When you contract with a BPO or telemarketing company, you are hiring an agency to grow your business.
Now, if you hire a company to make your phone calls only, the level of consultancy is low. But, if you’re hiring a company to provide advice, build, or optimize your processes as well, things go deeper. For your benefit, you should execute this engagement with the highest level of care. Otherwise, you lose thousands of dollars (or more) and time during a critical period when your company needs every bit of traction it can get.
Since an agency is paid by project or time, a professional one will always strive to work with directness and efficiency. For this reason, you might find consultants or firm account managers to be overly pragmatic. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be friendly or fun to work with, but they need to be results-focused and won’t have a ton of time to be focused on anything but the goals at hand. You may also find that they have a quick fallback game, but I promise that this is only due to their desire to see you gain that traction we mentioned before. If they see the trajectory to the goal going wayward, they should help you get back on track quickly.
From my perspective as an outsourced sales agency owner, here are 7 rules for hiring an agency to grow your business and how to make it a success.
Rule Number 1
Ensure your values align. If you’re hiring an agency to grow your business, you need to understand their methodologies. Have they told you what they are? And, do you agree with them? If you don’t share similar ideals, you may find that tasks with your agency may drag or take more energy than they should. This could ultimately grind your progress to a halt.
Rule Number 2
Find an agency that’s pleasant to work with. If you plan to work with someone continuously, chemistry is important. Follow your intuition on this point. Also, notice their communication style and if there’s mutual understanding. If you see any red flags, there’s likely to be an issue that will surface after you’ve already hired them.
Rule Number 3
Establish boundaries. You may love the people at your agency, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to do everything you need. Remember why you hired them in the first place and keep that in the lane of their expertise.
Rule Number 4
Keep open lines of communication. If something goes wrong, let your account manager know. Give direct feedback and be direct when addressing a corrective plan. Not addressing the issue head-on will jeopardize getting the results you need.
Rule Number 5
Don’t waste your outsourcing budget. Remember that you are hiring an agency to grow your business. That means there should be a direct correlation between dollars paid to that company and your own growth. Even though your agency partners can be fun to work with, don’t allow yourself or your employees to spend billable hours on anything that is not related to a production deliverable. This means managing all meetings with an agenda, ensuring deadlines are met and evaluating goals regularly.
Rule Number 6
Have a clear start and finish point for your engagement. Yes, you have a relationship with the folks at the agency you hired, but they are not employees. When you outsource, it’s to execute a specific task or set of functions. There needs to be a roadmap that says where and when it all begins and ends. If the task doesn’t have a specific end date, there should be a contract renewal period to assess the contract performance and possibly renegotiate terms.
Rule Number 7
Ask for a second opinion. Any professional agency will suggest that you do some research before hiring them. It may be a bit more work to get a second opinion when one agency’s solution seems like a decent fit. However, you’ll benefit from seeing what’s out there, and will better understand what good vs. not-so-good experiences are when hiring an agency.
Growing a business isn’t easy, but we’re here to help. If you need help with sales and generating revenue for your business, give us a shout. We’ll be happy to answer any questions, or you can leave them in the comments!
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