In the ebb and flow of business sometimes you need to leverage a broader prospective and Buy VS Build
Business is fluid. Markets change, needs change, new products are introduced, and others become obsolete. While some sales principles (such as integrity, courage, passion and empathy) will hold true for eternity, the systems which drive business growth and expansion are constantly evolving as are the people who make those systems effective.
Whatever the reason, there comes a time when “doing it the way we’ve always done it” is no longer effective. Either sales goals aren’t being met, you are losing market share and missing opportunities, and business is growing slower than anticipated; or business is going well but you are in the enviable position of being faced with more growth potential than available resources.
Regardless of the reason, the question is how do you adjust your strategy and redeploy your talent? Do you hire additional sales reps and realign your systems from within, or do you partner with a firm with the people, the processes, the expertise and the passion to help you bring your business to the next level?
Outsourcing some, or all of your sales and lead generation functions can be an effective solution.
In his book Strategic Outsourcing: A Structured Approach, Maurice F. Greaver II writes that, among other things, outsourcing enables organizations to enhance their effectiveness, increase their flexibility, obtain expertise and technologies that might not otherwise be available, and acquire innovative ideas.2
While he was not writing specifically about the sales function, the logic still applies. That said, it is still a big decision to make.
Buy Vs. Build?
The determination whether to buy or build a sales force should be based on a thorough understanding of your true strengths and core skill sets; an honest assessment of current infrastructure capabilities and resource availability; and an analysis of how long it would take you to build the infrastructure, necessary to truly compete in your marketplace or break into a new one. Other critical decision factors include where your product or service fits in its adoption life cycle, whether or not you have a definable product and identifiable market, whether or not your sales problems are due to lack of demand (as opposed to lack of quality sales processes), and if you have the passion and the focus to drive ALL facets of your business without outside help.
For organizations who have the available resources – a solid sales and CRM infrastructure, quantitative and qualitative sales metrics, sales management expertise, and a quality sales force large and flexible enough handle an additional workload; sales challenges can be effectively addressed from within the organization.
On the other hand, for those organizations who have a viable product or service yet don’t want to divert current resources to explore new markets, see the value in leveraging outside perspective, want a definitive ROI, are in need of speed‐to‐market, or want to focus their time and efforts elsewhere in the business, outsourcing is a logical choice, no matter what stage of the sales cycle they are in.
Benefits of Outsourcing
- Cost effectiveness and efficiency: Significant infrastructure, training, systems and management expertise are required to build a successful sales organization. Putting all the pieces in place is a large undertaking and may not see ROI for quite some time. By outsourcing with an expert who has the systems in place, you can hit the ground running, whether with a new business, a new product or a new territory.If you have the systems in place, it’s all about opportunity cost. What could you be doing if you didn’t have to dedicate your time and energy to building a pipeline?
- A broader perspective: “Third party objectivity will always bring a new perspective,” said Greg Tillar, CEO of NuGrowth Solutions, “The beautiful thing about NuGrowth is we don’t bring baggage to a relationship. In fact we dream about what is possible. We hire that way, we train that way and continue to embrace the concept that an individual and an organization can change an industry.”
- Focus and Specialization: A lot can be said for the fact that when you buy a sales team, you get just that – a team, from management on down, who is focused entirely on producing actionable, quality leads for your pipeline, acquiring new clients, and perfecting the processes necessary to do so.
- Time Management: By delegating sales and marketing activities to a competent partner you will gain more time to devote to other critical areas of your business.
- A world class team: By aligning with a quality outsourced sales team, small to mid‐ size companies gain access to Fortune 500 level hiring expertise, training, skill‐sets, and systems which optimize business intelligence and analytics.
Different Stages—Different Solutions
As Mark Leslie and Charles A. Holloway wrote in their Harvard Business Review article, The Sales Learning Curve, each phase of the sales cycle requires a different approach. “The way to shift the sales learning curve to the left, and reach the break‐even point and profitability more quickly, is to track sales yield over time and adjust your go‐to‐market strategy as you move along the curve. That’s because the sales learning process unfolds in three distinct phases—the initiation phase, the transition phase, and the execution phase… Each phase requires a different size—and kind—of sales force, and represents a different stage in your production, marketing, and sales strategies.”3
It is for just that reason that it is not only start‐ups and small businesses who benefit from outsourcing with a reputable partner. Firms such as NuGrowth Solutions, who understand the science of sales force productivity, and have quantitative and qualitative systems in place to track your sales metrics and adjust accordingly, are perfectly positioned to identify process and recommend and execute additional lead generation activities and new sales approaches – wherever you are in your sales cycle.
Not All Are Created Equally
Once you have made the decision to outsource, it is important to remember that not all outsourced sales providers are created equally. Look for someone you can trust and are comfortable working with – someone with a track record for success, whose goals and values are aligned with your own.
You will know it is a good fit if:
- You are gaining new market intelligence.
- Your partner is organized, consistent and diligent in all of their approaches.
- Conversations with your sales partner are open and transparent and no one is afraid to discuss difficult issues.
- Your partner is bringing more to the table than just selling.
If you have a passion for product development and the operational expertise to run your business, but are constrained by current sales efforts or are trying to break into new markets, NuGrowth Solutions can help. We’ll bring the people, the processes and the expertise to take your organization to new heights in customer acquisition.
If you are interested in leveraging our team to increase revenue for your business, please give us a call. We’ll show you how we can help.
1 Zoltner, Andris A., Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer. “Match Your Sales Force Structure To Your Business Lifecycle.” The Harvard Business Review. http://hbr.org/2006/07/match‐your‐sales‐force‐structure‐to‐your‐ business‐life‐cycle/ar/1 (26 January 2011).