Sales is the most vital aspect of running a successful business. Without sales, you cannot make a profit. That is why you need to know the ins and outs of the sales process before you can hire a high-quality candidate.
In this blog, we will focus on inside sales.
The most basic inside sales definition is the process of selling your product or service remotely. An inside sales rep accomplishes these tasks via phone, email and other methods of remote communication.
There are myriad benefits that an exceptional inside sales rep can provide to your company. These benefits include cost-effective marketing, conserving time, better scalability and much more!
Inside Sales Job Description
An inside sales rep can either work in-office or remotely to help sell your products and services to a broad range of customers. The sales rep’s job starts with identifying target customers through multiple online channels. By doing this, an inside sales rep can save you time and money on marketing.
This job also entails some customer service. Your inside sales rep will be responsible for following up with clients, both prospective and existing. Plus, they will be there to respond to any inquiries potential customers may have about your company.
There are many variations of inside sales agents. They could work in a call center environment, reaching out blindly to cold contacts also known as outbound sales. Or, you can involve them in your inbound marketing strategy, such as an email drip campaign to increase customer interaction.
An inside sales team member is also responsible for staying up to date on your company’s product improvements and information. They need to know everything about your service to market it properly to your audience. Your sales rep will field calls every day, pitching the features and benefits of your products or services, including live demos. Because of this, you need to ensure that they are privy to every piece of info relating to your products.
Your salesperson should also know how to upsell products to your customers. An exceptional inside sales representative can increase your earnings by getting the most out of a customer.
Difference Between Inside Sales and Outside Sales
Your company needs to have a balance between inside sales associates and outside sales reps. Outside sales agents are what you would think a salesperson from a decade ago would be. They work in the office or the field. The agents conduct face-to-face meetings and wine and dine with clients to try to earn their business. As technology improves each year, more business is done remotely.
However, it is still crucial to hire a couple of outside sales reps. Your business needs people that know how to conduct themselves in person. Never underestimate the power of a solid face-to-face conversation. These kinds of interactions create a more personable, trusting relationship than phone calls or emails can.
Your outside rep can also maintain relationships with your existing clients. Building a personal relationship with your clients ensures that they will keep doing business with you.
When thinking about inside sales vs. outside sales, realize that the two can go hand-in-hand. It is critical to create a smooth sales funnel so that your reps can work together to generate more business.
For example, your inside sales reps can identify target prospects and craft an intriguing email inviting those prospects to a corporate event. Then, when the proscpects attend the event, your outside sales reps can take over and close the deal. That way, you are getting the best of both worlds.
The Benefits of Inside Sales
Now that you know the role of an inside sales representative, let’s dig deeper into the benefits they provide to your company.
Firstly, due to the advancement of technology, there are now Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and various software that help sales reps target prospective customers. CRMs capture valuable data about potential clients, such as how they interact with your site. By studying customer behavior, your inside sales rep can better personalize emails and pitch the appropriate product to these customers.
For example, if you see that a customer frequently visits a particular service page, you know that it is in your interest to send an email to them promoting that service. This process expedites the time it takes to figure out your target audience’s wants and needs.
Once you hire a reliable inside sales agent, you can focus on strengthening other aspects of your business, knowing you have an agent that can successfully get your product in front of the right viewers. CRMs also help you predict the success rate of your sales agents and the likelihood that a lead will convert to a sale. This predictive technology saves you time, so you can focus more on the accounts that are likely to close.
Hiring an inside sales team is like assembling a dream team. You should assign each member of your team a crucial role in the sales process. You do not want all of your inside reps performing the same tasks. Draft a cohesive sales flow that helps you achieve your goals. Sales is a collaborative process. Make sure that your team is working together to reach a common goal.
Connection Between Inside Sales Performance and Drive
Inside sales is not for the faint of heart. It requires an innate lust for high performance, tremendous resilience in the face of rejection and a love of competing in one of the world’s most competitive endeavors. So it is no surprise that most people who try inside sales, particularly those who are required to make outbound cold calls, fail within one year and move on to something less stressful to make a living.
But, there are those rare people who actually love inside sales and they are very good at it. They make the required number of calls and when they land an interested prospect, they follow up with determination and tenacity.
So, what kind of person should you be looking for when hiring an inside sales rep?
The most important trait that correlates sales performance with personality is Drive. Drive is composed of three elements:
- Need for Achievement – The burning desire to set high goals, achieve them and then set new, higher goals.
- Competitiveness – A love of competition with fellow salespeople and even, in a constructive way, with the buyer.
- Optimism –The supreme confidence that surely the next call will be successful. Rejection is not personalized.
Salespeople who are high in Drive have a high probability to be developed into successful inside salespeople. People who do not have this trait are much less likely to succeed as salespeople.
