Lot of people (founders, sales heads, CXOs and many more) have asked me above question in last few years. I hope below article should help bring clarity. So, coming back to a related question. “Should an organization outsource its Sales function (either completely or partially) to a Sales Outsourcing Company? My Answer – IT DEPENDS.
Let me elaborate it:
If You Fall Into Any Of The Following, You Should Initiate Thinking About Sales (Or Business Development) Outsourcing:
1. If You Are a Startup/ SME Company With a Good Product/Service/Solution And Your Pain is B2B Sales
If you are a Startup who has not achieved product- market fitment, founders are recommended to remain engaged in customer conversations. However, if B2B Sales activities are too daunting task for the startup, founders may use “Sales Outsourcing” option more for ‘Market Research/Insights” and less for “Order closures”.
2. If You Are An International Company Wanting To Enter India
India is a vast country with its complexities and diverse cultures across different cities. You may consider Sales Outsourcing option for first few years until you are sure of your long-term plans for India. If Sales Outsourcing company is bringing good results, you may decide to continue with them. Or post your conviction of future potential of India market, you may consider having your own sales team.
3. If You Are a Global MNC With Head Count Approval Challenges
Sales outsourcing option works well. Here the right term will be “Extension of your sales Arm” instead of “Sales Outsourcing”. LoTS of global MNCs have very few (<10) direct sales professionals in India and the team may be experienced and expensive. In such cases, you can use “Sales Outsourcing” company to help you also do “Business Development” activities ( it goes much beyond lead generation ).
4. You Are a Large Company Having a Large Sales Team in India
Sales Outsourcing may be a feasible option if you would like to introduce a new product in the market about whose potential you are unsure, and you don’t want to distract your existing sales team with this new offering. In this case, Sales Outsourcing team can help you get market insights which will be valuable for you to take an informed long-term decision on right “Go to Market” strategy for the launch of new offering.
(If in case you are deliberating between DIY or Sales Outsourcing Option, suggest do the comparison of potential KPIs achievement at the end of 9-12 months and onwards.)
A good Sales Outsourcing Company will invest to create a professional sales culture at their end. It makes focused investment in processes, tools, technology, talent development and customer delight. Some of the examples are – Good talent recruitment and retention, Sales management, Sales support, Investment in Sales Technologies viz CRM, Sales Analytics, Database, Prospecting tools etc, regular training in structured sales approach, right mix of field sales- tele sales- sales support-sales managers and above all creating an eco-system of B2B sales professionals. However please note not all companies would make similar investment.
There are multiple other smaller scenarios. However above scenarios should help most of the companies thinking of outsourcing sales ( or BD ) or juggling with pain ( of not able to maneuver B2B Sales).