71.2 percent of the working salesforce is still outside salespeople. These individuals travel to meet prospects and conduct pitches in-person, whether locally or nationwide.
Inside sales account for the other 28.8 percent of the active salesforce. Agents work from desks in offices, remotely setting appointments and following up with prospects over the phone, through email, or via SMS messaging.
How To Start An Inside Sales Team
Research projects the number of inside sales representatives rising to 30.2 percent in the upcoming year. With lower overhead costs and the ability to closely monitor agents, why would you not want to make the switch?
Building an inside sales team at your company can provide a useful addition or alternative to your current sales process. The following suggestions will point you in the right direction to begin setting up your in-house team.
Decide What You Want
You need to specify precisely which portion of the selling process your inside sales team will handle. Do you want them cold calling and qualifying prospects? Would you prefer they speak only with hot leads? Do you want them to work on follow-ups with customers you already have? Should they handle the entire process from beginning to end?
You might want a mix of inside and outside sales agents to handle the job. Determining the correct part or parts of the sales process you want inside sales agents to attack, provides clarity on any other portions of your company you need to set up.
Set Goals and Establish KPIs
Create sales goals and establish your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from the beginning. Before you hire your team, you need to know what they need to accomplish. Clarify the requirements you have of your agents, so they know what to aim for from the moment you hire them.
Creating sales goals and establishing KPIs from the beginning sets expectations for the inside sales team you build. This goal creation also gives your hiring manager an idea of what to look for while interviewing potential candidates. Once you establish your crew, you can introduce the performance metrics you intend to meet.
Create Effective Scripts and Cadences
Some salespeople continue to insist that scripts are useless, yet if you listened to their calls, you'd notice a pattern they follow. Rather than allowing agents to converse on the fly, an effective inside sales team makes use of sales scripts. They unify your team’s message and keep it aligned with company goals.
Ensure consistency between agents when you set up company-wide sales cadences. Having an established time to follow up with prospects and customers maintains a smooth operation at your company. Be willing to alter your sales cadences on a case-by-case basis as necessary, but each agent should align themselves with company standards.
Provide Diligent Manager Training
It is just as important to train managers as closely as you train your agents. No matter how well you build your inside sales team, you will lose them without effective management. Provide training for your managers tailored to how you want your company run.
Management should have prior experience in overseeing a sales environment; since inside sales can be a fast-paced environment, it is not the best place for a brand new manager. Inside sales teams are pressured to close the deal without face-to-face interaction. Energetic and proactive management can help ensure that goals are consistently met and surpassed.
Hold Regular Meetings and Training Sessions
Once you have your inside sales and management teams set up, it is imperative to hold consistent meetings and training sessions. Run over performance metrics and call reports to let your team know where they are at in terms of sales goals and KPIs. When your team is up to date on their performance, they will know focus areas in which they need to improve.
Team meetings also provide an opportunity for you to praise fantastic agent performance publicly. When you recognize members of your sales team both individually and as a whole, you encourage them to continue performing well. You can also offer incentives to motivate your agents to outdo their previous performance.
Building Your Inside Sales Team
Incorporating an inside sales team into your company can help increase profits while decreasing your bottom line. As the salesforce continues moving towards greater numbers of remote sales agents, keep your company ahead of the curve. Equip agents and managers with the tools they need to help your company succeed in the ever-changing world of sales.