What is Sales as a Service, and is it relevant for you?

Joakim Steenfos

1 Feb, 2023

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What is Sales as a Service, and is it relevant for you?

Sales as a Service – a fancy definition of outsourcing sales.

Mandatory intro with useless fortune 500 nonsense about Sales as a Service 

From controversial to mainstream adoption: Apple, Microsoft, and Google match their in-house sales with outsourced sales to a third-party provider. And the global market demand for the concept of ‘Sales as a Service’ is increasing. Primarily because companies can focus on what they do best – and leave the rest to a third-party provider. 

Let’s get real and opinionated in the context to Sales as a Service in the Nordics

In all honesty, to most Scandinavians, the concept of Sales as a Service is foreign and perceived as an alternative to in-house sales. Sometimes even as a controversial alternative. 

 So, should Sales as a Service remain a foreign alternative to the classic in-house sales? Or is it worth adopting Sales as a Service and matching it with in-house sales? 

I’m here to help you help yourself with an answer. 

 I’m Joakim Steenfos, a mixed Dane and Norwegian born in Sweden, a former Deloitte’er, Founder & CEO of Radiant, and a sales nerd matching In-house sales with Sales as a Service in the Nordics – with both victories (+25) and defeats (+10) as a result. 

Sales as a Service is a fancy definition of outsourcing sales

«Insert-random-business-lingo-as-a-Service» or stay a dinosaur. That’s just the current reality of business model trends. We business owners dream of ‘recurring revenue’ like you dream of ‘passive income.’ 

 But, basically, Sales as a Service is ‘just’ a fancy definition of outsourcing part of your sales to a third party representing your business, brand, and solutions on a subscription model. 

Besides more sales, the benefits from (successfully) using Sales as a Service include the: 

  • Sales is King: Highly experienced and dedicated sales force with a pure sales focus 
  • Proven talents: Specialized sales force with deep-how into products, markets, stakeholders 
  • Do what works: increase speed-to-market and test new markets with real data on what, when, and how it works best 
  • Client-first approach: enabled through efficient best-of-breed sales technologies with less administration   
  • Increase motivation: by focusing on what you do best – and leave the rest of the sales process to a third party provider 
  • Low overhead and risk: Less recruiting, less training, less management, and easy to cancel subscription  

What are in-house sales and the benefits? 

Don’t worry, I’m not going to explain what in-house sales are or the benefits. You (hopefully) know the answers. 

“The Twist” – Swipe right or left when evaluating Sales as a Service? 

«If we just get more qualified sales meetings, we’ll increase sales» is a typical CEO/CSO/CCO answer to my question: “what do you need to improve revenue?”. 

 According to Radiant (yes, my business), out of 187 stakeholders in the Nordics within B2B Tech, SaaS, and Professional Services, 74 % prioritize ‘Lead Generation’ as the ‘most important need to meet growth expectations.’ 

 ‘Sales staff’ comes in 2nd, ‘Product and pricing’ come in 3rd, ‘Pipeline Management’ 4th, ‘Sales Demos and Training’ at 5th place, and ‘Segmentation & ICP’ at 6th place. 

Ask yourself, “what is the most important need to meet growth expectations?”. 

If the answer is somewhat related to sales (like lead gen, pipeline management, new markets, closing, etc.) then you know what responsibility and where along the sales process a third-party provider needs to deliver for your business to increase sales. 

But before you think you know the answer have in mind what I call “the twist.” 

Radiants typical prospect thinks ‘Lead Generation’ is the most important need to meet growth expectations. 

Radiants typical client data (from +5000 sales meetings and +44 million DKK ARR generated) reveals a different reality of the highest impact:

  1. Focus ‘Segmentation & ICP’: hit-rate increases by 2,1 % 
  2. Improve ‘Pipeline Management’: win-rate increases by 13,2 % 

In other words: DON’T fuel lead generation (top funnel) without fueling pipeline management (bottom funnel) 

So, choose your cure based on your problem: not having enough continuous sales – and not knowing the exact segment to target. 

And from this twist, you might consider your choice of how to boost and mix in-house sales with outsourced sales, like Sales as a Service, based on your needs throughout the sales process. 

Sales as a Service

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you disagree or agree 😉 

Read more about Sales as a Service.

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