- Posted by Steve Gruber
- On June 22, 2017
- 0 Comments
Outsourcing is one of those things many of us as business owners think about but oftentimes don’t act on. It seems like a good idea but it also seems risky as you are hiring an unknown third party to help you out with a business process that is fundamental to your success as a business. We also know deep down that hiring a full-time employee to do the job is just as risky if not riskier than outsourcing due to the commitment needed, the training involved and government burdens owed.
I am a believer in outsourcing and I don’t think it matters what size the company is. In any firm, there are processes that can be done more cost effectively, more efficiently and with better results than done internally. For some firms, it could be outsourcing their financial and accounting work to a bookkeeper and part-time CFO. For others, it could be outsourcing application development to a team overseas because they are faster and more cost effective. In our case, there are a number of organizations where outsourcing their sales & marketing makes a ton of sense. The question then becomes why? Why does this make sense?
Let’s step back and look at the broader argument for outsourcing. Generally, people outsource because:
- They lack all the internal resources to get a certain job done
- They lack the skill set to do the work
- They are looking for a more cost-effective and flexible solution
- They, as the business leader, have no time to manage that particular process and they are not good at it
From a sales and marketing perspective, there is a good argument to be made to outsource these activities, particularly if you are a growing company. Most firms we work with are great technically at what they have built or the services they provide but they really lack the expertise to articulate their strategy and in some cases even more importantly execute on it. I believe the fundamental reason you outsource is to engage a specialist to assist you with something that you are not great at and in this case it is sales and marketing. Bringing in a firm that has a proven methodology, believes in using tools to assist in tracking and managing the engagement, are responsive and can dedicate the time on a monthly basis, over and over again, while tweaking the strategy, value proposition and targets on the fly (with your consultation) gives you an edge in the market.
There are a number of keys to effectively selling and one of them is employing a methodology of consistency and continuity in your sales efforts. Most companies, and this means their business leaders, fall flat because they don’t have a sales background so can’t effectively manage a sales team and/or they are not able to commit to the persistent effort of selling. Sales is one of those things that you cannot start and stop – if you have the ability, the best results come from continuously investing in the efforts and you gauge success based on quantitative metrics. So for your outsourced sales company, you would work with them to develop the strategy (targets, value proposition, objection handling etc…) and then you would set activity goals (calls, emails, proposals, meetings, closes), revenue goals (and for B2B – we generally find it takes 6 to 18 months to close any piece of business so be prepared for that), put a system in place to track activities and build your sales funnel – a sales CRM, get them set up on your email server if applicable, provide them with some onboarding (done quickly) and then a plan to stay in touch and maintain eyes on the work being completed.
For most of our clients, we are generally half the price of a full-time person and come with none of the burden or complication. Our ability to ramp up and become dangerous from a sales perspective happens over days not months and it is our goal to get sales prospects in prospect meetings as fast as possible so we can all learn how effective the messaging has been, whether we have the correct targets, do firms in the industry we are going after have an appetite for the product or service etc…
If you’re looking for outsourced 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.