Let’s say you’re a salesperson trying to sell a product or service to a company, but you find yourself challenged that the B2B buying process is longer and more complex than you expected.
You uncover that B2B sales often involves multiple decision makers and requires a significant amount of research and evaluation, which makes you feel like you’re in limbo waiting for answers that never come.
Given this, Inside Sales presents itself as the solution to help sales teams stay in constant contact with prospects and close deals faster.
How is this possible? Keep reading.
But first, what is Inside Sales?
Inside Sales is the practice of selling products or services directly to customers by phone, email or digital media. In Spanish it is translated as «Remote Sales» or «virtual sales», although the Anglo-Saxon term is the most commonly used.
This sales strategy has become an effective and profitable alternative to traditional field sales, in which salespeople visit their prospects in person. Instead, Inside Sales takes advantage of all the opportunities offered by digitalization and new technologies to make contact remotely, either through phone calls, emails, video conferences, live chats or other means.
As shown in the graph below, the use of technology in sales is one of the main factors influencing decision making:
It is important to note that Inside Sales teams are the first team members to connect with prospects, understand their needs, answer their questions and qualify them as leads.
In other words, it will be your Inside Sales team who will be in charge of «relationship management», i.e. the management of qualified leads that are a perfect fit for your project.
What does an Inside Sales Manager do?
Inside Sales is also used to refer to the Inside Sales Manager or the Inside Sales Representative. To avoid confusion, we explain the terms:
- The Inside Sales Manager is the professional profile in charge of managing the inside sales department in a company. Its main function is to detect, identify and study in depth the business opportunities targeted by sales representatives, with the aim of directing sales efforts, minimizing the investment of resources and increasing sales closings.
- On the other hand, the Inside Sales Representative, or just Inside Sales, focuses on identifying, nurturing and converting leads into customers remotely, that is, without having face-to-face meetings with prospects. Unlike telemarketing, which consists of making a series of phone calls to an established database in which salespeople must follow a previously defined script and insist, as much as possible, that the products are purchased.
What are the functions of an Inside Salesperson?
The functions of an inside salesperson are similar to those of a traditional salesperson, but are performed remotely.
These are some of the most important functions of an inside sales representative:
- Prospecting leads: Inside Sales Representatives must search for and find potential customers through various sources, such as databases, social networks, referrals and other means.
- Qualifying leads: once leads have been identified, the next step for them is to research and understand their needs and wants in order to identify sales opportunities.
- Communicating with customers: A key part of their job is communication. They connect with potential customers through phone calls, emails and other digital media to present products and services, answer questions and close sales.
- Managing and maintaining customer relationships: the Inside Sales Representative’s job does not end with closing the sale. This is followed by maintaining a relationship with customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the product or service and to identify future sales opportunities.
- Sales reporting: it is important to note that inside salespeople must keep records of all their sales activities, including calls made, emails sent, sales closed and sales opportunities identified.
Consequently, the purposes of Inside Sales are to intelligently complement innovative sales processes, optimize the work of salespeople, increase turnover and make a powerful reduction in sales costs.
That is why, by implementing Inside Sales to sell without leaving the office, companies can achieve optimal financial performance and positive results. If you want to know how to achieve all these promises that appeal to any salesperson, read on.
Inside Sales Vs Outside Sales
Inside Sales and Outside Sales are two different approaches to selling products or services.
While Inside Sales refers to sales conducted remotely, such as by phone, email or video conference, Outside Sales refers to sales that are conducted in person, typically outside of an office or business location, which is the more traditional way.
Here are some key differences between Inside Sales and Outside Sales:
- Location: Inside Sales are conducted remotely, typically from a company’s office or call center, while Outside Sales are conducted in person, usually at the customer’s location.
- Interaction: Inside Sales rely on virtual interaction with customers, while Outside Sales rely on face-to-face interaction.
- Travel: Outside Sales require frequent travel, while Inside Sales usually do not involve travel.
- Sales cycle: Inside Sales have a shorter sales cycle as customers can be contacted more frequently, while Outside Sales have a longer sales cycle as it can take longer to schedule meetings and close deals.
- Cost: Outside Sales usually require more resources and are more expensive than Inside Sales .
- Sales Team Structure: Inside Sales teams tend to be larger, with a higher volume of sales reps, while Outside Sales teams tend to be smaller, with fewer sales reps covering larger territories.
Both Inside Sales and Outside Sales have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach for a particular business depends on several factors, such as the nature of the product or service, the target market and the sales objectives of the business.
In this chart, we show you the differences in detail:
Top 5 Inside Sales Channels
As an Inside Sales rep or manager, it’s essential to have a solid set of tools to help you maintain your data and increase your productivity.
Below, we mention some of the best inside sales channels as a reference to suggest areas where tools can improve your performance.
CRM (customer relationship management).
This tool is essential for managing prospect data. A CRM helps you with contact management, pipeline management and deal management. It can help you identify where leads are in the process and where you can focus your efforts to win more deals. There are many options on the market, but if you work in an SMB or startup, Salesmate is a good choice with features like integrated calls, pipeline management, deal management and practical integrations.
LinkedIn lead automation
LinkedIn is a solid source of new leads, responsible for 80% of B2B leads from social networks. You can use a LinkedIn outreach automation tool to bring new LinkedIn leads into your CRM. Some solid options are Lead Connect, Zopto and Alfred.
As an inside sales rep, it’s important that you can explain your product to potential customers. Video conferencing tools are the right way to do this. These allow you to share screens, make calls and chat with potential customers to explain your product. Some of the best video conferencing tools are Zoom, GoToMeeting and BlueJeans.
When negotiations are at a stage where potential customers are almost convinced of your offerings, you should send a proposal. Business proposal tools such as Proposify, PandaDoc or Bidsketch are useful for creating and sending proposals. You can track your proposals, tailor pricing, design templates and save on manual entries.
It is essential not to forget to call clients so as not to create a bad impression. Appointment scheduling tools like Calendly, Doodle and SetMore provide you with notifications so you never miss an important meeting. These tools also take time zones into account so that both parties receive a notification at the right time.
Inside Sales, rather than a fancy marketing term, is a technique or strategy that is making its way in a world that is increasingly digitized and concerned with process efficiency.
With its focus on driving effective strategies, especially for companies that sell products or services for which face-to-face sales are not indispensable, Inside Sales is emerging as a more cost-effective, scalable and convenient alternative.
By allowing sales teams to work remotely, it also increases their performance and lowers the operating cost budget. A win-win for everyone: company, employees and customers.