What is Inside Sales and How It Can Benefit Your Business?

Growing in tough competition with budget and time constraints, businesses today are looking forward to doing more with less. Hence, changing the role of salespeople from field to cost-effective ‘online’ makes more sense. As the traditional sales seem to diminish, ‘sales in the cloud’ has picked the pace and is growing faster than ever. There are more inside sales jobs today than 10 years ago, and it owes to the fact that inside sales are cost-effective to start with. Traditional sales required businesses to invest in the travel allowance of sales personnel apart from remuneration and commissions, unlike virtual sales.

The evolution of the internet and technologies, like WebEx and GoToMeeting, paved the way for inside sales. The ability to look for leads on the internet, contact them through social media, phone, or email, and demonstrating products remotely through online webinar tools made businesses depend more on inside sales. Inside salespeople can be working with their colleagues inside the office, with a computer in a cubicle. 

So, what are inside sales?

what are inside sales

Also known with different names like remote sales, lead generation, business development, market research, account manager, demand generation, or sales-in-the-cloud. To make life easier, stick to inside sales, which means sales done remotely. Inside sales term was given to differentiate it from telemarketing and outbound sales. 

However, depending entirely on an inside sales team could not be much progressive because sometimes, to close a deal, you need to meet the prospects, have a real-life conversation, and a good handshake. Also, inside sales might not be a one-size-fits-all solution because few businesses would depend on having face-to-face conversations with their customers to explain their products better. So, having a mix of lead generation, inside sales, and outside sales can result in high productivity and a better return on investment. 

Are inside sales required for your business?

The above discussion leads us to the question if your business should hire an inside sales team? I tried understanding the population of inside sales executives from the social network, LinkedIn, and here’s what the results look like (without adding any filters) – inside sales – 1007705, remote sales – 582508, lead generation – 2,063,347, business development – 33,202,901.

These figures reflect the growing power of inside sales. Many businesses are shifting their field sales efforts towards building up their inside sales team while welcoming advanced technologies to support them as well as enhance their productivity. Usually, a group of inside sales is tagged to a field sales guy to have an efficient sales process flow. Let’s look at how inside sales could be more beneficial to your business.

1. To cut down costs – for B2B sellers

Inside sales were initially looked at as a nugatory element that assisted field sales, but today, more businesses have realized the return on investment in establishing an inside sales team. Inside sales significantly decreased operational costs by not just eliminating travel costs but also by improving the quality of a lead. The difference in cost per call between an inside sales call and an outside sales call is around 200. Outside sales call costs $215-$400, whereas inside sales call costs $25-$75. That’s huge savings! Salespeople, who often are expected to bring in a high return on investment, look at introducing an inside sales component.

2. Comfortable purchasing – for B2B buyers

B2B buyers are exposed to more information as a result of deep research and are keen on more specifications. Decision-makers use the internet to research the product and are more comfortable in interacting and collaborating with salespeople through email and phone rather than face-to-face meetings. Indeed it makes sense to have a conference call when there are 20 decision-makers spread across different cities. Inside sales drive more cost-effectiveness and a smaller sales cycle. Today’s technologies, online webinars, and video conferencing technologies should be credited for the success of inside sales—these technologies made inside sales possible with their ease of use and ability to organize meetings independent of time.

3. Eliminate ‘coldness’ in the sales approach

Did you know that today over 90% of decision-makers don’t respond to a sales call? This pressurizes salespeople to look for more efficient methods. Here comes the inside sales’ research skill. Inside sales executives are required to have top-notch emailing and calling capabilities along with research. B2B customers’ purchasing decision is being highly influenced by social media – likes, dislikes, influencers. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution, which has the capability of connecting customers’ social media profiles, can give inside sales access to much detailed information, which is otherwise a tough nut to crack by outside sales. Today, decision-makers are looking for salespeople who can address an issue even before they mentioned the problem.

4. Inside sales have access to better data

Technologies like sales automation, customer relationship management are powerful tools for inside sales because they provide a high volume of data that can be accessed with a click. First things first, they provide a 360-degree view of prospects – contact information, communication history, social media profiles, interests, related tasks, lead scores, and more. CRM with telephony integration can allow inside sales to call right from the software, where they can view the data during their call, respond to prospect questions, take notes and update the information, all at the same time and from a single location. LinkedIn’s 2016 sales report states that 24 percent of sales professionals spend more than 10 hours per week on CRM software.

5. Improves customer experience

When you understand what prospects are looking for, you provide a better customer journey. Since inside sales are the only point of contact during the early stages of a sales cycle, they are the right ones to assess if the prospect is a right fit for the business or not. Once they eliminate not-so-fit prospects from the list, they can ensure a smooth buying journey for the rest. Through sales automation tools, you can understand their interests along with alerts when they open your email, visit the website, click on the link. So, inside sales can reach them when they are on top of their mind and answer their questions real quick. The sooner the interactions – the greater the chances of closing a deal.

When focused rightly, inside sales could be more beneficial to the business. They drive better sales, better customer relations, and a better return on investment. As customers get comfortable in this mode of business, the chances of implementing inside sales by more businesses also increase.


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