Over the past decade or so, inside sales have taken dominance in the B2B tech and SaaS space. 

While there was a time when there was a clear demarcation between Inside sales rep and field sales but with the recent pandemic, organizations across the globe have realized remote sales is a concept too. During such time managing an inside sales team becomes most important.

 

What is inside sales?

Inside sales is the act or the process of identifying, nurturing, and turning leads into customers remotely. Since the buyers are more comfortable purchasing products and services collaborating remotely, inside sales has become a very known and used sales model across various business industries.

 

What’s the Inside sales landscape?

In the past few years, many companies have created, developed, or partnered with inside sales teams to expand their sales outreach and manage their sales campaign better than how it used to be previously. 

The fastest-growing companies are leveraging the expertise of specialized inside sales teams to improve their performance across all segments of their sales pipelines. Inside sales are helping companies to generate more leads, moving prospects through their sales funnel, retaining clients, and so on.

Technology plays a crucial role in Inside sales specifically for sales analysis and growth. According to LinkedIn’s 2016 Sales Report, about 82% of the sales professionals say that sales tools play a crucial role in closing their sales deals with their customers.

The study also found out that about 33% of inside sales professionals using sales intelligence tools spend about 3-5 hours a week unscrambling the insights about leads and prospects. 

There are two main factors that are powering the current inside sales landscape.

  • Technology(Artificial Intelligence)
  • Intelligent Sales Tools

 

How artificial intelligence is powering the inside sales landscape?

  • Artificial Intelligence is making sales teams more effective and more productive. It helps in making sales forecasts more accurate and reduces the administrative burden on sales reps by automatically logging sales activities.
  • Some other duties performed by Artificial Intelligence include tracking and analyzing customer contact relationships, providing virtual coaching and sales coaching through opportunity scoring. Furthermore, AI provides the inside sales teams with the much-needed sales intelligence when they are close to their customers and finalizing a sales deal.
  • Artificial intelligence eliminates the manual CRM data entry work for the inside sales team and maps all the customer contact and activities to the right opportunity account. Sales teams using artificial intelligence save about 27%-35% of their time that allows them to focus and engage with their prospects and customers.

 

Intelligent sales tools that Power up inside the sales team

1. Social Selling Tools

Social Selling means using various tools(Nimble, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, etc) that integrate with social media to establish, build, and nurture customer relationships. It also involves many social media management tools and messaging systems for social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. 

One thing to remember is that you should not get confused by using social selling tools just by sending direct messages to your potential customer. Social selling means selling to your society where you are looking to target a broader public together.

However, many inside sales professionals have not received much formal training in this field. As a result, they end up not identifying potential leads, important sales conversations, and revenue.

Customer Buyer Journey(The Four Stages)

It is important for the sales team to know who their customer really is, what their pain points are, analyze their first impression, qualify with what customer is getting, and so on. The following are the four stages of the customer buyer journey.

Awareness(Pre-Sale)

This is the discovery stage where your potential customer knows more about the product or service you are offering. He starts to make assumptions and thoughts about the same. This can happen through various marketing tactics used by your business or when someone from your sales team speaks to them telling about your product or service.

NeoDove will help your business sales team to connect with your customers at their preferred time using the schedule lead feature. Also, you can follow up with them with new offers and deals you are offering to them.

Consideration(Pre-Sale)

This is a phase where your customer compares your offerings with other competitors’ offerings and so on. He will look into the history of the product and sometimes the history of the business firm as well. Furthermore, brand awareness plays a vital role here.

The sales team needs to use social selling tools to navigate their sales approach and the impact it is really making on their potential customers.

Purchase(Post-Sale)

The customer made his decision and finally purchased your product. But the journey does not end there. Your sales team needs to acknowledge them and offer a welcome message and provide after-sales services as well such as product customization, servicing in case of machinery, warranty cards, and so on.

Also, keep a track of your customer needs and fulfill them through your offerings in the future again. This way you will be able to retain such customers who will look up to you again in the future for more offerings.

Advocacy

If you followed and made through the above phases successfully, then it means that your customer has become a big fan of your business. As a result, they will serve as the best tool for your marketing. They will further make suggestions and give positive reviews about your products and services and appreciate your sales team for their professional approach.

 

2. Customer relationship management software

CRM is software that helps businesses manage leads, deals, and clients and create successful marketing campaigns. Furthermore, the best CRM software gives your inside sales team an overview of your sales activities. Also, it provides you with critical information organizational tools needed to manage customer relationships effectively and therefore is the core of a successful inside sales team. 

According to a 2019 survey conducted by ZoomFocus of more than 900 sales professionals, about 37.3% said that Customer Relationship Management is the most valuable sales tool they use during their workday. Some of the most known CRM software are-SalesForce.Com, ZOHO, Microsoft Dynamics 365, PipeDrive, Insightly, and so on.

However, CRM may not suit every business organization’s nature. Not all businesses can afford or have an infrastructure where they can provide extensive training to their sales team. This is because using CRM software requires skills that are not taught as a mandatory practice to the sales team and sales professionals.

