Outsourcing: Your Flexible Friend

It seems barely a day goes by when Government cuts don’t make the news in one form or another, as the Treasury continues to take tough decisions in an effort to balance the books. Behind the headlines, many companies are experiencing the same dilemmas as they try to square the circle of reducing their overheads while winning new customers or securing new projects. The problem is that securing new business or growing existing relationships cannot be done without resource.  It takes an investment of time, skills and, let’s face it, hard cash to deliver the kind of sustained sales and marketing effort that will achieve results.

Like so much in business, however, there is more than one approach to achieving your commercial goals and, where developing a marketing strategy and delivering it through targeted sales is concerned, the obvious, traditional route of marketing manager and sales team may no longer be the most appropriate answer. It’s definitely not the only answer, that’s for sure.

The alternative is to look for ways to turn fixed outgoings into variable costs. And the most effective way to do that is to outsource some or all of the sales and/or marketing function. In that way you can build flexibility into your business structures, skills base and outgoings, ensuring that your company is fleet of foot and can adapt quickly to fluctuations in market conditions and profitability.  What’s more, as long as you tackle this approach with the same attention to detail and high standards you would use when hiring a senior member of the team, you can be confident that there will be no compromise on the quality of your sales and marketing, while avoiding the long-term commitment and expense that comes with employing permanent members of staff.

If outsourcing sounds like the right approach for you, here are our top tips for achieving the best outcomes:

  • Make sure you have a clear marketing strategy in place first as all your sales activity should be focused on achieving your marketing goals
  • Choose a marketing and/or sales professional(s) with appropriate experience.  For the construction sector you will need a construction specialist if they are going to be credible with your customers
  • Brief your outsourced resource thoroughly so that they can understand your business and deliver results aligned to your goals
  • Set clear targets based on time, cost and results: a variable cost can help reduce your overheads but it needs to be managed to prevent it escalating beyond what you can afford.