Outsourcing sales can be a stressful and frightening consideration for any business—especially if you’ve spent years cultivating an in-house team that deeply understands your products and customers.
But today’s modern, globalized business world is all about maximizing efficiency to edge out the competition and strengthen your bottom line. That means focus and optimization is paramount to success, which means you have some tough questions to answer. Questions like:
- Am I in the sales team business?
- Is my sales process my main competitive advantage?
- Is my product/service inherently tied into having in-house sales professionals?
- Am I truly benefitting from performing sales activities like lead generation with an internal sales team?
- How to Outsource Your Sales Team effectivley and efficiently?
If the answer to most or all of those questions is a clear, “no,” then you should strongly consider shifting your sales activities to an outsourced sales team.
Table of Contents
In This Article
Keep reading to understand the macroeconomic changes that have prompted the rise of sales outsourcing, as well as key considerations, benefits, and methodology that may apply to your company.
- What’s made outsourcing sales such a major consideration for companies lately
- Why outsourcing sales can be a game-changing business decision
- The specific benefits of bringing on a sales outsourcing company
- Things to keep in mind when looking for a qualified sales outsourcing agency and moving to outsourced sales teams
- How working with Iglu can provide a unique approach—and unique advantages—to outsourcing your sales team
What’s Behind The Recent Rise of Sales Outsourcing
Outsourcing is nothing new, and many business owners have first-hand experience with at least some form of outsourcing.
Even something as casual as hiring a contractor to develop a custom piece of marketing material, build your website, or create a tailored app to help run operations is technically outsourcing.
In short, if you’re not doing it in-house, you’re outsourcing it.
The Efficiency Economy
As capitalism has matured, the business landscape has had to adapt.
Stiffening competition born from market saturation and the rise of hyper-niche businesses built to thrive by performing incredibly specific functions for other companies has shifted business dynamics away from generalization and towards specialization.
In practice that means that today, it’s very hard to stay competitive and profitable as a generalist. So it’s no wonder that outsourcing is a leading trend in sales.
You need to find your niche and laser-focus on it. And this doesn’t just mean when it comes to your market. It’s also very much about the functions you choose to perform yourself.
Take the fintech industry, for example. This is an entire new category of business that emerged in the space between finance and technology purely out of this phenomenon.
Banks were notoriously bloated in their business portfolios, slow to innovate, and terrible with customer service.
On the other hand, small tech companies were great at figuring out exactly what customers were starving for and giving it to them at a rapid pace through software and services.
Instead of bothering with meeting cumbersome and restrictive regulatory obligations, these companies built themselves as layers on top of the existing corporate banking infrastructure.
They isolated a niche in the industry (user-facing technology and customer experience) and made that their business.
Core Competency > Comprehensive Control
While this was threatening to smaller banks that lacked scale and robust names and instead built their customer base on service, larger banks often welcomed their new tech-centric cousin companies that were still ultimately driving business to them (albeit through the fintech firms’ brands and UX).
For them in truth it was a relief—a way to effectively outsource the parts of their business they were simply not built to excel at.
With fintech firms handling customer acquisition, front-end tech, and customer service, they could return their focus and resources to their core business.
True, this isn’t a pure example of business process outsourcing as it relates to the concept of hiring an outsourced sales provider.
But it is a great example of modern business specialization and the symbioses that come with hiring outside experts to take over the parts of your business that aren’t characteristically core to what you do.
That’s not to say that sales functions like building a sales pipeline, lead generation, prospect qualification, relationship building, closing deals, and overall revenue growth aren’t critical to any business. But the entire sales process itself is rarely a competitive advantage for companies.
So the logic behind sales outsourcing is, ‘why not hand it off to an outsourced sales partner whose competitive edge is, in fact sales itself?’
We can see the same shifting business psychology behind the ongoing boom in new-age customer service outsourcing.
Why Choosing to Outsource Sales Can Be a Game-Changer
With globalization now easily bridging companies across international borders, capitalism has forcefully entered a new era of efficiency-oriented, niche-driven business economics.
In general from a market perspective, the more specialized you are, the easier it will be to find and win customers. People and business want to feel like they’re working with, or entrusting themselves to, the “right people for the job.”
Their buying decisions are greatly influenced by reassuring a sort of serendipity—that they’ve found themselves in the right place at the right time for what they need.
The more focused your business, the more fully your new potential customers will experience that subconscious “gut feeling” that you’re right for them.
Focus & Specialization—Inside & Out
If we take similar logic and apply it to business operations, we see similar potential gains from a profitability and sales performance perspective.
