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Are You Considering Inside Sales?
My name is Baldeesh Singh and I am the Account Director here at IRSMarketing. I work with some of the leading tech companies including Kofax, FireEye and Visavvi.
Over the years I’ve spent considerable amounts of time working with our clients and their sales teams and have got to know what makes Inside Sales tick. Today, I would like to share this insight with you - especially if you are considering creating your own Insides Sales team or have issues with the current one.
Why Inside Sales?
Well, when a team are target-driven, highly-focused and determined to achieve, Inside Sales really gets results.
Done correctly the Inside Sales team should add value through the detailed knowledge and understanding they have about a product or service. This enables them to hold ‘smart’ conversations in order to connect to more opportunities. It’s about non-scripted and free-flowing conversations. Really getting to know the product, the prospect’s individual need and crafting a solution for a perfect match.
If only it was! Unfortunately, we often hear that the Inside Sales team is underperforming, leading to it either being disbanded or replacing all, or some, of the team members. However, in my experience whilst the team members may be the issue there are several other factors that need to be considered.
So, what are they?
1. Team focus…
Most Inside Sales team are tasked with following up on inbound responses (website visitors, content downloaders, event attendees, etc). Whilst this certainly needs to be done, with less than 20% of this data likely to show any interest there is a lot of ‘housekeeping’ to do. This also means that proactive outbound calling (for net new accounts) is often neglected, reducing the chances of reaching Greenfield accounts
2. Acceptable metrics…
Providing they hit their numbers they are left alone. This is an age-old issue that has held sales teams back for years. Why try to change what they are doing if it is working. However, this version of ‘success’ should really be called underperformance – so it isn’t working as effectively as it could be, resulting in missed opportunities
3. How the Inside Sales team is managed…
Many Inside Sales managers have gained their experience managing predominantly inbound teams. So, when they have been asked to incorporate outbound into their team’s tasks, there is often a gap in their knowledge as to how to achieve this. That’s because the approach and skills required are different for both – it’s not just about picking up the phone.
4. Bandwidth within teams…
Sales team members can be pulled in different directions with different priorities, meaning that this expensive, supposedly sales-focused team gets tasked for two weeks to help boost-up event registration numbers, or are asked to clean some marketing data, or gather some info for a salesperson who has a ‘really important’ meeting.
5. The office environment…
Sometimes, the actual office environment where Sales are based isn’t conducive to making calls. If you sit in a room with management this can be off-putting when picking up the phone (especially for the very first time!). If you are home-based, you may not feel part of the team and have limited interaction with your manager, usually related just to metrics.
6. The flexibility of the workforce…
Lack of cover for holiday, maternity/paternity leave, long-term sickness, etc. Rather than get in short-term cover, it is perceived that this would be impractical, so companies spread the workload across the rest of the team and wonder why there is a drop in results.
Sounds like it doesn’t work
If you don’t address these issues, then that is probably the case. However, it is possible to deal with all of these things and build a highly-successful team, providing you get the right advice. That’s why we took all of these points above into consideration when we first created our Inside Sales service offering for our clients. Today we offer a flexible, one-stop-shop service that not only provides a complete wrap-around service, but also work with clients to understand their weaknesses and deliver solutions to bridge the gap.
Whilst having a 3rd party deliver this may be off-putting for some, there are other benefits that come with this, namely:
- The team can be based on- or off-site
- We take care of recruiting staff, training, briefing and day-to-day management
- We can flex and adjust staffing levels according to workflow and priorities.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog and if you’d like to discuss more about Inside Sales please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also watch my Inside Sales video below:
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