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Seven reasons why it's best to partner a sales outsourcer: The Times

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1. Benefit from elite sales talent
 
Your company needs star performers and the best place to find them is at a sales specialist. An outsourced sales provider is a community of experts in their field of sales. Their knowledge will be honed through years of working with dedicated colleagues across a variety of companies, brands and sectors. To identify the very best in the industry look for a partner with a strong philosophy of training and benchmarking. For example, sales outsourcer CPM runs a Sales Academy to educate its in-house sales teams. It also offers this service to clients. CPM then benchmarks performance to track “star” performers, “winners”, “puzzles” and (hopefully few) “passengers”. The company has been an Investor in People for 15 years, holding silver status. A partner can be beneficial for the in-house talent pipeline too. Best practice will be shared, training offered and candidates from the outsourcer may move in-house. Each year CPM provides a sales talent pipeline for blue-chip organisations that this year alone has recruited more than 50 salespeople from CPM into their wider organisations.
 
2. Glean insights from other industries
 
A classic business strategy is to observe behaviours in other sectors and then incorporate them into your own. By using an outsourced sales partner you gain instant access to a galaxy of information. A sales outsourcer will work across a whole range of companies and channels, including retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), utilities, automotive, technology, financial services and business to business. The outsourcer collects data from every transaction which, when anonymised, can be used to improve the performance of other clients. Karen Jackson, managing director of CPM, says: “We process 75 million pieces of sales data each week. This data is hugely important as it provides empirical evidence to support decision-making.” Evidence that it works? “Our average return-on-investment measure shows we have grown our clients’ sales by 24 per cent year on year,” she says.
 
3. Conquer omnichannel
 
The Holy Grail of sales. In order to be omnichannel, an organisation must be able to track a consumer across mobile, online, e-mail, social media, in person at the store and over the phone. Consumers also expect a seamless sales experience regardless of the channels they use. Weaving these channels together into a single picture of each consumer can be a nightmare. Most companies don’t even try. The obvious solution is to go to a sales specialist with the technology to implement an omnichannel experience. This may involve uniting existing technologies or it may mean introducing new systems. The key is to find an outsourcer that knows how to capitalise on the data collected. This opens up data-led sales campaigns in which messages are tailored to each and every customer. Ask your potential sales partner for examples of how they’ve implemented and then maximised omnichannel for a client.
 
 
4. Access specialist sales technology
 
It’s not just omnichannel where the latest technology comes in handy. Your company needs the best solutions for all sales-related matters. And here’s where a sales partner can make a real impact. A premium-level sales outsourcer will provide access to the most productive sales technology. For example, CPM is an accredited partner of Salesforce.com, so it can use the best cloud-based sales technology. Salesforce is also easy to integrate with existing systems, ensuring a high degree of compatibility between a client’s current systems. CPM also boasts a deep knowledge of the Salesforce AppExchange, which adds functionality to the core product. In addition, CPM is familiar with the latest tech in the fields it works in, including contact centres, field sales, digital analytics, experiential shopping and training. This expertise can be introduced into your organisation.
 
5. Flexibility
 
At Christmas there’s a sales rush. Some companies hire for the season, then downsize in early-January. Many get it wrong, leading to bottlenecks in the pipeline and unhappy customers. An outsourced sales partner can help ramp up sales capacity smoothly. At a stroke you can access greater headcount around the clock. Product recalls are another key time. Ms Jackson explains: “We have supported our clients in providing additional face-to-face resource within 24 hours to support retailers in removing product from shelves and siting information notices, protecting trading relationships. Customer service teams are upscaled to handle the increase in consumer queries. At CPM we have supported two of our FMCG clients in this way in the last two months alone, increasing resource the same day.” Outsourcing is also a great way to grow a channel, territory or segment without being constrained by internal headcount restrictions, formalised pay-banding structures or pension arrangements. Throughout the year, CPM books more than 650 sales campaigns for a variety of clients. These run from 25 health and beauty specialists to over 700 active selling colleagues, at timescales as short as four weeks’ notice. Relationships range from a month to numerous 25-year-plus strategic relationships. It handles unusual requests, such as finding 30 Chinese speakers within four weeks to take a household sauce from 20 to 70 per cent penetration across four UK major cities. Clients think of it like a tap they can turn on and off when they need, without any of the ongoing costs.
 
6. Get strategic advice
 
A sales outsourcer will bring genuine expertise to the relationship. It can help you construct a long-term strategy, and advise on granular issues, such as how to split budget between marketing channels and which consumer segments to prioritise. CPM has more than 80 years’ experience selling products across many sectors, channels, segments, through face to face, over the telephone and digitally. Ms Jackson says: “Sales is our business. We have specialists that cover talent management, data and analytics, and operations to deliver an unbeatable combination. We can help clients develop a sales strategy, acting as consultants, to ensure they have the optimum approach in everything they do.”
 
7. Lower risk
 
Around 70 per cent of companies enter outsourcing arrangements to make cost-savings. This is valid, but underestimates the other benefits. By using an outsourcer all peripheral costs are eliminated. The overheads of hiring and developing talent are gone. The mindspace absorbed by running a team is freed up for more important tasks. And risk is reduced. There’s no longer a danger of buying the wrong sales software or struggling to use data in the right way. A sales partner will ensure you are working near maximum potential from the start of your campaign to the end. Furthermore, the “risk and reward” remuneration models used in outsourcing ensure there is skin in the game for everyone. Agencies are accountable for the return they deliver and therefore driven to focus on the agreed strategy. It’s why the world’s fastest-growing organisations use sales partners.