What is inside sales? This can be a difficult question to answer, as the term can mean different things to different people. Generally speaking, though, inside sales refers to any sales operations that take place primarily over the telephone and/or computer.
This means that instead of meeting with potential customers in person, you would be communicating with them through calls or emails. The role of inside sales in an organization can be very important, but it can also be difficult to make the transition from working.
What is inside sales?
Do you know the difference between what is inside sales and what is outside sales?
Inside salespeople, unlike outside sales personnel, do not travel. Despite this, inside salespeople are still proactive in contacting potential customers and may engage with cold calling. A company can designate potential customers’ calls as inside sales. A company can also outsource its inside sales tasks to a third party, instead of selling in-house.
Because of the advent of the telephone, and its use as an advertising tool, there was a distinction between inside and outside sales. In the 1980s, the term “inside sales” was coined to distinguish telemarketing from high-ticket phone sales that are common in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.
Inside sales reps are creative, highly trained people who create a sales strategy to sell products and services to customers. Telemarketers read from scripts.
Sometimes, outside and inside sales personnel and practices can work together to increase efficiency. An example of this is an inside salesperson within a department who may organize and create sales appointments for outside salespeople, also known as lead generation. In some cases, inside sales staff may be used to sell ancillary products and services to existing customers.
Inside sales is the fastest-growing segment in sales and lead generation.
Benefits of inside sales
Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to make their lives easier by purchasing goods and services online. It even has its own industry association: the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, (AA-ISP).
The ways that most outside and inside salespeople work are merging. Outside salespeople are increasingly making more sales remotely, while inside salespeople are sometimes going out on the field.
This convergence is made possible by the adoption and modification of customer buying habits and attitudes regarding how products and services are sold. This has given rise to the new term “sales in the cloud” for inside sales.
According to PayScale.com, the median base salary of an inside sales position was approximately $45,000, with 10% earning a maximum salary at $66,000 in 2021. There can be significant differences in the salaries of different companies.
Oracle Corp. pays its inside sales representatives an average salary of $50,565, while State Farm Insurance Company offers its reps an average income of $29,661.
Inside sales: The essentials
Inside salespeople need to be able to balance many factors. You must be able to find leads from your desk. This requires you to be comfortable with technology. You will need to have good wifi and social media skills.
Social media is a key tool for advertising your product and finding customers, especially via professional pages such as LinkedIn. You must spend time researching the prospect, their company, their pain points, and how you can best market your product to them.
As you might expect, inside salespeople need to be able to write well. However, they also need to be able to pick up on non-verbal cues. Many of their work will be done over the phone or via webcam. Therefore, subtle hints that prospects drop into the conversation can prove to be very helpful. This field requires you to be flexible and take initiative.
Although you are based in sales, it is not a 9-5 job. Modern technology makes it possible to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is important to be familiar with your product and ready for any questions or difficulties.
You must also be a team player. Inside salesmen will be surrounded by colleagues in the office. This is a good thing. Let your team motivate and empower you. This is how you become a top inside salesman.
How do you sell your product with inside sales?
The difference between inside and outside sales is how you sell your product. Inside sales is the sale of products and services remotely. This can be done via a variety of methods, including phone calls, emails, and video conferencing.
You can sell products and services outside sales by selling them in person via face-to-face meetings and other traditional media. These can include industry events, conferences, trade shows, seminars, etc. These can include sales at bars and through door-to-door. This method requires a lot of travel, as you can see.
Companies that focus on technology products are more likely to have inside sales, while traditional hardware product sales rely heavily on outside sales. There are exceptions to this rule. You will need to decide which method is best for you and the product.
What is the difference between inside sales and telemarketing
Selling over the phone from remote locations is not a new concept. Telemarketing has been used by companies since the 1950s. These over-the-phone sales techniques have disrupted family dinners for decades. Telemarketing is a completely different thing from inside sales. Telemarketing is almost always scripted and focuses on selling low-ticket items such as extended warranties or insurance policies. It rarely involves multiple touchpoints. Each call is a one-way street. The agent then moves on to the next lead or closes the deal quickly.
The inside sales team, on the other side, focuses on high-ticket items and is most common in the B2B market. Although inside sales reps may use campaign-specific talking points to sell their products, they don’t rely solely on sales scripts.
Inside sales reps are skilled, competent salespeople with ingenuity and acumen comparable to outside sales reps, which is a far cry from the average telemarketer. The salary of inside sales reps is often higher than that of telemarketers. This is often due to their sales commissions.
What does an inside sales rep do?
Remote sales reps work with potential customers to help them navigate the sales process and ensure they find the right product or service for their needs.
Essential inside sales tools
Inside sales agents can use three main media.
- Virtual meetings
86% of business professionals prefer email communication over other media.
