The Silver Bullet for Sales Ops to Drive Revenue and Lower Costs

February 2, 2013 at 7:00 AM

describe the image“I’ve got too many things to do.  It’s killing me not being able to focus on our strategy!” 

I hear this lament often from Sales Ops leaders.  The highest priorities on your plate are often about reacting to the sales team.  Compensation disputes, monthly reporting, new rep on boarding, SKO planning, forecast re-do’s, etc., etc.

It’s time to initiate a strategic effort that won’t just maintain revenue but will grow it.  Bring the strategic value that you know you can deliver. 

Deploy or Expand Inside Sales

Deliver a silver bullet that will lower cost of sales.  You’ll also give your field sales organization the time to acquire more new accounts.  Done right, deploying or expanding inside sales will improve revenue and reduce costs.

If you already have an inside sales team I’ve still got the goods for you today.  Push them higher up market and expand the team. 

Have you been listening?  A major buzz is around inside sales and it’s been getting louder because the strategy works. Your customers have evolved to this point.  More buyers prefer this approach today than they did just two years ago.

Download the SBI webinar “Designing Inside Sales” by clicking here.

Here are just a couple of proof-points on inside sales from our clients:

  • $6 billion Information Services company – 60% of their customers would prefer to buy from them via phone.
  • $480 million SaaS company – 52% of their customers stated their preference is to connect on the phone.
  • $3 billion Logistics services company – 55% are most comfortable transacting on the phone.

Notice that I illustrated “service” companies?  That’s because these examples represent sales processes that are typically more complex.  If you think your products or services are too complex for Inside Sales, think again.

Inside Sales within the US has grown 24% since 2011. 71% of all companies surveyed in 2012 stated they will expand inside sales in the next year. 

I’m not talking about teenagers selling magazines part-time.  That’s dead.   I’m referring to professionals with years of strong experience selling highly complex solutions - on the phone. 

One additional key fact to consider – before the average sales rep contacts a customer, they are almost 60% through the decision process.  Buyers are gathering the information on their own.  Without your field sales rep doing anything.  In the final analysis, it is about the money. 

If an inside sales rep can deliver the same info and insight as an outside rep at 60% of the cost per revenue generated/managed, what are you going to recommend?

Raise Your Game

Let’s sum up why you need to do this:

  • A larger portion of your customers prefer to connect on the telephone than you realize.  That doesn’t mean that your Field Sales and Customer / Global Account managers aren’t needed.  It means you need to evaluate the current split, talk to your customers and do what they want.
  • You will drive lower cost of sales through either launching or expanding your Inside Sales team.  
  • You will improve revenue performance – your outside sales execs will have more time to work their big accounts and land new logos when you expand the responsibility of Inside Sales.
  • You will make a strategic difference – moving off the reactive to the proactive

Get Started

It’s not easy to get inside sales initiated.  Here’s what you need to do:

  • Confirm through customer interviews how they prefer to be handled.
  • Segment your customers and prospects so you know how each likes to be approached.
  • Recruit for the right talent for an inside sales role.  It’s not just putting a butt in a seat with a phone.  Stars in inside sales are just as hard to identify as global account executives.
  • Find ways to make it cost neutral at start up – fund it through open positions as a pilot.
  • Follow a regimented path to execute.  If you sell your boss on the idea and fail because it wasn't deployed properly - not good.
  • If need be, reach out to firms that specialize in designing and executing the deployment of Inside Sales.

Here's a schematic for the steps to take:describe the image

This might seem easy.  Give them a telephone, assign them some accounts and you're off!  Do it without a plan and experience, and you'll fail.

Take a look at our "Designing Inside Sales" webinar by clicking here. 


Reach out to the experts to get started.  But make sure that the resource you've tapped will execute for you when it counts.  With the right partner, you can deliver lower costs and increased revenue. 

If you enjoyed this post, never miss one again by subscribing your Email Here and/or subscribing to the RSS Here. Comments are welcome below.

Topics: Sales Force Structure, Sales Operations Strategy, Inside Sales

Posted by Patrick Seidell

Find me on:

Get Updates from the SBI Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Blog