With the advancement in technology and rapid expansion of the digital age, inside sales are gaining momentum over outside sales. Technology is giving an edge to inside sales reps which allows them to be much more efficient than their field counterparts by doing almost everything remotely. And customers nowadays are busier than ever and hence prefer to hop on a virtual meeting.

But making the shift to inside sales can be a daunting task, and most executives aren’t prepared to embark on such a drastic change.

There is no replacement for personal, face-to-face contact

Uh, yeah. Just ask your mom, kids or relatives when they FaceTime, Duo (Android) or Skype with you. Face-to-face does not mean in-person. Would you hop on a plane for a one-hour conversation with uncle Bob? I doubt it.

Face-to-Face no longer means in-person, which is why inside sales teams are deploying at an accelerated pace across all industries, not just for software sales.

Inside sales also can be a replacement for outside sales in many instances. For example, unattended small customers or new customers that would generate transaction value too low to justify an outside sales visit.

Inside sales team are not just for lead generation.

Lead generation activities have been conducted “inside” for decades. Today, inside sales are professional sales done remotely or virtually.

However, most B2B selling models include both inside and field sales, so its essential to determine the sweet spot for inside sales within an overall selling model. Effective use of inside sales requires partitioning the sales job and dividing it among inside and field salespeople according to:

  • Market segment (industry or client size)
  • Stage of customer buying process
  • Products or services
  • Territory (geographical typically)

So should your organization shift a portion of its sales organization to inside sales teams? If you haven’t already done so, more than likely there is an opportunity to shift some of the sales efforts to an inside sales organization. But don’t think small on the approach. Earlier this month I signed a five-figure opportunity with a new client with over $8 billion in annual revenue. I met with them a handful of times only via desktop video conferencing, and we signed our SOW via an e-signature tool.

Even if you don’t think an inside sales team will work in your company or industry, could you challenge your company to conduct a 90 day or six-month pilot?

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