In recent years there has been a recognition that looking outside an organisation’s own walls can provide ready access to skills and experience that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find.
In fact access to capabilities – skills, processes and physical resources – is now seen as almost more important a driver of outsourcing than the traditional goal of cost reduction.
This is one of those areas in which those who do not outsource their sales function have a preconception which is virtually the opposite of the actual experience of those who do outsource. According to one of the studies in the book ‘Death of the Salesman’ the delivery of ‘inferior’ services was rated a major barrier to outsourcing, yet ‘access to specialist skills’ was perceived as a major potential benefit.
The reality is that specialisation deepens competence. By focusing on sales alone, but working across a wide range of customers and sectors, outsource partners are able to continually improve their service models and develop their range of specialist sales skills. And it’s not just selling skills but sales analysis which comes into play. Any creditable sales outsource organisation will spend significant time with a new client upfront, gaining an in-depth understanding of their business and key challenges. This process includes market audits, looking at global best practice, local research and discussions with primary stakeholders.
In short, drawing on the skills and resources of external specialists in order to drive real change can be a far more significant and sustainable reason for outsourcing than one-off improvements in cost structure, flexibility or market coverage.
Death of the Salesman – reinvent your sales function to create competitive advantage
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