Why? Buyers have less time for sales reps and organizations want to deploy more efficient sales channels. That being said, buyers still require a certain level of a personal touch. Inside sales offers efficiency with little risk.
Many organizations are realizing this fact and implementing Inside Sales. The urgency and excitement to utilize a lower cost sales channel can lead to costly mistakes.
10 Inside Sales Mistakes and Solutions:
Mistake #1: Pulling the plug too early – you won’t see results overnight
- Solution: set a realistic timeline for results. Set milestones to track earlier success
Mistake #2: Lack of role Prescription/Cadence – “any activity is good activity”
- Solution: a clear sales performance management framework is essential to ISR success. Broadcast leading indicators to gain momentum
Mistake #3: Weak Comp Plan – low risk / high base pay
- Solution: ISR Comp plans should be highly leveraged. Pay for performance, not for showing up to a cube five days a week
Mistake #4: Moving outside reps to inside – bad outside reps don’t make good ISRs
- Solution: determine if they are a role fit as determined by their competency profile, motivation, and past results
Mistake #5: Poor Onboarding Plan – viewing ISRs as a less skillful position
- Solution: Inside Sales should have a professional onboarding program that covers the gamut of sales skills, CRM usage, product, company, industry, etc.
Mistake #6: Wrong Hiring Profile – you can’t fix hiring the wrong person
- Solution: design a specific hiring profile for ISRs
Mistake #7: Blending roles – allow Inside Sales to focus on specific selling tasks
- Solution: focus ISRs on a specific selling task (lead development, irtual new business sales, account management)
Mistake #8: No dedicated leader – being an afterthought isn’t a recipe for success
- Solution: ISRs require ongoing coaching and training from a dedicated Sales Manager
Mistake #9: Decentralizing – don’t put them in local offices or home to reduce disruption and save cost
- Solution: a centralized team that shares best practices, attends training together, and develops team camaraderie
Mistake #10: Lack of process – “winging it” is never sustainable
- Solution: ISRs should utilize a formal sales process (or Lead Mngt process if acting as a Lead Development Rep) just like an outside sales professional
Don’t rush Inside Sales implementations or your attempt to improve efficiency could backfire. Avoid the 10 costly mistakes listed above and reduce the risk of wasting valuable resources, excessive turnover, and customer and prospect confusion. If you already have implemented Inside Sales as part of your Go to Market Strategy, review your current processes and mid-course correct where necessary.
What are you thoughts on the implementation timeline above?
View the webinar recording below to learn more about Go to Market Strategy best practices heading into 2012.