Many Small Businesses are looking to increase sales this year by expanding or upgrading an Inside Sales Program. In this article we outline the Top Five business-to-business strategies for implementing fast-selling Inside Sales Teams in a company. There are many factors that determine which strategy is best for your organization. Although Social Networking and Marketing are very Hot Topics this year, you still need a fast-moving, high quality sales team to grow a small businesses. The common benefits of adding or expanding inside sales programs include:
- Shifting more experienced (and more expensive) Field Sales Reps to Higher-End Sales Opportunities
- Reducing the Cost of overall Sales Resources
- Establishing Sales Coverage around the US and World
- Responding to Sales Inquiries Faster
- Building a Sales Infrastructure that is flexible and can continue to quickly Grow Sales
Note: For this article we define Inside Sales Reps as staff with "Sales" Skills and Training. Reps that only focus on Social Marketing, Lead Qualification, Lead Generation and Demand Generation are NOT addressed in this article.
Strategy 1 - Close Low-end Sales
Less Experienced Inside Sales Reps can sell products from $100 to $5,000 over the phone.
They can either complete outbound sales calls and/or accept inbound calls through your Company's toll-free 800 (or 888) number. They usually can close low-end products within one to five calls and emails or social conversations.
Strategy 2 - Close Larger Complex Sales
Senior Inside Sales Reps can sell more complex products from $5,000 to $500,000 over the phone and internet.
These products and services need a one to 18-month sales cycle. The Reps work with your customers throughout the entire sales process.
Strategy 3 - Product Demo and Trial Period Follow-up & Close
Inside Sales Reps make follow-up calls to prospects testing your product. Prospects typically sign-up for a trial on your website. Reps then call during the trial, at the end of the trial, and after the trial period, to close business and make quota.
Strategy 4 - Established Customer, Reseller Sales & Account Management
Inside Sales Reps can be assigned to Existing Customers, Partners or Re-sellers. Their goals are to increase sales from existing customers, increase customer satisfaction and reduce your cost of sales. They also provide a great defense from your competitors' Sales Reps calling on your own customers.
Strategy 5 - Team Selling
Inside Reps can be teamed with Outside Sales Representatives in a territory.
Some Companies create a team territory between an Inside and Outside Sales Team. They share Commissions from the shared territory. In one situation, you can assign Inside Sales to the bottom 80 percent of their Customer/Re-seller territory and Field Reps to the top 20 percent of a territory.
In another case, a Fortune 1000 Account Territory Team will have an Inside Sales Reps Assigned to new Division Contacts and a more Senior Account Rep assigned to short-term opportunities and key contacts.
So How Do You Decide on Which Strategy?
Very often, the "Boss" or "Decision Maker" decides the strategy based on their past experiences, a business associate or friend's recommendation (yes, this does happen) and the company philosophy. When you have a new Sales Executive join the company, they'll usually bring a strategy that they've used in the past, like and have had success.
Building and growing an Inside Sales Team sounds like an easy concept. However, it's the strategy and implementation details that will make the difference between average sales and significant sales growth.
Please share your comments on other Inside Sales Best Practices that worked for your Small Business.