The more business functions that make up your company’s internal structure, the thinner your organization, its management, and focus will be spread.
At a certain extreme point on the spectrum, Company A may market itself as a widget maker, but have only a small team of people that actually work to make those widgets compared to all the people working on support functions which, while essential to the company’s overall survival, don’t actually make the product what it is.
If we flip this example, we can paint the picture of Company X—a lean, efficient and focused organization that has a majority of its team collectively tuned toward similar functions.
The first company’s product is essentially relegated to just another one of its many operational aspects. It’s more of a management company than a widget company.
By contrast, Company X does very little other than develop and improve its widgets—leaving outsourced experts to perform their core competitive services on their behalf.
What Specific Benefits Come with Outsourcing Sales to a Capable Sales Outsourcing Company
We’ve touched on the main categories of gains you can expect from successfully outsourcing your sales team to a specialized sales partner: focus, efficiency, and performance—but there are more. Let’s take a look at several worth highlighting.
Better Products & Services
With more of your team focused on the things that customers turn to you for in the first place, you’ll be able to drill into things like quality, reliability, innovation and value engineering—and keep them coming back.
Instead of business generalists, your management team can be comprised more heavily of product people who further the company’s vision and keep everyone rowing in the same direction toward it.
Less Overhead & Risk
Using an outsourced sales team means fewer employees on your payroll, which means less exposure to HR-related liabilities plus an all around leaner organization.
When you outsource sales you can also reduce sales-related management and support functions.
Outsourced sales means a vastly reduced need to manage complex and custom-engineered sales operations, which can result in reduced software costs, administrative personnel, and even IT expenses.
Stronger Company Culture & Team Dynamics
The more people you have working toward the same immediate goals and rowing in the same direction on a day-to-day basis, the more organically camaraderie will build within your team.
Tighter team integration means less functional dissonance—where employees within departments relate to one another but feel a certain degree of separation from those in other functions.
This is the phenomenon that often leads to a toxic “us vs. them” mentality amongst employees who feel under-appreciated by their colleagues due to a lack of relatability and therefore empathy.
Savings & Simplicity
Not only does reducing your headcount eliminate things like fund contributions, payroll taxes, insurance costs and sales team expenses, it can also boil down overall costs attributable to your sales process into a single monthly fee payable to your sales outsourcing agency partner.
Whereas you once had a multi-tiered stack of costs for each and every one of your internal sales professionals, instead you’ll be looking at one relationship and one pre-negotiated service charge.
Improved Overall Sales Performance
Of course your outsourced sales team isn’t only about efficiency and savings.
If anything the main reason to consider sales outsourcing in the first place is because, as we’ve mentioned, outsourced sales is the core service provided by your new sales outsourcing partner.
Let The Experts Handle It
Smart companies outsource sales because they want to benefit from the expertise of professionals who have built their entire business around successfully executing on a high-performing sales process for their clients.
Just like you’ll now be more specialized and focused on your core product or service, a well-chosen outsourced team is committed to delivering as your outsourced sales partner.
They’ll have a proven approach to learning your business so they can generate qualified leads, nurture prospects, and close deals more effectively than your in-house sales team could.
Access to New Markets
One of the most easily overlooked benefits to outsourced sales teams is that geographical distance can be an extremely powerful asset.
By yourself, expanding into even one new market can be a daunting and intimidating undertaking. There are cultural norms to learn, features to tweak, messaging to tailor—and that’s assuming there’s a common language!
Partners in Growth as Well as Efficiency
In addition to being sales experts, a well-chosen outsourced sales team can be the key to expanding into new territory or even introducing an entirely new region to your brand.
Your new outsourced team may be strategically located so that a previously prohibitive time difference is now easily bridged.
Your new outsourced sales reps may be familiar with the culture in a nearby market.
Your sales outsourcing company may even offer marketing services such as localization so that something as challenging as new market expansion may feel like business as usual.
A More Innovative & Competitive Sales Process
When you optimize your business with competent sales outsourcing you’re also outsourcing sales development to industry experts. The best sales outsourcing agencies are competitive because they’re fiercely capable in their field and take their business seriously.
The best outsourced sales provider is one that commits not just to offsetting your need for an in-house sales team, but also to achieving meaningful revenue growth for your company by improving your sales function on all fronts.
They’ll ideally be training their sales reps on your product/service, messaging and market, as well as building a sales funnel and improving your sales cycle as part of a larger long-term sales strategy.
