Will Inside Sales Become Prominent in Your Industry?

May 28, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Let's start with the answer.  Yes.  In order to know when, you need to look into the mind of your customers.  Many well established organizations are unwilling to face the fact that Inside Sales is relevant in their space.  Let’s discuss some indicators that provide foreshadowing.

 customer thought bubble[1]


How to Know:

  1. Customers – don’t want to see your reps face-to-face as much.  More and more of the job is done virtually.  90% of the job can be performed via Webinars, phone, email.  You are hearing and seeing this from your outside sales team
  2. Commoditization – customers are trying to drive competitive pressure and focus on product assortment versus service levels
  3. Competitors – your competition is spending less time face-to-face with their customers.  They also seem to be retaining or gaining wallet share within accounts you are both selling to
  4. Touches - it is important to touch your customer often, but those touches are becoming less strategic and more transactional
  5. Margins are eroding inside key customers – you need more focus on these customers to drive value and create differentiation 
  6. The revenue disparity between an A customer and a D customer is becoming larger – key accounts are growing faster than small accounts

If these sound familiar, what should you do?

  • Embrace Inside Sales.  The benefits typically outweigh the risks which is why Inside Sales roles are the most frequently added role as part of sales force structure changes 
  • Invest in standing up Inside Sales properly – don’t move outside resources to an Inside Sales position and expect results.  This starts with creating the proper role profile including the scorecard, job description, role cadence, etc.
  • Overinvest in your key accounts - reallocate the dollars you save to your top accounts.  Drive leads, over resource, and gain wallet share

A Few Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Phone and a body - building an inside sales team is much more complex than this
  • Approach Inside Sales as less strategic - you need at a minimum the same level of process, training, and technology as outside sales
  • Be a slow follower - get ahead of your competition and secure the best talent.  A misconception exists that since Inside Sales does not involve face-to-face contact the reps are less talented and therefore easier to source.  Not true.  Since Inside Sales is growing rapidly, it is actually more difficult to find 'A' players Inside Sales reps. 

Show your customers that you are listening to them and agile enough to change as their demands do.  A sign that your sales organization is progressing up the maturity model is the ability to use data to make strategic decisions about your Go to Market Strategy


Attend our webinar "Designing Inside Sales Organizational Models" to learn more about how to deploy Inside Sales: Inside Sales Webinar


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Topics: Sales Force Structure, Go To Market Strategy, Inside Sales

Posted by Scott Gruher

Scott Gruher
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