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Inside Sales Management - What Matters Now?

by Matt Bertuzzi on Wed, Aug 15, 2012


It's official! Our 2012 Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Report is now available. This report is focused on the inside sales (closing business) model.

Our fourth report since 2007, this year we tried something a little different. We asked survey participants:

How has managing inside sales changed in recent years?

Below, I've shared a few responses that really resonated with me.

A Shift In Management / Measurement

  • Inside Sales has changed from purely results driven, to metrics/efficiency driven, to a best blend of the two.
  • Managers have less and less time to work with their reps on managing their pipeline as they are overwhelmed with internal meetings and paperwork.

Buyers Have Changed

  • Customers are more informed and there is much more competition. More time than ever before has to be allocated to training reps on how to quickly and effectively demonstrate differentiation.
  • There’s less focus on "dialing for dollars" and more focus on "making the right calls". While cold calling/prospecting is necessary to succeed, it’s also important to know why you're calling.
  • Email has become a powerful means of communicating. Prospects can control conversations and refuse to engage in live conversation. As managers, we need to rapidly improve how are Reps are establishing credibility and connections with prospects. Conversations are still king, teaching reps to understand this is difficult.

The Talent Lifecycle

  • There is bigger need to recruit with more filters; PC/Net literacy; Phone Skills, B2B Sales Experience. These are table stakes for being successful.
  • Identifying good inside sales reps (hiring) and ramping new hires (getting them productive quickly) is a challenge.
  • Reps are expecting more with a better job market. Hiring, motivation and retention are more challenging.

What Matters Now 

  • The difference between "field sales" and "inside sales" is shrinking due to the massive amount of information out on the net. Now, you don't have to be face to face with the prospect/customer as much as you had to in the past. Inside sales is a becoming the mainstay/cost effective sales channel for more and more companies.

So, what do you think? How has managing inside sales changed for you in recent years?

Also, please feel free to take a look at our Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Report. I hope you find it helpful.
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