BACK
Inside Sales: An In-depth Guide for Sales Representatives
September 15th 2021
Sales Best Practices
Email Automation
Did you know that Inside Sales grew almost 15 times faster than Outbound Sales in the last 3 years? Corporate giants like IBM, SAP, and others are increasingly investing in Inside Sales and making it a priority. So, why are these giants making this shift? Why is it that most organisations whether big or small are making use of Inside Sales? Before we understand the why, it is important to know the what.

Table of contents:

  • What does Inside Sales Mean?
  • How does Inside Sales Work?
  • Inside Sales vs Telemarketing
  • Why Inside Sales?
  • Getting your Inside Sales strategy right - Here’s what you should do

Inside Sales

Source: act.com

What does Inside Sales Mean?

Inside sales, simply put, includes technology and tools that allow sales to be made without having to travel. It facilitates remote sales from home or office, sitting behind a screen. Inside Sales allow representatives to sell products via calls, emails, or other online platforms.

It is usually used in a B2B SaaS Company, tech products, and some high ticket B2C products.

How does Inside Sales work?

Let’s take an example to understand how it can help you. Suppose you are a sales representative, and you want to pitch your product to a potential customer. After sufficient research using tools and technology, you reach out to them remotely, say via phone or email. They actually liked your product and decided to buy it. You just helped in the conversion of a sale using Inside Sales.

Thus, in simple words, sales representatives in Inside Sales generally indulge in reaching out to leads. Leads are prospective clients who have performed action on the company website, social media pages, or any other platform that the company uses to interact with potential customers. Examples of this activity could be requesting a demo of the product, downloading content from the website, or browsing through the products available online.

These leads are reached out to as they are identified as potential clients and can be converted through immediate efforts.

A lead generated through prospective client’s activities further goes through an entire Inside Sales process. Let’s look at the journey of a plant to understand it better. Seeds are bought and planted; the growing plant is then nurtured until it becomes a full-grown plant. The whole stock of plants is then looked after and maintained.

Inside Sales Process

Similarly, in Inside Sales, the seeds or leads are routed to Inbound Sales Representatives. So, who are Sales Representatives? Sales Reps, also known as Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), are central to the Inside Sales process. They are the ones who reach out to the leads, which can be potential clients. They are the first ones to get in touch with the warm lead generated and often set the tone for future interactions with the prospects.

After contacting the potential client, the SDRs log in the information collected based on interactions on the Sales Engagement platform being used. After this, from there, the Account Executives take over. Account Executives are more senior sales reps who take the leads raised to them further and nurture these leads to make final conversions.

Once the client is acquired, the Account Manager looks after the client and manages all their activities. They ensure that the client is retained and tries to generate results. This involves finding the right product fit, delivering effectively and following up to get valuable customer feedback.

Inside Sales vs Telemarketing

Based on what you have read until now, Inside Sales and Telemarketing might seem quite similar at first glance. They both include calling people to make pitches. However, inside sales shouldn’t be mistaken with unpleasant telemarketing ads that you may often come across.

The differences between the two are as follows:

  • Inbound Sales Call Scripts are quite different from telemarketing communications. Inside Sales representatives customize their efforts to create mutually beneficial pitches. They make personalised scripts for leads before they reach out to them.
  • Inbound Sales representatives generally reach out to you after you have performed some sort of activity on their website, which indicates that you might be interested in their product/service.

Having understood what Inside Sales is and what it entails, the next step is addressing the most important question. Why is it so crucial for you to adopt Inside sales?

Why Inside Sales?

As the world is going digital, businesses are adopting tools, software, and technology for their routine tasks. Inside Sales allows organizations to leverage the growth prospects that the digital world has to offer. Besides this, the benefits of Inside Sales are innumerable. A few of them include:

