What is Sales-as-a-Service?

Photo by Dylan Gillis

Sales-as-a-service provides companies with an outsourced sales team that can either support their internal sales team or operate as a standalone sales department. Sales-as-a-service providers often encompass both the front and back-end of the sales process and may offer these as either a full-service package or à la carte to fill specific gaps for the internal sales team. 

Companies (often small businesses) turn to sales-as-a-service providers to reduce costs that would otherwise be incurred to recruit, train and manage an internal sales team and the associated infrastructure.  Partnering with a robust provider can help these businesses bring on specialized skills in sales technology, data collection, data analysis, lead generation, and more for a fraction of the cost of getting it all in-house.  In addition, bringing on a specialized sales-as-a-service team allows a business to accelerate lead generation from major campaigns or speed up the process of moving into new markets and launching new products.

Avoiding the Intermediary Problem by “White Labeling”

The biggest challenge when outsourcing sales support, especially on the front-end of the sales process, is to avoid having the external team come across as a broker or re-seller.  Nowadays, nobody likes to deal with intermediaries when they don’t have to unless they add additional value to the transaction.  For the most part, the goal with an outsourced sales team should instead be to establish a fully integrated, white-labelled arrangement where the front-line reps operate as an extension of the business– this is sales-as-a-service in its purest form. 

The “Ghost” Alternative

There will be situations where the white-label arrangement isn’t optimal.  For example, in recurring revenue and relationship-based business with bigger deal sizes, companies may want to control each customer interaction – especially the face-to-face interactions.  In this case, a better route might be a “ghost” arrangement, where the sales-as-a-service team only operates behind the scenes and is invisible to the prospective buyers.  The outsourced unit can still support the front-end with operational assistance, sales intel, negotiation playbooks, and proposal advisory.  Lead generation and booking initial discovery meetings are done primarily through digital communications these days, so the sales-as-a-service team can also ghostwrite and send these messages on behalf of internal team members.  Once the meeting is booked, the relationship can be handed off to the internal team.

There is no one-size-fits-all; this service has proven to be highly effective whether you choose the full-service package and outsource your entire sales team or choose an à la carte option that supports the in-house team. Opting to outsource your sales team has can reduce sales-related costs, gain access to top-of-the-line sales technology and data analysis, and eliminate the time and money spent training a sales team from the ground up.