Growing Your Business Without Hiring a Sales Team


Sale (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers la Septuagésime))

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.

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Grant Cardone- Sell or Be Sold

Grant Cardone Author of Sell or Be Sold, joined me for straight talk on making sales happen in your company.

Celebrity Apprentice: George Takei

This time the task is about Ivanka’s clothing line and making a nice window display at Lord and Taylor. The women had a hard time picking a project manager because 2 women wanted to be it. The men George T. because he was gay and they thought he and Clay Aiken would know all about women’s clothing. They didn’t. Arsenio picked the outfits. Clay was pissed at George again because he thought he had no clue as to what was going on. Debbie Gibson was pissed at her team because she wasn’t asked to model because she was older than the demographic Ivanka specifically identified as her customer.

It turns out no one on the women’s team was really good at what they were doing but the men had a team member show happened to be a super woodworker. He was able to finish the window design without the project manager seeing it. However, the team doing the window felt they were neglected because the project manager trusted them so much he did not check on them. Lou F. thought the midnight blue was too dark and that George T. would regret it later.

The men thought out of the box and having twins, one for each window. The women thought out of the box in asking Ivanka directly if they could also use her jewelery. Debbie Gibson seems very pleased to have come up with that one after they dissed her and declined her to be a model.

Let me say this about the commercial- it was a movie-like, long, 2 minute commercial from Cartier. I wasn’t high enough to really get it, but I did want to buy jewelery after it went off.

The women had a love fest at the trump table, the men only had Clay Aiken to dish dirt on the project manager.

George Takei leads the men to their first loss and is ultimately fired. He took full responsibility and did not act surprised. He was his same old classy self.

Lesson: Even though you trust your team to do the job right, they want you to look over their work and acknowledge what they are doing.

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