Decades ago, it wasn’t common to outsource sales and marketing due to the slower and simpler processes. Traditional advertising campaigns rolled out over months, and the data returned to marketing teams usually came from focus groups and sales departments. The sales team than had time to follow up with a strategy to convert and close the deals. With the digital revolution, everything has changed – speed, scope, budgeting, data, timing.
Until quite recently, most businesses tended to develop in-house solutions to face the needs of growing their sales and marketing functions – they either employed a dedicated group of sales and marketing professionals, or assigned existing employees who ended up wearing multiple hats. The results of this approach are often inconsistent in spite of what it may cost to run them. There is an alternative – outsourcing your sales and marketing functions.
Depending on the development stage of each business, there are multiple benefits in outsourcing your sales and marketing efforts. For start-ups and early stage companies demand generation or sales appointment setting might be all that is needed, while for more established businesses outsourcing the complete sales process all the way through order-capture and account management may be the right move.
Here we have put together a list of good reasons why you should think about outsourcing your sales and marketing.
- Lower cost and risk
By outsourcing you will save money as you won’t have to hire, train and retain your sales and marketing staff. You will also have the confidence in knowing that experienced and reliable outsourced teams will be able to complete the work on time – for a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee. There are also some operational efficiencies that are likely to impact your bottom line – for example, when you need to add a specific skill to your team. Often Sales & Marketing departments would like to add a new skillset but they either don’t have enough work to justify a full-time employee or don’t want to (or can’t) afford the bill for overhead expenses that come with hiring an employee like benefits and training. Outsourcing gives you the manpower and skills you need, when you need it, and without the overhead expenses.
2. Saving time
By outsourcing your sales and marketing efforts, you will be able to save some of your own time. As a business owner, you are dealing with a billion things at once. Instead of managing your sales and marketing team, you could be focusing on developing new product/services, networking, identifying new sectors, etc. Outsourcing gives you the reassurance that the work will be completed on time and on budget by a team of experts, instead of having to spend your time worrying about whether your employees are getting the work done and at what standard.
3. Scaling effort quickly
One of the great advantages of outsourcing your sales and marketing is the ability to scale the effort up or down easily based on the specific business circumstances. Whether you need to double the sales force or the business wants to shift investment to a different market or priority, it can be as simple as a phone call. When you need to act quickly, relying on existing internal resources is tricky – you may not be able to achieve the same results as it is likely that changing the scope of existing resources will take some time and it will slow down your reaction time. Working with an external partner will give you greater bandwidth to scale marketing efforts quickly and respond to revenue contribution demands.
In addition to the speed of bringing someone in on an as-needed basis, another practical benefit of outsourcing sales and marketing is the ability to only have people on contract when you need them. For example, you may not always need all elements of a marketing campaign all times: design, content strategy, media planning, digital marketing, SEO, social media, traditional media, etc. By outsourcing to a team of professional, you are able to scale up and down as budgets, seasons and project cycles change over time. With some planning, you can schedule the work in advance so the external talents can drop right in as needed and keep your sales and marketing running as a well-oiled machine.
By outsourcing you will have a team who are used to do the tasks you require and have done them many times before – you will be able to gain access to their experiences and wealth of knowledge, which is a huge benefit for your company. Instead of taking the time to build a high performing sales and marketing team, you will get access to one straight away.
Outside specialists also bring fresh insights, experience and knowledge that many in-house teams have not been exposed to within their organisation. As they are used to work in a variety of industries and with a variety of business types, external partners are likely to have learned to identify transferable skills and core problems in order to bring results. As business owners, you can get stuck in the same old routine sometimes. Either out of familiarity or necessity, or a little of both, you may stick with the same strategies that you know work, without exploring other options. Outsourcing is a great way to break out of this rut by gaining access to individuals who have a fresh perspective on your business and can offer new ideas for innovating your sales and marketing efforts.
In addition to all this, sometimes it can be difficult to find and retain top talent, meaning that if someone leaves it will have a direct impact to your business. You can avoid all that by outsourcing.
At the end of the day, results are what really matter. With the great opportunity to access a pool of talent, expertise and ability you are more likely to hit your goals than if you had start building your team from the bottom line.
If there is one thing that you should focus on when building a company is growth and sales. Whether this is revenue growth or sales growth, it should be the main focus in the beginning. Start-ups and SMEs (but not only) are notoriously underfunded and understaffed. Engaging outsourced sales and marketing teams can enable quicker growth thanks to their experience in quickly putting together and executing successful sales and marketing plans.
One thing to keep in mind is that coordinating outside teams takes careful planning to allow the collective external staff to be aligned and deliver a cohesive approach. However, when combined together and executed well, it will create a faster, agile and efficient team that delivers more targeted results. In a way, it reflects the way the digital age — social media, search engines, analytics, etc. — has given the world instant information and the ability to pivot quickly. Combine that with the human factor of bringing in-house perspectives in and you have the recipe for 21st-century business success: custom, fast responsive and scalable.