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Contract Sales Team Need?

I was talking to my patent attorney about my options with my project and once we were done, he went on to tell me about the great niche product he invented and just patented which he wanted to start selling.
I thought it was interesting and he asked me if I could help him (my experience is in sales and bringing a product to market) get it introduced to companies and/or help him license the design. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me since I like doing this.

It never occurred to me that there might be others out there needing someone to help them with sales in such a way to help them introduce their products and/or help them get started with their product or service to get some traction.
I wanted to ask here...

Is this a prevalent need? or is most of this carried out by the founders? I always did it because that's what I naturally do however others I realized might need some help with this. Just as I would normally contract the tech side. Are there others out there that would like to contract out the sales side to sales talented people to help their startup gain traction?
Any recommendations of contract sales companies already doing this, if so?

9 Replies

Helen Adeosun
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Helen Adeosun Entrepreneur
Co-Founder and CEO of CareAcademy.co
Tarek, I love sales and think founders should be staked in doing sales/biz dev to drill in on their product's value. However, with more people it would be great to get more people on board. What would that look like to work with you? Thanks! Helen
Saurabh Gupta
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Saurabh Gupta Entrepreneur
Head of Business Development at Channel Growth
Hi Tarak,

We at Channel Growth are working with several startups with their sales needs. Outsourced model for sales has been working great for our customers.

It takes money and effort to build sophisticated sales organization and by the time you may acquire decent sales talent, you may already be late for the market. Companies such as Channel Growth can ramp up or down overnight and bring the much needed elasticity to the companies struggling to stay afloat with their fixed cost in employee salaries and commissions.

re:founders, they are typically good at getting initial traction. Gaining traction through WOM. Or reaching out to local communities to get first few customers. Then almost every founder suffers from the classic problem of "crossing the chasm". Most sink, some survive. And the primary reason is either growth or cash flow. Outsourced sales model helps greatly with both of these problems and reduces risk significantly.

Based on the trend we are observing, more and more companies are becoming receptive toward this model and gaining significant competitive advantage. It's going to be interesting to see new entrant jumping into this bandwagon and create entirely new industry like software development or manufacturing. Exciting times for outsourced sales business!

Best,
Saurabh


Eric Levenson
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Eric Levenson Entrepreneur
CEO and Founder at First Call
In general yes this is super value but as a plug and play solution similar to a contract Dev shops. If people could instantly ramp up to a sales force of 20 in a day and get them pounding the pavement to prove demand startup CEOs would love it. Not just developers but anyone starting a company that needs a sales force. Building it out and training takes time and resources that certain business would gladly pay for. Especially marketplaces. I can tell you more of an opportunity around this if you dm me. There's a startup in Europe that's trying to do uber for sales teams not sure the name of it. Another thing is that it's not only valuable for startups but also any cyclical business. Imagine I sell Christmas trees. If I could hire a sales force for just 3 months a year by making a couple phone calls that would save me a ton of energy and time. Sent from my iPhone
Tarek Hassan
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Tarek Hassan Entrepreneur
Sales and Business Development
I agree with everyone here.
An approach I have seen lately is you pay a contract sales rep a certain amount a month plus percentage of sales at a certain point only, and he/she has to attain their monthly contract pay in sales to the contracting company. If they surpass the amount they make in sales to the company, they can take on a commission, then and only then. It seems to be a win win situation. It might help keep good talent and incentivize them to sell more for the company. Any thoughts on this model? Or any other ideas on how this can be done?
Justin Tiedemann, LEED AP
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CEO at EcoCosm, Inc.
A contract sales team is definitely a need we have. We see tons of opportunities out there that need attention to bear fruit. We are a small shop and between our existing business development, generating proposals, and getting the work done we are busy and on target for the year. With more sales, however, we could grow and exceed our targets. One of our biggest concerns with contract sales is finding the right fit with someone who will represent our company. The lead generation model doesn't suit us because it looks to potential customers like what it is and doesn't have the depth the right contract person would bring to the table. Results driven compensation models are key.
Ruslan Suvorov
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Ruslan Suvorov Entrepreneur
Business Development & Technology Implementation Executive, Logistics / Industrial Property Investments and Development
Hi Tarek.

Outsourcing sales force is actually is very real (and goes back in the days). A quick example is real-estate brokers and consultants. Important aspect to keep in mind is that the value of these guys to you is that when you contact them they already have long-time established stream of leads that you need and deep knowledge of their particular sector. Another example is insurance agents.

So outsourced sales force is a proven model, no doubt about it. Just need to figure in what area(s) and how you would bring value.

The compensation plan you are describing looks very reasonable however depending on what context you are putting it in (what product, volumes etc.). Hope this helps.
Scott Ka
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Scott Ka Entrepreneur
Reps Direct
I use an outstanding BPO with which I have great success. Im selling a service in which face to face sales are not needed. They obviously cant do face to face sales but can do lead gen if you need that. I pay a reasonable monthly fee/salary and have incentives for sales. I have full access to my sales team and they only work for me. I provide personal training for them so they properly represent my company. Hit me up and I will let you know whom I use as long as you are not a competitor.
Bob Fucci
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Bob Fucci Entrepreneur
Sales and Revenue Growth, Strategy, Advisor, Speaker

Tarek,

I've launched my business on this market requirement. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.


Srinivas Penumaka
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Seasoned marketing executive (product, leadgen, digital, channel, social)
There is a huge value in having such service assuming the value can be delivered. I see a couple of issues. One understanding of the product and related collateral and marketing. Getting to market is more than having a product. Second, the time to deliver initial results may vary and the product manufacturer/owner should have the right mindset and trust the sales partner to go to market. Third - building a team of great inbound sales folks to be able to do this type of service who can learn multiple products and can pitch, demo and pursue opportunities will take time. So, ideally the sales person should take one product at a time before he/she ramps up completely, which means the cost of service will be higher for initial customers, unless there is another way to fund this type of company.
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