First impressions matter. Your inside sales team is the crucial connection that has the potential to turn prospects into lifelong customers. Here is how you can differentiate your firms’ selling approach from your competitors through a focus on customer experience.

Whether you are about to go on a first date or preparing for a discovery call with a prospect – first impressions matter. Regardless if it is from their initial website visit to their first discovery call, the prospects’ experience sets the stage that ultimately drives their decision in doing business with your firm.  You are more in control of these impressions than you might realize. Here’s how leveraging technology and altering data gathered within your inside sales operations can convert your most stubborn prospects into long-term revenue-generating customers. Determine which solutions are right for you and how to implement them within your inside sales team properly.

 

1.)  Ask Yourself – Which Processes Should Be Automated?

 

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and think – which processes are best handled via one-on-one human interaction, and which processes can be automated? Pre-discovery call information is the most desirable content from your prospect that is necessary to determine which specific solutions they are hunting the market for. However, this does not mean that it must be collected manually by an inside sales representative. Instead, properly leveraging data collection technology and using it to your advantage to curate a discovery call not only saves time for your inside sales reps but also creates the option for the prospect to work on their own schedule without the need for multiple phone calls. As mentioned in a previous blog post, sales organizations are beginning to utilize chatbots and other automation methods to unload unnecessary non-selling activities to focus on revenue-generating activities. Introducing these technologies into your inside sales discovery workflow will save time and factor into generating additional revenue. Every firm is structured differently, thus experiencing unique challenges. Interested in learning more about conversational commerce? Check out our tool below, which can help simplify the decision-making process behind incorporating new technologies into your inside sales organization.

 

Download our Conversational Commerce Guide to determine if your firm can benefit from deploying a conversational commerce solution.

 

 

Download the Conversational Commerce Guide Here

 

2.) Response Time Matters – Focus On Implementing Inside Sales Processes That Increase Rep Response Rates

 

There is a simple answer as to why companies have been willing to invest in these technologies – response time matters. According to an HBR study, the average response time from a submitted sales form is roughly 42 hours. This is a shocking statistic considering “firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query was nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later – and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.” These slow response rates hamper an effective conversion rate for your firm. However, using technological enhancers like chatbots and other messaging techniques embedded within your CRM that captures unique datapoints allocates prospects to the appropriate inside resources. Aside from saving time for reps to focus on selling activities, this will also increase your response rate over time, which will translate to more successful conversions. There are also some simple fundamental changes to your inside sales process that can complement these technologies.

 

3.) Restructuring Your Existing Processes Will Optimize How Your Inside Sales Organization Conducts Business

 

How can you structure your inside sales organization to get the most out of the technological enhancements used to handle gathering prospect information? First, start with designing your submission form with both your organization and the prospect in mind. Is your sales organization designed to handle prospects based on their firm’s size? If so, we recommend that you create an option that lets your prospect indicate the number of employees they have. This way, with the help of your CRM, prospects can automatically be bucketed by their size and allocated effectively to the appropriate inside sales rep that now has a head start in understanding what they can do to provide value. Is your sales organization structured around customer industries? Then the same rule should apply – there should be an option for the prospect to include their industry within the submission page. Although it sounds simple enough, these tips will enable inside sales reps to proactively gather product or service recommendations for the prospect before the discovery call.

 

4.) Driving Positive Customer Experiences and Long-Term Relationships

 

After implementing technologies and improving the initial metrics that your firm is capturing on their prospects, how can we organize this data effectively? We recommend that profiles get created for individual prospects with their information being populated directly from the CRM. This way, your inside sales rep can focus on curating a discovery call that is specific to the prospect before the call even kicks off. This will shave time off the firms’ overall response rate while also creating a positive first impression for the prospect. The initial discovery call should capture everything you need to know about your prospect to recommend a few products and or services that can be applied to solve the problems they are trying to solve. After the call, we would also encourage the inside sales rep to enter the recommendations suggested to the prospect. This information can be used in the future with other opportunities that have a similar organization. Using the techniques above, the inside sales rep should have the data necessary to run a successful call, which should lead to the next steps of discussing pricing and or an in-depth product demo. Your firm will capture the true meaning of customer experience by utilizing an automated workflow that will exceed your prospect’s expectations, which will translate into revenue-generating customer relationships.

 

Implementing these time-saving data collection suggestions within your inside sales organization will drastically increase the ease of doing business, which is the ultimate first impression necessary to convert a prospect into a loyal customer. The use of automated chatbots gathering data that can be embedded within your CRM decreases the preparation time required for an inside sales rep to deliver a productive discovery call. Streamlining this effective strategy will allow reps to handle more prospect sales inquiries and allocate more time focused on selling activities. Ideally, the quicker a prospect has a quote in front of them (following a customized, pointed sales experience), the less likely their willing to do business with a competitor, thus creating customer loyalty.

 

Integrating new technologies into your inside sales organization does not have to be difficult. Leverage our Conversational Commerce Guide to determine which solution is appropriate for your firm, or contact one of our experts.

 

Download the Conversational Commerce Guide Here

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Preston Gray

Helping clients understand their data through strategic insight they can leverage and optimize to advance their revenue-growth potential.

Prior to joining SBI, Preston worked on various product teams within the Financial Technology sector, where he was involved in managing client relationships driven by unique customer data analytics, product development, and sales and marketing initiatives. Preston brings extensive experience delivering top-notch results and insights to seasoned executives with unparalleled enthusiasm and tact.

 

Preston’s ability to decipher impactful data and produce meaningful insight and actionable results drives sales and marketing leaders to leverage him as a resource and ultimately make their number.

 

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