Protecting Your Brand with Sales Outsourcing
How Sales Outsourcing Can Mirror Your Culture
One of your company's most valuable assets is its good name. Your brand image has a powerful effect on potential customers, so it makes sense to ensure that every time they encounter your brand it's a good experience.
Concern about brand protection is one of the things that makes choosing to outsource your sales such a big decision. It's important to choose a reputable outsourcing company with a good sales model to make sure that your brand is properly represented in the marketplace. Here are some things to look for in an outsourcing company that will clue you in to how well they will represent your brand.
Transparent in the Market
Look for a company that will seamlessly integrate with your marketing and fulfillment system. The outsourcing company you choose should have a complete, well-established sales function, and clearly delineate how sales will be transferred over to your internal fulfillment and customer support system, including integrating with your CRM if necessary. They should provide proper sales support, or integrate with your sales support system. The sales representatives should present themselves as your representatives in the market, and should carry business cards with your company's name on them.
Some sales outsourcing companies cut corners by putting the same sales representatives and teams on multiple campaigns. So you might find that the sales representative who was representing your company in the morning is selling a completely different product (or worse, selling for your competitor) in the afternoon. As you can imagine, that's a recipe for confusion, conflict of interest, and brand image disaster. Look for a sales outsourcing company that offers dedicated representation, meaning that the sales team they develop for you is dedicated exclusively to your campaign.
A Robust Training Program
A good sales outsourcing company will give its sales representatives high-quality, ongoing training in two different areas: sales skills and product knowledge. If you already have a training program that you use, be sure that your sales outsourcing company knows about it and is willing to use it. If you need help developing a program, look for an outsourcing company that can write a training manual based on your industry and product, and that gives its sales teams training, including regular sales meetings, ride-alongs, and individual mentoring. A good company will always be fine with you dropping in on a sales meeting, and being involved in the development of the training program on whatever level you desire.
Good Hiring Practices
There are two major ways of hiring sales representatives: W-2 and 1099. 1099 representatives are considered independent contractors, so they can set their own schedule and do their job in any way they choose. 1099 representatives are paid 100% commission, with no base salary and are easy for the outsourcing company to hire and fire, so they often cycle through many unproductive representatives before finding candidates who can produce. W-2 representatives, on the other hand, are official employees of the outsourcing company, who draw both a base salary and commissions on sales, so they tend to form a more stable sales force. They can also be required to attend training sessions, work specific hours, and sell exclusively for their employer company.
An outsourcing company that hires W-2 representatives must invest in its employees, and is much more likely to provide you with quality brand representation. For help deciding whether sales outsourcing is right for your company, feel free to contact Netpique's sales outsourcing experts for a free consultation.