Many commercial companies independently sell their own products and look for customers. Problems often arise with this. That is why it is more profitable and easier to outsource this part of the activity, thus increasing the turnover without spending your own resources, namely, without the need to train and attract your own staff to sales. All issues of product sales can be handled by a special company, the key activity of which is sales outsourcing.
Almost every large company has a sales force that is considered its financial engine, the foundation of success. The intensity of the company’s development depends on the experience and professionalism of the employees of this department, which allows opening new horizons of opportunities. The overall goal of the department is to ensure the process of selling goods and services as quickly and efficiently as possible. This process should include well-developed promotion strategies, new methods of competent competition in the market and other important functions. However, not every commercial organization can afford a whole staff of such valuable specialists, which creates significant difficulties at a certain stage of its development.
The outsourcing company will ensure the most profitable sales by reducing the company’s costs. There is no need to organize new jobs and pay wages to newly employed employees. At the same time, the company will receive services without which it will not be able to fully develop in the future.
Outsourcing of sales to a company involves the transfer of all functions for the promotion and sale of products or services to a third party. There are options for outsourcing only some functions or a full front of tasks in a specific direction.
Such cooperation aims to reduce the cost of organizing sales while expanding sales. Such a result can only be obtained as a result of interaction with an experienced outsourcing company.
◾️ monitoring of potential customers. In the process of monitoring, the company’s products are analyzed, the closest competitors are studied, the analysis of promotion tools, the demand of potential clientele is carried out;
◾️ organization of product and service presentations. Produced to inform potential customers in detail about the company’s products, about the main advantages of the product and the benefits in case of its purchase;
◾️ organizing and conducting events to familiarize existing clients with various advertising offers and promotions;
◾️ competently conducting meetings with clients in order to increase their interest in the company’s products, including work with objections.
This list is incomplete and many other points can be discussed on an individual basis. It is important to remember that outsourcing professionals do not have to transfer all marketing and product promotion functions. To optimize activities, you can divide the tasks performed between the outsourcing company and your own employees.
Some business owners are skeptical about such delegation since sales are often the main activity of the company. Therefore, in order to maximize development opportunities, it is extremely important to competently approach the issue of sales outsourcing. In practice, many outsourcing companies are able to improve business development, therefore, when choosing a suitable company, one should not be mistaken in its professionalism and experience until the conclusion of the contract. Namely, it is necessary to study in detail the qualifications of all employees of the outsourcing firm and the methodology of their work used to achieve the best results. Thus, you can quickly form a first impression of the prospects for such cooperation.
Before outsourcing agreed with responsibilities to an outside organization, be sure to carefully consider the benefits and benefits you will receive from the collaboration. Do not forget that outsourcing completely removes problems with personnel (sick leave, maternity leave, etc.). In addition, modern outsourcing companies actively interact with the target audience through call centers, which also has a positive effect on business development.
Call centers have operators on staff to communicate according to a pre-compiled template (script). It must take into account possible answers and questions from customers in the negotiation process.
If in the course of communication, the operator encounters a question that is not in the script, there are three options for further actions:
◾️ try to formulate an answer on your own (there is a risk of answering with an absurd phrase);
◾️ explain to the interlocutor that the operator does not have information on this issue;
◾️ just drop the call.
Such actions can cause a negative reaction from a potential client, which will alienate him from further communication with this call center.
Please note that it is not the responsibility of a call center operator to effectively negotiate with customers until a positive outcome is achieved. The operator’s task is only to call the customer base and read the text in accordance with the script. Moreover, the operator only needs to call each potential customer once.
Outsourcing specialists have all the necessary knowledge about sales and, unlike call center operators, do not use the prepared script in their work. Sales outsourcing is not limited to the number of calls.
◾️ be able to overcome the “secretarial barrier”;
◾️ be able to reach out to decision-makers;
◾️ correctly identify the needs of the client;
◾️ clearly explain the objective benefits of cooperation;
◾️ be able to respond to objections;
◾️ negotiate with the client about subsequent joint actions.
◾️ Search and find clients;
◾️ negotiate with potential customers to sell a product or service;
◾️ conclude contracts;
◾️ provide full support for transactions;
◾️ develop a customer base;
◾️ expand the range of purchased products;
◾️ organize participation in exhibition events;
◾️ engage in reporting;
◾️ fulfill the planned sales figures, etc.
The outsourcers assigned to your organization will devote all their working time to your project. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to control their work in real-time. As a rule, cooperation begins with the lease of one such manager.
