In the current competitive business environment, increasing online sales is the principal and foremost objective of multiple business, regardless of whether large or small. It does not matter either you manage small family owned independent retail business such as mom-and-pop stores or work for a gigantic online commerce companies like Alibaba and Amazon, increasing sales through online networks is relatively much easier than it actual seems.
Many contemporary businesses have shifted their strategies to cater with consumer’s hypersensitive behavioral change while keeping in view purchasers increasing inclination and preferences to shop online without physical presence in the stores. Therefore, the usual business techniques of outside sales through salespersons with door to door selling has altered into inside sales by adopting multiple innovative ways for successful online sales.
The shift from outside sales to inside sales is due to low cost, changed consumer behavior, online availability and increased efficiency. Successful inside salesmanship lies in making consumers feel their decisions right through persuasion and not manipulation.
What is Inside Sales?
Inside Sales also known as virtual sales or remote sales and in recent times “sales in the cloud” is a type of sales strategy which identifies, encourages and converts prospects into customer remotely.
To define inside sales in simple words, it is the sale of products and services. without face to face interaction with the prospects, by sales teams using the telephone calls, text message and emails.
The term “inside sales” was first time used in the late 1980 to differentiate from the “telemarketing” or “telesales”. As technology advanced, people started spending their time on different gadgets, mobile and laptops.
During fac-to-facing sales, the sales reps require to schedule meetings with customers which is a time-consuming activity. On the other hand, Inside Sales Reps are creative, highly trained and technically sound and don’t need to schedule a meeting with customers. They use customer relationship management (CRM) software to nurture and convert the prospect.
It is not mandatory for a company to hire this sales team but they may contact the sales duties to a third party.
What Do Inside Sales Reps Do?
Inside sales staff work remotely from the office to nurture and covert the prospects by providing adequate information about product or service in such a way that can solve the customers issues.
Following are the job description of a Inside sales representative:
- The major duty of inside sales rep is to speak to customers, provide products and services information and answers the questions that customers might have.
- Building strong relationships with prospects to establish trust
- It is not possible to convert every prospect into customer. But the thing is to be persistent and bounce back if case of losing a customer.
- Insides Sales reps must be able to speak politely and in a friendly manner, listen to their problems and make sure that options are available for them.
Benefits of Inside Sales
Lower Costs. According to sales and marketing statistics, inside sales activities cost 40-90% less in the process of converting a prospect into a customer. it is because if you want to meet a potential customer you need to pay for transportation, meals, hotels and miscellaneous expenses. On the other hand, the process of inside sales can boost the sale of a company without incurring such costs.
Time. As I earlier said, inside sale techniques allows to work remotely from the office. Therefore, it does not require traveling outside the office or city. In this way, a company can reach more customers even with budget constraints.
Collaboration. Working from office enable salespersons to access mangers and peer and enjoy the liberty of teamwork.
Every Customer is Important. Most of the time, to be cost-effective, outside sales reps target only high-priority clients. On the contrary, Inside Sales reps can call anyone to make them loyal customers and increase profitability.
Technology. Inside Sale is tech-oriented in nature. They have access to different automation tools to covert prospects and increase sales and profitability.
Inside Sales vs Outside Sales
According to PointClear, an inside sales call costs the company $50 while an outside sales costs $308. In inside sales speed is everything but one cannot find a substitute for one on one interaction (outside sales). Both inside and outside sales team should work as a team to boost sales.
But here are the key differences in these two types of sales.
|Inside Sales||Outside Sales|
|Sales Conversation||Work remotely from office (Phones, Emails, Text)||Face to face and in person|
|Sales Cycle||Shorter sales cycle||Loner sales cycle|
|Cost||Time and cost effective||Costly and time consuming|
|Quality vs Quality||Quality-focused||Quality-focused|
|Closer Rate||Lower closer rate||Higher closer rate|
|Skills & Qualification||Exceptional at communication & research and should persuasive No specialized degree is needed||who can work independently, manage their schedule and appointments Degree in Marketing, business Economic|
Hurdles to a Successful Inside Sales Strategy
Companies are realizing the importance of an Inside sales team. Companies with effective inside sales strategy have increased their productivity with limited resources and generated greater profits. But it is not only a matter of creating an inside sales team, but you should also overcome the following hurdles.
According to research, 80% of the potential customers will say ‘No’ four-time and say ‘Yes’ on the fifth time. It means that 80% of sales require 5 follow calls after a cold call. If you called once, it does not mean you have closed the sale. Be persistent and polite and do your best to stay connected with the potential customer.
Lack of Personal Interest
Lack of personal interest in the sales process has a negative impact on the prospects’ psyche. Because they think that the customer services will be lacking if they have purchased the product or service. Let them feel they you are committed and will make this purchase happen.
The sales industry is flourishing day by day. For every company, it is important to use both inside sales and outside sales techniques when contacting a prospect. Change is always resisted at every organization and the sales approach is not exempted from this. If the Sales Manager wants to increase productivity, he should focus on technology, processes and compensation.
Inside Sales Strategies
Every organization develops a sales and marketing strategy according to their resources and overall objectives. Before developing an inside sales strategy, it is important to understand the following components.
Telephone sales play a curial role when salesperson interacts interact with a potential customer. The telephonic sales process starts with the cold calls to identify the prospects and then follow-up calls to lay down a pitch and covert these identified prospects into customers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Using a Customer Relationship Management software will provide you 360 view of the sales activities that will help you to make informed decisions and be on top. CRM Software let you manage all the activities, relationship, information and interaction with prospects and customers in the process of inside sales.
Social Integration Software
Email has a key role in the inside sales outreach. After identifying a lead, most of the sales professionals use personalized emails to reach out to the customer and schedule a call. Companies use different tools and techniques to acquired emails and inside sales teams use them to nurture and convert the prospects.
According to a study, inside sales teams spend 28% of their time writing and reading emails. Therefore, companies are looking for email tracking software. The email tracking method allows such sales professionals to monitor the delivery of email, whether the attached documents are downloaded and what is the appropriate time for follow up.
SMS and Text
Text message is a unique and affordable way to reach out to the prospects, leads and customers. According to many professionals, text messaging is the preferred way of communication.
CRM Software has the option to integrate with the text massaging apps like WhatsApp.
Social Selling Tools
Social selling is a new concept which focuses on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and LinkedIn to nurture relationships. It is the modern way that allows inside salespeople to laser-target potential customers.
According to 31% of B2B professionals, social selling tools let them build strong relations with clients.
There is no certain guide when we discuss inside and outside sales. But inside is taking over outside sales which does not mean outside sales is not applicable anymore. Companies should try different sales models and choose those which are the right fit for their projects, products and services.