Sales Managers: It’s What’s On The “Inside” That Counts
My teachers and elders have said that when it comes to people, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Never could this be more true than of Inside Sales team members within sales organizations! Delivering the best possible experience to consumers when they deal with telesales or tele-teams, is essential for businesses. Whether a positive customer experience means – “reliability”, “consistency”, “convenience”, or another critical attribute – depends on the individual customer and his/her interactions with inside sales reps.
How can Inside Sales be their best, day-in and day-out? Looking at the current week’s social media buzz, I found several thought leaders who spoke about some of the critical success factors around Inside Sales and I’m delighted to share those with you.
Ken Krogue of InsideSales.com says in his Inside Sales Best Practices:
“Cold Calling is Dead, thanks to LinkedIn.”
Today’s inside sales team members may be connecting with customers when customers are at a more advanced stage in their buyer journey than ever before. However, Inside Sales team members can arm themselves with valuable social network information which can translate to a much more engaged conversation, better insight about just who they have on the phone (or social engagement dashboard), and more personalized dialogues and insights.
Josiane Feigon of Telesmart says:
“I know that inside salespeople are the new royals of the sales world, and organizations are investing in lots of tools for this superior bunch. But private offices? Really?”
Let’s talk about the physical world in which inside sales teams flourish. Feigon goes on to share that with an open office environment; in theory – collaboration and focused work can happen. But this can lead to inside sales team members feeling too embarrassed to prospect [shocking]! What is the alternative, then? Although she doesn’t directly answer; Feigon weighs the pros and cons of both open and closed environments; and discusses workplace best practices. This is guaranteed to be an exciting topic as the $12.8 BIO sales technology market heats up in 2014.
Kim Staib: in “How to Gamify Inside Sales” likens Gamification for Inside Sales to doing chores when she was a child.
“My grandmother waved a fairy wand and the clothes and toys began to be put away.”
Kim distills it down to the best way to a more productive inside sales organization through Gamification is “keep it simple”:
- Decide which KPIs are important to measure in Inside sales teams
- Keep the goal attainable for all
- Vary how it is measured and keep it fun
For example, “the inside sales rep that has the most leads this week wins concert tickets.”
To sum it up, inside sales team members are fast becoming the darlings of their organizations. Their ability to engage customers while maintaining their own personal style of engagement, their productivity gains that techniques like Gamification provide, plus “listening” to what customers say and want via social media channels – are enabling inside sales teams to perform like never before.
SAP and the Sales Management Organization are fielding Inside Sales Research and this 2014 Inside Sales Survey for sales leadership. This research identifies emerging issues, management priorities, and best practices associated with inside sales channels in large sales organizations. Please spend 10 minutes to take the survey and gain access to the full report..