  1. Reach your target audience –
  2. Buyers these days are empowered by the internet. They search the internet for companies that solve their pain points. They can even research your company through your website and social media handles. But as an organization, are you reaching out to them as well? Inside Sales helps you in doing just this by allowing you to connect with them before they reach out to a competitor.
  3. Converting leads –
  4. Inside Sales allows you to reach out to potential clients that have already shown interest in your offering. It helps you gain insights about the prospective leading to better understanding and personalisation. It increases your chances of making a sale.
  5. Humanizing Sales –
  6. Over the years, there has been a shift of power from sellers to buyers. Buyers these days are looking for sales efforts that don’t just close but educate, guide and support them. Inside Sales allows you to do exactly this but humanizes the Buyer’s purchasing journey.
  7. Location Advantage –
  8. Unlike traditional sales that involve extensive and tiring traveling schedules, inside sales efforts happen remotely. This saves organisations a lot of time, money and efforts that are better utilised elsewhere.
  9. Better collaboration –
  10. Owing to the proximity of operating between the sales reps and their supervisors, Inside Sales, helps in improved cooperation within the team. This also ensures better coordination between the various functions of your sales activity.
  11. Adaptability to user demands –
  12. Inside Sales allows reps to be in direct contact with the potential users of the product. It can help you with useful insights. By way of Inside Sales Automation tools, these insights can help in personalizing the purchase journey.
  13. Cost Efficiency –
  14. Inside Sales helps in saving cost per lead by reducing the sales cycle. By making use of technology and AI-powered Sales Automation, sales efforts are more directed and cost-efficient. It also saves you the cost of reaching out to leads that might not be even remotely interested in your offering.

Getting your Inside Sales strategy right - Here’s what you should do

Inside Sales has various benefits which make it a must have in your organisation. But does just including Inside Sales make your organisation successful? If not, then what exactly does your Inside Sales strategy include? Read on to get your Inside Sales strategy right!

While designing your Inside Sales strategy, think deeply about what your customer is looking for. The key is understanding the pain points of your customer and addressing them at each touch point. Most customers these days are looking for sales reps and companies that don’t want to just “sell” but who would help them find the right product for them.

Here are some successful tips and strategies that can help you coming across as an organisation that is aimed at creating mutual value:

  • Good Research leads to good results -
  • The first step to get your Inside Sales strategy right is good research about your prospects. It forms the core of the inside sales process. Insights into the likes and dislikes of the warm lead from their past activities and interactions can really make the difference. Better your research, better would be the results. It will make your prospective client feel heard and cared about. Doing your homework and making sure you apply your findings increases your chances of converting by manifold.
  • Create Personas -
  • Imagine you are an Inside Sales rep. You come across hundreds of leads each day. Now imagine creating a new plan of action for each of these leads. Too cumbersome, isn’t it? In order to save time and effort, you can simply create broader customer personas based on your past research about their pain points and needs. You can create a separate template for each of the customer personas you created. How does this help you? It can make your work much simpler as next time you come across a lead, you simply have to find the customer persona they match and reach out to them accordingly. You would still customise the pitch but you would just have to tweak the template already in place which saves time.
  • Don’t rely just on insights -
  • What does this mean? All this while, we have been talking about the importance of insights and good research but there is something else that you should understand. Insights can only provide you limited information. Make sure that you don’t completely rely on insights. Don’t get anchored by preconceived assumptions. How do you avoid this? Simply by asking questions to your prospective customer. This will help you better get into their mind and deliver what exactly they want. However, make sure that it doesn’t seem like you are interrogating the customer. Give them context about why it is important to ask that question so that they are encouraged to answer as well.
  • Build trust and self-perception -
  • Why exactly is Inside Sales so important? As discussed earlier, sales reps are the first ones who reach out to customers. They set the pace for all further interactions. Inside Sales tools ensure that you know more about your customer when you reach out to them. This helps you in bettering your conversations and build trust in the lead towards you and your company. Self-perception here refers to the client’s perception of you and your company. Inside Sales tools help you in knowing about the customer’s needs and deliver accordingly. This helps in building a positive image in the mind of the prospective customer. It does so by not making you look like someone who is selling but someone who wants to genuinely guide and help them.
  • Are you really listening to your customer? -
  • It is very easy to miss out some insights that the prospective customer might be providing you with during your conversations. The question that you ask yourself is if you have really been paying close attention to what your client is saying. To avoid missing out on useful insights, make sure that you are being an active listener. The customer might also be providing feedback about the entire process and the company offering. Make sure you let their feedback guide the process and convey them to the respective departments involved as well.

Inside Sales is becoming an increasingly popular term owing to the various benefits that it yields. Suppose you are an organization, particularly a B2B SaaS company operating remotely. In that case, you might want to consider AI-powered Sales Automation for targeted and fruitful efforts by providing you with actionable Data-driven insights.

A data-driven Inside Sales Framework can make a difference by driving actionable leads.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
Blog3
Sales Best Practices
Email Automation: What it is, How it Works, and How to do it
Email automation is the single best automation technique that can save you and your team a ton of time while keeping your customers busy ...
Upscale Team
Upscale
Blog4
Sales Best Practices
How to Hold a Weekly B2B Sales Review Meeting?
Top-performing sales reps seek continuous learning and focus on self-improvement. As an organization, the best way to empower ...
Upscale Team
Upscale