Sales professionals seek to close as many deals as possible. Sometimes that means driving out to meet potential clients and customers. The process of traveling outside of the office to make a pitch is called outside sales. Juxtaposed to this sales process sits inside sales.
A more cost-effective method of selling, inside sales does not require representatives to leave the office. Instead, they perform their sales job entirely from their company’s office space. Many businesses discount the idea of inside sales since actions like telemarketing come to mind. But, inside sales continues to hold a very important role for modern sales strategies.
What Is Inside Sales?
Inside sales is a selling method where sales agents perform all parts of the sales process in-house. This kind of remote selling involves sales reps either calling the prospect for a phone call or video conference. It might also mean exchanging a number of emails back and forth. The specifics vary, but the idea of selling from the office truly defines inside sales.
As a form of remote selling, inside sales representatives have extensive training and knowledge regarding their products and services. They do only simply focus on making a sale but also provide prospects with information relating to the product. Inside sales reps need to handle any question a prospect might throw at them. Their in-depth knowledge helps build a strong rapport of professionalism with each prospect.
Business-to-business (B2B) sales representatives perform inside sales methods the most. Business-to-consumer (B2C) use of inside sales is usually limited to a few high-end retailers.
How Does Inside Sales Work?
Inside sales works in a similar fashion as other kinds of sales. Essentially, sales reps reach out to a lead or a prospect and start their pitch. It differs in the fact that inside sales only occurs remotely. Sales teams consist of two different types of sales reps: Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Business Development Reps (BDRs).
SDRs handle the pursuit of warmer leads that may turn into clients. Warmer leads have expressed some increased degree of interest in a product or service offered by the company. SDRs have the training to capitalize on this interest and push the prospect further into the sales funnel. Since these prospects often have a lot of questions, SDRs can handle these inquiries in a way that gains trust.
SDRs typically do not close the deal with each customer they speak with. Instead, they act as a stepping stone for the sales process. As prospects gain interest relating to the product, a more senior-level rep will come in and close the deal. SDRs work to foster their interest and attention, so as not to rush them into the sales funnel too quickly.
Whereas SDRs pursue warm leads, BDRs go for a more cold approach. They reach out to leads who do not have prior exposure to anything beyond marketing materials. The cold approach tends to result in a lot more rejections due to the nature of the interaction. Therefore, BDRs need to get to the point quickly to capture the prospect’s attention as soon as possible.
All information collected from each interaction gets immediately logged into the business’s customer relationship management database. Marketing professionals can use this information for further sales and to assist with customer service down the line.
Fundamentally, SDRs and BDRs help keep a steady stream of interested prospects coming to the business. They have their specific niche and operational duties. Many times will a BDR pass a prospect along to an SDR once the BDR garners the prospect’s attention. This organizational structure scales up and down for different-sized businesses.
Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales
Do not consider these different sales methods as opposing each other. Instead, they can work together to complement one another in a way that creates a more successful sales strategy. Many sales-oriented businesses are shifting toward creating a connected customer experience. This means that each relationship gets built up prior to in-person, personal contact.
Internet and online platforms have opened the door for inside sales to return as a formidable sales strategy. When using inside and outside sales together, inside sales rep starts and fosters the relationship remotely. Then, only after priming the prospect and getting a good reading on their interest, a senior rep hits the field. Even with technological advancements, many consumers and sellers like to wrap the deal up in person.
Traditional selling methods put the outside sales force first, giving them larger paychecks and more status. However, many businesses find that they can perform most of the sales process from the office. Still, those face-to-face interactions go a long way toward solidifying a relationship and really earning a prospect’s trust.
This kind of back and forth helps businesses send their best sales reps to where they have the largest impact. It makes no sense to have a senior sales agent spend a lot of time trying to warm up a lead. Their efforts pay off better when they can close significant deals.
So while outside sales still plays a crucial role, many businesses lean more into inside sales throughout the process. This helps allocate resources where they have the biggest impact. Inside sales saves businesses a lot of time and money and keeps the sales process moving forward.
Top 6 Reasons Why Inside Sales is a Must in Every Business
When implemented correctly, inside sales can have a huge positive impact on your business’s bottom line. Sales organizations can find a great deal of success immediately upon working inside sales into their strategies. If you are still skeptical about the benefits of an inside sales team, keep these six factors in mind:
Before you send in the big guns, an inside sales team can collect valuable insight from prospects. This of course includes the prospect’s interests relating to offered products and services. When a customer has a low level of interest in a low-profit product, pursuing them extensively overcomes potential revenue.
