How outsourcing field teams could be one of the keys to success in industries that need a revolution

2 July 2020
Author: Linzi McGuire

With us all living in a world that has changed forever, businesses need to consider all possible ways to be more efficient and effective. Agility is pivotal to success, and outsourcing field teams could be the way to get there.

When it comes to outsourcing in several industries, businesses are used to employing an external agency to supply them with their back-office functions. Everything from IT and HR to payroll and marketing is commonly outsourced. However, many of those same industries are reluctant to consider outsourcing their field teams.


Outsourcing field teams is the norm in the grocery, food to go and technology industries, so is there anything that these industries can teach others as they consider a similar strategy?
Today we’re looking at industries that need a revolution post pandemic, focussing on five who we think can benefit most from outsourcing:

Financial services

As one of the only agencies in the intermediary sector, we know only too well that financial services is an industry where outsourcing telesales and BDM teams only happens in pockets, but it’s not widely discussed or advertised. As a specialist in this area, we predict that outsourcing in this industry will increase enormously in years to come. Agencies can offer the flexibility and pace that brands often find difficult to muster in house, and can be quick off the mark to adapt to changing client needs like KPIs, strategy shift or a move to remote working vs office working.

 

Concession colleagues in health and beauty

The employment models for brand reps or concession ambassadors may soon need a shakeup, especially when you consider the revolution that department stores are going to require to be successful. The complication over who the ambassador is employed by, combined with making sure that both and brand and retail store get what they need from the team member, means outsourcing these types of roles may be a potential solution. Outsourcing these roles would afford the opportunity to streamline the team against the environmental changes, while being able to quickly scale up and down that resource as and when required, in accordance with how the consumer shops in the new normal.

On trade brand reps

Brand reps in the on-trade sector have long been in house, but are these brands needing to rethink the long-held view that it’s the only way to achieve the results they want? Post pandemic, we will likely see a vastly reduced number of bars and restaurants across cities and towns, as those who survived lockdown are able to reopen. Combine this with pubs and bars being unable to serve the same number of patrons, and stock volumes soon fall. Can brands still afford to run a fulltime permanent sales team? If brands outsourced these roles to sales agencies, they could take a more dynamic approach to running teams, while leveraging the skill of the agency to manage big teams and upskill colleagues in selling, negotiation and relationship management.

Retail

Retail has changed forever and has got there fast. There’s much further to go as retail reopens, but it’s a great time for retailers to reconsider their resource model. The lockdown showed that retailers needed to staff up quickly, and that also applied to reducing in several areas as shelves recovered. Retailers could consider what mix of in-house and outsourcing provides them the best mix and agility to manage the shop floor as demand from shoppers evolves. In areas like convenience, the symbol groups and wholesalers could consider whether to outsource their business development sales team, enabling them to be more flexible, effective, and efficient than the traditional permanent teams that they are used to.

Utilities providers 

As a sector that is further down the outsourcing journey, there could still be further to go. Utilities providers, whether they provide their services to consumers or business, may soon find themselves needing to approach their employment models differently. Packed call centres are likely to need a shakeup in line with new government restrictions. If less people are allowed in buildings or on floors does it make the classic call centre model viable anymore? Outsourcing this service to sales agencies may be the answer. In these circumstances, it’s the agency who carries the burden of managing their people, systems and security remotely, freeing up the brand to concentrate on getting their business strategy and sales proposition right, without worrying about the practicalities of selling the service. This is also true for door to door sales, which will require a change. The opportunity to use pop up locations and advice delivered through connecting to an Ambassador digitally could hold the key to the future, something agencies are better placed to deliver.

Jill Ross, McCurrach CEO, comments, “Covid-19 is forcing all businesses to re-evaluate their go-to-market model and one common theme emerges: agility. An outsourced model for sales can be the perfect agile solution, allowing businesses to work with a strategic partner who provides flexibility, cost control, expertise and innovation. Gone are the days of a static solution. Instead, the best agencies will use data, econometrics and flexible employment models to ensure you are only investing where, when and in a way that will deliver a return, giving you significantly greater cost control. Expertise in sales training, performance management and actionable insight, as well as a focus on innovation to deliver competitive advantage, means outsourcing can offer many businesses a much more efficient and effective model for sales teams in the post-Covid world.”
Follow our LinkedIn page to keep up to date and get in touch if you want to find out more about how we can help you with an agile outsourced resource strategy than delivers real competitive advantage.

Follow our LinkedIn page to keep up to date and get in touch if you want to find out more about how we can help you with an agile outsourced resource strategy than delivers real competitive advantage.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT:

For more information on Jill Ross, CEO please visit her LinkedIn page. 

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