Drive profitable growth through an inside sales channel by covering select markets with a telephone based, web enabled sales team.

As a sales leader your gut may know that your expensive outside sales team is going after relatively small deals. This is frustrating because it means you are paying too much for too little revenue. In other words, your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is too high and your Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is too low.

 

As you finalize your 2018 plan, self-assess your approach to inside sales.  This is an area across our client base where buyer shifts in preferences are favoring remote engagement over face-to-face. Check for blind spots by assessing your inside sales approach.  Leverage the new Inside Sales phase on pages 381 – 385 within the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook. Take your team through the exercise to evaluate emerging best practices for your unique business.

 

Why is this important? The buyer is changing, and the sales channels we go to market with must do the same. Buyers are more comfortable than ever purchasing virtually. Inside Sales organizations are handling larger deals than ever before. As companies seek to increase their coverage, they continue to invest in lower cost sale channels. Whether to scale a young organization or restructure a mature organization, Inside Sales can be an innovative route to market.

 

You want to require outside sales to call on larger accounts. But too many companies merely guess where the line between field sales and inside sales should be drawn, leaving the sales channels up to their own devices. As a result, both channels call on the same accounts, or each channel gravitates to the easiest wins. To determine where the line should be, begin by answering these questions:

 

  • How do your customers and prospects want to buy?
  • What should the line be based on?
  • How will you enforce the line?
  • Do you have the right salespeople?

     

Understanding how customers prefer to buy from you is an often overlooked but critical consideration. Just because you want certain businesses to go through inside sales does not mean they want to.

 

The number of employees or end-customer revenue is often used to determine where the line should be drawn. But will this suffice? The ideal solution is to create a propensity to buy formula or determine potential revenue. One or both of these approaches in combination can then be used to set the line of demarcation.

 

Once the line is determined, you need to decide how it will be enforced. For example, will reps be compensated if they sell to the wrong account? More importantly, think about what will happen if revenue is coming in low. Will you keep enforcing the line or will you break down and let salespeople go after any revenue they can? Will your sales reps be successful in the new environment? Most likely 10 to 20 percent will not succeed, so think carefully about ways to handle the turnover.

 

Finally, make sure you roll out the changes clearly and effectively. Consider multiple ways of communicating expectations. And make sure sales operations are prepared to support the change by loading assignments into your CRM or through other methods. Then enjoy watching revenue increase while costs decrease.

 

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if: 

 

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job

     

Sales Revenue Growth

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Kearney

Helps clients adopt emerging best practices to help them make their number.

John has been with SBI since 2011. He has worked with executives in Executive Education, Media, Telco, IT Services, and others. Under his leadership, organizations have successfully grown revenue and improved Sales and Marketing Effectiveness. With a focus on aligning strategies across functions, John has delivered strategic solutions that are actionable and executable. Prior to SBI, John earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

 

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