availability, staffing, experience and knowledge required. Cold calling, for instance, takes some skill and experience; it’s not necessarily an easy task and some people are just better suited for it than others. A good sales campaign that is guaranteed to turn a profit can be both time consuming and time sensitive. An outside team can give your project its undivided attention in a way that your staff may not be free to do.
Overhead Costs — Outsourcing is unquestionably less expensive than conducting some aspects of your business in-house. Expanding an office to grow your business can be costly. When it comes to sales, filling those positions with a team that has proven experience and is working at an outside location with their own resources, reduces your costs. Consider, for instance, that an outsourced team would already have the necessary software to manage your sales needs and their staff would be up to speed in how to operate it. Outsourcing also can eliminate or reduce your expenses not only because you would not bear any recruiting costs, but the maintenance and support of systems and technology would not be your financial responsibility.
Training — Unless you are willing and able to pay the salaries of experienced salespeople to work in your small business, chances are that you’ll have to hire staff members that require training, which takes time and money. An outsourced sales team, thanks to already developed skills and experience, can jump right into the task at hand. For instance, they already possess the ability to walk clients through the various stages of the selling cycle and can dig up leads in the interim — not so easy for inexperienced employees. Their experience will allow the business to move more quickly and less expensively in pursuing and managing sales.
Flexibility — Additionally, an outsourced sales development rep can handle the scheduling of a meeting for an account executive, freeing up the executive to focus on the preparation for the meeting itself. An outsourced sales development rep may have experience in closing a sale with a particular customer and can offer guidance to the executive who is new to the contact. Based on experience, an outsourced sales rep can step in at the early stages of the process to control expectations, address questions of transparency, and evaluate disappointing results. Bottom line — with an outsourced sales team on-board, you know that the general responsibilities that you have outlined for them will be taken care of. This gives you the time and resources to focus your efforts on other things such as on hiring someone for your staff whose job in sales may require a special resume of experience.
Target Industry Optimization — In the event that you’re considering expanding into a different industry, sales outsourcing can be a boon. For example, an outsourced sales team can test the profitability of any industries that you may be considering investing in, or they may have already developed a knowledge base due to experience with another business. They can save you the trouble of developing advertising campaigns for industries that will not likely turn a profit for you based on their past experiences. Time is money. So is information. Having an outsourced sales team undoubtedly can offer you assets that wouldn’t necessarily come with an in-house team.
Process Improvement — If your product isn’t meeting the needs of your target market, an outsourced sales team with experience will quickly pick up on that and relay their findings to you. Typically, sales experts also have ideas on increasing efficiency, modifying processes, recognizing potential prospects, and developing sales funnels. This fresh perspective is necessary to quickly accelerate growth.
Get Growing — Outsourcing will help your company grow while saving money in both the short and long term. It is worth considering outsourcing sales to save you time and money and which don’t require someone in-house to manage them. Your staff’s attention and time can then be put to better use focusing on tasks that require their special skills and experience.
Cons of Outsourcing On Company Culture and Leadership
While there are many reasons that outsourcing can prove quite beneficial, like everything else, there are downsides which must be considered as well. Unfortunately, a lot of companies outsource without evaluating the impact that choice may have on their employees and company culture. it’s important to integrate your outsourced team into your existing team if your goal is to have it succeed. Studies have shown that a positive work culture leads to higher than average levels of productivity, so evaluating the potential negative effects of outsourcing before moving forward is good business practice.
Some of the ways outsourcing can negatively impact your company culture are:
- Employees may feel that their skills and experience aren’t well valued.
- Employees may not understand the philosophy behind outsourcing and may misinterpret the action as a threat to their job stability.
- The time and effort involved in coordination and/or collaboration with an outside company may add time and productivity challenges to daily workflow.
Heading off these concerns and addressing potential issues from the get-go by explaining to your staff your reasons for outsourcing certain responsibilities is a great way to to avoid misunderstanding and to build trust.
For instance, you can point out that making use of outside assistance can take some weight off of the employees’ shoulders. Helping employees understand ways in which outside contractors can prove to be a complementary resource for the business (if not sometimes a necessary one) can encourage their buy-in. It is important to explain the ways in which outsourcing may help them with their productivity too. Assure them that the responsibilities you’ve asked an outsourcing team to handle. will not interfere with the duties that they have been given. And, to alleviate concerns about job security, management should make an effort to prioritize in-house employees and keep them in the loop about staffing needs.
Outsourcing can be extremely beneficial to a company’s culture when employees buy-in. Employers who are successful at clarifying the roles of an outsourced staff with their internal personnel are almost always employers who manage employees who have a sense of security. People perform better leading to better morale when they feel like they are an integral participant in the success of the business.