Inside Sales Practice
The professionals at Diamond Performance Solutions have led the charge when it comes to maximizing the impact of the inside sales channel. Over the past 18 years, DPS has worked with many of the largest and best inside sales organizations in the world to assist in driving greater performance from those who sell and manage customer relationships over the phone.
For more insight in to DPS’s experience, perspectives on the direction of inside sales, and consulting and training solutions, please read on.
- Today’s Inside Sales Environment – It seems like just yesterday that the term “inside sales” was being used to label the internal sales support/order entry professionals that every sales team employed. Over the past 18 years the term has changed quite drastically. Today, inside sales is oftentimes one of (if not the most) critical go-to-market strategies a company may have. Consider the evidence.
- Proven Channel Strategy: Inside Sales is a proven channel strategy that not only reduces the cost of sales quite drastically, but also allows a sales organization to stretch it’s coverage to remote as well as smaller customers.
- Broader Application: Inside Sales is also being utilized in more ways than ever before. From the most transactional selling situations to the more strategic.
- Continued Growth/Higher Expectations: As companies continue to see success with this channel strategy, Inside Sales Teams are being asked to do more and more. Sales goals keep getting higher and expectations rise accordingly.
- Aligned With E-Commerce: As the value of an inside sales rep goes up, the more transactional sale is being moved to the web, freeing up reps to focus on more substantial sales opportunities.
- Consumer Acceptance: 10 to 15 years ago as many companies were transitioning small to mid-size customers to inside salespeople, the cries of outraged customers could be heard far and wide. What we are seeing today is, given the value an inside salesperson can deliver to a customer, the customer is not only accepting of this account management strategy, but also prefers it.
- Inside Selling Challenges – In spite of the success of the inside sales channel, there continue to be challenges in maximizing it’s execution. For example:
- Making Contact: being able to reach someone live on the phone to engage in the selling process.
- Dealing with Voicemail: Over 80% of business to business telecommunications goes through voicemail making it difficult to position your value.
- Quality of Dialogue: Once you do reach someone live, trying to engage them in a meaningful conversation, given all of the other things competing for their time and attention.
- Building Relationships/Customer Perception: Demonstrating enough value in the initial call to position yourself as a valuable resource to the customer. Utilizing those opportunities to build a relationship on a personal level.
- Time Management: If an inside salesperson does not manage their time effectively, they are probably not driving enough of the right activity to be successful. Being able to focus on the calls that are important verses getting caught up in reactive, tactical busy work.
- Inside Sales: How tactical vs. strategic are your training needs? – To address the challenges on the previous slide, the first step is to fully understand the current state of the inside sales environment. How tactical verses how strategic is the job? As you view the continuum above, consider the different types of outbound (or inbound) calls an inside salesperson on your team makes (or receives). Review the descriptions for tactical and strategic and determine where on the continuum your people are today, and in an ideal state, where would you like your teams to be. This first step of assessing the current state and envisioning where you would like to be, will set the bar for any additional training, processes, systems or tools that need to be developed.
- Inside Sales Training Solutions – Diamond Performance Solution will work with your inside sales teams to implement the right solution to address their development needs. The slide above demonstrates the competency based approach taken to develop inside sales professionals. DPG will work with you to customize the right training and tools to increase the effectiveness of every customer interaction. The first competency- “Activity Planning helps inside salespeople understand the importance of driving the right kind of activity on a regular basis. The second competency- “Pre-Call Game Plan” focuses on assessing the various calls conducted and understanding how to prepare for those calls most effectively. The third competency- “Quality of Dialogue” focuses on call execution and the mechanics of each step of the call process.