When should I outsource sales?

Whether your tech business is a startup or a scale-up and you want to expand to Europe, it’s crucial that you keep the focus entirely on your core business. Getting caught up in ideas and plans, you might find that other activities can eat into that focus. For example, adding new people to your sales team can be a daunting process and at the very least a time-consuming one. Your sales representatives and the sales strategy is a core, if not the most important, business element.

A good and valued question, early on in the planning stage, is to ask “when should I outsource sales?” And because bringing in an outsourced sales agency is a naturally smart move to save time and allow you to fixate on other areas. Remember that sales outsourcing is an effective resource — and recourse — that will increase your sales and marketing team structure and ultimately drive better business for your tech company.

The big picture of your sales process

Right back there at the expansion ‘ideas’ stage, take a step back and take in the big picture. You may already have a team of sales representatives that works well at home, but expansion to Europe is a whole other ball game. So, by taking that step back and assessing what works now, what parts of it might work abroad, and what sales agents or B2B lead generation you might need to add, you can work out what you should change or modify in order to sell effectively abroad. 

Not just when, but should you outsource sales? Broadly speaking, there are three options for you to consider when building your sales team for European expansion:

  • Outsource your sales and marketing in full
  • Partly outsource sales and marketing with a combination method
  • Keep your sales and marketing in-house

Plan early for when you should outsource sales

Having access to and creating a customized plan is a major part of deciding when to outsource sales. Getting this done is also a pretty good litmus test when considering tips to evaluate a good outsourcing partner. Naturally, most will promise you the favorable results you want. But you want one that can create an international sales assessment. The result is a customized playbook for the rapid onboarding of your outsourced sales and marketing team that’s just for you. Choose a reputable sales agency that can walk the talk and is able to identify your strengths and weaknesses to go forward with clarity. What should you look for?

  • An outsourced sales agency — with close and relevant tech industry expertise — that takes the time and sits down with you and all of your key players. And respects that you sit firmly in the control seat, and will be prepared to offer you total insights, all of the time, with regular reports and reflective feedback. After all, if you cannot measure it, how can you improve it?
  • An outsourced sales agency that can create for you a consistent and repeatable strategy as part of your plan to overcome any bottlenecks and easily beat other out-of-the-box strategies.
  • An outsourced sales agency that is above all flexible, and can tailor their proven business model to fit your requirements, and be able to show you that from the get-go.
  • A successful business! If theirs isn’t then why should you hand them yours? Have a look at their client base and who they have already helped to expand to Europe. What innovative and tech-focused international partners have they teamed up with, and are they happy to introduce you if that’s beneficial and suitable for your business?

Outsource sales in full: When you don’t have time for slow moves

Time is of the essence with European expansion. Most U.S. tech companies will start off with a base in London — the same language, easier to communicate and do business with, right? Then from there move to Europe. It’s like taking the first step, and feels more comfortable than a big leap into really foreign territory.  But it doesn’t have to be like that. Plus the UK, and London in particular is a pretty saturated and over-competitive market, especially in the areas of fintech and telecommunications. First foray into familiar territory might feel more inside your comfort zone but it’s also slower, and you need to get where you really need to be, fast. Slow and steady don’t win this race.

That alone contrives to make as early as possible a good time to outsource sales. It’s less risky to allow real experts to handpick a sales team for you. One that will work completely under your brand, in your company voice and tone but that will fit in seamlessly with the local market. And fast. Hit the ground running with market-ready B2B lead generation, marketing, inside sales, and experienced sales development representatives (SDRs), and have them all report back to you regularly, so that if something isn’t working for you, then it’s easily swapped out or changed. 

Partly outsource sales as a combination

That’s the beauty of combined flexibility and scalability — you don’t have to start big, just whatever you are comfortable with and your budget allows for. Then scale up – or conversely, start with a full team and scale down if required. This will allow you to keep your budget and your objectives under control at all times, there’s no sudden overspending and you can outsource more when you see that it’s working and you are making a return on your investment. 

Although, starting small with the knowledge that each of our 75-plus sales executives has the benefits of more than a decade of selling tech locally, not generally, but in your particular niche, you might find full outsourcing is the smarter option. Add to that their local knowledge and lists of contacts and it’s even more attractive. Explore all of the options and remember that there’s no hard and fast commitment to the size of your European team. 

Keep your sales and marketing in-house

There will always be arguments for when you should, and when you shouldn’t outsource sales and marketing. Perhaps you are comfortable and confident with what you already have. After all, your business is successful at home, that’s why you wish to expand, right? You may have excellent sales representatives at home, selling to their local markets and in their local language. But, those skills and people are not necessarily transferable. 

Going the in-house recruitment route is the other option. But, there are hefty costs and delays that pose big risks associated with expansion and hiring in Europe, should you choose to do it that way.

Hiring in-house in Europe is not the same as hiring at home. What might on the surface seem like a budget-saving option can end up costing you a lot more. Just a few of the reasons not to do this are:

  • Recruitment is a lengthy business, that’s time you don’t have. Advertising open sales positions, the selection process, interviews, reference checking and possible trials all take time and big bites from your budget.
  • You will need to free up the time of an in-house recruiter or HR to set up and oversee the process. Or, you might choose to use the services of an outside recruiter who can be slow to respond with suitable candidates.
  • What if you end up with a bad hire? That’s costly, and if it is a bad hire that has to leave on bad terms, even more so. Social media revenge posts may damage the brand you are trying so hard to build. That’s not so easy to overcome or bury, especially when you’re trying to make an impact and build new and repeatable business. Trust and reputation are very important.
  • Legal tape — try not to get caught up in it at all costs, it’s different in Europe. From local employment laws (all differing from country to country) to European data protection laws (GDPR) you might find staying on the right side of the law is harder than you first thought. Fines for not being fully compliant are steep and will take more time out of your precious route to market as well as trip you up— all the while the competition is hot on your heels. 

Requirements will always differ from business to business. But, expansion to Europe is something we are experts in here at Sales Force Europe and we can sit down and discuss those requirements. We will offer you a plan that is exactly tailored to your business and your current needs. For sales and marketing to be really effective it needs to be engaging, unique and above all smoothly rolled out in unexplored territory. Be assured that our continuum of outsourced sales representatives and trusted partners will help you to do just that. So if you’re ready to bring your product to Europe and are asking the question “when should I outsource sales?” then you’re already at the stage where we need to talk!

More News