The email has been a powerful tool in marketing and support. The marketing team creates campaigns to find potential customers. The inside sales team connects to them to ensure they are a good fit for their product. Their product is more compatible with these prospects.
73% of 18-24-year olds check their email on their phones
Customers prefer to meet with outside salespeople during office hours. Emails have no boundaries. Inside sales professionals can reach prospects anywhere and at any time. It is now extremely easy to reach prospects with mobile emails.
In the last two decades, calling has experienced remarkable growth.
I’m referring to the days when people cold-called to find out if prospects were available to meet face-to-face. It’s all about selling products now, starting with calls.
Isn’t this a significant change?
Businesses are now able to go global from their offices, thanks to business VoIPs. Virtual phone numbers allow you to make business calls from any country, native or not.
Businesses can reach overseas customers and expand their businesses with virtual phone systems. CBS reports that CEOs spend 25% of their day on phone calls.
CRMs like Salesmate allow you to have a complete virtual phone system built into your system. This means that you don’t need to switch between systems to make calls or manage data.
Emails and calls are missing a vital element: visuals. Video conferencing has been a huge hit in the last few years.
As I mentioned, global businesses have become more important than ever before. The tools that are available to help them have also improved. Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect are great tools for inside sales reps.
Sales reps can screen share and give demos to prospects. This is the best way to ensure your prospects are fully familiar with the products.
Inside sales tips and strategies
Inside sales reps who adopt a consultative approach to selling treat their customers as valued partners. They can understand their needs and offer solutions that will help them.
These inside sales tips will help you improve your performance.
How to enhance your selling skills in inside sales
If the seller is not able to create a framework that maximizes each interaction, more customer conversations won’t move the needle. Technology can be a great tool for the initial contact but it is still important to use consultative tools to convert that outreach into a sale. The consultative selling approach is based on a few principles. These principles are crucial to the success of the inside sales team.
A customer can form a quick impression on a caller in a relatively short time. The friend/foe bias says that everyone makes this quick assertion. Customers will identify a seller as manipulative or self-serving and may be prompted to discredit their message. This trait must be avoided by sellers.
Before discussing the product, they must do their research, be relevant, understand the needs, and then discuss it.
Sellers don’t have to be aggressive in trying to find a solution. Instead, they can be more productive by presenting ideas first. This is the priming bias at play.
Repeated exposure will make customers more open to new ideas. This provides valuable feedback for the seller to help shape the final solution.
Although the consultative process relies heavily on dialogue, it is important for the seller that they drive the conversation. The seller must demonstrate their preparation and signal a clear game plan from the beginning of the call.
Keep your eyes on the customer and not let your surroundings distract. This approach is characterized by:
- Strong language to shape perceptions
- To emphasize key points, comfort with silence
- Ability to refer to previous, relevant work in customer’s area
- A demonstration of preparation and research done before the call
- Use nonverbal cues for underscoring messaging
- Concise, direct phrasing that gets right to the point
- Asking questions requires assertiveness
Which companies are best for inside sales?
In his Harvard Business Review article, Steve W. Martin identified three factors that determine whether businesses choose to invest in inside sales or outside sales.
The development stage of a sales organization. Martin suggests that sales organizations in their development stage would be more likely to scale up their sales strategies to compete with larger competitors. This can often require a large remote sales team.
The complexity of the sales cycle. The complexity of the solution that a business sells and the size of the deals can impact whether inside sales techniques or field sales techniques play a dominant role. Field sales reps are often required to help with complex enterprise solutions. These solutions require large upfront capital investments, buy-in from multiple executives, and any customization.
Many businesses that sell cloud-based turn-key solutions can handle sales cycles entirely via remote channels. It is important to remember, however, that even large enterprise deals signed in-person often start with prospecting efforts from within sales.
Perception of sales model effectiveness. Sales strategies that companies choose are often influenced in part by their perceptions of which sales models work best. Businesses rely on their inside sales teams for creative opportunities, and outside sales reps to maintain relationships, strengthen relationships, and close high-ticket deals.
The future of inside sales
How will sales evolve in the future? It is too early to predict how the pandemic will impact the business landscape. However, IBM surveys show that employees are more open to working remotely. As remote work technology improves, the inside sales model may continue its dominance.
Selling technology is becoming more common. These include CRM, dialers, and social selling tools. Conversation intelligence is also a part of the average sales stack. Consolidation is the next trend in inside sales technology.
The most successful inside sales platforms will offer a variety of different capabilities within a single platform. This is similar to Hubspot’s marketing platform
What is inside sales? Inside sales is a complex field that requires a lot of knowledge and techniques. There is no end to the learning opportunities in this field. You just need to pay attention to your reactions and actions. There are endless opportunities for you once you find your own pace.