The Top 5 Reason Provided:
- This is a relationship business – have you heard of match.com? People form relationships virtually in 2012. Also, building a relationship does not necessarily equate to revenue growth. You have to prove your solution will drive a tangible business result for your customers. This can be done virtually.
- Our customers demand face to face interactions – I would agree that some customers do require face to face contact. How did you come to this conclusion? What percentage of your customer base requires this? Why do they require it? Can Inside Sales work on certain activities or within a customer segment that requires less direct contact?
- We tried Inside Sales before and it failed – this typically means they took a failing direct rep, gave them a phone and a pay cut and told them to dial for dollars. Not a recipe for success.
- Our business is too complex – some of the most complex sales you can imagine are executed virtually. Virtual meeting tools have bridged the visual gap the phone created. Face to face interactions do not necessarily mean that process complexity is mitigated.
- We have always had a direct sales force – this is purely a change management issues. Moving responsibilities to Inside Sales does require a certain level of disruption and that disruption is not digestible for some organizations.
Why do organizations resist Inside Sales? Fear of job security and change. Many Sales Leaders look at Inside Sales as a less strategic/transactional role. Moving to Inside Sales is admitting that they failed as a leader with the direct resources and they are now commoditizing their offering. Thinking this way is a mistake.
What do Sales Leaders do instead of utilizing Inside Sales?
- Blindly add more outside sales resources – more resources will get us a better return
- Result – higher sales expense ratio
- Manage ancillary expenses (travel, meeting, training
- Lower morale, less development, a decrease in customer interactions
- Training – event based training that is not properly reinforced
- Very low ROI
The fact of the matter is that Inside Sales is more efficient and can be more effective. Why? Inside Sales reps are typically paid less and have substantially smaller travel and expense needs. They also benefit from being able to execute more touches in less time. This level of activity drives more results and hones an Inside Sales Rep’s skills faster than that of an Outside Rep.
Before you disregard Inside Sales as irrelevant to your business, ensure you have fully vetted the opportunity. Ask you customers how they want to buy. Benchmark top quartile peers. Inside Sales is far and away the fastest growing role sales organizations are using to drive their Go to Market Strategy.