Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Brands and Outsourced Sales

Every organization needs a sales function. If you do not have a sales function internally, you need to outsource that function to someone else. 

But know that sales is the first point of contact that your organization will have with potential customers. Those first customer contacts need to deliver against your brand's promise and personality. If they don't, at best, potential customers will not get a sense of what your brand stands for or what makes it different. At worst, the outsourced sales function can damage the perception of your brand.

I recently had an experience in which a professional service firm was trying to sell a service to my company. The salesperson was relentless in trying to schedule a sales call with me. We finally scheduled a time and date for us to talk on the phone. When that time and date arrived, the salesperson said he didn't have time for me and asked me what other times and dates would be convenient for me. I gave him several and then he rescheduled the meeting for a time and date on which I was not available. I emailed him back and said I couldn't make that time and date. When we finally scheduled the call and the time and date arrived, he never called me. I emailed him. I called him. I never got a response. Luckily, it never really registered with me what brand he was representing so I do not have a negative perception of the brand, just of him.

There was another company that was trying to sell my company on outsourced lead generation. That sales call didn't go very well. The person who called me had a strong Indian accent that I had trouble understanding, but worse, his English was poor, he was not professional and he kept on asking me the same questions over and over again. I would not hire a company like that to represent my firm, which delivers brand strategy services to senior executives. Our brand is smart, accomplished, professional, friendly and easy to get along with. That salesperson conveyed none of those qualities. 

So, my only admonition in this blog post is to consider very carefully to whom you outsource certain company functions, especially the sales function. While it might be tempting to try to juice your sales with an outside sales function, do not do that to the detriment to your brand.