‘Stay close to your true trade.’
The expectation that Tech & IT businesses would start to do more of that was one of the founding principles of Aexus, 18 years ago. Tech & software businesses are amazing at developing innovative, groundbreaking software, but selling it is truly a different skill. Although it is common to hire an accountant for your financial affairs, or to outsource the maintenance of your premises, businesses remained stubborn when it came to allowing others to oversee sales. However, structural changes are noticeable in this area lately... and the success is overwhelming!
Why sales is not part of your core business
Businesses are often mistaken in their thinking that sales and marketing cannot be outsourced. They feel that these activities are too close to their essence and are afraid to lose sight of their customers if they outsource. There is no doubt that Sales commands a unique set of skills not possessed by everyone. Yet, training your own sales team and building up a network is a time-consuming and risky process. Besides, there are fluctuations in the number of people needed for your sales efforts at various times.
Inspired by exponential organizations
Although we had expected Tech & IT businesses to start focusing on their core - software development - and outsource non-core activities, including sales and marketing, much sooner, this has actually only been happening over the last few years. The inspiring example role of exponential organizations has contributed to this.
‘An exponential organization is an organization with a disproportionally large impact (or revenue) of at least tenfold compared to similar organizations, thanks to the use of new organizational techniques that utilize various technologies.’
What do these organizations have in common? One of the characteristics of exponential organizations is that their business often runs on algorithms. Besides, they leverage existing assets (“accessing is better than possessing”) as well as community and crowd for many functions traditionally handled inside the enterprise. But most importantly, these information-enabled businesses deem a large internal staff increasingly unnecessary, counterproductive and expensive. They have really zoomed in on their core business. Anything outside of the core is brought in on demand. This ‘going back to the core’ is implemented quite rigorously. Exponential organizations such as Uber, AirBnB, Quirky and SnapChat typically employ just a small team of permanent staff. By outsourcing as much as possible, these businesses can be extremely flexible, and the permanent team can concentrate 100% on the core: research and development.
As more and more organizations realize that sales is a separate skillset, and are inspired by exponential organizations to start focusing more on their core, sales outsourcing is becoming more common.