Have you noticed the remarkable evolution of Inside Sales? Josiane Feigon has. In her book, Smart Sales Manager, she states,
Inside sales has burst through the cubicle walls with seemingly unstoppable momentum. In fact, it’s on course to overtake and, even, replace field sales by 2015.
The inside sales model has steadily gained prominence thanks to advancements in technology and lower cost benefits. A recent study reveals that even companies with “outside” sales teams typically conduct 40% of their customer conversations via phone call. According to another study conducted by David Mitchell, Gartner Research Group, “Inside Sales was the sales team type that was most likely to deliver their sales quota or over-achieve against those targets. Their sales cycles were shorter and they had a better win:loss rate than other sales colleagues” in field sales or partner sales capacities.
As the role of inside selling expands, so do the opportunities for inside sales managers and leaders. In an interview earlier this year with Jim Obermayer on SLMA Radio, Jim and I discussed several key points about the growing role of inside sales:
- An inside sales team is one of the most effective means of delivering sales growth.
- There is a cost savings with inside sales: multiple studies point to a lower acquisition cost for leads and prospects as well as a lower cost of processing orders over the Internet or via inside sales versus traditional outside sales channels.
- In addition to cost-savings, there are productivity and efficiency gains with inside sales:
- Less time is required traveling and courting customers in face-to-face meetings.
- Video conferencing, chat and other social media tools make inside sales reps readily available to customers and allow them to more quickly identify and act upon sales leads.
As mentioned above, opportunities for existing inside sales managers and leaders are growing and so are the opportunities for star inside sales reps. Josiane Feigon notes in her book that the rapid growth of inside sales is leading to more top sales reps being promoted more rapidly.
This rapid promotion means there are many new inside sales managers who may be in a bit over their heads. They know sales, but they may not know how to manage sales. As sales leaders, it’s critical that we provide new managers with training to help them become good managers.
However, it’s not just about training. Leaders must provide inside sales managers and reps with the tools that will help them become successful. Ensure your managers and reps have access to lead management software that optimizes your team’s performance. A Lead Management system allows sales managers to create:
- Outbound call campaigns
- Call scripts
- Lead routing guidelines
- Disposition codes
- Email templates
- Custom reports
Advanced features such as Auto-Dialing and Call Recording can also increase sales teams’ effectiveness and productivity.
What are your predictions for your team and the role of inside sales?
Looking for Lead Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Lead Management software solutions.