Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Outsourcing Makes $en$e

Outsourcing sales and marketing is a cost effective option for businesses that are on overload to implement key strategic initiatives – new product introductions, segment marketing, etc. A seasoned professional contracted from the outside has the expertise and business network to get the job done in a timely, focused manner.

Read On:
“I’m so swamped.”
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
“Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve been traveling like crazy and haven’t been able to get caught up.”

Do these lines sound familiar to you? Probably. Because of the demands being placed on corporate America, stress is at an all time high. Yet the result is BS, what I call “Busy Slow.” Little is getting done, long-term execution is nominal at best, and everyone appears to be on a treadmill.

Why is this happening? For starters, corporations are trained in performing financial gymnastics to make their numbers. Staffing is lean and mean. We’re being asked to do more with less, especially those of us in sales or marketing. Make two more calls per day. Identify and implement double-digit market opportunities. And while you’re at it, I need you to cut your operating budget by 25%.

Another impediment is overconnectedness, a term first coined by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times – the growing cultural obsession with being connected everywhere, all the time. This obsession started in the business world. Witness the times you’ve been on a plane when as soon as it lands, all the business people whip out their cell phones to make contact. Then witness how often those same people complain (sometimes practically boast) about the number of emails they receive in a day.

Last of all, there are the common time-wasters incurred in our day-to-day business lives. In a survey I read of the top time-wasters among executives, some of the leading responses were: a shift in priorities, a lack of priorities, ineffective delegation, lack of self-discipline and The Big Black Hole – meetings.

Let these phenomena be your window of opportunity! Change the BS from “Busy Slow” to “Busy Smart” by outsourcing to the next generation of consultants. The old school told you what to do, collected your money and half the time never followed up. You never knew whether their work was even executed. The new breed of outsourced professionals not only advises you on what to do, they work alongside you through the final execution of their efforts.

Why does outsourcing make sense?

Say you’re trying to introduce a new product to the market and you need a reliable professional to get the job done. Compared to the usual options available to you – bringing in resources from another part of your company or recruiting new talent –
outsourced professionals can offer the following:

Expertise. A seasoned professional contracted from the outside has the knowledge and experience to jump right in and make an immediate difference. New people have to be trained and the learning curve will cost you in time and resources.

A valuable industry network. Outsourced professionals have years of networking and industry affiliations under their belts. By hiring them you automatically tap into and benefit from their rich supply of resources. They are your prime connectors for expanding your business network.

Objectivity. As outsiders, outsourced professionals can be completely objective and often provide “a breath of fresh air” to a sometimes stale climate. They can stay focused on the project without getting buried in the routine of corporate culture.

Cost benefits. Think about it. Most new products take somewhere from 18 to 24 months from origin to introduction. Figure the cost of an experienced individual’s salary plus benefits to be approximately $300,000 for a two-year period. Outsourcing would reduce this cost by a minimum of 33%.

Ultimately, you have to find a solution that works best for your organization. Outsourcing isn’t the end to all means, but it is a way to eliminate the BS – and get “Busy Smart.”


  1. Jim,

    Hope you're doing well. Thanks for sending me your blog. I am going to send you my latest E-Marketing Letter than went out to Pizza Chains.

    Let touch base sometime to see if there are some synergies.


    Alan Marmulstein
    770-335-0473 cell

  2. Hey Jim,
    Great Blog. Whenever I get the "I'm so busy, sorry I didn't return the call" from a business perspective, I read that as the person has priorities greater than the one I am involved in. It means I need to try to prove my value or added value and/or create some sense of urgency.
    Oh the live of an independent contractor :)

  3. Jim-
    thanks for the link to your blog. Often I find there is flawed thinking when people thinks of outsiders as a cost instead of an investment. When consultants and outsourced professionals deliver outstanding results, the insightful client thinks "how can I continue to invest in this service and increase my return?" where others ask "how can I do more of this myself and reduce the cost?"

    hope you are well and look forward to your next post.

  4. You never stop! Great post!

  5. Outsourcing has many advantages and is great for small size companies.