Should you outsource your sales team?

Posted in Sales team management.

Large organisations will often undertake most sales processes in house, but smaller businesses with fewer internal resources don’t always have this same luxury. After all, it’s not always easy to find the budget to hire, and even if the budget is available, the time and effort it takes to find the right skills can result in reduced levels of workplace productivity. So is outsourcing your sales team a good option?

In-House Sales or Outsourced Sales?

Outsourcing business processes and operations is incredibly common. In fact, it’s actually much more common than you may think, especially in terms of strategic functions with around 70% of businesses outsourcing one of more of these aspects, according to research. However, only one third of businesses outsource sales tasks. Why? Does this low percentage mean outsourcing isn’t a particularly good choice? Yes. And no. There is definitely something to be said for outsourced sales, and there are actually many advantages to this way of working. For example, handing off your tasks to a ready-made team of experts reduces the costs involved with training new employees, but there’s also quite a few downsides, too.

Pros and Cons of Outsourced Sales

Perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to deciding whether or not to outsource sales is the fact that both the pros and cons can be seen within practically every single aspect of the sales process. For example …

  • Timing: Outsourced sales can certainly save your business time. You can hand over all the more complex, time consuming aspects of sales to an agency and return your focus to your core business. However, the idea of ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’ is something we can’t ignore. No one knows your products and services quite as well as you do… would an outsourced rep really be able to fill your shoes?
  • Building Relationships: It’s no secret that modern B2B buyers want partners, not vendors. They want to build relationships with the organisations they deal with, and while it’s entirely possible for an agency to do all the hard work for you, the fact remains that an outsourced sales team would merely be a middle man — a bit of a third wheel, really — in your relationship with your clients. Is this something that your business could handle?
  • Nurturing Leads: Outsourced sales teams have all the tools, the knowledge, the skills, and the time to effectively nurture leads, and it means that you don’t have to. But communication remains somewhat of a worry here. It’s all about branding, and ensuring that you’re delivering a consistent message across all of your communications channels…can an outsourced sales team match the voice of your existing brand?

Is There Another Option?

If you’re not sure whether to outsource your sales team, there are a few alternative options to consider. For example, you could utilise in house tools to support your own sales team and boost their productivity. Maybe some extra temporary staff can help bridge the gap between your team’s existing capabilities, and what needs to happen to deliver top results. A further option is to take a combined approach, using both your internal resources and an agency to allow you to delegate tasks while maintaining your own voice.

In House vs. Outsourced…Which is Better?

Neither option is technically better than the other. In fact, what’s right for your small business may not be right for the next, and the pros and cons of outsourcing can be seen clearly within a sales environment. A small business with an urgent need to grow their sales team rapidly may benefit from outsourcing their team, even if it’s only in the short term, while businesses that are already starting to grow and develop may find it better to provide their in house team with tools to support them in their efforts to generate new leads, build relationships, and increase productivity and profitability.