As a small business owner and also the person who is responsible for the sales for my company, it is important that I focus on sales tasks that generate revenue.
One day, I stopped and looked at all the different sales tasks I was doing and realized that I was doing stuff that took away from generating revenue. In most cases, anything that is outside of meeting with clients and prospects that doesn’t build a relationship or uncover what a client needs is what I look at as non-core or non-revenue generating.
For example, in a typical day, I was spending about 50% to 60% of my time on sales tasks that didn’t generate revenue. Once I figured this out, I realized that I could be way more efficient and generate more sales.
Outsourcing Non-Core Sales Tasks
Below is a process that you can use to determine what sales tasks you should outsource:
Keep Track of What You Do During the Day
This is easy to do. You can typically look at what you do in any given day or you can keep a journal that lays this out for you.
Determine if it Helps You Generate Revenue or Not
You need to say to yourself, “If someone else did this, would it allow me to focus on those activities that will make me money?”
If you say yes, then you should outsource that task.
Map Out the Process
When you determine what tasks you want to outsource, make sure that you document the process so that it can be easily followed. The reason for this is critical. If the person doing the task can’t follow your process, they won’t be able to do it correctly.
To see if it is easy to do your documented task, let a friend see if they can do it. If your friend can follow your steps, then everything is good. If they can’t follow your steps, then ask for input and refine your outsourcing process.
Find Someone to Take on This Chore
This can be accomplished either at a local level or by offshoring the tasks. At a local level, you can put an ad up in a local classified service like Craigslist or ask around to see if someone can help you.
If you are looking to offshore your sales tasks, you can look to services like Elance or Fiverr. In either case, you can have people do work for you on an hourly basis or on a quoted fixed price basis.
One thing that I did have to overcome was cultural differences and time zone differences. I have experimented with the different services listed above and one that I found that helped me out with the cultural and time zone issues was Teleworking Expats For Hire. They were able to source North Americans based in Mexico to help me out.
Make Sure That You Monitor the Work Being Done
You should always make sure that the work that is being done it up to your expectation. If it isn’t, then see if the contractor can fix it or else you will have to find another contractor to complete your sales tasks.
Below are some examples of some sales tasks that I am currently outsourcing; emails, cold calling, list building, answering phone calls, monitored live chat on some of my websites and transcribing videos, among others.
As an example, I’ll look at cold calling. I have a process that I use that is very effective but it is very time consuming. I looked at how long it was taking me to call on new businesses each day and realized that if I could outsource this process, then I would be saving about 2 to 3 hours per day of time.
Not only did I gain back 2 to 3 hours of time, I also was able to increase the amount of sales calls that I could make and this in turn allowed me to increase the amount of sales I make.
I am kicking myself for not doing this earlier in my career. In fact, had I had the opportunity to outsource some of my tasks years ago, I am sure that I would be way further ahead today.
Here is my suggestion, if you work for yourself or for a company, take a look at what you can outsource so that you can focus on your core revenue generating sales tasks and then get someone to look after these tasks so that you can focus on the revenue generating tasks.
Outsource Photo via Shutterstock
I think the real trick is to figure out what your core activity is, the thing that makes you different from everyone else. For sales businesses where developing a relationship is key, that’s probably the core activity. In other businesses where, say, creating unique content or a unique product or service is what sets your brand apart, not so much. What’s critical is to figure out what that thing is and then to figure out how to outsource the rest. Easy? Not by a long shot. But it is part of what makes your business scalable.
You are bang on on your comments.
Outsourcing done right is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways for a very small business to grow. You can’t do everything with a small staff and outsourcing ensures you won’t have to. Thanks for sharing this post with the BizSugar community!
Thanks for commenting Heather.
I have found that outsourcing has really helped me in focusing my efforts in the right places.
As a small business owner and also the responsible man for the sales for my company, it is important that I focus on sales tasks that generate revenue. One day, I stopped and looked at all the different sales tasks I was doing and realized that I was doing stuff that took away from generating revenue.
Thanks so much for making more small business owners aware that handing off work is a great way to actually generate more business and income. As someone who owns a virtual assistant company and who does a lot of that excess work for small businesses, I enjoy showing people how much time they can free up to focus on growing their business by just letting some of the little things go.
You are very welcome.
I am surprised that more business owners don’t do this.
I think it’s a twofold issue. First – money. It’s hard to let go of responsibility because you’re going to have to let go of some money with it. And it’s hard to see that you will actually benefit financially in the long run. (You do, sometimes, have to spend money, to make money!) Second – it’s hard to let go. I have worked with several clients who cannot let go. It’s hard when you are a solopreneur. You’ve controlled everything for so long, and to relinquish tasks – it can be frazzling. You have to have faith in the person you’re giving those tasks to. You can’t micromanage. And some people just can’t do it.
As a virtual assistant, I know how hard it is for someone to a) admit they need help and b) to trust whom they outsource with. It’s such a daunting option but one that is well worth it. Just do your research to find the right outsourcing partner for you and your business.
Hi, Chris! I would have to agree on everything you said here. This is actually a great testimonial article that could encourage small business/startup owners to outsource their non-core tasks, even those tasks not involved in sales. One of the known benefits of outsourcing is to have the ability to refocus on your bottom line. Outsourcing Insider published an article regarding those advantages and they were able to share 13! Again, your article is inspiring, Chris! Keep it up! 🙂
[Edited by Editor]
Nika Michelle Gomez
I have to agree with what is mentioned above. I probably believe that, in our high technology today, everything can be converted online. And the existence of live chat tools greatly helps in the implementation of proper online outsourcing. It is something very amazing and useful for the company to reach out to the customers and for the customers to reach the company. In our company, we use this live chat tool called Offerchat. I have to say that it has brought our company closer to our customers. Very useful. I kinda thank the tool for that customer relations progress. 🙂
[Edited by Editor]
Great inspiration. I would like to employ someone(s) for cold-calling my target market, and you are correct, I spend a lot of time with repairs and maintenance and I am trying to reduce that and stay focused on sales and relationship building. I agree with you totally.
Some really sensible advice in your writing, and some interesting comments and input above! I am glad there is a focus here on saving time and becoming more efficient in order to grow a business and be more productive. We often see articles about businesses wanting to save money, which is of course important, but I don’t think it should ever be the key motivator in deciding to outsource – particularly when a business chooses an outsourcing vendor purely on cost alone, opting for the cheapest provider. This is where I have seen many fail!
Great read Chris. I’m looking into diving into outsourcing sales areas of my business. Would you have any suggestions of companies that you would recommend for that?