How to build a high-performing inside sales team



Let’s be frank – almost every sales organisation is fighting hard to consistently meet goals. And though there are many different reasons and roots to it we have put together a list of the few most powerful strategies to turn around your sales results quickly.

Now you might be thinking that you have heard and read articles like this many times before. But read till the end – we have a twist build in for you which will blow your mind!

Both of us probably agree that areas like culture, motivation, leadership and product-market-fit are very important subjects to tap into. In this article however we will cover three crucial subjects that can be implemented reasonably fast and will have an immediate impact on your sales results.

Three of the most impactful areas to develop when building a high-performing inside sales team are the sales process, sales metrics and sales coaching.


1. Sales process


The challenge


So many sales organisations set up their sales process on the go and never update it again once it works (kinda). Oftentimes sales organisations also leave the sales process up to the individual sales representatives, leading to inconsistent and unequal results.


The solution


It is crucial to map out and really challenge each and every individual step and then measure their efficiency. Once you have got a more holistic view into what’s actually happening right now - you will be in a position to begin changing your process accordingly to develop a sales process that will really guide your sales reps in their day-to-day efforts.

Some questions to ask yourself when beginning to analyse your current sales process:

  • Who is your target audience and who is your sales team currently targeting?

  • How many new leads is your sales team currently calling per day and what other tasks are eating up call time?

  • How often, when and how many times are prospects called?


By asking questions like these you will broaden your understanding of what is actually happening in your sales organisation right now and you will immediately uncover areas for improvement.


2. Sales metrics


The challenge


Many sales organisations either under- or over track their daily business. Also there often is missing common understanding of what metrics are most important and why. That lack of alignment between sales reps, sales management and executives often causes a lot of missed opportunities to accelerate individual performance, enhance team motivation but also accountability of sales reps.

The solution


Track your metrics – but don’t track EVERYTHING! Invest time and effort to find the right metrics to track and set specific targets to achieve for each of them. Don’t be afraid to drop a metric if it has no major impact on your sales results. The three most essential questions you want to ask yourself:

  • Why do we track this?

  • What are we using this data for?

  • How can this data help us improve performance?


As for your inside sales team we have concluded the following metrics to track per sales rep and team on a daily, weekly and monthly basis no matter what:

  • How many calls were attempted? How many conversations where held and what is the average talk time?

  • How many calls led to conversations? How many conversations led to follow ups? How many follow ups led to a proposal? How many proposals converted into a deal?

  • What was your average deal size? Were there certain characteristics to the most profitable deals / accounts?

  • What was your sales cycle / how long did it take for a deal to be won from the first call attempt onward?


From there you will be able to formulate an achievable, yet motivating target for your sales reps to go hunt for.


3. Sales coaching


The challenge


Sales reps are only humans. Humans work by habits. Sales reps quickly develop certain habits in their daily routine, their performance as well as their pitch and objection handling. As a consequence, most of them will not be able to break out of their conditioning without an external input. In contrary, most sales leaders and executives experience the „innovator’s dilemma“ within their sales realm and daily business. That means the focus purely lays on creating the currently required revenue and results (especially when the targets are missed) instead of preparing for future results by raising the knowledge, skill set and performance of each sales rep.


The solution


Coaching and training done right doesn’t require as much time invest as you might think and you can also involve your sales reps to save time and also motivate the team and have the team hold each other more accountable as well.

The daily stand up

Use a daily stand up in the morning for your reps to share their learnings, struggles and experiences of the previous day and set goals for the day to come.



Weekly Coaching

Set up a weekly time solely for sitting next to each and every sales rep for a minimum of 5 to 10 calls and to give feedback and detailed suggestions for improvement.



Monthly Training Sessions

Set up a 30 to 60 minute training session per month. You can prepare general trainings on communication, sales psychology and best practices yourself but also involve your team. That way every single sales rep needs to invest a certain amount of time into self studying sales related subjects which will quickly build their overall sales knowledge.



Rep-2-Rep-Coaching and Role Play

Have your sales reps coach each other at dedicated times and share best practices. This also will strengthen the team work and support a fun learning environment.



External Coaches and Trainers

External coaches and trainers oftentimes are very costly but can bring in new and fresh approaches. It is also helpful to get an outsider’s perspective from a sales professional.



Digital Sales Assistants

The most cost efficient yet effective way is to use a digital sales assistant. This assistant will develop and continuously improve your playbook and objection handling to always perfectly match what your reps say to the customer they call and to the individual situation they will encounter in each call. Also a digital sales assistant does not require much effort to implement as it is designed to simply walk your reps through each and every phone call with ease.



Conclusion


Yes. Building and improving a high-performing insides sales team is very challenging. You will have to invest a lot of time and probably some reasonable amount of money. Don’t we all seek for this magic solution for our sales just to work well and get better right away?

Even though we can’t provide a “magic pill” we certainly can give you immediate results with Ciara, the digital sales assistant.

Ciara will enable your inside sales reps to always have the right playbook and wording at hand for every situation, customer or objection. The good news: Ciara is just one click away.

Can’t believe it? Put Ciara to a test with your free trial now!



Published 4 months ago.
6 minute read.

Author:
Martin Heibel


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