Sales and marketing are best of friends! Effective marketing automatically increases sales, while sales encourage the business managers to invest more in marketing.
There are different types of sales and each type requires different sales processes and marketing methods to succeed.
It is very important to understand the type of sales your business is utilizing, this will help your company to implement the right marketing and sales process for your business growth.
The advancement in technology has made sales and marketing much simpler, because product and services can be display online on various websites, making inside sales more convenient.
The various type of sales includes; inside sales, outside sales, B2B sales, B2C sales, agency sales, consultative sales, etc.
In this blog, we will provide you with everything you need to know about inside and outside sales and that include the following.
- What is inside sales
- Advantages of inside sales
- Steps to successful inside sales
- Important skills required of an inside sales rep
- How to form inside sales team
- Important tools to manage an inside sales team
- What is outside sales?
- Advantages of outside sales
- Essential qualities of an outside sales rep
- Differences between inside and outside sales
Let’s dive in!
What are Inside sales?
Inside sales use nonphysical methods to sell products and services; it can also be regarded as virtual sales or remote selling. It involves implementing technological tools to generate leads, nurture leads, and close sales without meeting the potential customer physically.
Most of the sales activities of an inside sales are carried out through phone calls, emails, social media, webchats, etc.
The advancement in technology has made it much easier for inside salespeople to attain their overall company sales goals and retain customers in the long run, using various customer relationship management tools.
Advantages of Inside sales
What are the benefits that make inside sales worthwhile? So why do more and more salespeople embrace inside sales? The answer is straightforward! The covid19 pandemic has shown the world a thin line between inside and outside sales as most businesses are forced to utilize virtual sales because of the restriction in movement.
Many business owners are swinging between inside and outside sales without fully understanding where they belong or which is best for their business between the two. Unfortunately, there is no yardstick to measure the greatest between sales types; the best option is to stick to the one that works best for your business.
Below are some of the advantages of inside sales.
Steady and consistent working hours
Inside sales made it possible for you to have flexible, steady, and consistent working hours in tone with your sales responsibilities and your schedule. As a result, the sales manager will be able to spend more time building qualified sales leads, high performing sales teams, and engaging with existing customers.
Faster Response And Better Engagement
When potential customers have queries or questions, the inside sales representatives can quickly attend to such issues within a short time frame because they are always available in their offices. The mode of communication is virtual, making it easier to attend to customers anywhere.
Low Sales Cost
Sales cost is the overall expenses incurred on goods or services to be told. Inside sales made it possible to reduce some sales expenses to the minimum. For example, the cost of generating leads can be reduced since most of the lead generation and nurturing are carried out online. As a result, customer acquisition costs will be minimal, and these funds can be directed to more productive use.
Steps To Successful Inside Sales
Selling products or services remotely can be challenging if appropriate steps are not taken to generate and nurture leads. Furthermore, a lack of customer relationship management can also reduce the overall company sales goals in the long run; hence it is essential to follow some steps strictly for your virtual sales to thrive and grow.
Offer Valuable Products And Services
The first step to a successful inside sales is to offer a product or service that is not only useful but needed.
Attracting prospective buyers into your sales cycle will be much easier if your product is what they need to solve a particular problem they are facing. In addition, humans are generally emotional beings and will go for products/services that will make life more comfortable and more accessible for them.
Your product should be focused entirely on your prospective customer’s needs and how you can make life better for them. With this in mind, attracting prospects, nurturing them, and closing deals will be more productive.
Identify And Understand Your Potential Customers
Customers are the backbone of any business because there will be no business and customers without sales.
Knowing your potential customers immediately after creating your product or service is essential.
It will be challenging to succeed as an inside sales manager without identifying the pain point of your prospective customers and how your product can pose a solution to such problems. The solution you provide to their problem will become your own business’s selling point.
Once you identify your prospects and their pain point, organizing sales and marketing strategies to reach out to them becomes easier to accomplish.
