Outsourced Field Sales: Everything You Need to Know
How The Right Outsourced Sales Team Can Provide Retail Services To Boost Sales And Lower Costs.
Every retail business ultimately comes down to meeting a single basic premise: serving customers and meeting their needs in ways that effectively generate as many sales as possible.
It sounds simple enough, but there are a wide variety of key business areas that factor into this retail equation. For example, where do you find the right sales professionals to build an effective sales team to staff your stores and how do you train them effectively. What systems do you put in place to effectively manage inventory? How do you measure merchandising compliance and track product sales? How do you know your stores and displays look and feel exactly the way you want them to for your customers? How does your business use social media influencers to build brand awareness? What sales process do you want driving your sales force going forward?
The list of sales and marketing, as well as operational and management, concerns can seem endless. That’s because retail is a complicated industry and it’s only getting more so as brands and retail companies strategize to leverage a new world of sales that stretches across online sales channels, social commerce, event marketing, and brick-and-mortar sales environments.
Keeping up can be a challenge. Sales outsourcing can provide some much needed answers.
What does sales outsourcing mean?
In a nutshell, outsourced sales companies provide their clients with sales teams, technology solutions, and retail sales best practices designed to streamline operations, help direct marketing efforts, and improve customer engagement. The ultimate goal, of course, is to help their clients grow overall sales and revenue.
For many sales-driven industries, outsourced field sales responsibilities can also include lead generation, b2b sales, new business presentations, and driving the company’s entry into new markets.
However, for the purposes of retail sales, outsourced sales companies are primarily focused on building a well-trained sales force and making sure every sales channel – online and physical retail – is optimized and that all are working together in the most effective manner possible.
Interested in learning more about outsourced sales and field sales support for the retail industry? Check out the outsourced staffing, marketing, merchandising and management services of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), retail management services provider to some of the world’s top companies. Or contact T-ROC directly for a free consultation regarding your outsourcing and sales requirements.
What does sales outsourcing mean?
This is the million-dollar question, and the answer is pretty simple. There’s a better than average chance that your business is simply not properly staffed and equipped with the resources to meet the demands of today’s omnichannel sales and marketing universe. Don’t feel bad. Few companies have the resources in place to navigate the new normal of sales and marketing effectively and affordably. That’s why they turn to outsourced sales providers for help.
How to increase sales for your products or services
So what specific services can an outsourced sales company provide your brand or retail business that will lead to increased sales and revenue? Let’s start with one of the most impactful – making sure the right sales teams are in the right places and engaging your customers or clients in the right ways.
Outsourcing builds a more effective sales team
One of the most difficult challenges brands and retailers face today is finding qualified sales professionals to staff stores and other sales outlets. One of the key advantages of hiring the right outsourced team is that you’re no longer responsible for tackling this difficult challenge.
A good outsourced team takes on the process of sales staffing for you. Better yet, they’re experts at it with the experience and resources necessary to bring you the best and brightest sales reps in the business. The right outsourced partner is one that is able to deliver full sales and staffing services, which include recruiting, handling the interviewing process, applicant vetting with background checks and drug testing, the onboarding process, and sales team training.
Imagine how much time your business could save if every aspect of sales staffing was outsourced to a qualified third party. Now imagine that saving time is not even the most impactful performance indicator when it comes to sales outsourcing. It’s not. The primary reason to outsource sales to a third party provider is ROI. After all, better sales teams deliver better sales results.
“Our clients come to T-ROC for outsourced staffing and sales support because they know that the sales force we build for them will be more qualified, better trained, better supported and, quite frankly, better at the job than any sales team they could find from another retail management company or one they could build themselves. We have the resources and the talent pool already in place throughout the country. We understand the retail market as well as anyone. We go the extra mile to get to know our clients’ specific business needs. T-ROC really is uniquely qualified to deliver a sales team that moves the needle and provides the professionalism and service skills that our clients’ customers expect and deserve,” says Chris Green, Senior Vice President of Business Development for T-ROC.
Outsourcing is built around your needs
Another big advantage of outsourcing is that you’re able to build a program catered to your specific sales efforts and needs without investing the time, money, and human resources it would take to bring everything in house.
A sales outsourcing company essentially operates as an extension of your own brand or retail business. The difference is you don’t assume the sales or marketing employees as part of your own team, which eliminates a lot of payroll, administrative, and HR headaches and expenses.
Additionally, outsourcing makes it easy to scale up or down quickly and efficiently as your sales force needs change. For example:
Event and Pop-Up Activations
Outsourcing is an ideal choice for brands and retailers who like to use unique marketing and field sales events, such as pop-up installations to boost sales. Field sales requires a lot of planning and prepping, from hiring sales teams to creating marketing installations to figuring out how product demonstrations are going to work or how free samples are to be given away. It’s a big job and once your field sales event has concluded, it’s over and on to the next one.
Sales outsourcing allows you to invest exactly what it takes to get the job done without any waste. Working with an outsourced company means you have access to field sales staffing, seasonal sales staffing, whatever type and level of sales support you need. Plus, your outsourced retail partner will handle the logistics of planning and executing your field sales event or pop-up installation on your behalf. That takes a lot off your shoulders.
Outsourcing Seasonal Sales Support
Many brands and retailers find themselves scrambling to hire and schedule additional sales staff during peak sales seasons, such as the holidays, back to school, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.