A Larger Talent Pool with More Diverse Skills
Not only can sales outsourcing be a huge boon to your company’s sales capabilities due to your sales outsourcing agency being dedicated experts in their field, it can also open lots of other doors in terms of the talent that ultimately makes up your sales teams.
Once you’re no longer constrained by hiring local sales development reps for an in-house dedicated sales team, your talent pool instantly multiplies by an enormous factor.
Global Talent—Sourced For You
While the prospect of considering candidates from all over the world might seem intimidating or laborious if handled directly, sales outsourcing experts are both experts in sales and outsourcing, meaning they know how to coordinate talent to build an outsourced sales department consisting of the best-fit candidates across borders.
You may find yourself equipped with a sales manager who’s experienced in lucrative new markets or even adjacent product categories you may eventually want to expand into.
Your new sales reps may be multilingual, or your sales functions may benefit from overall increased cross-referencing amongst team members that bring unique, worldly experience and sales skills to the table.
Accountability & Scalability
Hands down one of the most relieving aspects of outsourcing sales functions to a capable sales outsourcing agency or partner is the fact that this entire function now boils down to KPIs and clearly-identified deliverables that you can establish with them in advance.
Unlike managing inside sales teams where the caliber of an individual’s sales efforts can often be subjective, this is now purely a supplier relationship in which you’re paying for results.
Of course, these should be realistic and attainable as well as clearly agreed to up-front by both parties in order to be useful as metrics for performance—but this new relationship dynamic with your collective sales function stands to put true, measurable accountability on your partner.
After all, they’re the experts, right? Once you’ve evaluated them on their stated capabilities and track record, loaded them up with your values, selling points, brand messaging, and market insights, it’s on them to utilize their proven methodology and bring in revenue.
The other side of this coin is scalability. By outsourcing sales and reducing direct human capital, you can easily grow—or tighten up—as needed and on short notice.
If you need to conserve resources, you can easily and quickly scale back your outsourced sales operations without worrying about laying people off or paying unemployment.
On the flip side, your partner will be thrilled to get the chance to provide additional resources when you’re ready to grow, and should be well-equipped to staff up, efficiently train, and expertly integrate a new sales rep or sales leader on short notice.
Tips For Evaluating Sales Outsourcing Services & Successfully Outsourcing Sales
Importantly, the key to reaping any of the benefits we’ve discussed throughout this article is to carefully evaluate your potential sales outsourcing partner and ensure expectations are both understood and achievable.
Here’s a brief rundown of the critical steps and considerations for executing a successful sales outsourcing strategy.
Best Practices & Key Steps For Success in Sales Outsourcing
- Carefully evaluate the market of sales outsourcing companies.
- Consider factors that may be of particular importance to you, like:
- Their physical location (market reach and exposure; time zone differences)
- Their stated expertise (B2B sales; B2C, length of sales cycle, industries and product categories)
- Relevance of any published success stories
- Pricing models and performance promises
- Potential added value (sales intelligence, market research, etc.)
- How much control you’ll retain regarding things like sales processes and sales strategy
- Narrow down your shortlist.
- Discuss KPIs, sales objectives, and success measurement to ensure mutual understanding.
- Carefully review contract terms and ensure you understand pricing and fees.
- Ask for current and former clients, and conduct your own research in order to verify claims and reputation.
- Consider transitioning in phases so you can evaluate your new partner without putting all your eggs in their basket up front.
Iglu Provides The Advantages of Outsourcing Sales with the Control & Integration You’re Used To
The key downside or concern most companies cite when considering moving to an outsourced sales team is loss of control.
They’re excited at all the benefits like significant cost savings, increased market responsiveness, scalability, growth potential, and advanced sales processes, but many feel a major sense of comfort in maintaining a more direct relationship with the individuals that make up their sales and marketing teams.
Gain The Best of Both Worlds With Iglu
It’s exactly this gap that Iglu aims to bridge with our unique approach to sales outsourcing. With Iglu, you can benefit from having your sales team located at one of our highly in-demand international bases, and leverage all the upsides of sales outsourcing without the loss of control and familiarity.
They gain highly sought-after benefits like drastically reduced living costs in Thailand or Vietnam, the ability to experience the world, and world-class guidance from our proven business experts.
You gain organizational efficiency, reduced risk, a single easy-to-manage partner relationship, major cost savings and an outsourced base of operations that can provide access to new markets and opportunities for growth.
Find out how working with Iglu as your trusted sales outsourcing partner can be your safest and most reliable path to success. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation with our business team.