Furthermore, Drive cannot be taught. It is an innate personality trait that is fully developed by adulthood. You either have it or you don’t, so knowing if a sales candidate is high in Drive before hiring is the absolute first step to building a successful sales organization.
Additional Inside Sales Representative Skills
In addition to having Drive, there are some other essential skills that every inside sales rep must possess.
Firstly, inside sales reps need to listen well. Because they are not in the field speaking face-to-face to clients, sales agents need to develop superb listening skills to comprehend the needs of their clients.
Customers do not want to be on the phone for an extended time explaining their concerns. They want quick, understandable answers to their questions. If an agent cannot provide that, the chances of converting a sale are low.
Secondly, inside sales reps need sharp networking skills. Most colleges nowadays stress the importance of networking. It is like the ad age says, “it is not what you know, but who you know.” Salespeople should have a passion for networking.
Websites like LinkedIn are ideal for those looking to expand their network and communicate with other professionals. Once networking is second nature, the job of an inside sales representative becomes much smoother.
Another crucial component of a capable sales rep is organization. Salespeople will handle several different accounts for your business. Make sure that any potential rep you hire places organization as a priority. Delays in getting back to clients and missing calls can sour the relationship you have with a client. Make sure anyone you hire is reliable and efficient.
Also, a sales candidate should be familiar with contemporary marketing technology such as CRMs and other software programs. Knowing how to get the most out of these applications will help streamline your operations.
Use an Assessment to Hire an Inside Salesperson
Inside sales jobs are becoming more common each year. A recent Lead Management statistic shows that inside sales jobs are growing by 7.5% annually. So, let’s discuss how to hire a high-potential inside sales rep.
As mentioned above, Drive is the most important trait for your inside sales rep to have. Knowing if a sales candidate is high in Drive before hiring is the absolute first step to building a successful sales organization. Sales success is not about one meeting. It is about sustained, long-term grit and commitment. The only way to get to the deep, unteachable personality characteristics that correlate with high-performance selling is through a scientific sales personality assessment combined with a thorough behavioral interview.
The DriveTest® sales assessment has been administered to more than 100,000 sales candidates, and employer feedback continues to validate the importance of Drive and its sub-traits as absolutely necessary to high-performance selling.
Don’t take our word for it. Read what our clients are saying about The DriveTest®.
When it comes specifically to inside sales, you need to make the distinction between inbound and outbound sales. Inbound sales may require less Drive because motivated prospects are calling to inquire about information they are already searching for. However, it is still best for these people to test high in need for achievement because no sale is an easy sale. You want inbound salespeople who will push themselves to hit their quotas and your business goals.
When it comes to outbound sales, picking up the phone and calling new prospects knowing that rejection is likely, Drive must be in place to persevere and to close business day after day, year after year.
As a manager or business owner, if you have to push an inside salesperson to make calls, it is very likely you have placed the wrong person in the job.
Use the DriveTest® as a critical step early on in your hiring process to make certain you are hiring high-potential inside sales reps.
Put Time Into Training
Of course, it is unrealistic to believe that you will find an expert inside sales professional that needs no instruction. That is why it is crucial to invest in a training program for your inside sales team.
Most successful businesses claim that the sales process is never complete, meaning the sales flow is constantly improving. You need candidates who possess the necessary skills of an inside sales rep. But, they need to be coachable and grasp new concepts as well.
No matter the skill level of the salesperson, they should always be learning. And high-Drive salespeople want to continue to hone their craft.
Even though you are the employer, you should look at the members of your sales team as partners. Work with your sales team to find the most practical way of going about your sales process. Exchange ideas and run through hypothetical sales scenarios (role playing) to strengthen your camaraderie. Do not be afraid to identify your weaknesses as well as the weaknesses of your team members. This realization will only make you stronger by giving you something to work on in the future.
Also, understand the expectations of the modern-day sales rep. This generation is tech-savvy and prefers a loose work structure. Try new things like investing in the latest software tools and coworking spaces to attract valuable candidates to your insides sales jobs.
Your sales funnels can always be more efficient. Gone are the days of relying only on outside field agents to generate revenue. Assemble an inside sales team to pump up your online sales and place your product or service in front of your target market.
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Thousands of companies utilize the SalesDrive personality test to weed out potential candidates for their inside sales vacancies. Our filter helps quickly identify fantastic sales candidates by gathering their personality traits and comparing them to the top salespeople in the world.
In our experience, companies who are thorough and patient in the recruiting process, and do not compromise in hiring high-Drive salespeople, enjoy greater revenue production than companies that settle on low-Drive, new business developers.
Expedite your hiring process by requesting a free trial today!