Utilize Social Selling
Social media has made the process of identifying your potential customers easier. With the advancement in technology, so many tools can be used to measure the social activities of various people in different places on earth. With this tool, you can generate insight into your targeted prospects, what they like, and the time they are likely to gain interest in your product or service. This will help you strategically lay touchpoints to guide them in their buying journey.
Social media will also assist you in marketing your product and services. Your prospects are on various social media platforms; they may not even be aware of your project or services; it is your duty as an inside sales professional to present your product to them on various social media platforms and guide them till they become your paying customer.
It is not enough to create mass awareness for your products on social media; you need to provide a means to measure the number of people that click on the product or show any level of interest in the product. This is because people’s attention span on social media is concise, they may be interested in your product from first sight, but because of their low attention span, they may quickly forget your product. Therefore, you must consistently remind them to use the best sales strategies and methods you perceive will suit them, such as emails, phone calls, or follow-up adverts.
Measure Your Progress
It is not enough to generate leads; productivity must be measured by the number of leads to the closing stage. By using sales and analytic tools, you will be able to measure the number of leads generated, the percentage of information that made it through nurturing stage, and the percentage of leads that finally purchase the product or services.
Measuring your progress will give you better insight into your sales process and pipeline’s productivity, enabling you to make changes and adjustments when needed. It will also help your team know which area to focus on and when to give up on unproductive leads.
Measuring the productivity of your sales process will help you understand each member’s competency level when organizing training and the team’s overall performance.
Important skills required for an inside sales professional
1. active listening ability
2. time management skills
3. social media selling skills
4. analytical and problem-solving skills
How to form an Inside Sales Team?
Generating leads, nurturing them, and closing deals cannot be done effectively by a single person. As a business owner or manager, you might be the best salesperson for your product or service, but you need people of like minds that can help you skyrocket your sales and move your business to the next stage.
Above are some of the skills you should look out for in a sales rep, and below are some of the steps you need to take when forming your sales team. Also, find out about SaaS sales and tech sales.
1. Identify the position you want each team member to occupy.
Don’t just hire sales professionals to form a team; identify the role you want them to play within the group. This will help you access who to hire and figure out if they are qualified for the position or not. For example, when you are looking to hire someone who will do a follow-up on leads by calling prospects or through email, such a sales rep must automatically have the ability to build customer relationships and sustain a friendly conversation.
Knowing the role you want each sales rep to play will help you understand what to look out for when hiring or during the interview.
2. Build your inside sales process
Establishing a sales process is essential in building a sales team for your inside sales business. A well-strategized sales process will give you a better insight into all the stages in the sales cycle, from the point of lead generation to the moment where potential customers finally decide to buy your product.
Assign duties to each sales rep within the sales process, that is, those involved in lead generation, do research on the lead generated, and handle the objectives and complaints of prospects. Duties allocation must be done following each sales rep’s abilities and training.
The building sales process has become simpler with the invention of sales pipeline management tools that can help sales leaders easily view and measure the stages of each leads within the sales process.
An example of such tools is sloovi outreach; with these tools, sales leaders can manage leads generated, monitor cold outreach, keep track of all sales activities and monitor the performance of each sales rep within the sales process.
Train and motivate your team members
If you want your sales team to maintain a high sales performance, you always have to be ready to train them effectively. Coaching your sales team will encourage them to build better sales habits, increase sales quota attainment and, in turn, increase the overall sales of your product or services. Find how B2B sales is working and the sales cycle stages.
What are Outside sales?
Outside sales refer to the sales of products or services by sales professionals outside a typical office environment. Sales professionals generate leads and close deals by physically meeting potential customers outside a formal office or at a convenient location.
Outside sales professionals are often called field sales reps because they perform most of the sales activities on the field.
Advantages of outside sales
Field sales have some significant advantages and benefits to your business compared to inside sales. Weighing the advantages and benefits of inside sales will help you decide which sales type is best for your business, between inside and outside sales.
It is easier to build and maintain trust
When sales reps visit prospective customers physically, trust can quickly be built because the potential customer is confident that they know the product and its provider/producer. In addition, they are convinced that if anything goes wrong, lodging complaints will be more accessible.
