If you do not have an Inside Sales Team, in addition to a “Field Sales Team”, now would be a great time to add one.  Why?  Just think of all the tasks that your Field Sales Team has to manage and prioritize, and then consider what is likely to get the most of their attention.   Closing deals should always be their highest priority and the more complex your offering, and the more competitive the landscape, the higher the level skills and focus are required.

Here are some of the tasks that need to be professionally managed by someone, but not necessarily by a person that the business needs laser-focused on closing deals.  Properly managed, these tasks can – and should – lead to sales opportunities, but often they have low probability and/or long gestation periods.  What is critical is that they are opportunities to make a positive and enduring first impression.

Inbound

  • Calls from non-customers looking for information on your products and/or services
  • Inquiries via the “contact us” link and/or chat feature on your website
  • Requests from “orphaned” customers, or customers looking for assistance not related to sales

Outbound

  • E-mail campaigns and required follow up
  • Cold call campaigns (yes, talking to people is actually still a thing!)
  • Customer Satisfaction surveys
  • Voice of Customer solicitations
  • Appointment setting for Field Sales

Too often, these tasks, if by necessity are handled by your Field Sales Team, are viewed as a low priority (or worse, a waste of their time) and that mindset is readily apparent to the prospective and/or existing customer – certainly not the best first impression (and sometimes it is the last)!

Think of all the activities your Marketing team does to promote your brand and generate leads.  Whose shoulders do the burden of maximizing those efforts fall on?  Marketing rarely has the staff (nor skills – no offense), and Field Sales generally lacks the inclination (again, no offense).  Having an Inside Sales Team focused on Lead Generation and nurturing those leads through the initial stages of the Funnel is a great way to generate revenue from those Marketing efforts.

So, who should the Inside Sales Team be managed by – Sales or Marketing?  I say Sales, as while they need to fully understand the goals of the Marketing Team’s efforts, they need to work hand in hand with Field Sales to turn those efforts into Customers.

Another huge benefit of having the Inside Sales Team managed by and accountable to the Field Sales Team is they become your best source of new Field Sales Team talent.

Please reach out and let us help you incorporate an Inside Sales Team into your Sales Strategy.

Written by Russell Bandy, rbandy@penonpartners.com, Practice Leader – Sales Enablement and Customer Experience Consulting at Penon Partners

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