As all sales are shifting to inside sales in today’s world, outside sales reps are learning a whole new way to sell. They are not at all accustomed to an inside sales process. How do you qualify a lead? How does Salesforce work? How do I handle objections over the phone? These are all valid questions likely running through any new inside sales rep’s mind.
In all forms of sales, building a relationship with the person you are working with is a common thread throughout. Outside sales reps do it with face-to-face communication and inside sales reps do it with technology. Shifting from face-to-face communication to technological communication is not an easy one, but it can (and has to) be done. The tools that we will discuss next are some areas that a new outside turned inside sales rep must have in order to get their job done.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The first tool that an outside sales rep needs to learn when working as an inside sales rep is the CRM. They may have used one before, but not like an inside sales rep does. An inside sales rep lives in their CRM, such as Salesforce or Hubspot. It is their one source of truth, where all data and information is stored, and it is their ticket to ensure their deals run smoothly. One can imagine that an outside sales rep did not spend much time in a CRM until now and are now having to learn how to use a CRM to their advantage.
If you’re an outside turned inside sales rep and you do not yet have a CRM, get one. Take this quiz to find out which CRM works best for you and your company!
Linkedin is the best platform for a sales rep to find and connect with prospects - and it’s free! Now that work has gone remote, it’s even more important for all salespeople to be able to locate and connect with prospects to keep up their quota.
The basic functions of Linkedin are extremely useful, but if you find that you are running out of options, check out Linkedin Sales Navigator. It is specifically made for targeting, understanding, and engaging with prospects and is used by most inside sales teams.
Linkedin is both a science and an art - check out this article on social selling on Linkedin that will help you do everything from optimizing your personal profile to prospecting.
3. Email Provider and Video Conferencing
Now that you have a way to store your data, manage your pipeline, and find prospects, you need a way to talk with these people. Email and video will become your best friend to communicate with clients, prospects, and more. As an outside sales rep, email and video will replace the typical face-to-face communication that you’re used to having. Video conferencing is especially important to give a face to your name and brand, as well as give product demos. It isn’t the exact same as in-person demos, but it will allow you to give more demos in a shorter amount of time and make more sales than before.
The easiest to implement for email is Gmail and for video conferencing is Zoom. The free versions will give you a great starting point, and the more you get used to them, you may find that the premium functions are necessary. No need to pay for it at first if you don’t have to!
4. Conversation Assistance
The last, and often forgotten, tool that an outside turned inside salesperson can use to help them adjust to this new way of working is a conversation assistant. One that is able to help structure the phone calls that they are now having to make and give them guidance on how to run these calls. Some outside salespeople have said they have no idea how to make a cold call. A conversation assistant will be there for them the whole time, reminding them of important questions to ask, giving them responses to objections that they may have never heard before, and more.
One feature of a conversation assistant that is really helpful for a new inside sales rep is automatic updates to their CRM. As mentioned before, some outside sales reps have never even seen a CRM before. Imagine logging into Salesforce for the first time - overwhelmed would be an understatement. By connecting your conversation assistant to your CRM, sales reps are able to update the most important fields and objects, as well as store notes, directly in the CRM, without having to constantly copy/paste all the details from one program to the other.
Ciara is perfect for this - an outside sales rep turned inside sales rep. It will help these people who are being forced to switch into this inside/remote sales role guide their calls, capture all their data, and automate the tasks they must complete.
Overall, the transition from being an outside to inside sales rep is a necessary one, especially given the current state of the world. These tools will get an outside sales rep up to speed on how inside sales works, and will help get them calling and making sales in no time. Start today, you’ll be thankful you did!