7 Must Have Features to Improve Inside Sales Teams’ Productivity
October 25th 2021
Sales Best Practices
Inside sales features
With technological advancements, selling via inside sales have become a widely used GTM sales motion across SaaS products. Traditionally sales conversations between prospects and sales reps required their physical presence, but product demo-driven sales strategies have also adopted remote selling. Post-pandemic selling techniques continue to evolve, leading to the prominence of inside sales. Essential elements of inside sale include:

  • Understanding the problems your solution solves
  • Identifying prospects who may have such problems
  • Helping prospects understand their existing challenges
  • Personalizing the solution based on their requirements

In this blog, we’ll cover the most necessary features and the following topics:

  • What is inside sales?
  • Stages of inside sales
  • Must have features for inside sales teams
    1. Customer relationship management
    2. Sales automation
    3. Pipeline management
    4. Multi-channel communication
    5. Sales engagement
    6. Productivity tracking
    7. Reporting

What is Inside Sales?

Inside sales is a technique that allows sales reps to interact with prospects virtually. It uses sales tech and tools throughout the sales process. It will enable sales reps to communicate with prospects through emails, calls, social media, etc. Inside sales is critical for B2B SaaS companies and B2C organizations with high ticket products. Let’s look into the different stages of inside sales.

Stages of Inside Sales Cycle

  • Prospecting & Scoring
  • Creating an ICP can help sales reps identify prospects that are in line with target accounts. Sourcing prospects from LinkedIn, network research, and other sources is critical for sales reps to build a target audience. Once there is a list of potential prospects, sales reps need to move to the prospecting and scoring stage. They need to identify prospects that are most likely to use your business solution. Understanding their pain points and requirements and coming up with relevant solutions can help move to the next stage of booking meetings or setting up demos.

  • Setting up Demos
  • Interested or relevant prospects need to be educated about their challenges and how your solution can help them. They need to understand the different use cases of your product or service. A trial or demo session can provide a first-hand experience to your prospects. They need to be aware of the full potential of your business solution before moving on to closing the deal.

  • Closing the Deal
  • Timely follow-ups ensure consistent nurturing and engagement of prospects. By providing resources and encouraging them to explore your product or service, you can get them hooked. While some firms encourage sales reps to complete the entire journey, others might pass them to a different team. The ultimate goal is to onboard the prospect as a customer.

    To improve the efficiency of your sales reps at each stage of the inside sales cycle, you need to have a robust sales stack. Ensure your inside sales software enhances the overall productivity of your sales team and, in return, generates higher revenue.

Must features for inside sales teams

We’ve curated a list of important inside sales features that every sales rep will need to optimize sales processes.

  1. Customer Relationship Management
  2. As reported by Forbes, a sales rep spends nearly 64.8% of the time on non-revenue-generating activities. Customer relationship management helps sales reps streamline sales processes, connect to prospects, and improve productivity. It also manages all the interactions between existing and potential customers. Prospecting tools with email and phone in a sales cadence can make your CRM the most valuable feature

  3. Sales Automation
  4. HubSpot Sales Enablement Report 2021 concludes that sales reps spent about 21% of their time writing the emails and 17% entering the data. Automation is essential for consistent interactions with prospects. It removes manual administrative tasks from the sales cycle to free up sales reps to focus on activities that will bring in revenue.

    Triggers can help sales reps automate tasks within a workflow. Sales automation can have the intelligence to identify and recommend the next best actions. For example, if the past data on the sequence of actions successfully converted a particular customer profile. Automating such activities can ensure you never miss out on follow-ups and keep consistent interactions with prospects.

  5. Pipeline Management
  6. Pipeline management reveals a big picture to the sales team about the quantity and quality of leads across the sales funnel. It helps you evaluate and optimize your process at every stage of the outreach. It ensures increased revenue at the end of the sales cycle through accurate sales forecasting. It makes revenue a predictable process.

  7. Multi-channel Communication
  8. An inside sales software must allow sales reps to interact with prospects across multiple channels. It ensures that your outreach is targeted through their most preferred channel. While automation is vital for timely actions, personalization is essential to make your prospects feel important. Interacting with prospects based on their preferred mode of communication can ensure better relationship building.

    Sales Emails & Templates

    Even today, email is one of the most significant channels sales reps use in prospecting. Inside sales software must provide the sales reps the customized email templates and the ability to track the performance of the emails for separate prospects and clients.

    As per HubSpot Sales Enablement Report 2021, only 24% of sales emails are opened, and email is 40 times more effective than communication through Facebook and Twitter. 8/10 people want to connect with sales reps via email over any other medium. It makes the performance tracking of email all the more critical.

    Sales Calling & Recording

    Sales calls are one of the primary tasks of sales reps during outreach. Offering reps to dial and record calls from the browser can help analyze patterns of behavior that lead to conversion. Logging calls automatically, creating email digests, and notifying team members will ensure transparency within your sales team.

    Video Calling

    After the Covid-19, work from home is being normalized. As per LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2020, 81% of sales reps are using virtual meetings. Remote sales require technology back up to streamline the process, and ensuring video calling as a feature will empower sales reps to humanize communication.

  9. Sales Engagement
  10. Sales engagement is about using the best tools, workflows, sequences, templates, tasks with automation. It streamlines two-way communication for the sales cycles, providing you with consistent feedback to encourage prospects to move forward in the sales journey. From a workflow perspective, sales engagement must be integrated with the existing tech stack for quick implementation.

  11. Productivity & Performance
  12. Productivity apps can help sales reps streamline their schedule between different tasks. It helps in boosting productivity and improves the efficiency of the sales team. Sales managers can identify and eliminate irrelevant actions. They can even monitor and analyze individual sales rep performance.

  13. Reporting
  14. Metrics are important to analyze the performance of different activities, sequences, and workflows. Generating reports for individual and combined successes and areas of improvement can help in enhancing your sales performance. With customizable metrics and dashboards, you can identify the gaps in your sales cycle on time and modify them to increase efficiency.

Final thoughts

These features will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the sales reps in closing deals, faster. What you need to do now is to understand the profile of your target customer. Understand the role of your inside sales team in your company. Put across your needs, understand the different features provided. Then select the best combination of tools that fit in your equation.

Ankit Agarwal
Contributing Writer
Ankit Agarwal
Contributing Writer
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