Just came across an article called “The Double-Edged Sword Of Outsourcing Sales,” which seemed like it might be pretty interesting. Ran through it and while I wouldn’t necessarily say they talk about two issues (which is what a “double-edged sword” would imply), they hit on some key points around outsourcing benefits. Making sure that others see the value of outsourcing benefits is one of our key business plays over here, so let’s dive into this quickly.
Here is that article. Down near the bottom, the author lays out some of the key outsourcing benefits:
- Cutting cost on your own sales function
- Keeping a foot in the door in low/no-growth categories
- Expanding into new geographic markets
- Penetrating a particular existing channel more deeply with the aim of generating higher sales (like the dealer channel)
- Entering new distribution channels (like the discount or mass market)
- Reaching into new verticals/industries with high-growth products (the industrial sector, healthcare)
That’s a good list. There is another key point here, too: except for the first two bullet points, all these outsourcing benefits are basically progressive. That means you can’t do a half-assed search for a sales outsourcing team; you need a really targeted search and you need to find the right people for whatever your goal and your market is.
If all you care about is the first bullet — cutting costs — then go wild and hire any sales outsourcing team you can find. It doesn’t matter, because you’re just trying to compete on cost — and that’s not going to be effective for much longer. And if you just want to keep a foot in the door on a low-growth category, the quality of your outsourcing team probably doesn’t matter very much, all told.
But everything else on this list, you need the right team. It needs to be a team specific to your goals, not some group you found via “Post and Pray” (or “Spray and Pray”).
We tell people this all the time: you can have an argument for days about outsourcing benefits, and you can probably argue both sides yourself at some point in the argument. But you will never, never, never see any outsourcing benefits if you don’t find the right people for your product, your market, and your sales goals.
Sales outsourcing only truly works with the right sales principals in place on the outsourced team. That’s where you begin to see outsourcing benefits.
You might find this related article also useful: Three Objections To Sales Outsourcing, Debunked