The Real Cost of a B2B Salesperson

In the Spring of 2020, many organizations furloughed or dismissed all or some of their sellers. In the short term, this allowed them to quickly stabilize costs while protecting revenue. Months later, we have reconciled to the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for an indefinite time and the health and business climate will remain fluid.

Now, as businesses settle into the next normal, they must rebuild pipelines and prepare for a return to growth. But what is the best way to do that? Can re-hiring sellers be justified in the absence of pipeline? Is the financial risk of bringing sellers back into the organization too high when future pipeline and revenue remain as unpredictable as the pandemic itself?

Full-service sales outsourcing can mitigate the financial risk and shorten the time to build—or rebuild—pipeline and sales.

Sales outsourcing provides a flexible opportunity to assess, design, and quickly implement a go-to-market sales strategy in the current normal, while retaining the ability to quickly pivot should the environment change, as it inevitably will.

You can develop a strategy to optimize your sales expense and maximize your returns in this transitional environment by using high-value sales outsourcing, sometimes referred to as Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO.

Assessing the Costs

Is outsourcing a good financial move? A good place to start is by calculating the cost of a salesperson. Many leaders run a quick calculation of salary + bonus or commission + a percentage allocation of overhead and that’s their number. But is that the real cost?

Not finding a published answer to this question, MarketSource financial analysts set to work to figure it out. Using proprietary data based on years of experience in the human capital and sales outsourcing industry, they built a robust model that accounts for all the costs incurred in recruiting, onboarding, training, supporting, and managing a salesperson.

B2B Sales Rep Expense Model

© MarketSource 2020 | Source: *DePaul Center of Sales Excellence Study

Using this true cost model, CFOs can understand the real cost of one salesperson and evaluate whether outsourcing may, in fact, be a wise financial move.
Other Items to Consider in Cost Comparison:

Management time associated with interviewing, hiring, and training

Lost revenue and opportunity cost of turnover

Performance management including employee severance

Employment and workers’ comp claims

Risk mitigation by using outsourced service

ROI—revenue targets for internal vs. outsourced

Continuous improvement in sales process

Time and cost in testing, adopting, and utilizing new technology

Interested in learning more? Read the article: Should You Hire or Outsource Your Sale Team? The CFO’s Guide to Calculating Sales Expense for more perspective.


Hire or Outsource: The CFO’s Guide to Optimizing Sales Expense

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Lost Revenue Calculator

Do you know how much revenue you’re leaving on the table for every month it takes you to hire a B2B sales rep? We do. And we’ll show you.

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