Is sales outsourcing too expensive? (No.)

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In our business, obviously one of the objections we hear the most is “sales outsourcing is too expensive.” Theory then goes: “I’ll keep all my sales functionality in-house, because then I’ll build a collaborative team and won’t have to pay some excess sales outsourcing fees.”

Now look, obviously we sell sales outsourcing packages, so we’re going to want to convince you of the fact that they’re cost-effective. Let’s not sugar-coat that.

But let’s also do some math.

What is sales outsourcing, in reality?

It’s the process of letting focused experts build and run your sales machine for you. You commonly see executives do this with a function like HR, with the justification being “HR doesn’t make money directly, so we can outsource its functionality.” It’s harder to justify sales outsourcing to some execs. Sales does make money directly, so they want that silo close to them. They want to see their salespeople every day and know what they’re doing. Are they aligned to the company’s strategy? Are they making deals? Are they closing?

But what functions do you need for a robust sales team?

Many. We’d argue:

  • Copywriter for messaging (sales emails as well as marketing emails and sales pages)
  • Sourcing or pre-qualification for outbound sales
  • Inbound lead generation person
  • Sales/marketing automation person (that ** could ** be combined with the role above)
  • BDR or SDR (or multiple) for nurturing leads and cold work
  • Inside sales or field sales (or multiple) for meetings and closing deals

Even in mid-sized SaaS, you’re going to need 5 (usually closer to 10) in-house to create the type of consistent, repeatable success you’re looking for on the sales side. When you start to factor in salary, health benefits, human error, and the noted fact that full-time, in-house employees begin to exploit the org over time (time off, etc.), it becomes a really expensive proposition.

The benefit of sales outsourcing

For a flat fee (almost a subscription model) — say, 1,200 Euros/month — you get the fully robust sales machine above without having to hire for all the roles, then pay and develop all the roles.

Oh, here’s another thing we should have mentioned: despite “thought leadership” claims to the contrary, hiring is usually very bad and not scientific at most places, including potentially your organization. You might get a bunch of duds in those roles. Then you’ll need to terminate and rehire. With sales outsourcing, the vetting is there from the beginning. The guys you’re getting have already been doing it for years for companies similar to yours. Isn’t that easier than building out your own team and consistently making mistakes?

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Overcoming the psychology of sales outsourcing

Remember above when we discussed how execs like to have “their guys” in sales roles so they can see what they’re doing and closing every day? And sometimes that’s an objection to sales outsourcing? Well, here’s the counter-objections:

  1. You can still see what a sales outsourcing firm is doing every minute if you want. It’s called dashboards, reports, regular status callis, etc.
  2. Would you rather make more money or “have your guys in the building?” Right.

Sales outsourcing: it makes a lot of economic sense. What’s your take?

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