Outsourcing your business development is something that has over the years attracted a fair share of debate.
There are the supporters who argue that the flexibility and cost effectiveness of short bursts of tactical activity can provide controlled growth without reduced risk and commitment to overhead costs. The dissenters counter-argue that there’s nothing better than an internal team of passionate sales representatives, intimately managed, at the core of successful business development.
Business development itself is at the heart of long term, sustainable strategic growth. There is no growth without sales and there are no sales without successful marketing. It therefore makes perfect sense to argue that by combining sales and marketing into a coherent single entity and calling it business development, will ensure that the organisation drives its strategic expansion.
Marketing is usually in place to create awareness, facilitate initial engagement and support ongoing relationships and advocacy; a focused, manageable and cost and time effective method of strategy roll-out.
Sales is for customer-facing relationship building, providing the prospect or existing customer with reasons to buy rather than overtly selling; responsibility for maximising the customer’s lifetime value.
In the traditional sales and marketing model of old, you grow a business by recruiting staff and setting them tasks, managing them day to day and being responsible yourself for the outcomes.
By outsourcing sales and marketing, your representatives take responsibility for supporting and driving your business development and growth through application specific research and finding and developing distribution networks. This outsourced salesforce extension and marketing support, especially if provided by specialists already established in the local marketplace, can provide excellent fast-track new product launches through to maximising return on investment in cash cows.
So overall it’s likely you will see many of the following advantages by outsourcing your sales and marketing representation:
– Better realisation of long term sales in new, uncharted markets
– Enhanced returns on investment in in-house resources
– Labor costs absorbed by the third party
– Increased realisation of economics of scale
– Tapping into specialised, localised promotional marketing communications expertise for
better innovation and creativity
– Freeing up management time, enabling the business to focus on core competencies
while not being concerned about outsourced routine activities in the distant territories
– Clear assignment and management of budget
– Effective accountability and reporting of tactical programme success
What are your experiences of outsourced sales and marketing representation? Do you agree?