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Trust, Increasing Deal Size & Inside Sales

Posted by Matt Bertuzzi on Wed, Jul 14, 2010
 

I recently read an excellent post by Eloqua’s Steve Woods: Trust, Reputation, and Inside Sales. He argues that:

There is a significant shift underway in how we establish and build trust...

…. it is causing significant shifts in the way that people buy. While the general evolution of buyers is causing some challenges for field sales teams, the evolution of trust is opening up new opportunities for inside sales teams.

Steve presents that “historically" Inside Sales teams would close business with an average deal size under $20k. But that now "some organizations are seeing effective use of inside sales up to $100,000.”

I thought I would share a few findings from our 2010 Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Report that back Steve up quantitatively.

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What is the average order size for Inside Sales?

 
Average Order Size

  $54k

Since 2007, the average order size has increased nearly 240%. Further, the percentage of respondents reporting their average order size of over $100k has more than tripled.

As one might expect, the average order size for Reps selling into the SMB is significantly lower (approximately 1/5th the size) than those for Reps selling into the Enterprise.

But what I found particularly interesting was the sharp increase in order size for Enterprise and Both SMB & Enterprise focused Inside Sales groups.

I think I’ll give the final words to Steve (note: emphasis mine)

.. the efficiencies of the inside sales model give it a significant advantage in smaller transactions. This efficiency win, combined with the new ability to build trust through means other than eye contact, are moving inside sales in many organizations from small transactions to much larger transactions. This trend is likely to continue as the communication tools and trust-building approaches continue to tip the balance in favour of the inside sales model.

What so you think? Does anything in the data particularly stand out to you?
 

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Get the Full Report:
2010 Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation

Research Report: Focusing on the Inside Sales (revenue generation) function.

Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation: KPIs & trends

Based on 2010 survey of 115+ B2B companies.

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COMMENTS

When selling over the phone, getting the prospect to feel comfortable with you and the idea that you are selling is key. The more that they know you heard them and the more that the agreement looks like what they pictured in their mind, the better chance you have of winning. It all comes back to comfort level, as Steve puts it, trust.

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:59 AM by Steve Richard


I'm not surprised, only delighted by those numbers. We've seen a big shift in how people choose to do business (less face to face in many instances)  
 
I guess my follow up question is how companies are embracing the concept of trust building?  
 
Well done and thought provoking Matt! 
 
Respectfully, 
Paul Castain

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9:51 AM by Paul Castain


I like this paragraph ... the efficiencies of the inside sales model give it a significant advantage in smaller transactions. This efficiency win, combined with the new ability to build trust through means other than eye contact, are moving inside sales in many organizations from small transactions to much larger transactions. This trend is likely to continue as the communication tools and trust-building approaches continue to tip the balance in favour of the inside sales model. 
 
 
 
Besides trust and no eye contact, what are you seeing as the reason(s) for the increases?

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:54 AM by Chris Zdunich


@Steve & @Paul thanks for your comments. 
 
@Chris - if you'll allow me to speak outside the data, I'd say: a major factor for increasing deal size for Inside Sales is that buyers are more & more comfortable making larger & larger purchases through this channel. 
 
Here are 2 quick thoughts from my own life as a technology buyer: 
 
1) I can't remember the last time I handled / looked at a physical piece of leave behind marketing material. I do remember (7+ years ago), Field Sales guys nearly getting into fistfights to hoard hot-off-the-presses Marketing collateral. 
 
2) I am a Salesforce.com user (and CRM owns a good percentage of my Marketing budget), I have never once met my Sales Rep. But I've been to countless webinars, user groups, live streaming events, etc. I trust the people at Salesforce, even though I can't point to single employee who has encouraged that feeling in me. 
 
Just my $.02. Thanks for making me think.

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 12:07 PM by Matt


I'd prefer some refinement about the customer relationship and the verticals sampled.  
 
has this increase occurred for  
a) new customers, 1st order 
b) existing customers, re-orders 
c) existing customers, new product line 
 
What verticals are being sampled here?  
What is an average ticket size over the past 5 years?  
Does the 3 year ago marker represent an anomaly that is only now being normalized?  
ie; here in alberta, the oilpatch nearl ground to a halt in 2008.....orders died on the vine as budgets we're slashed/frozen.....now they are back on track with historical norms.... 
 
 

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:17 PM by marty tascona


@Marty here is the color I can provide: 
 
115+ B2B North American technology companies (selling hw, sw or both - SaaS companies participated in another survey) 
 
IS groups primarily focused on: #1 outbound calling #2 new revenue from net new prospects #3 inbound lead conversion #4 up-selling/cross-selling 
 
An average of 63% of IS revenues coming from "new" v. "customer" business

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 4:36 PM by Matt


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