A new study on outsourcing from Monash University’s Australian Centre for Retail Studies has found that many businesses are still afraid to hand over their sales function to a third-party provider.
Researchers from Monash identified the drivers and benefits of outsourcing the sales function, and the key strategic issues facing organisations involved in outsourcing. While outsourcing of services has become an accepted part of Australian corporate life, the research suggests apprehension remains on the matter. But outsourcing could still be an option for many businesses to win new customers and sell their products, says lead researcher Dr Sean Sands.
“While more than 70 per cent of organisations use outsourcing today to access benefits like cost savings, expertise and flexibility, as few as 12 per cent are willing to outsource their sales function,” Dr Sands explains. “There have been outsourcing successes in areas such as IT, finance, security and maintenance, but sales is often seen as part of the core business of companies, so there appears to be a fear of losing control if the function is outsourced.”
While respondents who participated in the study cited difficulty in sourcing the right partner, management and communications issues and staff loyalty concerns as reasons why they had not pursued the outsourcing of their sales, Dr Sands suggests this reluctance may be unfounded as organisations which had outsourced their sales reported significant benefits.
“We found significant benefits to the companies with improvements in efficiency and an optimisation of internal resources, often allowing for a stronger internal focus on areas such as innovation,” Dr Sands says. “Outsourcing is not just about saving money – it enables fast growing companies to match the performance of larger organisations without the expense and delay of acquiring expensive resources.”
The research also found many companies would continue with their current practices, but conceded that the current state of the economy and the high Australian dollar made outsourcing some business processes inevitable.
The full research findings are contained in newly published Monash University book Death Of The Salesman.
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