Growing Your Business Without Hiring a Sales Team
If you own a small business, there are a few key functions that you just can’t get wrong.
- You need to have a good product or service.
- You need to have a reliable method of distribution.
- You need to be able to collect money and pay your team.
And you need to be able to sell.
A great product and a great company without sales will be done quickly. But lots of entrepreneurs would rather have a root canal than go on a sales call…let alone do cold calling and prospecting.
Hiring a sales team is both expensive and high risk.
So how is a small business supposed to grow?
Consider sales outsourcing. With sales outsourcing, you find independent sales professionals who already selling to your target market. The sales professionals learn your product or service and then offer it to their existing client base, sometimes growing that base around your offering as well.
So let’s say that you are a small business owner, and your company makes custom jewelry. You can hire a sales rep who will offer your jewelry to retailers and through trade shows within his territory. You will pay him a salary for his time and efforts, and you will probably pay him a bonus for meeting or exceeding his sales goals. And of course, you’ll pay payroll and other employee taxes. If his starting salary is $60,000, then his fully loaded cost with taxes, expenses, etc may well be $100,000 or more. He’s going to have to sell a lot of jewelry…and fast. You own 100% of that risk.
If you outsource your sales, you’ll probably contract…not with ONE sales rep, but with several sales pros. They won’t represent you jewelry exclusively; they may carry other partner products and services – like different kinds of jewelry and accessories; maybe belts and scarves and watches. You will pay a commission to these sales reps when they close sales. You pay them from received revenues. There are other costs, like company literature, samples, communications and field support, but generally these costs are fixed, regardless what type of sales team you have. With outsourcing your sales, you accomplish two key elements of successful business ownership:
- You hold onto your cash, not paying salaries/taxes/expenses where you can hold your money until the sales are completed
- You pay on performance. Just like you are paid, as an entrepreneur.
If this is such a great strategy, why doesn’t everybody do it? The harsh truth is that it’s hard work to have a successful outsourced team. Independent sales reps are demanding and time consuming and often push you to grow your product in new ways. Great independent sales reps are not great ‘team players’. They are just great ‘doers’. There are trade-offs with sales outsourcing. But the rewards can be so sweet.
If you want to learn more, we’re here to help. We’re all about independent sales reps and the companies that contract with them. http://www.repright.com.