The interest level and desires of the prospect can help businesses develop a strategy for pursuing that customer. This helps balance out revenue with expenses. So, instead of chasing every lead to the bitter end, businesses get a better sense of which leads they should focus on. Without an inside sales team to gauge a prospect’s interest, your business might spend too much effort in the wrong places.
Opportunities for Specialized Roles
Every single sales representative has their own unique set of skills and natural talents. Implementing both inside and outside sales techniques helps give different sales professionals their own time to shine. For example, a salesperson might excel at getting a prospect’s attention quickly. In this case, they could take a BDR position to help draw in cold leads.
Dividing the workload also allows salespeople to truly master their craft. Instead of spreading their focus thin, they can concentrate on a specific niche. This helps turn your sales force into a well-oiled machine.
It takes a lot more time and effort to chase down cold leads in the field than it does in the office. Deploying an inside sales team costs significantly less than deploying an outside sales team. It particularly saves a lot of time.
Also, inside sales teams help divide roles in a more efficient manner. You can allow everyone to do what they are best at. So, instead of losing a deal when a salesperson operates outside a skill set, everyone operates where they have the biggest impact.
Leveraging Technological Opportunities
Your office has all of the equipment your business invested in to propel its growth forward. Inside sales teams can take advantage of this equipment and use it to its fullest potential. For instance, an inside sales team can immediately access the CRM database at will. This helps them keep on top of the interaction to keep the prospect interested.
Inside sales teams can also share resources more effectively. When a customer asks for further information, a salesperson can immediately send them an online brochure. Inside sales teams can use technology in a more convenient way than outside sales teams.
Faster Response Rates
Inside sales teams spend their days in direct contact with communication technology nearly constantly. This means that they can respond to a prospect as soon as they reach out. When they respond, they can do so in a meaningful way.
Customers tend to lose interest when they do not hear back from a company soon. With an inside sales team, you can have an associate directly responsible for handling incoming calls or emails.
Better Work-Life Balance
Inside sales teams work remotely from prospects. This sometimes means that you can have an inside sales team all working from home. As long as they have access to the necessary resources and technology, they can perform their duties fitfully.
Working from home allows sales representatives to eliminate the need for a commute. It also helps them mold a schedule that works better for them.
4 Essential Inside Sales Skills
Now that you know the benefits of an inside sales team, here are the skills your team should work to harness:
To get the most out of all their interactions, salespeople need to learn how to listen. Customers often reveal their desires and hold-ups if you let them talk for long enough. To listen attentively, one must also foster the conversation. This means that they can respond in a meaningful way that makes the customer feel heard.
Building a Rapport
When salespeople focus only on making a sale, they ignore the human element of the interaction. This leads to the prospect feeling alienated or ignored. Sales representatives should work on building a rapport with each and every customer they interact with. A strong rapport correlates to a strong degree of trust.
The more a customer trusts a business, the more often they return. Additionally, they will listen to recommendations and put the word of your business above that of the competition. Encourage your reps to get to know the clientele on a more personal level.
Sticking To an Organized Strategy
To keep the team working as a unit, each member must stick to the script. When a salesperson tries to tread unfamiliar territory they might end up stepping on another rep’s feet. This also means that they neglect their indicated responsibilities, gumming up the process.
Thinking outside of the box can lead to great breakthroughs and innovations. However, sales reps need to be able to follow directions and perform their indicated duties. Especially on an inside sales team, each member holds a specific role that the team counts on them to fill.
Sales managers count on their reps to show up and exert their best efforts every day. Each member of an inside sales team helps push the process along gently. When one rep in that line brings an apathetic attitude to the table, it might ruin the sale. This wastes the efforts of all the other reps to try and secure that deal.
Implementing the Right Sales Process
Implement an inside sales team can seem like an immense challenge when you first get started. Thankfully, you can count on Selling Revolution to guide you through that process. We help our clients implement new sales processes, train effective sales teams and recruit top talent.
Schedule a no-obligation 20-minute phone call today to discuss your business’s needs. The sooner your join the revolution, the sooner you can see revolutionary growth.