If you've found yourself toying with the idea of outsourcing your sales team, you may be feeling the pressure of a high workload, tight budget, or both. You're not alone—many businesses choose to outsource certain departments, from marketing to human resources, in an effort to reduce costs or increase efficiency.
For the most part, sales departments are easy to outsource. You can hire an agency to handle all of the legwork of finding leads, making cold calls, and closing deals. This can potentially be a great way to improve your bottom line without having to invest in a full-time sales team, but it does carry certain risks that warrant consideration.
In this article, we'll help you decide what’s best for your business by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your sales team.
Outsourcing sales has the potential to give you high value for less than you would spend on an in-house team.
The most obvious advantage to outsourcing any department is cost reduction. In fact, of businesses that have chosen to go this route, 70% cite cutting costs as their chief motivator.
When you outsource your sales department, you are no longer responsible for the costs associated with running that department. This includes the costs of office space, equipment, and employee training, salaries, and benefits.
You will likely pay the outsourced sales agency a monthly fee, but since their overhead costs are spread out across multiple clients, you will probably be charged significantly less than the cost of running your own sales department.
For small businesses just starting out, or those that are downsizing, these savings can have a huge impact.
Just remember that there may be hidden costs associated with outsourcing, such as the need to train the outsourcing company’s staff on your products and services. Make sure to have a frank conversation with any outsourcing partner about your budget and expectations before engaging them.
Outsourcing gives you the freedom to scale up or down your sales team as business needs dictate, without the hassle and expense of maintaining a full-time, in-house team.
When business is booming, it’s easy to add more agents to your outsourcing team. And when business slows down, you can reduce the number of agents without the worry of layoffs.
You can also try out different sales strategies with an outsourcing team without the risk of disrupting your in-house team’s performance.
You will also have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the location of your sales team. With an outsourcing partner, you can have agents located in different time zones to better cover your customer base. Or you can choose to have your team located in a country with a lower cost of living, which can save you money.
When you outsource your sales team, you have access to a pool of expert sales talent. This is especially beneficial if you don’t have the internal resources to train and develop your own sales team.
Your outsourcing partner will have a team of experienced sales professionals who are familiar with the latest sales techniques and technologies. They will also have a proven track record of success in selling to your target market.
When you're just starting out, it can be difficult to find experienced, reliable salespeople who fit your budget. But with an outsourcing partner, you can get started quickly with a team of proven sales professionals.
Your sales department is fundamental to your company’s success. Moving it out-of-house opens the door to a whole new set of risks.
A significant challenge with outsourcing your sales department is the potential loss of control over the sales process. When you outsource, you are relying on another company to manage an important part of your business.
This can be a risky proposition, as you may not have the same level of control over the sales process as you would if you managed it in-house. For example, if your sales team is not meeting its targets, you may have difficulty getting them to make changes.
Additionally, you may not be able to implement your own sales strategies and processes if they conflict with the outsourcing company’s approach.
Bear in mind that the company you outsource to will be motivated by its own profits and targets, not necessarily yours. As a result, you may find that your interests are not always aligned.
When you outsource your sales department, you take on a great deal of dependency on the agency you hire. If the agency does not have your best interests at heart, or is simply unreliable, you could be left high and dry.
Consider what would happen if the agency you outsourced to went out of business. You would be left scrambling to find a new agency, and in the meantime, your sales would suffer. This could be a huge setback for your business.
The agency may also have certain vulnerabilities you can’t see. For example, they may be relying on a small number of key employees. If one of these employees left the agency, it could have a big impact on their ability to deliver results for you.
Of course, choosing an agency with a proven track record and strong reputation can help mitigate these risks. But even if you trust your agency, have a plan in place just in case the worst happens and they can no longer meet your needs.
One of the biggest downsides to outsourcing your sales department is that communication is almost bound to become more difficult. It can be a struggle to keep everyone on the same page when you have team members in different locations, accountable to different managers, and working within different company cultures–or even different cultures more generally.
If your outsourcing partner is not responsive, or if they don’t speak English fluently, it can also be difficult to get your point across and understand their feedback. Working across multiple time zones can make scheduling meetings and calls a hassle.
Overall, there is simply a higher potential for misunderstandings and misalignment than if you were working with a local team. Messy communication can lead to a lack of clarity and direction, and ultimately, sales productivity can suffer.
Whether it’s digital marketing, IT, or sales, outsourcing departments can help you access high-quality resources while saving money. However, outsourcing is certainly not without its challenges.
If you’re considering working with an outsourced sales agency, think carefully about how it would impact your business. How much control do you want over your sales team? What would be your strategy for dealing with communication issues or sub-par performance?
Spend ample time researching potential partners and pay close attention to the details of your contract. As long as you’ve put yourself in good hands and are well-protected against the risks, outsourcing sales could help give your company room to grow.
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