The growth of inside sales teams shows no sign of letting up. While it’s hard to imagine most companies abandoning outside sales completely (Avon comes to mind) – there are many situations when an in-person meeting is irreplaceable – growth is clearly trending toward centralized in-house teams. And with those investments, companies are increasingly looking for investments that can make those teams increasingly productive.
Is Better Technology Behind Inside Sales Job Growth?
Simply put, migrations to inside sales are directly proportional to technological innovation. Thanks to the Web, and the Social Web in particular, your customers are processing more data each day than ever before. That means that you’re going to be dealing with an increasingly educated class of consumers. Sure, I might buy a two-dollar protein bar that I’ve never tried before on a whim (as I did this morning), but if I were to invest in a new marketing automation solution, you’d better believe that I would read a company’s blogs, whitepapers and web content. Not to mention the fact that I’d get on Twitter and LinkedIn to see what my network thought of the product. Educated, internet-savvy consumers often don’t require in-person interactions to make purchases. In fact, many even prefer to interact with sales reps via email, web conferencing, or the telephone. In today’s fast-paced business environment, who has time to sit down with every sales rep? Key decision makers are going to be more selective than ever about who they book in-person meetings with, but they are likely less selective about who they’re willing to speak to on the phone.
Another reason that Inside Sales is blowing up is because it’s often cheaper. Imagine you’re the CEO of a B2B software company based in San Francisco. Why would you want to pay to fly a rep out to New York City when you could just set up a video conference call and achieve the same results? Video conferencing/webinar software like GoToMeeting can act as a convincing surrogate for an in-person sales call.
Enterprise companies are catching on that in many scenarios inside sales teams can drive more ROI. For example, Astra Zeneca replaced nearly all field reps for its acid reflux medication brand Nexium with inside sales reps. The result is that they could handle support questions and provide doctors with samples at a reduced cost. IBM has also recently redoubled its investment in inside sales by providing reps with elite social sales training.
The Benefits of Inside Sales
Certain companies have found that inside sales can radically reduce the cost-per-contact and can even boost overall sales ROI. These benefits partially stem from the fact that inside sales reps can simply talk to more leads each day than field reps can. If you have a star sales rep, wouldn’t you want them to talk to as many leads a day as possible? You can also establish sales groups that focus on specific product or industry segments. It can also help managers provide sales coaching to their reps when they are based in the same location. Response time is another key issue, and inside sales reps are simply positioned to respond to leads faster.
But if you are considering migrating workers from outside sales to inside sales, we strongly recommend that you carefully monitor sales metrics to track the ROI of all your reps. For example, Revenue.io apps give sales managers and executives real-time insight into sales metrics like calls-per-day and revenue-per-rep. Top executives can therefore make smarter decisions about whether inside or outside sales reps are best for the bottom line.
The Need for Inside Sales Automation
You might have recruited a winning inside sales team, but it’s just as crucial to arm them with the right technology. After all, would you want to pay to train a squad of Navy SEALs and then arm them with water pistols? With the right sales automation technology, your reps can take more calls each day, spend less time drudged with post-call administrative tasks and access game-changing prospect data quicker. Sales automation tools can create and manage contact cadences for reps. Revenue.io was built to supercharge inside sales teams. In addition to helping reps hit quota, it can provide managers with data they can use to coach their sales teams to victory.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.