Selling offshore concept to your organization

Let’s assume that you are sufficiently sold on the idea of using offshore. If you are not, stop right there. You will not be able to sell your organization on any idea unless you believe it 100% yourself. There will be a plenty of people wildly against offshore and unless you are true champion of the idea it will be an uphill battle. More so there is a good chance that there will be a plenty of people supporting and even promoting the idea for all wrong reasons. Unless you know and believe in what you’ll be doing you will be stuck with delivering on wrongly set expectations against unachievable goals, and the time to update resume will come sooner than you think.

The next step is introducing offshore into your organization. Unless your organization has history of success in using offshore that will be a complex long-cycle process of selling the team on the concept itself, its benefits, and your abilities to mitigate the risks.

Your initial introduction may follow the traditional pattern, for example:

General state of the organization

  • Strong foundations
  • Budget cuts
  • Competitive pressure

Challenges / pain points

  • High attrition
  • Recruiting failures
  • Time to market pressure

Solutions considered

  • Local subcontractors
  • Internal structure changes
  • Offshore

Why offshore

  • Local subcontractors
    • Pros
    • Cons
    • Decision
  • Internal structure changes
    • Pros
    • Cons
    • Decision
  • Offshore
    • Pros
    • Cons
    • Decision

Expected returns

  • Goal 1 – SMART Success Criteria
  • Goal 2 – SMART Success Criteria
  • Goal 3 – SMART Success Criteria

Risks & Risk Mitigation

  • Risk 1 – Mitigation Plan
  • Risk 1 – Mitigation Plan
  • Risk 1 – Mitigation Plan

Control mechanism

  • Governance / Oversight
  • Metrics / Feedback
  • Exit strategy

You may have to sell to different groups and audiences such as execs, your team, and investors. – tune your presentations for each audience.

Couple words of caution:

  • Do not overuse “negative sales approach” (something you might have learned from Sandler Training). You need to get your audience to support the idea for a long time, you need them jazzed up enough to get over the hump of initial rejection and even more important through the turbulence of establishing the relationship.
  • At the same do not oversell – that’s a self death sentence. Remember that offshore is likely to fail your lowest expectations.
  • Do not delegate selling to offshore account managers and/or sales execs. They will offer you that and will gladly act on your behalf. They will probably do a decent or maybe a marvelous job and you will lose control over the situation. Most likely they will over commit and you will be the one to under deliver.

Unlike in a traditional “hunter” selling model with a sole target of closing the deal you have to prepare yourself for never ending “farmer” selling process. As inevitable issues creep up and buyers remorse overwhelms some of the stakeholders you will need to manage the expectations and continue showing benefits of the offshore … of course if you see any.

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