There are three types of outsourcing by function:
◾️ Functional outsourcing, in which specific tasks are performed.
◾️ Resource outsourcing, when the task of the outsourcer is to replenish the client base and to optimize the resource base.
◾️ Operational outsourcing, when the outsourcer controls certain processes: product sales, website development, action plan drawing up.
In addition, stand out:
◾️ Outsourcing for some of the functions of the sales department – expanding the customer base, drafting contracts. Selling products and services is always a complex process, and it can be a very risky decision to shift absolutely all components of this process to a third-party firm. Therefore, it is most rational to outsource only a certain amount of tasks. In this case, the load on the customer’s own sales department is reduced and there is additional time for effective work.
◾️ Outsourcing aimed at a specific target group of potential customers, taking into account their real need for the products of the customer company.
◾️ Outsourcing of sales of a specific type of product.
If a company supplies a wide range of products, delegating authority to sell a specific product can simplify marketing.
The most popular services of outsourcing companies are used in the following business areas:
◾️ sale of goods and services;
◾️ development of business operations;
◾️ organization of training events and seminars;
◾️ technical support;
◾️ creation and promotion of online resources;
◾️ software development.
These industries are highly competitive, so it is extremely important for companies operating in them to ensure a stable attraction of potential customers.
Organizations selling specific products also use outsourcing firms. These are mainly young companies looking for an opportunity to quickly recruit clients and individual entrepreneurs who do not have the necessary resources to market their own products.
◾️ You are familiar with the business qualities of employees, you can regulate their activities, if necessary, adjust them.
◾️ Your employees quickly react to changes taking place in the company and quickly adapt to them.
◾️ The staff of the sales department is aimed exclusively at selling the products of your company, in contrast to the managers of an outsourcing company, who can work with several projects at once, unwittingly degrading the quality of work on each of them.
◾️ The sales department is well versed in the specifics of the company’s activities. Employees easily develop a personalized approach to clients.
◾️ The productivity of department employees is not always at a sufficiently high level for various reasons. In addition, significant efforts are spent on negotiations, which means that there is not enough time left to replenish the client base.
◾️ If an employee is engaged in calling potential customers and conducting negotiations with existing ones, his activities are scattered into two different directions. In this case, he, as a rule, ignores the cold calling, seeking to replenish the existing customer base. As a result, a situation may arise when existing clients begin to leave, but the specialist does not want to expand the client base until the existing clientele brings the desired result.
◾️ A lot of resources have to be spent on staff, including hiring and creating new jobs.
◾️ In the process of personnel renewal, departing employees take with them the established connections with clients, and new employees have to be trained. All this incurs additional costs.
◾️ There is no need for a large staff of employees, which greatly simplifies personnel management. It takes only 2-3 people to maintain a customer base.
◾️ The managers of the outsourcing company are not on the staff of the client company. Therefore, their services are paid only upon completion, they do not need to pay vacation, sick leave, and other payments, as well as deduct the corresponding taxes.
◾️ There is no need to organize an additional office and create a special department.
◾️ No need to inflate the staff too much.
◾️ The lack of obligation and punctuality of the client can hardly be corrected by the forces of a third-party organization.
◾️ If an employee at the first call to a client is interested in immediately making a commercial offer, an outsourcing specialist can start a conversation with abstract topics. This may not reflect in the best way on further interaction with the client.
◾️ A stable business relationship between the customer and the outsourcer is critical. In the absence of close cooperation, there may not be a positive result.
◾️ The work of full-time employees is more focused on loyal customers. “Cold calling” is more difficult for them.
Before making a choice, it is necessary to conduct a thorough assessment of the company’s work. When concluding a contract, each of its clauses must be analyzed. For example, according to the results of the assessment, it makes sense to outsource sales with payment for the result only in some areas of the enterprise. All this should be reflected in the contract.
There are several factors to consider to determine if outsourcing sales functions are really necessary. It should be borne in mind that outsourcers do not work with new companies in terms of payment for the result. In such cases, it is common to either outsource pay-per-sale sales or outsource pay-per-sale sales.
You should inquire about the experience of this company and study the feedback from its customers. A reputable firm will ensure an influx of buyers and a positive reputation for the customer. It would be useful to make a request for reporting from this outsourcer and recording the calls made. After examining the audio recordings, you can independently choose the right company for yourself. Also, inquire about your experience with your product or with a product similar to yours.
