How long does it take to get started with an outsourced sales model?

New year, new growth. Your tech company had a good 2021 and has made a name for itself in your home market. January is traditionally a good time to take stock and look towards new markets in Europe for fresh growth. An outsourced sales model will drive your European expansion while reducing cost, headcount and overall risk.

So, once the decision is made, how long does it take to get started with an outsourced sales model? Let’s look at the process and see how much time you will need to invest to get your international sales outsourced and working efficiently on your behalf in Europe.

How soon can you get your sales representatives working in Europe?

‘As soon as possible’ is probably your first response in answer to when you wish to get up and running. How quickly you can hit European ground running depends greatly on whether you choose to use specificialized outsourced sales agencies versus traditional hiring. This takes careful planning and thought, and largely depends on how many outsourced employees you require. You might decide to outsource just your European sales representatives, running the remainder of your business functions from your existing headquarters. Or, you might choose to scale up a whole lock, stock and barrel operation abroad to run alongside and complement your successful home operation, whether that’s in the U.S. or already in Europe.

What might encourage you to consider sales outsourcing? 

Sales outsourcing can be a good fit if:

  • You currently have a small team of sales representatives that might struggle under the sudden weight of new European leads.
  • You know where you need to be, where it is hot right now for your vertical, but you just don’t know of any local sales agents with the ability to handle that new opportunity.
  • Your existing sales team is less likely to succeed in a tough new sales environment they are not familiar with.
  • Your budget just doesn’t stretch to a permanent, hired, full sales team, especially before you’ve proven a new market.
  • You don’t need a full-time sales rep in your new area... yet.
  • You simply don’t know your new target market like you know your current one.

Time involved finding and retaining the perfect hire

When levels of unemployment are low, typically it’s more difficult to find and retain good quality employees, particularly in sales. Levels are currently low — less than 6% —  in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Traditional recruitment processes take time, planning and investment.

Finding a sales representatives team, interviewing them, assessing their skills and vetting them as individuals, offering and drawing up contracts — it’s all so time-consuming. You might use a recruiter, another expense with the average time to find and hire the right candidate standing at 38 days — and that’s before all the onboarding and training. Retaining those hires — especially with the Great Resignation running rampant in tech — is another challenge to tackle, and you don’t want the expense of repeating the process if you choose a bad hire.

All of this will take on average six months, perhaps more, delaying your expansion plans until Q3 or worse. You need to move fast to reach new markets, or your competition will be in there before you. Remember that onboarding an international outsourced sales team, including B2B lead generation, can take as little as four weeks with a specialized European sales agency like ours. That’s some difference in how long it’ll take to get started with an outsourced sales model versus the traditional hiring method, and will ultimately translate to saving you hassle and money. And you just might beat the competition by landing there first. “By unifying marketing and sales teams, an agency can deliver consistent messages about the brand and product to the customer throughout the entire process — from awareness to decision,”, as reported by Forbes.

Hire local sales representatives

Why does it take such less time to outsource your sales model in comparison to traditionally hiring in-house? Because an outsourced sales agency has already put together a stable pool of local sales representative talent. They are already there, on the ground, selling tech in local markets. Local sales agents who are selling tech all day long and know the local market inside out. 

With a European outsourced sales agency — or at least with ours —  you gain:

  • Local multi-channel lead generation in local languages.
  • Local marketing specialists.
  • Local field and sales representatives.
  • Local inside sales teams.
  • Local and regional sales team management too.

Building a sales development team is much more than a lead generation team working from the phone. If it takes on average 12 points of contact to turn a contact into a sales-qualified lead then having someone on the ground bypasses the struggles of trying to create a localized plan for a market that is foreign to you in every way.

And never forget, business is done differently in different countries, Europe is not a one-size-fits-all, and the common market does not translate to common culture. Steer past language issues, timezone differences, and cultural faux-pas, and, instead, concentrate on communicating the right message to the right culture and local buyer persona. Sales outsourcing will offer all of this as part of your bespoke plan, saving you time and money.

Keeping on the right side of European law

Hiring in Europe can be a legal and logistical nightmare. Unless you are fully aware of local legal legislation — which changes all the time — then don’t even attempt to tackle it. EU laws may make it easy for EU citizens to work in different countries, and by doing so protect them, but it definitely doesn’t make it easy for employers to employ them. You will likely need to hire a lawyer to wade through all of the legalities and jargon in the country where you have chosen to scale to, in order to verify you are fully compliant. Failure to do this will likely end in high legal fees, large fines and a damaged reputation. What sort of legalities should you be aware of?

Experienced outsourced sales agencies will have up-to-date compliance already built into their systems, and you won’t even have to think twice when you outsource, as all the legal legwork is already done for you — at least if you work with a best-of-breed sales outsourcing partner like us. 

This is usually all done in a single, multi-national contract, which means month-to-month you know where you stand and where you’re headed. This makes perfect sense and for a very attractive option when looking at the timescale and considering setting up an outsourced sales model, versus hiring in a legal team on top of lengthy permanent recruitment processes.

Scale up rapidly in Europe

If you’re really serious about scaling up your tech company in Europe this year, you need an attractive and repeatable international sales strategy. Not as easy to get right the first time as you might think, because what already works well for you at home may not translate to another country.  The sooner you’re on the ground in a new market, the better it is for your business. And quickly generating international sales for your vertical is key to growing profit. International outsourced sales agencies worth their mettle have been there and done that. They have successfully enacted international sales plans for products similar to yours. So, you can be confident that they will put together an international sales strategy for you that will work, tailored to your local buyer personas. 

Scaling rapidly requires a good chunk of budget. An outsourced sales model allows you to work in accordance to your budget, allowing new external team members to step in quickly if required scaling and contracting based on market response. Perhaps you just require sales outsourcing for a short time until you can feel your feet in this unexplored European market, establishing market demand before setting up your own HQ with permies. 

If the current pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that nothing is certain, and although tech continues to grow as a strong industry, sometimes it’s good to have the comfort of knowing you are not ‘stuck’ with many full-time sales agents before you’ve proven interest in your product. 

As well as providing the right team, an outsourced sales agency also allows you to take advantage of the tools you will require to scale quickly. A sales assessment will show you where you are going and where you want to be. Agreed-upon goals will allow you to seamlessly:

  • Clarify all aspects of your sales function.
  • Streamline inbound and outbound B2B lead generation processes.
  • Identify and overcome any future bottlenecks before they appear.
  • Assist you in choosing the size of your sales representatives team and how many functions will be right for you, for example, inside sales versus outside sales, as detailed by our partners Hubspot.
  • Have your house in order before you venture abroad.

As with all business decisions relating to scale-ups, there are plenty of Dos and Don’ts to outsourced sales, but one thing you can be sure of is that with international sales outsourcing you can leverage years of experience of selling successfully in Europe.Partnering with a European outsourced sales agency is a logical first step on your path to Europe.

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