The DriveSales™ | Here is a beginner’s guide to inside sales to make bold moves and make million-dollar deals!
In the past few years, the shift from Outside Sales to Inside Sales has grown rapidly due to the changes in the selling practice. Since technology revolutionized sales and the interaction between clients and sellers has completely changed, it forced companies to search for new ways of communication with leads for generating high revenue. Therefore, inside sales have become a priority for many businesses as they are carried out mainly through remote and technology-driven communication.
Inside sales refer to making a sale ‘remotely’ from within an office environment, via email, phone, social media, or any other online channels with no in-person contact between the sales rep and the client. It is the dominant sales model for sales teams primarily in the Business-to-Business (B2B) landscape such as SaaS, technology, and also Business-to-Consumer (B2C) markets selling big-ticket items.
Inside sales teams have been consistently using technology to optimize the sales process. It is becoming the preferred way of buying for many customers in addition to being a more logical and profitable way of selling products and services to customers.
It is important to differentiate inside sales professionals from telemarketers that inside sales professionals are highly skilled and knowledgeable and with the advancement in communications technology, they give product presentations, conduct demos, and perform most of the functions traditionally handled by reps in the field.
The Inside Sales Process
An Inside Sales process defines the different stages of targeting prospects to maximize the efficiency of the Inside Sales teams. Here is a six-step process defining the broad contours of an inside sales process.
1) Creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):
An ICP is the best tool to build before contacting prospective customers. It helps in defining the problems being solved, aligning product and service capabilities with customers’ needs, and assisting in laying down the road map for product and service changes and updates. It involves gathering firmographic information on the prospects, such as industry, annual revenue, company size, budgets, geography, legality, and product/service limitations.
It is beneficial in guiding all energy and focus in the right direction by working on prospects who are more likely to be interested in the firm’s products and services.
2) Identifying Key Decision-Makers:
It is critical to identify the decision-making authority who is responsible for the buying decisions. Using tools such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, which have powerful search capabilities and enhance visibility in extended networks, thus helping to reach the right decision-makers. It’s also suggested to try and search for more than one decision-makers in a prospective client, as there are mostly multiple decision-makers involved in the process. It is important to note that finding the key influencer out of all such decision-makers is also equally important.
3) Setting Up a Sales Meeting
After the first two stages, the next logical step is contacting the relevant person and initiating a meeting. Since we are talking about Inside sales here, they typically take place via a phone call or a video call. Please note that while contacting the prospect, it’s always beneficial to send across the message that the sole purpose of the meeting is supposed to be about how the product or service will prove beneficial to them based on the extensive research conducted in the previous stages.
4) Being Prepared
Preparation is the key when meeting a potential customer. Having a tailored sales pitch, knowledge relating to how the product or service will be able to solve the customer’s biggest pain points, and preparing a list of probable questions to learn more about their needs and requirements. A rehearsal goes a long way in perfecting the preparation process by holding a “practice” meeting session with any of the colleagues to make sure that the sales pitch sounds focused and clear. At the beginning of the meeting, clearly stating the purpose of the meeting, the benefit that the organization is expecting to achieve, and checking up with all the stakeholders taking part in the meeting if they are aligned with this purpose and the corresponding benefit and then moving right into the meeting agenda.
This stage also involves being prepared to give a demo to the prospective client about the product or service being discussed in the meeting. They should be thoroughly aware of its uses and features. Demos can be challenging for beginners and utmost care should be given to impart all the necessary information through regular training sessions.
5) Honing Objection Handling
A prospect is bound to present the inside sales reps with some objections which can be largely categorized into 4 categories: lack of budget, lack of need, lack of trust, or a lack of urgency. This is commonly referred to as BANT in sales terminology which is used as a sales qualification methodology allowing sales teams to determine if a prospect is a good fit based on their budget, buying ability/power of internal influence, need for the product, and purchasing timeline. Inside sales teams must understand these objections comprehensively and are prepared to help the prospects to overcome the objections.
6) Retaining customers:
An after-sales process significantly improves the chances of customers buying from more products or services. By offering immaculate product support and customer service, as well as gathering feedback for further improving the product offering and the buying process, everything relating to the customers’ needs is being taken care of. Entirely focusing on new customer acquisition is not a viable strategy in the long-term. This will not only help in boosting the customer retention rate but will also create a platform for reaching out to the customers for up-selling and cross-selling opportunities on the arrival of new products.
Inside sales is a rising phenomenon across the globe and are expected to only grow further in popularity with the advances in technology and changing buying habits of customers.
An inside sales model has the capability of giving the advantage of providing an efficient way of selling and providing them every opportunity for fast and cost-effective growth.
Now, as an effective SALESPERSON! We can do three things from here.
1. Not ignoring the opportunity and blaming the situation for revenue loss.
2. Taking necessary notes and revisiting your sales strategy with a growth mindset.
3. Reach out to The DriveSales™ in case you need any specialized help.
To conclude, what you believe also provides some idea of your development as a consultative salesperson. For more, please be connected to team The DriveSales™ as these are the foundations for our culture and ways of working!