There is definitely a lack of flexible and shared-cost sales expertise for small and medium sized businesses.
f we need an accountant, solicitor or an IT specialist we are generally spoilt for choice, and can engage them either hourly, on agreed contract terms or a retention basis. With sales resource there was generally only the option to employ a sales person full-time or use an expensive telemarketing/telesales operation.
Sales management outsourcing is beginning to catch on as a cost effective solution especially in these challenging times. The larger outsourcing sales companies are predominantly sales training, coaching and or recruitment specialists that have realised the increasing demand for short term telemarketing and field sales personnel. At the other end of the scale smaller sales consultancies, such as Sellective, offer the interesting opportunity to employ an interim Sales Manager.
As companies move out of survival mode into recovery mode some forward thinking owners are realising that they need to invest quickly in sales again to stem competition and get ahead of the recovery curve. Finding the ideal person at short notice would almost certainly require the services of a recruitment agency who would be not only be expensive but only be able to offer who is available in the job market at that precise moment in time.
How many of you panic and dread the thought of a lengthy interviewing process only to have to gamble on whether you have chosen well at the end. Outsourcing is an immediate cost effective and indeed relatively risk free solution to these concerns. It can also be a welcome opportunity to get things moving while you take the time to find or wait for the right person.
Sales outsourcing is also ideally suited to new businesses. With all the pressure, effort and resources used to establish the business, sales initiatives can take a back seat or sales take a lowly position on the owners ever increasing to do list. The input of a short term sales professional is not only cost effective but extremely useful when time and resources are limited.
Even when there is a desire to employ a full time sales manager generally speaking sales people stick to their industry and businesses understandably, especially when under pressure, are inclined to employ experience from within their industry. This can limit the strategy thinking with historical factors possibly clouding judgements and could end up simply being a customer stealing exercise rather than an effective initiative to gain new more profitable business. Many sale management consultants have worked across many industries and sectors and have built up a more varied and layered approach to sales whatever the business type.
The outsourcing route will also enable you to test different ways of approaching prospects without major commitment in both resources and finances. Outsourcing an experienced Sales Manager is also an excellent opportunity for a small business wishing to investigate and embark on a sales campaign but with a limited budget. Unlike an employee an outsourced sales professional will also be more at ease offering constructive criticism and advise and can even offer interesting out of the box thinking.
We all know that we get a bit stale when we do the same thing day in day out. Many sales people seem to hit burn out and usually have 2-3 years of success before their sales dwindle. A fresh approach is needed and someone who works in your business for a fixed or ongoing part time basis brings enthusiasm to the role and a clear focus. Consultants dont take lunch breaks. Their attitude is very different from that of a full time member of staff. If they dont perform well you simply wont ask them back and you certainly wont recommend them to other companies.
Another enviable scenario is that the introduction of an interim sales manager increases your sales considerably over a short term. However you may then be in the position that it becomes hard to handle that much business. You can simply turn the outsourcing tap off and not be left with an expensive resource of an employed sales manager whos not now needed.
So how much is it going to cost, and surely it will be more expensive than employing someone full time? At first glance costs may seem similar when annualised but its a different picture when you factor in the following: pay as you need, no recruitment cost, no car costs, no training cost, no health care, no computer, no mobile phone, no office space, no NI and no need to pay them 30 days holiday and 10 days average sick pay per year. Youve probably worked it out yourself that outsourcing sales support is an extremely cost effective solution to your organisations short to medium term sales growth.
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