Is it time to outsource? To help you answer this question here are a few scenarios with corresponding "Yes" or "No"s followed by a brief explanation of our opinion.
If you are the owner of new startup and are still working full time at your day job: No. Generally outsourcing still requires too much time and attention in the beginning. In order for outsourcing to work you must also understand your market well, very well. Ideally you have already sold your product/service yourself.
If you have an internal sales team and wish to expand quickly: Yes. Outsourcing can be a faster, easier way to expand your sales department than hiring on your own. A new, external team can motivate your current team through competition and the new sales process may help you improve your old process.
If you manage your sales department personally and would prefer not to: Yes. Many business owners we speak with do not enjoy the hands-on managing of sales people and the sales process.
If you have little to no time to manage your sales department and need to focus instead on customer support or product development. Yes. It's important for owners and managers to understand the sales process thoroughly, and through personal experience but ultimately their talents are needed elsewhere in many cases.
If you have significant market share with a particular product but wish to test-sell a new product. Yes. Same can apply for the same product being introduced to a new market. An external sales team can be deployed to test the new market/product before your internal team is reallocated or expanded.
If you are and "idea" person and not a sales person. No. By itself this is a not a good reason to outsource. In order for outsourcing to be effective you need to know how your idea can be successfully brought to market.
If you want to cut expenses. Yes. Provided you have an effective internal sales department, outsourcing can cut expenses substantially.
Having talked to thousands of business owners at length about their sales teams and sales processes we poses a few insights about when outsourcing is appropriate. There are of course many variables but I hope the above can give you some direction.