• 5 Steps to Implementing an Outsourcing Relationship

    The term “Outsourcing” is a bit of an enigma. For many the term conjures up images of painful experiences coordinating overseas partners.  For others it’s an admission of failure when it comes to internal processes, or even success that can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow.

    The reality is businesses outsource many tasks on a daily basis based on relationships of trust and experienced results. We don’t think twice about outsourcing our overnight shipping or janitorial services, do we? A new eBook titled, “Why Outsource?” is a great primer for anyone interested in learning more about Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), how it’s evolved and, more specifically, what sales and marketing services can successfully be outsourced to cut costs and increase sales.

    “Why Outsource?” attempts to quell some of the misconceptions around outsourcing and remind readers that outsourcing, when managed and executed properly, has many distinct advantages. Not only can it be a cost-saving endeavor, but outsourcing is proven to drive incremental revenue, improve efficiency, instill operational focus and expertise, and improve customer satisfaction.

    In today’s commoditized society, there is a wellspring of BPO providers, ready and willing to throw “resources” at your problems under the umbrella of outsourcing. The eBook establishes the importance of investing in a long-term outsourced relationship when considering outsourcing partners and sets forth a five-step process to consider when planning and implementing an outsourced relationship. Below is a very brief summary of these steps. For more detail please download the eBook by clicking here.

    Step 1: Segment Operations
    Outsourcing is often met with resistance initially. Segmentation is vital to helping your organization define what tasks can be outsourced and what vital business or brand components are “untouchable.” If you are like most companies, 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customer base. By segmenting your processes and assigning second-tier accounts to a strategic sales partner, you can focus 100% of your attention on your tier-1 accounts and still see incremental revenue increase from the rest of your customer base who are now getting more regular attention. It’s hard to argue against increased revenue projections.

    Step 2: Define Desired Outcomes
    Most companies start to consider outsourcing because of a very specific problem or need and therefore assign a value or budget number to the elevation of that pain point. It’s important to identify what the goals of any outsourced engagement are and what the measurable ROI for the engagement will be. MarketStar has a masterful team of strategists who can take your segmentation strategies, budget and coverage needs and create a plan that is actionable and measurable.

    Step 3: Select a Partner
    It’s easy to script an RFP and compare hard costs like cost-per-employee between providers. It’s much harder to separate marketing sizzle from tried and true tactical experience and industry know-how. Find out how long your partner has been engaged in outsourcing, who they have worked with and most importantly, how long those engagements have lasted. Client tenure shows a vendor’s ability to adapt along with you as you grow or the market changes.

    Step 4: Manage Transition
    The first three-to-four weeks of onboarding a new vendor can be challenging and time consuming. It’s critical to stay engaged through the training and integration of new resources to ensure your brand message and desired outcomes are heard and articulated by your partner. As the program gains momentum, you can pull back from the day-to-day management and oversee its growth based on experienced results.

    Step 5: Mitigate Risk
    Outsourcing is an exercise in discipline. There are risks in any business relationship, and outsourcing is no exception. The first steps toward managing this risk are contractual and procedural. Look for vendors who are dedicated to protecting your interest and theirs through detailed procedural processes and documentation. Allow your vendors to explain and articulate their internal processes. When it comes to hiring, training and data collection, they need to have world-class processes that will add tremendous value to your organization.

    Adam Gunn is MarketStar’s Corporate Brand Manager and plays a key role in making sure the MarketStar story is communicated dynamically and effectively. He has over 10 years of agency experience designing and illustrating award winning sales and marketing collateral for both print and web.

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