Alex Balme of our New York office spoke with two sales VPs in the US about the pros and cons of building BDM teams either home-based or in-house.
Despite belonging to a global industry served by several thousand suppliers, every sales team within a Language Service Provider is different. Processes, expectations, culture, tools, goals… each team works in a different way.
Choosing the right sales team to join can be a complex process.
However, backing away from so many detailed variables there is one major difference which separates many of the sales teams in translation, localization and interpreting agencies – are sales staff in-house sharing an office, or remote, spread around the world?
What are the pros and cons that come with each structure?
One of my most longstanding clients, who runs an in-house sales team in NYC for a global language agency with revenues above $50m, made the key point that the biggest advantage for in-house sale pros is access to the project management team, the production directors and the synergy that is created between sales and ops.
There are conversation that happen to build a mutual understanding of the sales process – nuances that change on a day to day basis that everyone is looped into when the operations team is in the building with sales.
Having project managers that personally know the sales reps helps create a collaborative, productive relationship. Being in-house, the conversations are more dynamic.
It can be extremely difficult for remote people to hear these conversations and for that synergy to be built.
Additionally, a major asset sales VPs running in-house teams have is the ability to “build” reps rather than “buy” them, especially when looking at sales talent from outside the LSP community.
One client of Adaptive’s who runs a hybrid in-house/remote team states:
“In fact, I’m not sure how you hire and train a remote sales person who is new to the industry. When they work from your office, however, the new guys can shadow the experienced guys, and get immediate feedback and advice in real time as they need it.”
When it comes to the drawbacks of having an in-house team, the major restricting factor is the local candidate pool.
If the market isn’t big enough for your growth plans then you can run into an issue. Top-performing experienced industry professionals are hard to find, and training someone from scratch requires a lot of investment and a high element of risk.
One VP notes that the reason for their partial remote team came “out of necessity” to hire the experienced sales reps they needed for their company.
Plus… the best people aren’t going to be necessarily where you need them to be. If you want to hire the top performers, you may have to compromise to some degree on your idealized vision of how your team should be assembled.
On the flip side, however, remote work can allow sales people to just get in the mode of selling. They don’t have the distractions of what operations has to say and get bogged down by the technicalities and distracting part of a deal: they just go out and bring in revenue.
Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both sides.
- In-house may mean more travel time that may take away from work.
- Remote might mean loss in productivity or less distractions.
- Communication, training, and integration may be easier if you’re in the same office.
At the end of the day it comes down to maintaining a great atmosphere and synergy with your group with the best people you can find for the culture fit of your business and goals.
Alex Balme is the New York Regional Director at Adaptive Globalization. He recruits for sales professionals at all levels, from junior inside associates up to VPs, as well as sales engineers. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn for a networking conversation.
Tel: (646) 504 5980
E-Mail: alex.balme (@) adaptiveglobalization.com
Article originally published here.
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