Does the future of successful sales programs hinge on the use of an inside sales team?
Many believe it does. In fact, in the U.S., trends from just a couple years ago showed inside sales have grown 15 times faster than outside sales.
With an in-depth knowledge of the product/service and target audience (often B2B tech and SaaS sales), expectations are high for inside sales teams—typically made up of sales development representatives (SDRs) and inside sales representative’s (ISRs). Because of their specialized skill and ability to identify, nurture, and convert leads remotely, the demand for a quality inside sales team is even higher.
So if you’re looking to build and manage this type of sales program, here are some tips to help you get the most out of an inside sales team.
Build a strong foundation with a solid training program.
From basic sales skills to the customer experience to your specific products, sales process, CRM, and more—properly training your inside sales team is the first crucial key to success. Particularly with B2B tech and SaaS inside sales, more high stakes and complex transactions are not uncommon. Developing and nurturing your team’s skills can make all the difference in your long-term success.
Start with the basics (effective listening, problem solving, opening/closing sales, using empathy, etc.) then make sure your training and onboarding gets detailed with product and audience education. Scripted simulations, call shadowing, and regular check-ins with live coaching throughout the sales process can all greatly benefit your reps and the entire organization.
Invest in the right software.
You can have the most talented, well-trained inside sales team in the industry, but if they’re hamstrung by outdated or ineffective technology, you’ll never get the results you want. Today’s innovative sales enablement tools help streamline inside sales efforts and can do much of the heavy lifting in terms of lead management.
Aside from a reliable and accurate CRM tool, web conferencing platforms, and social analytics tools, some common sales team tech resources include:
- Sales engagement tools like Outreach
- Email tools like HubSpot
- Data quality software like ZoomInfo
- Appointment scheduling software like Calendly
Set appropriate goals.
In life, in work, and certainly in sales, it’s hard to achieve anything without setting goals. But for an inside sales team, it’s important to make sure those goals are practical and appropriate. Goals too lofty and unattainable will frustrate and deject your team, and goals too low will have you coming up short of your targets.
When building and managing an inside sales team, set realistic yet challenging expectations on what a successful day/week/month looks like in terms of activity, productivity, and lead generation.
Show the why behind the why.
Sure, all the goals, objectives, and metrics are extremely important. What’s even more important? Ensuring the leadership team is transparent in sharing insights as to why the specific metrics have been set and how each ISR helps to support the bigger picture.
By both communicating expectations to your inside sales reps and reporting on their success to key stakeholders, everyone involved should have a clear understanding of the impact. And when your reps know the value of the conversions they’re having, they become increasingly motivated to hit their goals.
Foster internal collaboration.
The most successful inside sales teams are just that—teams. In order to truly maximize their performance and keep them engaged, get them talking with each other and sharing best practices. If something is working well for one rep, find out why and share it with the team.
Not only does this help develop camaraderie and promote collaboration, but it provides invaluable real-life insights that your ISRs won’t find with standard training and onboarding.
The most successful inside sales teams are comprised of diverse individuals, each with unique skills and talents, as well as tips, tricks, and techniques they’ve perfected through the years. With regular interaction, communication, and collaboration amongst your inside sales team, bottom line results are sure to follow.
Create a competitive environment.
Teamwork makes the dream work…one team one dream…
Yes, these mottos carry a lot of weight for inside sales, and collaboration is crucial, as we’ve established. But there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, either!
Sales is a competitive career, after all. Inside sales teams often thrive off one another when they’re participating in sales contests. A few easy ideas to boost the performance of struggling reps, increase overall productivity, and boost morale include:
- Daily Prizes
- Salesperson of the Month
- Presidents Club
Even if you don’t create an intentional program to foster the competition, simply having a running leaderboard for all ISRs to reference and track can provide a little extra incentive and motivation.
Celebrate the wins!
There’s no way around it. Sales can sometimes be a grueling, even thankless job. So it’s important to celebrate the wins—no matter how small they may seem. Recognizing individual accomplishments is a good motivator as we stated above, but also acknowledging what you achieve as a team can go a long way.
Sales, offers, demo requests, inbound leads, and other sales milestones are great examples of things worth celebrating, especially when a specific KPI is reached (100 demo requests in a month, for example). These regular reminders can help your inside sales team get through even the toughest of days, knowing their hard work is part of something bigger.
Need Help Setting up an Inside Sales Team?
With low-risk sales development services delivered by sales professionals skilled in B2B tech sales, Inside Sales Solutions can help make sure you get the most out of your inside sales team by ensuring your internal ISRs are spending their time with warm, qualified leads.