What’s the process and required preparation to hire a good sales team outsourcing company? Your ultimate goal is to increase your workforce globally while minimizing the risk and cost of training new staff, often from afar. So you want to find the right outsourced sales professionals to augment your company’s sales teams structure. Before you begin, there’s a lot to consider to ensure you make the right choice and hire a good sales team outsourcing company to get the job done.
Hiring the right sales outsourcing company is an efficient and effective alternative to onboarding new permanent staff. Your outsourced sales partners should come ready-to-go with the appropriate contacts and sales experience, filling the headcount you might not have the time to do internally, and accelerating and simplifying your company’s move into Europe.
Let’s look at the preparation of how to hire a good sales team outsourcing company and the shaping of expectations that will align and become extensions of your existing sales and European business development teams. When you find the right partner, it should create a smooth path for global expansion, while working with you to achieve your goals.
Finding and choosing the right sales outsourcing company as a viable option to hiring in-house means some preparation. As Gartner points out, a big risk factor to consider in hiring a sales team outsourcing company is that their goals may not be the same as yours. Make sure they are metrics-driven and have a plan for transparent feedback and ongoing communication.
Any company will do whatever it needs to survive, and this includes many outsourcing agencies. Before you choose a sales team outsourcing company, take the time to find out who their clients are and ensure you read feedback and testimonials. Feel free to contact who they tout as customers and make sure to check their reputation in the market — especially the local markets that you are targeting. You don’t want someone calling in from abroad — you want people on the ground, with their tech buyer network and reputation already in good standing. Do your research in order to find an ethical and reliable company that will align itself to your goals, creating a smooth transition for your expansion into new locations.
The tech industry has actually had a good year-plus. Chances are there are eager buyers looking for your tech solution and you are just leaving money on the table.
As we all adjust to the new normal, many companies find they need a booster particularly into their international sales models. In order to position your team for total recovery, McKinsey points out that investment into your sales force is the way to go. You probably won’t be able to get on the ground at your target country any time soon — borders are still in flux and frankly it’s not really necessary for you to go. Now more than ever, you need a flexible, scalable model that scales and contracts in response to local demand. And one that’s already established in your new markets.
Hiring an outside agency also has another advantage, simply the fact they are outside. It’s a different perspective, a fresh look at things, and can get you unstuck from the hamster wheel of old problems. Partnering with an outside company can also repair any breakdown in sales growth funnels, getting everyone back on the same page and refocused — a non-siloed approach in the wake of the pandemic.
How to hire a good sales outsourcing company means knowing the pitfalls before you make any firm decisions on which company you wish to partner with. It has to make business sense for you at this time, but how will you know that for sure? Will hooking up with a sales outsourcing company really impact your bottom line and will you see real results for the effort of hiring them? There are many companies out there and it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of choices and the glossy brochure mentality of a smooth website. The bottom line is you should only outsource your sales function if you are completely confident that your choice of sales outsourcing company really knows and shows their stuff.
This sales partner needs to fill you with the confidence that they know the local tech market significantly better than you do, and can demonstrate that in their reporting and KPI structure. You should be able to ascertain this by sitting down (most often virtually) with both the outsourcing company leadership and the regional sales leadership — they should be able to exhibit their localized tech sales knowledge readily. Place more emphasis on capabilities over the cost of the model, and investment in a specialized team. Can they meet those needs? If not, say no thanks, because if the product and market are not a good fit for their sales expertise then it’s not a good choice for you and your organization.
Look for red flags such as poor financial health of the prospective outsourcing partner. Or poor “snake-oil seller” branding on social media. A solid existing client base of well-known organizations and client satisfaction should allay any doubts. And remember they should have no problem dropping names because their clients should be satisfied with their service.
And, of course, what’s their ability to sell you on their services? It should be obvious that if they cannot do that then they will not be good at providing the right sales team to sell your product.
These first meetings to suss out your potential sales outsourcing partner should be a learning experience — for both sides. They should be eagerly asking questions about your product and home customers, while you should be learning about their working styles and what you need to know before moving into a certain region.
You may have already vetted companies and decided outsourcing is a good fit for your business, rather than internally hiring your sales team, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be asking more questions. Hiring a sales outsourcing company should mean a careful selection process and asking the right questions to ensure the best fit before you sign. Ask about their team experience and processes, and see how they align with your existing sales model.
You’re expanding to new horizons and getting to know new markets, often in a new language. Therefore, be sure their on-the-ground team possesses the in-depth tech domain knowledge, talent and linguistic skills to handle all of that seamlessly for you. Both technical knowhow and buyers’ motivations will vary by country or region. They should be able to demonstrate that knowledge easily in your first conversations — and take notes, you should be learning from them!
What’s the outsourcing company’s proven experience with your vertical, and can they demonstrate that with testimonials to show those results? You will want to see a return on this new investment in sales outsourcing, so ask whether they would be willing to share risks relative to deliverable results, and, if not, why? When it comes to the sales team that they provide, reports are important, as you will want to retain control and have clear visibility into the whole sales team activity, so ask what the process, whether the sales reps are directly reporting to you or is there a communication hierarchy where you talk to the regional heads. Either could be a good fit, but you need to make sure that it's all clear up front.
Transparency is crucial to every sales outsourcing relationship.
Hiring a sales team outsourcing company is an extra expense for your business so, like all investments, you want to maximize the experience — and to be able to pivot to a new sales rep, market or vertical quickly if things aren’t a right fit. It’s potentially a new partnership, so from the get-go be an active partner and treat your outsourced sales reps as members of your team, providing any technical training ahead and making sure they understand your messaging and unique value proposition. And then trust in their expertise to adapt it to the local markets.
And, as always, measure and share along the way — it’s the only way to prove if this outsourced sales relationship is a good fit for you.