In part 1 of how-to select an outsourcing vendor, we touched on the three-step selection process. The next section will dive deeper into finding and vetting a software development team to fit your specific needs.
Step 1: Source
Create your list of outsourcing vendors
Most people will find their outsourcing vendor in one of three ways -- by personal reference, Internet search, or solicitation by the vendor. You may already have several vendors on your list, but would like a few more choices, which is natural.
Personal references are the most common way for outsourcing vendors to find new business. Selecting a vendor is an important decision. Vendors know that relationships give you the confidence to proceed and even overlook some of their deficiencies.
Really it’s simple -- it’s what you know and who you know.
Without established relationships, it can take months to find, evaluate, and select the best outsourced software team to meet your needs. How do you objectively select the best outsourcing team for you? How can you get beyond the strong influence of relationships, or lack thereof, to select the team that’ll guide and travel with you on the road to success?
Let’s face it: relationships play a big role in hiring decisions. Although relationships are important, you cannot rely on them alone. When hiring both employees and your outsourcing team, you need to use a combination of both what and who you know to make good decisions about who to hire to develop your software.
Googling for Global Outsourcing Vendors
If you move beyond referrals, the majority of the outsourcing vendors on your list will likely be the result of late nights you spend Googling for vendors around the globe.
Outsourcing vendors pay thousands of dollars to search-engine optimization experts to use whatever tricks are required to improve their ranking on the popular search engines. And many vendors spend thousands on paid ads to lead you to their website.
Here’s how a typical online vendor search goes. You do a search using technical keywords like “.NET” and “outsourcing” and you get a list of a few vendors. Are they good at .NET or just at the search engine optimization that puts their URL high in the results? It’s hard to tell, so you just add them to the list.
Eventually you create a long list of outsourcing vendors, but then what? That’s covered in step 2. But first there’s one more source of vendors to consider for your list.
Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You
Being contacted by an outsourcing vendor shows a level of ambition on their part, which is a good thing.
You can use your first impression of this contact to help you decide whether the vendor should be placed on your list. Did they visit your website and know about your business? Do they have other clients similar to you? Or is their first call a fascinating (to them) monologue covering every detail of their past achievements?
In summary, it’s actually pretty easy to come up with a list of outsourcing vendors. The trick is to use an objective process to quickly shorten the list, so that it contains only the candidates you should seriously consider.
In the next part of our series, we’ll dive into the next step of how to outsource with confidence. Stay tuned for part three…