What are Inside Sales: definition and benefits
What is inside sales?
It’s the process of identifying, nurturing, and converting leads remotely. Inside sales representatives work from an office or home and sell products or services by reaching out to clients through email or phone. They don’t go to the customer in person as outside sales reps do.
Inside sales representatives
Inside sales representatives are targeting specific businesses and decision-makers. They don’t use a script and are highly trained to know their product inside and out.
Prior to technological advancements such as Skype, email, and other means of online communication, they did business solely over the phone. Even nowadays, inside sales representatives have to be ready to make over a dozen calls a day trying to close sales with qualified prospects to meet the company’s quotas. However, newer technology has allowed reps to connect with more leads and have more productive conversations based on real-time data.
Inside representatives play a significant role when it comes to realizing companies’ customer acquisition and revenue growth goals. Other responsibilities include the following:
- Identifying new sales opportunities via outbound cold calls/emails and inbound lead follow-ups
- Researching accounts, identifying key players, and generating interest
- Maintaining a constantly expanding database of prospects
- Partnering with other channels to build a sales pipeline and close deals
- Performing online demos to prospects
- Routing qualified opportunities to sales executives for further development and closure
Inside sales vs outside sales
Out of the 5.7 million salespeople in the United States, inside sales professionals account for 47.2%, while 52.8% are outside sales reps. But these numbers are likely to be changed in the near future.
Outside sales can cost six times more than inside sales, which has resulted in an increase in the number of inside sales representatives. The inside sales segment is now the quickest growing section of lead generation, becoming even more prevalent than traditional face-to-face outside sales.
The main difference between the two is that outside sales reps often meet with prospects at trade shows, conferences, or industry events. They must be ready to travel a lot to broker face-to-face sales, set their schedule, have the ability to stay focused on their job and look the part.
Still, inside and outside sales are not mutually exclusive. Often inside sales professionals work with outside sales reps for greater efficiency. For example, an inside salesperson in the same department can do the legwork of creating and organizing face-to-face sales appointments for an outside sales rep.
Also, both inside and outside sales representatives need to:
- Know their product well
- Keep learning by attending industry conferences
- Be ethical salespeople and keep their clients loyal
- Work on their listening skills
- Develop solutions to common customer questions and concerns
- Learn from their peers and take advantage of networking opportunities
Inside sales benefits
Buying goods and services online or by phone is preferred among customers who are looking for ways to simplify their lives. Here are some of the main benefits of using the inside sales model:
- Increased cost efficiency – Thanks to inside sales software, you can contact the right prospects more quickly, shorten the sales cycle, and reduce the cost per acquisition.
- Better revenue forecasting – Using CRM, businesses can predict how much revenue a salesperson will produce and the ROI this represents.
- Increased sense of teamwork – Inside sales representatives report higher work satisfaction and better team cohesion than outside sales professionals thanks to the physical proximity of sales reps to their managers.
- Increased sales productivity without constant traveling – Inside sales reps get to stay in one place and are better placed to take on their administrative and prospecting tasks.
Inside sales software
As mentioned in the inside sales definition, it involves a great deal of cold calling and emailing attempts to target prospects. Boosting inside sales with the right technology helps not only in strategizing the complete sales process but also in closing more deals.
For it, various inside sales software can be used:
- Email management systems help send out automated email campaigns, create well-crafted email templates, and track email open rates.
- Lead scoring tools allow prioritizing sales leads based on their interaction with websites or products, as well as their characteristics – job title, country, company, etc.
- Event tracking software enables its users to track visitors’ activity and engagement and identify where they are in the buying journey.
- Reporting tools help track different metrics, identify top performers in the team, and create reports easily and quickly.
- CRM software provides an overview of all sales activities and automates manual and administrative work.
What are the advantages of using inside sales software?
Improving connect rates
Using smart technology, inside sales professionals can increase connect rates by tracking the connected calls and analyzing what led to success. As a result, it will help measure the efforts of each sales representative and track buyer personas.
Optimizing sales process
To understand the target customer’s buying process, inside sales reps need to manage the sales funnel efficiently. With necessary software, they can predict sales month after month, strategize their sales approach, breakdown sales value into distinct activities, and eliminate unneeded activities.
Inside sales software helps nurture relationships with prospects, which is a time-consuming process because products and services are mostly sold through phone and email. Building credibility aids in digging out clients’ information, getting tough questions answered, and coming up with effective solutions.
Measuring critical KPIs
Inside sales representatives must make smart calls and send productive emails. With the help of inside sales software, they can track the team’s KPIs by having valuable insights into lead connect rates, lead response time, lead conversion score, email open rates, email click-through rates, and others.
Inside sales teams need to intelligently identify new leads or update information for existing contacts. Sales intelligence tools provide proactive insights into the customer’s background and information of a prospect, company, or industry.
Wrapping it up
To grow their revenue, many companies invest in quality inside sales reps as highly cost-effective alternatives to face-to-face encounters. Inside sales can bring real value to the consumer and the business if done with careful customization and proper research.