How well connected are your Inside Sales and Field Sales Teams?

For companies that have both Inside Sales and Field Sales Teams, the Missions and Metrics for each are generally defined as follows.

Note – If you only have a Field Sales Team and they are responsible for all their own Lead generation, perhaps it is time to look at adding an Inside Sales team – watch this space for a separate article on that topic to follow.  But please, read on…

Missions

Field Sales – Generate Revenue by selling products/services/solutions to existing and new customers.

Inside Sales – Generate Leads for the Field Sales Team to convert into customers.

Metrics

Field Sales – Measured and compensated by Revenue (and sometimes Margin).

Inside Sales – Measured by Leads (compensation plans vary).

Measuring Sales is binary – either a sale was made or it wasn’t.  Sometimes a focus (and/or a bonus) is placed on “adding new logos”, but a win always requires a Sale to be consummated.

Measuring Leads is not so simple.  Is there a standard by which leads become “Qualified”, and if so, what is that standard and who establishes it?  Are wins based on just attaining a specific quantity of Leads, or is there a quality component (conversion to Sale) that comes into play as well?

The functions of Field and Inside Sales Teams are therefore related, but are the two Teams always aligned?

Questions for you to consider:  Do they see themselves as one Team or two?  Are they managed as one Team or two?  Who manages the Inside Sales Team – are they part of the Sales or the Marketing organization?  Who is responsible for training the Inside Sales Team (on product knowledge and on selling skills)?  What is the handoff process?  Is there a feedback loop from Field Sales to Inside Sales?  In larger organizations, is the Inside Sales Team a shared resource across multiple Sales Teams?

Alignment of the Teams and their Managers, coupled with a clearly defined collaboration strategy, is critical to success.  Proper alignment maximizes efficiency and generates a higher rate of return.  Poor (or no) alignment generates dissatisfied prospects and an overall less effective Sales organization.

Having successfully managed Sales Teams for both large and small companies, with and without Inside Sales support, I’d love the opportunity to discuss your situation with you and see if I can help put you on a better path.

Regards,

Russell

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

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