When these high-volume sales periods are outsourced even the craziest times of the year are easily managed. An outsourcing company will have a vetted pool of sales talent at the ready to fill any gaps in your seasonal needs quickly and efficiently. Plus, rather than relying on just any available last-minute hires, you know that you’re adding quality sales professionals to your team who have been vetted and properly trained.
Full-Time and Part-Time Outsourced Sales
Outsourcing takes the daily hassles and headaches of hiring and managing full-time and part-time sales personnel off of your list of responsibilities. You’ll have more time to focus on other core business areas and, at the same time, you should see some clearly measurable ROI from your outsource sales partner. In the end, retail is about boosting sales, moving product and generating revenue. That’s how these outsourcing companies are judged, which is why an outsourced sales company’s goal is always going to be making sure that the financial investment you make in their people and services yields more than that number in terms of added sales and revenue. In other words, it’s in their own best interest to bring you a sales team that grows your business. After all, if you can do it better and more cost-effectively yourself, there’s no need to outsource sales.
Outsourcing your field team
Knowing exactly how your stores look and feel to shoppers is vital to retail success. In other words, how do your products appear on store shelves? Are they displayed and priced correctly? Is the store itself clean and tidy? Is marketing and promotional signage properly displayed? Is there an ample supply of product on shelves or is your best-selling item languishing in some back storeroom instead of adding to your sales? Beyond that, do you know what products are selling and which ones seem to be taking up shelf space?
These are all important considerations if you’re going to maximize sales performance. Which is why retail outsourcing isn’t just about the sales agents working the floor or the team running special events. A full-service retail outsourcing company acts as a retail management partner that is there to help you improve performance across your operations by offering a variety of services.
One of these services is to support your merchandising and marketing efforts by assembling a highly trained field team whose job is to answer those all-important questions about your stores.
How do they do it? For starters, just like they do with sales staffing, a good outsourced partner will provide you with a team of field experts who have been meticulously trained to do the job. Many retail outsourcing companies, such as The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), also incorporate proprietary data capture and reporting technology into their field services.
These tools allow field reps to instantly capture vital sales, marketing and merchandising data in any store or sales environment using a smartphone or mobile device. They can even back up their reports with real-time photos showing displays, products, store appearance, marketing signage and other key factors that can often be the difference between winning and losing sales.
“Our field services and data capture technology allow our clients to see and experience their stores exactly as customers see and experience them at any given moment. That’s a powerful advantage. Everything is distilled into clear and concise reports that can be called up in real time for some amazingly accurate and actionable insights. These insights are then used to make faster, better and more impactful business decisions, which, of course, tends to impact sales in a very positive way,” says Chris Green of T-ROC.
Retail technology isn’t limited to field team services. In fact, one of the best reasons to consider outsourcing is to gain access to the most advanced customer engagement and sales tools in the market today.
Outsourced sales and new technologies
New technologies are revolutionizing the way people shop and the way brands and retailers are engaging their customers. While many aspects of this brave new world of sales can be attributed to the boom in e-commerce, technology has now moved into the realm of brick-and-mortar retail, bridging the gap between online sales and face-to-face sales.
For example, one such innovation is called VIBA, which stands for Virtual Interactive Brand Assistant, a new omnichannel engagement solution developed by T-ROC along with a number of strategic technology partners.
The capabilities of VIBA in terms of improving customer service and generating retail sales are far too many to cover adequately in this post. However, this is a truly remarkable technology that incorporates virtual reality avatars, live video chat capabilities, livestreaming broadcasts, on-demand content, transaction processing and a host of other features into an outsourced sales solution that is able to engage customers anywhere they go – home, office, stores, online, on their phones, even walking down the street.
“We call VIBA the now-generation customer experience,” says Eddie Maza, Vice President of Marketing at T-ROC. “Our clients are able to meet customers on their terms by providing uniquely personal shopping experiences that can be had anywhere. It’s almost like cloning your best salesperson and making that person available to every one of your customers. So far, we’ve seen increased conversions and sales with every program we’ve deployed”
Outsourcing gives companies access to sales tools and technologies like VIBA. Remember, an outsourced sales company’s goal must be to deliver solutions that yield big enough returns to cover the investment. Few brands or retailers could responsibly afford to invest the amount of time and capital it takes to develop a service and sales solutions like VIBA. Through sales outsourcing, however, they’re able to explore these new solutions and capitalize on the sales growth new technology can bring.
Outsourced sales must be seen as a strategic advantage for retail businesses. Not only does it lower the cost of doing business and the time and energy required to do the job right, if done correctly, outsourcing actually pays for itself in terms of sales and revenue generated. Easier, more affordable and more effective – it’s hard to argue against that kind of logic.
If you found this post interesting, you can learn more about outsourced sales and the many other services that make up a comprehensive retail management program by visiting www.trocglobal.com. Be sure to check out our other retail-focused blogs at https://trocglobal.com/company/#blog.
TROC is the leading provider of premier staffing outsource, software, managed technology services, and consumer insights for the top global brands, retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and distributors. The company’s distinctive solutions address the entire lifecycle of brick and mortar brand and retail operations by combining retail expertise, best practices, and technology to help its customers achieve sales and operational excellence as well as a sustainable competitive advantage. As a Retail 4.0 thought leader, T-ROC enables companies with high-value products in the physical world to thrive through the digitalization of the physical shopping experience. To learn more about T-ROC, visit www.trocglobal.com.