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Which is preferred? Outsourcing sales or using an appointment setting service

As I grow my business, the time I have to make sales calls and emails is diminishing, as I spend my time working with onboarding new customers.

My first thought was to hire a part time inside sales person to continue bringing business in. Another thought was to use one of these appointment setting services or outsourced sales people. I know both of them comes with pros and cons. I'm selling Cybersecurity managed services so the cost varies on how much risk you have. Do part-time sales people really work? Does outsoursing work?

4 Replies

John Currie
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John Currie Advisor
ITERATE Ventures - Accelerating Science & Technology Ventures www.iterateventures.com
Martin,

The 1st thing any entrepreneur should do is assess their sales & mktg. process(es). Market processes provide LEADS and those leads are handed over to SALES (usually people) to qualify, propose and close. Even above this is "strategy" - do you have a clear TARGET market and do you know where to find those prospects?

Where is the bottleneck in your processes?

Note that you asked if you should handle an "appointment-setter". That's a strategy for increasing leads. Is that your problem?

To answer your question about preference .... i believe anyone can contract for great results. Be sure to get references from all potential employees and potential contractors.

Mads Singers Sorensen
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Outsourcing & Management Expert
The way I look at anything in any business I work in or with is: Understand where your strength is. If you/the company is great at sales, do it yourself. If you suck, try find someone else to do it for you. If you look at even the largest companies in the world, the constantly outsource everything where they believe others can do it more effectively, wherever that's building maintenance, internal IT, sales, customer service or the likes.

If you do outsource, remember to work with a partner or people that have very clear goals. Not just "get you leads" - but how many leads, how frequent etc.
Andria Younger
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Andria Younger Advisor
Branding & Marketing Strategist for Startups and Entrepreneurs l Practiced Handed at Creative Project Management
Hi Scott

It can be very hard to find a dedicated and reliable part-time sales person and cost prohibited. I agree with Martin and Mads, its important to identity your strengths as well as have a process for sales.

If you are great at doing the initial consult and networking for prospective clients, you might just need a really good virtual assistant/sales manager to help you with following-up on leads, setting up and confirming appointments, preparing proposals, as well as helping you onboard new clients.

This worked very well for me when I was managing training and consulting services for an innovation expert/consultant. Our clients where Fortune 100 companies, as well as other companies around the world. Also, my one former client is using the same set-up and is one their way to building $1 million consulting firm within two years.
David Piacitelli
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David Piacitelli Entrepreneur
President, Top Line Systems, LLC., an Account Based Sales Firm Serving Manufacturing, Industrial and Technical firms.
Martin,

Great input from John, Mads and Andria. Being in the outsourced sales business, I can say definitively that lack of planning and process clarity will have you struggling with either in-house or contracted structure.

Oftentimes, the CEO/Founder of a company is naturally the strongest salesperson the company has or will have. It may be more effective to find an operations/account management person to handle some of the onboarding duties while you maintain a focus on the selling.

Sales is a process that warrants documentation and management, just like all of the other processes in your company. If you understand how the sales process works effectively for your business, manage the resources that you assign to the process, and, as Mads points out, you know what your results should be, hiring direct or outsourcing can be very effective.
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