What are the different Sales Channels for an Outstaffing Company?
A sales channel is a way in which your organisation goes to market to gain new sales or business. Common examples for product based companies would be Retail, Wholesale and Direct to consumer sales. All of these channels offer a variance in both profit and cost of sales. Direct to Consumer sales for example may produce the highest profit but also incur the highest cost as packaging, customer service and returns processing amongst other factors have to be considered with this route. Some companies prefer to deal directly with a wholesaler as the returns rate is lower and the logistics of shipping large quantities at once enable them to cut costs elsewhere, increasing profit.
When looking at sales channels for an Outstaffing company there are a number of options that can help you to maximise your flow of business. In Outstaffing the quickest way to run into financial difficulty is by having developers sitting on your bench not working. This means having multiple channels that you can access and utilise in quiet periods is essential.
Direct to Client
This is the preferred method for almost all Outstaffing companies. With this you will have the most control of what is happening with your developers contract, performance and development. You will be able to see issues quicker and prevent them becoming a problem that eventually loses you money.
The difficulty with acquiring clients with this sales channel is that it is highly competitive and the potential clients are likely being targeted by several other firms offering the same services. Often the easiest way to gain these clients is by first building a relationship with them via one of the other sales channels and eventually developing into a direct relationship without a third party chaperoning the arrangement.
Outstaffing Platforms (Upwork, Toptal etc.)
These platforms are for many prospective clients – the first place they look when they are attempting to hire an outstaffed developer. It enables them to quickly search and find what they are looking for and receive pitches from developers that may be able to help them. Advertising here gives you direct access to thousands of new job posts everyday and if you have the right resource you can quickly show this to prospective clients. Clients on here also feel protected due to these platforms handling payments and being in place to solve disputes.
The issue with these platforms is that you will pay a significant portion of the billed amount directly to these platforms. Also, you will be governed by them as a third party should any issues or disputes arise which can often lead to problems with getting paid on time. Essentially it’s a great, quick way to get clients but you have little control over the relationship. It’s also extremely saturated and most job posts receive way more applications than the poster can actually process. This means a lot of the time you will apply for roles and not hear anything back.
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Outstaffing agents typically work in one specific market and will have a client list in their covered territory. They can speed the process up for your company in gaining new placements by already having the clients and open positions. A good Outstaffing agent will normally look to verify your developers before placing them into their clients recruitment process. The agent will facilitate the relationship in their country and guarantee payment to your company.
Most agents would require preferential pricing to ensure that they can include their mark up with their client and would likely be working with a number of other companies to find what they need. It’s important when using agents to provide them with what they ask for and read the requirements as if you put forward developers who don’t match regularly it’s like they won’t reach out to you for new roles in the future.
As previously mentioned it’s important to have multiple channels as you may need to utilise all at different times based on how busy your Outstaffing company is. The ideal scenario for all Outstaffing companies is to be able to have the majority of their developers on contracts directly with clients and have full control of the relationship. The reality is, especially in the beginning that you will need to utilise the platforms and the agents in territories that you would like to target to build up your brand in these territories and to get customer testimonials that will help you to build a better selling story going forwards.