A lot of businesses are in similar positions right now. When should I invest? When is the best time to grow again? A lot things to think about when considering whether to hire internally or to seek external assistance. Here are a few things we believe should be considered when making a decision;
Where in your business is your time currently invested?
You need to first analyse where your time is being spent. When hiring internally you have to invest a lot of time in training, monitoring and developing individuals in order to have success.
Even as a director now, I have to remind myself that time is money. Your time is a valuable asset. Every hour you spend on something that could be outsourced is time you could be spending on accomplishing your business objectives. Analysing our clients schedules and learning how much time they spend on other areas of their business, the vast majority would never have the time nor the resources to develop and monitor individuals generating new business internally. The only spare time they have is spent sitting the opportunities we generate for them. Which is where their time is best spent.
Our clients regularly comment on how much time we have saved them. One such client recently commented that choosing us instead of hiring internally has allowed them to increase their focus on client retention by 20% in the last 6 months.
Money invested in management, monitoring and development.
Typically the Salary of a Business Development Manager/Lead Generation Team Manager is between £22,000-£35,000 in the UK ($27,500 - $43,000 USD) depending on location. When making a decision about whether to outsource or not you must take into account the finances spent in management time. This is not only to support the individual in their day to day activities but also monitoring their performance.
Monitoring is crucial! I remember a time an ex colleague of mine was managing a team of five Account Managers who were all providing Lead Generation services and they realised that someone was falsifying stats. The issue for the company was that they invested a whole months worth of money into an individual before they realised. They of course had to let the individual go but the finances invested in recruitment, salary, management, equipment and time resulted in a massive loss in revenue.
When looking into outsourcing, some things to consider are transparency, reporting and delivery. We typically provide a three month benchmarking period to prove concept before investing with us long term. During this period our clients receive regular communication with their dedicated Account Manager, and Operations Manager and they receive regular reporting and transparency throughout.
How do I know how much to spend on Outsourcing?
A lot of clients who come to us have no idea how much they should be spending and are uncertain about the level or returns they might see. The honest answer is every company is different. It shouldn't be about the agency or the 'typical' costs, it should solely be about you and your goals!
We recommend saying what you are willing to spend and asking what you will receive in return for your investment. I will say it again; It should all be about your goals and how an agency can help you achieve your goals, not the cost of the agency!
How do I know I am going to make a return on investment?
The truth is marketing is risk vs capital and nothing is guaranteed. By all means ask for testimonials and recommendations, but be mindful that you will of course only receive positive ones. A better question to ask is the percentage of returns their clients have seen and whether companies they are providing you those stats for are in a similar industry to yours. Just because they have delivered strong returns in other industries, doesn't always mean it is going to happen for you. Experience in your industry type is of course a great proof of concept, but sometimes a fresh approach can also be more effective.
We come up against pay per lead companies all the time. Although yes there is no upfront cost there will more than likely be a decrease in quality. The reason for this is that pay per lead agencies' only incentive is to provide you as many opportunities as possible. So you may end up with people who have been forced into an appointment without any real interest, or they might have agreed despite not having a genuine need.
I have lost count of the number of times I have spoken with companies who have used such agencies and had meetings that weren't with the right decision maker level, or the prospect didn't even know what the meeting was for - A complete waste of a time and sometimes a journey. Working with an agency where the only incentive is to retain you as a client is far more profitable. Food for thought when looking into the right partner.
Past experience in outsourcing?
How did you find your previous experience in outsourcing? What do you think went wrong? What went right? Are you currently looking into growing or changing your new business process? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment.
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