In today’s challenging selling environment, people and resources typically regarded as inside sales are driving a higher proportion of bottom-line sales results. To stay competitive, sales managers must improve training for inside sales representatives.
ESR encourages sales managers to approach training for inside sales representatives just as seriously as they would approach training for their most valuable outside sales (or field sales) representatives.
Why? This is because the methods, operations and aptitudes of inside sales professionals are increasingly driving sales productivity. Today, inside sales representatives do more than find leads for others to pursue. They also qualify leads for themselves or others to pursue. Increasingly, inside sales representatives are pursuing opportunities to the negotiation and closing stages.
Yet, many organizations invest far less in their inside sales training than they do in training their star field representatives. Too many sales managers regard inside sales training as “basic” training. They staff their inside sales organizations with young people fresh out of college, and they still view inside sales solely as a support structure for sales people in the field. For many companies, this is a costly mistake. (Post continued below.)
Listen in to our expert panel on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.
It’s unscripted and unrehearsed. No Powerpoints, pitches, promotions, or positioning.
What Sales Management Needs to Know Today About Inside Sales and Cold Calling
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 – 12:00 ET / 9:00 PT / 1800 GMT
We believe that sales managers who can shift their organizations NOW to value inside sales will be able to get out ahead of the competition. It’s time to get serious about training for inside sales, for these reasons:
What should inside sales training look like?
Like training for outside sales, training for inside sales must connect with your go-to-market strategy. Training doesn’t set that strategy. Instead, training must reinforce the specific skills needs to execute your strategy.
The first question is ask is whether or not it still relevant to distinguish between inside and outside sales. Does the wall between inside sales and outside sales help execute your go-to-market strategy? Even if the answer is yes, you will examine and redefine the role of your inside sales organization as you tailor training to the your go-t0-market strategy. For example, to what degree are you shifting revenue responsibility from field to inside sales?
This is an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of inside sales. If you decide that leveraging data is a key component of your strategy, inside sales representatives already have an advantage in data gathering and analysis. Inside sales could mine insights from the deals you are winning and losing. Their training would sharpen not only their ability to specifically recommend new tactics based on their research, like targeting a specific industry vertical.
One warning, though. As with everything else in business, moving from a field to an inside sales approach without an comprehensive and objective assessment of your unique situation and a plan is a big mistake. We’ve seen companies, in a mad dash to reduce expenses, eliminate significant percentages of their field organizations, replacing those headcounts with inside sales reps. Unfortunately their customers needed and wanted experienced, live people representing alternatives from different providers. That’s a classic example of ready, fire, aim.
And Trish Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group
2011 Telemarketing/Inside Sales Optimization Report