Successfully Outsourcing Sales for Start Ups and SMBs
Successfully outsourcing sales as a business strategy can provide benefits and cost-savings for your company with process improvements, expanded talent pools, cost containment, improved focus on core business, and reduced time-to-market, to name a few.
However, there are risks in an unsuccessful sales outsourcing engagement that can diminish the benefits. How do you minimize those sales outsourcing risks? First, don’t expect a magic bullet at the beginning of the engagement. Number two: make an informed decision.
If your company is initiating an outsourcing strategy for the first time, the following set of five steps will help you to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities for outsourcing success.
Define clear objectives. Successfully outsourcing sales strategy starts with clearly defined objectives and measurable goals. Objectives state the reasons for a sales outsourcing program, define its business value, and provide a functioning framework for making decisions about which outsourcing company to work with, which model to use, what stage of the funnel development to outsource, and what levels of risk to assume. Measurable goals are the events and functional metrics by which management can monitor progress, take corrective action, and project future performance.
Count the true costs. Just as important as setting realistic expectations is, your expectations reflect all related costs if you both build and internal sales and marketing organization, or go with an outsourcing marketing and sales firm. These hidden costs and savings need to be evaluated:
- Selecting an outsourcing partner vs. building one on your own: Selecting a vendor could take 5 to 40 hours depending on how long it takes to find the right fit – but this pales in comparison to recruiting a team of sales reps and marketers.
- Transitioning work and sales processes: Knowledge transfer can take time. Make sure your outsourcing sales company has a process well defined to transition sales from your team and/or organization to theirs.
- Technology costs: A CRM and marketing automation platform are now critical for success. Understand who will implement, integrate, and manage those technologies.
- Managing: How will the engagement be managed on both sides? Does your outsourcing sales partner make reporting and managing the engagement easy? The costs of maintaining a finished contract can be surprisingly high.
Manage Risk. Another critical factor in executing a sales outsourcing program is deciding how much of your sales process you want to immediately shift to your outsourcing sales process. For companies with mature products and a mature sales process, it may make more sense to outsource your sale from lead generation to closed deals. The sales process and the marketing process will already be well defined with a script, technologies, and content to support it. But for many small businesses and start-ups, it may make more sense to focus on filling the pipe and developing qualified leads before staffing a team of closers, because closers are the most expensive resource to staff both internally, or with an outsourcing sales partner.
Lead Generation and Content Marketing Outsourcing: this function is often the most effective way to manage risk for a small business, as it can be executed with a fixed start date and will include hard and measurable results. It will also include a hard and tangible process, as well as the construction of modern sales and marketing operations that will be a valuable asset for years to come. Most importantly you will have hard data and success metrics to measure on a monthly and weekly basis to track progress.
Gabriel Sales builds modern sales and marketing operations including, sales outsourcing of your lead generation and lead development. We have been successfully outsourcing for SMBs and Start Ups for 20 years. We provide both full service solutions and point solutions. To learn more visit our approach to successfully outsourcing sales page.