Why outsourcing your sales isn’t enough: The complexities of the Match-Making market for scaleups

Free resources 15. January 2024.


Navigating today’s competitive business landscape, scaleups frequently face the challenge of expanding their sales capabilities to drive growth and achieve long term success. While outsourcing sales functions can provide certain benefits, such as cost savings and access to expertise, it is crucial for high growth tech companies to understand that choosing the right external partner goes beyond a simple outsourcing decision.

Read on to explore the different type of partners in the Match-Making market and discover how to make informed decisions to maximize your scaleup’s sales potential.

  1. Global curated Match-Making specialists

Global curated Match-Making specialists offer comprehensive lead generation via warm connections of industry experts, end-to-end management of sales pipeline, and deal scaling support with professional business development team, tools, and processes. Because of this high-quality validation, however, the strict scouting requirements are not easily met by startups.

  1. Top tier strategy consulting companies

Top tier strategy consulting companies can provide targeted recommendation in projects that require solution scouting and partner finding. However, due to breadth of potential services offered, these companies can be less focused on Match-Making aspects, but can provide targeted insight into the bigger picture.

  1. B2B Match-Making platforms

B2B match-making platforms provide scaleups the opportunity to get in contact with other corporates, should there be a match with the corporate needs. However, while these platforms offer scale, they often lack technology/market-fit curation and end-to-end Match-Making support.

  1. Global open innovation platforms

Global open innovation platforms facilitate connections via hubs and programs between startups and corporates in different regions with specific needs. However, these platforms are more focused on connecting and driving initial steps of potential collaborations than on the end-to end Match-Making support as such.

  1. Government driven B2B platforms

Government-built platforms and initiatives provide opportunities for startups to participate in innovation trips, fairs, and events as part of a country delegation. However, Local programs can suffer from a lack of global offering of startups. Sometimes more suited competitors would be available in other markets and able to work globally as well.

  1. System integrators/Software & IT service providers

System integrators and IT service providers integrate startup offerings into their own solutions, powerpoint decks and recommendations for corporates if in need of the respective solution. Nevertheless, startups have relatively low dedicated exposure and push as a part of these offerings. While startups might be positioned with corporates, these players can be more interested in selling their own services.

  1. Incubators, hackathons, and early stage programs

Incubators, hackathons and other early stage programs offer support in early stages of venture creation, including sometimes idea generation, company building and support in key processes. While beneficial for startups in their early stages, these programs may not provide the individualized deal-focused support that scaleups require.

  1. B2B Sales outsourcing entities

B2B sales outsourcing entities specialize in lead generation (cold and warm) as well as opportunity management with professionalized team, tools and processes. However, they often lack deep curation of the startups they work with – they can be more focused on selling what needs to be sold rather than finding the next big thing for corporates.

  1. Independent sales agents

Independent sales agents leverage their corporate connections from past experience, offering different levels of expertise in business development, sales and account management. However, these agents can be often more focused on door-opening, limited to a single country or region, and/or lacking tools and processes as well as end-to-end Match-Making support.

  1. VC and strategic investors’ sales support arms

Venture capital and strategic investors’ sales support arms provide door opening via warm connections and occasional support in early deal stages. However, their core focus business is investing rather than B2B sales, so they can tend to lack sales expertise, processes and end-to-end support.

  1. Lead generation specialists

Lead generation specialists focus on marketing, contact list creation, and cold approaches. While they can provide quantity in terms of leads, their role in turning those leads into actual deals may be limited, compromising the quality of partnerships.

To sum up, outsourcing sales functions to external partners can offer scaleups numerous benefits. However, the choice of a suitable match-making partner requires careful consideration.

While each option in the Match-Making market has its challenges and limitations, one clear winner emerges as the most effective choice for both startups and corporates: global curated match-making specialists which, despite the strict scouting requirements for startups, they offer unparalleled benefits and support throughout the sales process.

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