At this stage, you need to decide what part of the sales department’s activities to outsource. For this, it is necessary to clearly understand the result that needs to be achieved, on the basis of which to formulate intermediate goals and develop a scheme for interaction with the outsourcer.
The contract should be drafted as clearly and as concretely as possible in order to exclude possible uncertainty.
At least, a sales outsourcing contract should include:
◾️ the amount and terms of payment based on the results of the tasks;
◾️ indicators necessary to achieve the result;
◾️ list of services provided.
In addition, it is necessary to separately indicate that if the assigned tasks are not completed in full, the customer has the right not to pay for the work. All kinds of hidden charges are excluded. If the assigned tasks will be dealt with by specific outsourcers, they must be included in the contract.
The objective of this cooperation is to establish the relationship between the production of a product and its implementation. The main problems at this stage arise if the outsourcer has insufficient information about the product being sold or, when communicating with the client, excessively embellishes the product being sold.
Therefore, in order to avoid such situations, the work of the outsourcer must be assessed and monitored in a timely manner.
This stage is not difficult because the whole process can be fully automated. By specifying the corresponding clause on reporting in the contract, you can analyze the work of the outsourcing company employees every day. When analyzing, you need to track the progress in achieving the assigned tasks and, in general, the effectiveness of work.
Fully trusting and close cooperation is an ideal partnership and an indicator of the professionalism of an outsourcing company.
Payment should be made only based on the results of the work specified in the contract.
Here are the approximate indicators by which the result can be achieved:
◾️ identifying the productivity of the current customer base;
◾️ the expansion of the customer base;
◾️ high-quality interaction with clients;
◾️ implementation of sales transactions;
◾️ current product sales.
There is a large selection of outsourcing sales centers on the market today, but not every outsourcing company can boast of the high quality of the services provided. As a rule, the cost of the work of high-quality outsourcers is quite high, but you should not choose a company based solely on price. Experienced professionals shouldn’t be too cheap. Nevertheless, newcomers to this market lure customers precisely with low prices, but there is no guarantee that even this money will pay off later. If sales are key in your company, you don’t need to skimp on expensive but experienced people who can guarantee results. Another, slightly cheaper option is partial outsourcing when responsibilities are divided between the managers of the outsourcing company and a small staff of its own.
Of course, some start-up firms can show impressive performance, but this is very rare. To be safe, it is better to cooperate with companies that have many years of experience, a formed client base, and highly qualified specialists in their state. Be aware of the benefits to be derived from collaboration.
The selection of leading companies in the field of sales outsourcing is quite large. Study all the services they provide and use them to choose the right company for you.
Outsourcing firms are rated on a periodic basis by dedicated independent agencies. There are a large number of them today. Use this information to determine the currently relevant services of the selected outsourcing companies, as well as to verify their reliability.
Every serious organization registered officially, which gives her the right to provide services in a particular country. Be sure to check this point when choosing a company.
It is very important to study the feedback from consumers of outsourcing services. Based on live reviews and comments, you can evaluate all the nuances of the work of a particular company. Such reviews are usually posted on the relevant Internet forums or in the Outsourcing Sales sections. Feedback and recommendations of your partners who have experience of cooperation with similar companies can also be taken into account. In short, collect all the relevant information about the company before signing a contract with it.
It is advisable to use no more than five outsourcing performance indicators. It is also recommended to periodically ask customers for their opinion about the product, thus evaluating the outsourcing company’s activities in this direction.
Any entrepreneurial activity not only involves making a profit but also inevitably comes with costs. The last parameter must be closely monitored. Other important KPIs include rental costs, wage bills, customer churn, product loss. There are no universal instructions for determining the volume of sales and the timing of the sale of goods since many factors depend on the specific activities of the customer company and its development strategy. However, it is still worth discussing all the nuances with the outsourcer in detail.
It is quite understandable that when entering into an outsourcing agreement, you will want to play it safe. Therefore, it makes sense to outsource only a part of the functions in order to assess the efficiency and reliability of the chosen outsourcer company and the experience of its employees in a relatively short time. In this case, you can get off with only small losses if you cannot work with this outsourcer.
If you have difficulty making a decision to switch to outsourcing, you have the opportunity to “pilot”. You will see for yourself that with a competent handover of affairs, a clear set of goals, and agreed performance indicators, it is quite possible to achieve the set goals using the best professional outsourcing techniques today.
Outsourcers should not be perceived as some kind of magician who can solve all the company’s problems. Outsourcing of sales is a set of tools and methods to maximize the advantages of a company among its competitors, subject to a well-drafted plan and careful control of all operations.