Inside Sales 101

Sophia Obrecht
November 24, 2020

What is inside sales? How do I succeed as an inside sales rep? Need answers? We've got them. Check out our summary on inside sales.

Three-quarters of customers agree that they prefer meeting sales reps via video or phone calls, no physical channels. Inside sales provides clients with this opportunity and allows sales reps to work more flexibly and efficiently to achieve their quotas. This guide gives you a rundown of all things inside sales and how you can use this virtual sales approach to your advantage.

What is inside sales and what do inside sales reps do?


Inside sales is an approach utilized predominantly in B2B sectors, in SaaS and tech companies. However, in recent years and most significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic inside and remote sales have become the main sales approaches across many more sectors given the difficulties of meeting clients in person presented by the pandemic and travel restrictions.


Inside sales means any form of sales that takes place virtually or remotely. In other words inside sales refers to a sales process where sales reps conduct their sales meetings virtually via video or phone calls and emails/other online channels. Sales reps and clients meet virtually as opposed to in-person.


Prospecting usually takes place via chat channels like Linkedin or email. Then, when it comes to qualifying leads inside sales reps utilize phone or video calls to lead conversations with clients and perform demos in the same way.


Inside sales reps need the same people and communications skills as other reps but must be tech-savvy and able to read communication cues in text and verbal form since body language is not part of inside sales communication.


Inside sales vs Outside sales - What’s the difference?


Inside sales is sales which takes place virtually with sales reps engaging with their clients over video and phone calls, while outside sales takes place in person. In other words, sales reps meet prospects and clients in person for meetings, demos, or working events.


The advantage of inside sales is that it can take place from anywhere in the world and makes it easier for reps and clients to sit down together and talk without having to find time to meet in person. Added to this inside sales is less costly than outside sales which involves the cost of travel and any expenses that might occur on these sales trips.


Inside sales can also allow for shorter sales cycles simply for the fact that it is easier for reps and clients to get in touch with each other and because it is easier and quicker to qualify leads over video and phone calls.


Get a more detailed look at the differences between inside and outside sales here.

What do you need to be successful in inside sales?

Succeeding in inside sales can be tricky, especially when getting feedback from clients is not as easy as a handshake and pat on the back. It is hard to tell if you have connected with clients even when you don’t manage to close a deal, since feedback post Zoom call is not always guaranteed. But here are some tips to help you succeed as an inside sales rep.

Flexibility.

Like outside sales reps inside sales reps should be eager to serve their prospects and clients and interested in meeting and communicating with new people and discussing new business. The key to success in inside sales is flexibility and adaptability. The ability to run a demo at the drop of a hat or jump on a last-minute sales call when required is key to succeeding in inside sales.


Preparation and resources.

Added to this it is also really important that inside sales reps are prepped for their sales calls with the right resources. Since inside sales offers the opportunity to have more information in front of you during a sales call make sure you utilize this advantage. Customers are more informed than ever before about the technologies they require and the needs this tech should meet so make sure you can provide them with concrete evidence that your product has what it takes to meet their needs.


Visual aids

Additionally, make sure all visuals you use add to your virtual presentation or demo and are up to date...remember when screen sharing your prospect will see your slide deck close up so there is no room for error.


The right sales tools

Another secret to inside sales success is an effective tech stack. That is sales technologies and tools that add to your productivity and integrate with each other to help you complete your work faster and more effectively.


But what sales tool should I include in my inside sales tech stack?


It goes without saying that any inside sales rep should be equipped with a quality video and phone conferencing tool like Zoom with a quality headset to go with it. Following this, teams should look for tools that boost communication among sales reps such as Notion for database and a top-notch CRM such as Salesforce. Then it's about finding tech that enhances your experiences as a sales rep and your ability to do your job well.


Leadfeeder is a great tool for lead generation. It is a website visitor tracking software and can show sales teams the companies already visiting their site to help sales reps get a better idea of who they should be targeting. Chili Piper is a Meeting Lifecycle Automation platform that can help sales teams automatically schedule appointments with leads and turn inbound leads into qualified meetings.


An in-call assistant is the latest sales enablement tool on the market designed to help inside sales reps lead perfect sales conversations and provide guidance on next steps. The in-call software records calls and syncs meeting summaries and notes to your CRM, allowing sales reps to focus on their interactions with prospects, safe in the knowledge that all the important information is being noted.


An in-call assistant also ensures that inside reps have access to smart in-call templates designed for the individual rep or for an entire sales team. Each template comes with key talking points, sections, and questions so in every call sales quality remains consistent.

For a more detailed run down of remote and inside sales tech stack click here.

What is the difference between remote and inside sales?


Inside Sales is a term that has been used for a while in sales circles with SaaS sales teams embracing this virtual sales approach over outside sales, which can also be defined as field sales.


When looking at sales trends, there might be one key difference between inside sales and remote sales, at least with how sales reps engage with the two concepts. Remote sales, which largely equates to inside (or virtual) sales processes, has been a largely new trend brought about by the pandemic that many previously outbound sales reps have had to adapt to. Remote sales can also be used to define the set of sales teams where reps work predominantly remotely from different locations and not in the same office space.


Inside sales, on the other hand, is best defined as an established sales approach that sales teams ascribe to pandemic or no pandemic.


When it comes down to the nitty-gritty...Inside sales is Remote sales. It’s all about virtual selling.


The future of inside sales


So what is the future of inside sales?


Well, with the increased uptake of remote sales approaches during the pandemic, it seems that inside sales is here to stay. Those that already utilized inside sales approaches before the pandemic will continue to benefit from its cost and time efficiency, while those who have only recently discovered remote and inside sales as a result of adapting to social distancing measures have come to see these very benefits of inside sales.


It seems unlikely that sales teams will invest in outside sales after the pandemic partially on the large scales. In-person meetings will likely be prioritized by client importance and prospecting and qualifying will remain an inside sales activity in the years to come.

Conclusion


In order to be successful in the sales world of today, it is essential to embrace some form of inside sales as part of your sales approach. Technology offers the opportunity to engage with customers in a convenient and cost-effective way, make sure your sales teams utilize the opportunities inside sales has to offer.

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