Following on from my previous question about outsourced marketing can you outsource sales effort as well in b2b senarios?
Once marketing has brought in a qualified lead someone has to get the over the line ... currently that is me. This is fairly effective as I can sit in the room and actually solve their problem on the spot, this is very powerful. The bit I suck at is the 3 followups, modifying the proposal, booking the appointments etc. Basically the "sheepdog" work as I see it, once I have solved the problem, I seem to go searching for the next problem ... thus this question.
Where can I realistically expect to draw this line? Is it practical to do so?
Yes. Of course.
Representatives, Resellers, Value-Added-Resellers, Distributors . . . these are all different models of outsourcing sales. They all have significant advantages-- and none of them are mutually exclusive of the other. These models are the foundation of B2B sales.
You can also expand your sales operation by differentiating the sales responsibilities into different roles -- "promoting yourself" to a sales management role limiting yourself to providing technical assistance to the frontline sales effort, or to the a sales engineer providing support on the technical nature of the project/service offering.
To do this be sure that you have developed a well documented sales process, and designed an effective CRM with appropriate accountability and transparency to allow you to effectively manage it. A good CRM should also provide you significant support in those tasks you hate!
Of course having reps and resellers, VARs and distributors are just additional target markets for your sales operation. Each of them are customers in their own right. And bringing them over the line and providing them ongoing services is essential to the success of the operation.
Remember -- there is nothing sadder than an artist selling themselves -- and you Sir are a problem-solving artist. Having someone other than the boss involved in the sales process, and using the boss to close the deal can make all of the difference.