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I’m a Sales Director at a large tech company. Right now, the turnover of our sales team is ridiculous. We have a complex solution set and it feels like as soon as one of our new sales people get the hang of it, they end up changing roles or moving to a different company. Because of this, we failed to meet revenue goals last year, not to mention, our conversion rates are nowhere near where we need them to be.
I talked to a few of my colleagues in the industry about our issues and they introduced me to the idea of outsourcing. If we outsource, we can stop this madness of a mediocre sales team that never sticks around long enough to perform. But here’s the catch…my VP of Marketing, CFO, and CEO aren’t the slightest bit interested in trying an outsourced approach. They’re convinced we can do this alone, but I’m convinced that we’ve been doing it alone long enough and it’s time to bring in some experts.
I know doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, but how do I get my executive team onboard to outsource?
Anticipating your reply!
Sales Director at B2B firm, Texarkana, TX
Dear Trapped Inside,
Lucky for you, your story is one I’ve heard time and time again. 82% of large organizations in North America, Europe, and Asia view outsourcing as a mature and necessary function (Bain Study). As a Regional VP of Sales, I understand exactly where you’re coming from and I can help you build the case to outsource. Since you’re just beginning this journey, take a look at our guide to outsourcing as a blueprint.
There are going to be a few key points you’ll want to keep in mind as you work toward getting your executive team on board:
1. Tailor your research.
Before you bring piles of whitepapers and case studies to your executive team to review, you need to pare down what you’ve gathered into what’s most relevant to them. They care about the major points: cost and revenue. Case studies will be a huge help, but make sure you find ones that are in a similar industry to you. This will show your executive team that the partner you’re proposing has proven success in your industry.
2. Include the pros and cons.
They’ll want to know that you’re painting them a full picture and weighing the risk (especially your CFO!).
3. Build the case to present to your team
If you’re working with an executive team who is already resistant to outsourcing, you will want to make sure you’ve thought of everything. They’re going to come at you from every angle so have answers ready.
Outsourcing all or even some of your sales and marketing needs is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of thought. Your executive team will want to know you’ve thought of the details.
Before you approach your executive team, make a short list of three partners that would be a good fit for your company. As you make this list, check out their websites, read their content, and schedule calls to talk about how they can help.
To help you along the journey, we’ve compiled a list of questions to arm yourself with when you start interviewing potential outsource partners.
- How do you communicate with clients (sharing reports, updates, what worked or didn’t)?
- How are deadlines managed?
- What does the onboarding plan consist of?
- How do you stay up-to-date on the latest advances in technology?
- What tools do you use and how will they integrate with ours?
- Will you analyze our existing marketing mix to understand strengths, opportunities, and past successes?
- How do you determine methodologies for a demand generation campaign?
- How will success be measured?
- What criteria go into selecting the account team?
- How deep is your ‘bench’ of people with relevant experience?
- How is knowledge transferred throughout your organization?
- What will your daily or weekly involvement with your partner look like?
- Does your methodology encompass all the pieces necessary for a comprehensive approach? (Check out this article for more)
- Is your team skilled at working with marketing technology?
Once you’ve completed interviews with a few different partner options, you’ll be able to compare and contrast to create your short list. By having answers to the above questions you’ll be more than ready when you present outsourcing to your executives.
Pros and Cons
Outsourcing isn’t the right choice for everyone and your executive team may have good reasons for not having considered it. Check out the following pros and cons and see if they give you a better understanding of what’s holding your executive team back.
You’ll also want to create a pros and cons list that is specific to what’s going on at your organization. This will show your team that you’ve thought of both sides.
Building your case
1. The why:
What are the problems your organization has been having that has led you to consider outsourcing?
2. The who:
This is where you’ll go over the short list you’ve compiled, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
3. The process:
Walk them through what it will look like to bring a partner onboard –how they’ll work with your team, how they’ll integrate with your existing tech stack, etc.
4. Case studies:
Show them first-hand how companies like yours have succeeded with outsourcing.
Before you cover the cost (which you’ll do next) you’ll need to show them the ROI you’ll see from outsourcing. The partners you interview should be able to give you an idea of what this should look like. To see for yourself, check out this ROI calculator.
This is the part you might be afraid of, but don’t worry. The most important thing in this section is going to be stressing to them that while yes, outsourcing can seem costly in the beginning, the money you’ll save from high-turnover and inexperienced sales reps will result in a bigger ROI in the end.
Now is the time to open the floor for all the questions you’ve diligently prepared to answer.
Time to step outside the box!
You already know the power of outsourcing, and now you have the facts to back it up. Take these tips to heart and I’m sure you’ll be able to convince your executive team that outsourcing will help your organization access higher levels of expertise, unlock new opportunities, generate innovative ideas, and learn new marketing tactics – all while providing you with a trusted partner on the journey to your goals.
From the outside looking in,
Regional Vice President of Sales, Televerde