But this is where NeoDove comes in. NeoDove is equipped with real-time data analytics functionality that allows businesses to access customer sales reports and formulate their future decision-making accordingly. Using NeoDove, businesses and their sales team will be able to keep a track of the number of calls made to their prospects, the number of pending calls, scheduling of follow-up calls with your prospects, and so on.

Furthermore, NeoDove makes it a very efficient process for the inside sales team to monitor their lead numbers by tracking their activities from the time they log in and what actions they perform until they log out.  Also, you can listen to sales conversations or call recordings that can be used to train your sales team in the future and help serve your prospects better. You can download the NeoDove app or visit the website to start paving your way towards a successful powered sales process.

 

3. Email tracking software

Most of the inside sales outreach today is conducted through emails. Once the inside sales professional identifies a lead, he reaches out to them through an email so that he can schedule a call session or a product demo as well.

According to McKinsey Global Institue, inside sales professionals are spending about 28% of their time each day reading, writing, and sending emails. They utilize time in formulating a formal business message, attaching files, brochures, pdfs, pictures, and so on.

Many inside sales professionals consider sending emails a great method to take their sales process onto the next level. As a result, many companies today, big or small, are powering their inside sales team with email tracking software Some of the most known and used email tracking software globally are SalesHandy, ContactMonkey, Hubspot, Cirrus Insight, Bananatag, and many more.

These email tracking software allow inside sales professionals to see when an email is opened, whether the attached files are downloaded and viewed, and finally when is the time to follow up with your leads.

 

4. Reporting tools and dashboard

In order to have a successful inside sales process, businesses need to keep a close eye on the metrics that help them to understand how to extract actionable insights that your sales team is tracking.

There are various reporting and dashboard tools in the market which help in providing the same. Many top companies like Tesla, Unilever, Amazon, and so on use reporting tools to understand their sales team tracking better. Some of the most preferred and used tools for the same are the following-Tableau, Koinly, TapClicks, Klipfolio, Datapine, Helical Insight, and many more.

Using such reporting tools, your firm’s inside sales team will be able to answer the following-

  • Which reps are performing best?
  • What is the ideal follow-up sequence?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of different reps?
  • Will your inside sales team hit the target this month?

The sales reporting tools power’s your inside sales professionals to track all data points and generate these reports easily and is also time efficient as you are able to generate reports quickly. Once the reports have been generated, the inside sales professionals then segregate this data into various groups based on their nature. This helps to further study them easily.

NeoDove also provides you with a dashboard reporting tool where you can track your sales team and monitor their performance. Furthermore, you can see their login time, break time, geotagged, and many more things that will help you to plan your inside sales team activities accordingly.

Read – Measure your telecallers’ performance?

 

Top goals and habits that inside sales professionals focus on

There are certain habits that inside sales professionals follow in order to achieve business goals. Also, these are those goals and practices that have helped the company grow in the market and in some cases revive as well. 

Read ahead to know more about these goals and practices-

Invest Time In Understanding Your Audience

The inside sales professionals need to spend time so that they can understand their target audience. There are a certain set of questions that every inside sales team professional starts with and they are the following-

  • Whom are you trying to sell?
  • What is their biggest pain point?
  • Who is the typical roadblock in closing the sales?
  • What is the primary objective of your audience?

They briefly study the inner workings of each company so that they know who they need to speak with and what are the business goals of the firms.

For instance, Nokia once held the largest share in the market for mobile selling. But in 2013, the company stopped selling phones and gave the manufacturing rights to Microsoft to develop the LUMIA smartphone series. However, the phone had average sales in the market.

Finally, Nokia made a comeback in the market in 2017 with its own smartphones which have an Android platform. Right before coming back into the smartphone selling market, Nokia’s inside sales team invested time to understand their audience and see what exactly they are looking for in a smartphone. 

Moreover, they answered all the questions they began while studying their audience. As a result, today Nokia is doing really well in the market with its smartphones selling in huge numbers. Nokia is enjoying a good profit margin today.

Developing Concrete Relationship Between The Marketing And Sales Team

Many times there is a big gap between the leads being generated by the marketing team and the number of leads the insides sales team wants to see coming in. Here, the inside sales professional comes in to bring both the departments on the same page. 

They ensure that there is open communication between the two departments and that they are working on the same page when bringing in leads and closing the final sales.

For Example, Hindustan Unilever changed the name of its Fair and Lovely cream to Glow and Lovely because of the ongoing racism issues and Black Lives Matter movement. Here the inside sales professional ensured that the marketing team was generating leads by promoting the same product under the new name and that the sales team was working enough to close the sales and sell their Glow and Lovely cream. 

Furthermore, their inside sales professional ensures that both, marketing and the sales department of Hindustan Unilever were on the same page and working together from lead generation to all the way to closing sales on their Glow and Lovely cream.

 

Final Words

The above-discussed habits make an inside sales professional achieve the desired business goals. He ensures that he remains persistent and consistent with his work ethic. Also, he makes sure to follow up on sales to know how close the sales team is to finalize and freeze a sales deal. 

It is a time-consuming process, but with the right training of technical tools, a better understanding of the audience, and working in close relationship with the marketing department, a business is able to power its inside sales team and professionals.