Almost every company's biggest challenge is finding good sales people. Sales is the lifeline of every business and without sales a business can't grow. Most companies first port of call to getting sales is to hire salespeople and that's where most people run into challenges. Sometimes we get lucky and find a gem of a salesperson but often we unfortunately land up with a salesperson whose performance doesn't meet our expectations. The reasons why outsourced sales is often a better fit for companies rather than hiring their own sales staff is because:
- The risk is much lower - Hiring an outsourced sales company and hiring a sales rep both have an element of risk; both might not work for your company. The big difference in risk comes in the event when both don't work. In the case of a sales rep not working out, one needs to typically follow a whole range of proceedings over a number of months to remove the sales rep from one's company. If an outsourced sales company doesn't give you the results that you expect, you can simply stop using them immediately.
- Sales reps mostly can't prospect - A sales rep's biggest problem is not typically in closing deals but rather in getting in front of people to have the opportunity to sell to. Prospecting is usually a sales reps biggest nightmare. This is the reason why increasing sales reps doesn't typically increase sales numbers in a company as all that happens is the same number of leads are now shared amongst more sales reps. Outsourced sales companies usually have their own form of lead generation which they specialise in.
- Hiring costs - Because good sales reps are hard to come by, and even when we do find them we are not sure of their performance until they start working for us, hiring costs can be significant. The hire the churn and the higher the failure rate of our reps, the higher our hiring costs become.
Who is Outsourced Sales a good fit for?
Although there are a number of advantages of outsourcing your sales vs. hiring your own sales team, outsourcing is not the right fit for every company. The following companies are usually perfect candidates for outsourcing:
- Companies who have some of their own sales reps already
- Companies who already have a proven and sustainable sales model that has been sold successfully by someone in the company (even the owner)
- Companies who can afford to outsource - Usually companies of over 10 people
- Companies who have a fairly short sales cycle - This is important so that you can measure the results of the outsourcing company fairly quickly without incurring high costs without being sure of results
Who is Outsourced Sales a bad fit for?
Just like there are perfect fits for sales outsourcing, there are a lot of companies who we are not a good fit for.
- Long sales cycles can be done but the risk increases dramatically if you need to wait 6 months to know if it is working or not
- New companies who haven't sold successfully before are usually not a good fit
- Companies that want to hand over everything and not collaborate are also not great fits - sales outsourcing can be incredibly effective but it is not a silver bullet which solves all problems
- New companies or solopreneurs are often better off selling themselves.
How much does outsourcing your sales cost?
Outsourcing your sales typically costs a similar amount to hiring a sales rep. The cost does depend on the industry and what you are selling but most companies can expect to pay around R15,000-R35,000 to outsource their sales.
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