Ability to build strong customer relationships
Due to the face-to-face nature of outside sales, building and maintaining relationships with prospects is much easier. Additionally, people tend to pay more attention during a physical conversation than virtual interaction; this is a tremendous advantage to outside sales reps because they will communicate appropriately with the prospect and gauge their reactions.
Sales reps will be able to judge prospects’ interest based on facial reactions or body expressions and know when to pitch sales offers.
High deal closing rate
Outside sales leads are strategically generated, and the leads are given focused attention. The leads generated are usually few; hence sales reps spend more time nurturing each prospect’s individual. This, in turn, results in high sales performance since each lead is given enough time and attention to convince the prospect to make a favorable decision.
Essential qualities of an outside sales rep
- Must be a good listener
- Ability to work independently
- Strong interpersonal skills
- persistency and consistency
- Ability to read body reactions and facial expressions
- Fast learner
- Outspoken and nontraditional
How to form an outside sales team?
In a digital world of rapid globalization, the gap between inside and outside sales is slowly closing up. When building an inside sales team, the steps taken are also applicable when creating outside sales teams.
Outside sales can be very challenging; that is why building a productive and flexible sales team is very important for the growth of your business.
Below are some of the steps that must be taken in your quest to build a stable, sales-oriented, and productive sales team.
Hire competent outside sales professionals
The kind of sales representative you hire goes a long way in the success of your outside sales. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the role or duties of each member of the team before you start hiring. Understanding your needs will help you establish guidelines that the sales team can build.
Do not rush when hiring outside sales representatives; you must take your time and do it right. Take your time to interview many people and analyze their sales experiences, skills, and what motivates them.
Watch out for the essential qualities of outside sales reps listed above.
Train, motivate and encourage your team members
To increase the sales and growth of your business, you need to build a high-performing sales team and know how to structure the team to support growth.
The sales team will include different sales representatives with varying roles, working together collectively to maximize the productivity of your business. It is the duty of the sales leaders or manager to ensure that all the team member are performing their duties and obligations accordingly.
As a sales manager, ensure that you set your team up for success by building workable sales model, providing them with efficient sales tools, and creating key performance indicators to measure each member’s success.
Measure the productivity of each member
It is essential to measure the sales performance of each sales representative within your sales team frequently, as this will give you insight into which area is lacking or doing well within your sales process.
You can measure your team’s member performance using metrics such as lead response rate; opportunity won rate, average deal closing rate, etc.
Differences Between Inside Sales Vs Outside Sales
So far, we’ve covered all the essential information you need to know about inside and outside sales. But, of course, both inside and outside sales offer distinct advantages for business; it is left for you to decide which type of sales is likely to work best for your business.
Below are some of the significant differences between inside and outside sales.
Location Of Sales
Inside sales occur virtually or remotely and do not require physical interactions with prospective buyers or customers. All significant sales activities are carried out within an office environment.
On the other hand, outside sales require face-to-face meetings or interactions with prospective buyers. The sales activities are carried out in the field or location convenient for the prospect.
Cost of selling
The cost incurred during the inside sales process is minimal because most sales activities can be automated and monitored using sales tools.
Unfortunately, it is not the same case for outside sales; the cost of selling tends to be high because of travel expenses and other variables.
Sales quota attainment
Inside sales reps might find it challenging to attain their targeted sales quota due to several variables that influence or affect the purchasing power of prospective buyers. The virtual nature of inside sales and the low attention span of people on the internet make attaining a sales quota challenging for an inside sales rep.
Outside sales tend to be more productive due to the limited amount of deals generated and the method of sales follow-up. In addition, sales reps spend more time nurturing leads and building customer relationships; this, in turn, results in more productive sales results. Check out how to build the sales pipeline stages for your business.
The debate between inside sales and outside sales is one that has been around for a long time. Each side has its own set of benefits and drawbacks that need to be considered before making a decision about which type of sales team is right for your business. With the help of Sloovi Outreach, you can make the most informed decision possible and create an effective sales strategy that works for your company.