You probably wouldn’t just buy a plane ticket and take off to a new destination without looking at a map or website. Usually, the best trips happen when you have a thorough understanding of your target destination and you find that restaurant, or settle into the most pristine beach.
Sometimes, to achieve that level of familiarity, you need a guide, someone who knows and understands the area.
It’s the same in the business world. If you’re looking at taking your business into a new market, you may be unfamiliar with the corporate landscape.
However, there is a way to get your business moving fast following a new market launch: outsourcing sales.
Think of working with an outsourced sales team the same way you’d think of hiring a super-energetic and knowledgeable tour guide. Having access to local, expert wisdom can make all the difference in maximizing your business’s success in a new market.
Each region has its own culture and nuances. If you’re on vacation, your tour guide will tell you that it’s not proper to wear revealing clothing when visiting the Vatican or that some countries smile more than other countries - and that they expect you to reciprocate.
Your outsourced sales team will know all the nuances of the market you’re considering because they’re experts in that area.
They’ll be aware of how to approach potential clients when making a social selling connection on LinkedIn. They’ll be able to tell you whether you’re connecting culturally with clients who are all business and don’t mind a hard sell, or if you’re more likely to resonate if you understand that your potential customers want to take things slowly and deliberately before moving forward.
The content writers and quality assurance teams on managed sales programs are there on your side as well. They’ll be familiar with the nuances of the market and able to both create content that’s compelling for clients in your focus areas, and to review and quickly catch potential issues that could arise from cultural differences in communication.
Continuing with our vacation example, consider a trip to a major theme park like Disney. Time is of the essence. You know that you need to move quickly and use those Fastpasses to make the most of your time on the ground in the park.
In the same way, when you’re looking at a new market, time is money. You want to be able to get people on the ground right away and start selling - not spend excessive amounts of time and money ramping up your team. Your outsourced sales team can be your virtual Fastpass for business success in new market areas.
They’ll use the data at their disposal to help you target leads, then launch intelligent outbound calling programs and focus on getting potential clients lined up for demos and further conversations.
When it comes to travel, the big bargain sites like Priceline have taught us something - it doesn’t make sense to pay more for the same thing.
Similarly, launching an outsourced sales team in a new market can help you secure high-quality sales without high price tags.
When you move your own specialized sales team members to a new market, you have costs associated with relocation to a new market (the Workforce Mobility Association tags this cost at around $90,000 for a homeowner employee), as well as overhead for office space and other essentials. Not to mention that your team members will still require time and training in order to become familiar with the new market and their role in it.
If you instead hire someone locally within your new market, you must then deal with the issue of institutional knowledge. It takes time to bring someone up-to-speed on your culture and business practices. Industry estimates for training a new team member to sell successfully are around six to nine months' worth of salary, which can quickly make a sizeable dent in your budget, depending on the size of the team you’re building.
With an outsourced sales team, you will put in some initial legwork to develop a vision with your relationship manager. However, because you’ll be working with a full staff of sales professionals behind you, you’ll have strength in numbers so that you can quickly begin seeing growth in the market - all for a fraction of the cost of moving or hiring your own on-site team.
There’s a big difference in taking a quick day trip in your own city or state, versus planning an international vacation. You have to make sure you have the resources available to budget for the trip and much more.
Launching into a new market shouldn’t be a cavalier decision. You have to make sure you can continue to fulfill your current responsibilities, while also delving into a world of data, forecasting and market research. If those areas are your expertise, focus there. You’ll make better decisions if you can work without being pulled away frequently to manage personnel concerns from an in-house, on-the-ground staff that’s also just getting their bearings in a new market.
Bringing an outsourced sales team into the mix means you each can focus on core competencies and create synergy between your efforts. While you’re managing the overall strategy, your outsourced sales partner is taking on the day-to-day tactical functions for the new region.
With each side focusing on the things they do best, positive results will roll in faster and efforts will be more satisfying and fruitful.
Cruise companies are notorious for incentivizing customers to book their next vacation before they disembark. They’ve created a vacation model that works to create repeat business , and they strike while the iron is hot to get you to seal the deal with them.
With outsourced sales, you too can find a model that works and capitalize on it. For example, the first time you partner with an outsourced sales team in a new market, it may take a little more work to get your partnership up and running. Deloitte’s global study on outsourced partnerships indicates that most companies believe it’s valuable to put in extra time defining goals and expectations at the beginning of an outsourcing relationship.
However, once you’ve created a model that works and are seeing success in one market, your outsourced sales team will be primed and ready to recreate that value anytime you choose to find a new market to conquer.
Taking a trip and building a team - on the surface, one seems like all work and one like all play. But when it comes to creating a successful enterprise in a new market, working with a knowledgeable outsourced sales partner can help you feel a little less stressed and a little more joyful about taking on this new journey.
When it comes to building a team and getting ready to launch in a new market, what are you struggling with most? Feel free to share your goals and concerns below.
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