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


Go to Market Strategy


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.


Sales structure webinar View more webinars from Sales Benchmark Index


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Scott Gruher

Orchestrates and designs the perfect project strategy, one engagement at a time, to ensure that every SBI client makes their number.

Scott joined SBI in 2010 with years of hands-on experience in sales leadership and enterprise selling. Since his arrival, he has helped dozens of organizations dramatically accelerate growth, from Fortune 10 organizations like Phillips 66 to fast-growing cloud service organizations like InfusionSoft. Scott specializes in cross-functional alignment. He helps leaders align around the growth goal and design the right processes to bring the strategy to life. His unique combination of real world experience and a pragmatic approach to problem solving have made him one of SBI’s most demanded resources.

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