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6 min read

A new business structure for scaling enterprise growth: Growth Process Outsourcing

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Growth process outsourcing is BPO for complex sales and marketing processes. 

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a familiar term for most in the world of enterprise business services. Hearing the term conveys the image of gigantic rooms full of IT or call-center staff. This article is about a different application of BPO: one in the world of higher-value sales and marketing processes in the enterprise world. 

BPO has countless successful implementations and it has been around long enough for best practices to emerge. BPO is now mainstream. According to recent research, The Global Business Process Outsourcing Market is expected to grow by $ 40.16 billion during 2021-2025. 

Following the over two decades of “offshoring” and outsourcing of various functions, an enterprise today can   relatively easily assess the pros, cons and alternative costs for their particular business case. Armed with the right knowledge and partners, BPO in the 2020s is a relatively safe business-bet under the right circumstances.

Next to BPO - which typically involves well-definable back-end processes - a new breed of business process outsourcing is emerging; a type of BPO that tackles one of the biggest limitations of its parent. This new construct creates higher added value and involves more agility from the outsourcees’ end. It is called Growth Process Outsourcing, or GPO.

 

What is GPO?

GPO builds on the already established practices of BPO and takes BPO to new grounds: into scaling account-based growth activities - in an agile way, launching full-funnel, account-based growth experiments in various geographies. With the help of an external partner, as the “O, for outsourcing” in the acronym suggests.

There are countless successful cases of companies outsourcing simple and well definable call-center activities or scripted telemarketing. However, enterprises wanting to scale or accelerate complex sales, marketing and customer success processes haven’t had a clear outsourcing model that works.

This is where growth cycle outsourcing comes into the picture. It’s a cooperational framework to accelerate sales and marketing teams by extending them with external partners specialized in account-based growth processes.

Activities GPO cooperations usually aim for include: 

  • market intelligence, research
  • partially executing account-based marketing campaigns - creating content and assisting with platforms and technology
  • sales development: exploring new growth avenues or assisting in following up leads
  • sales activities
  • customer success - especially contributing to the sales-development side of getting repeat business from existing accounts. 

How GPO is similar and different to BPO

It’s easier to explain GPO in the context of BPO which, again, is a similar construct but serves somewhat different purposes. First, an important characteristic of BPO that makes it unsuitable for growth services such as sales and marketing is that the problem of asymmetric team quality is always an issue. This means that the outsourcer’s team is more highly skilled and culturally closer to the desired state of affairs, than the outsourcee team. 

For the sake of cost savings, offshore teams are less qualified and are employed to deliver highly standardized tasks and processes. The outsourcee needs to be trained and brought up to speed on culture with considerable effort from the outsourcer. Constant quality assurance is needed to monitor processes. 

Outsourcing growth activities usually isn’t done in hopes of trimming costs, but with the expectation of making more money. GPO processes are revenue-driving activities, usually measured by the number of sales qualified opportunities and net new revenue contribution.

Besides the hard KPIs that a GPO partner drives, partially outsourcing high value growth activities should also result in quite a few positive side effects. Obtaining new knowledge, skills, innovations and “cultural infusion”: extra energies, passion and drive from the partner are benefits to be reaped from a partner experienced in account-based growth activities. 

As opposed to BPO, the growth partner in a GPO setting has special knowledge and processes that can be later adapted by the organization. Knowledge- and culture-transfer is bi-directional, not just from organization to outsource-partner.

GPO is similar to BPO in that performance indicators are agreed upon and the outsourcee is compensated partly on input and partly on performance. Similarly, in both scenarios, there is a client success manager who interfaces between the two organizations and makes sure that targets are reached and that the outsourced team stays brand-consistent.

The below table illustrates a few more similarities and differences between BPO and GPO. 

 
Traditional BPO
Growth process outsourcing

Goal, orientation

Process-orientation

Growth-KPI, sales pipeline, revenue orientation

Scope

Partial or entire processes

Partial processes

Team/structure

Large teams

Smaller agile pods

Typical processes

Customer service, telemarketing, administration

Account-based intelligence, research, ABM, account-based sales development, customer success

Management mindset

Process/waterfall approach

Agile, flexible approach, growth mindset

 

How Infinityn does GPO

Growth Process Outsourcing fits seamlessly with Infinityn’s core methodology, Agile Account-Based Growth. Agile ABG is also delivered in a pod-style environment with lots of activities aimed at aligning the outsourced organization’s sales and marketing activities. 

When an organization decides to charge up their growth and perhaps transition to an account-based model from decades of lead-centric marketing, Infinityn sets up a pilot project. Besides revealing the opportunities in account based growth in a GPO setting, a pilot project of a few weeks already creates sales opportunities and delivers other revenue-results. 

As far as we are aware, Infinityn is the only provider that serves the entire spectrum of outbound account-based activities all the way from market and account research to managing targeted advertising and sales development. Most tech enterprises are looking to align sales and marketing activities, so the integrative nature of Infinityn’s advisory and execution-services is the only right approach, in our opinion.

Because results with our clients have been so impressive, we are strong advocates of GPO everywhere, including the IAOP - The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals - where we have recently become members. 

Conclusion

With growth process outsourcing, technology enterprises finally have a framework to extend their account-based sales and marketing teams with external experts, contributing through agile pod formations. GPO-cooperations scale very well, enabling marketing teams to rapidly open new geographies and industries to clinch market share faster. 

GPO is a new and emerging category, and it also coincides with the rise of another major trend in business: account-based growth. These trends build on each others’ force and when executed right, can arm enterprise growth organizations with enormous competitive advantages.



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