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What is best practice when outsourcing sales?
If at first you consider what you would do if you hired a permanent team member, then you are in a good place to start with an outsourcing approach. Every HR team will tell you that a really good induction process will pay dividends quickly as your new employee is full of enthusiasm and ready to learn and absorb and leverage all your good ideas and tools. Then you need to set relevant objectives and a clear description of the work to be done and encourage them to get on with it. Then finally as they get better at doing their job you will find extra ways to develop them further and ensure they become a great long term asset to your business.

In the outsourcing world this same approach is taken through 3 clear phases of the project, which are further broken down into 6 steps in the process to establish a super sales organisation.

The first phase is EXPLORE. Simply put this is like the induction process, but is very market focused. This is the phase where the sales consultant gets to understand the brand/ product/ service and makes a first attempt at matching that with the local market. You get to see if the person is right for you and they get to see if the brand is right for the market. This is sub divided into Discovery and Introduction and leads to a conclusion which is an agreed plan to launch the brand in the market.

The second phase is LAUNCH. This is like setting your new employee free to get on with the job. They will focus on the efficient and effective execution of the launch plan, winning new accounts, getting orders and shipping products. Sub divided into Placement and Launch phases this period is exciting, rewarding and hard work. Activity and attention to detail through contract and setup is critical and will lead to you having your products ranged where you want and real customer feedback for you to consider and adapt to.

The third phase is EXPAND. This is where you congratulate your new employee and then ask them to do more! Once the business is established there will be the need to manage the accounts to get more and more sales, whilst at the same time looking for areas to expand. Perhaps you want new channels, or you have some new products in the roadmap and need the focus to move to them, or simply you need to keep pushing and driving the business to achieve bigger and better revenue and profit targets. Sub divided into Develop new business (classic Hunter sales) and Manage the business you have already (classic Account manager sales) this period can often be the most profitable time, so its important to get it right.

If you think you only need help to launch, then remember that would be like hiring a new person and then leaving them in reception with no induction and expecting them to just get on with the job. Might work, probably won't. It could mean your brand ends up with poor results and a poor reputation which could take months or years to recover.

So every successful project should start with an Explore phase before Launch. Its your time to experiment, test and be ready. Some companies make the mistake that if my product works over here, it must also work over there, in the same way. That is rarely the case. Every market needs to be understood and tactics adapted accordingly. While the strategy may be the same overall (think Global) the local market implementation will have nuances (act Local) that are best discovered early on and planned for.

Someone Like You uses this methodology and it has proven it to work. Many times. We believe this is best practice.
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