Introduction: This is the first of a series of postings on "How to Successfully Build an Inside Sales Team".
Develop an Inside Sales Strategy that Fits Your Goals
Inside Sales is very much an umbrella term. As such, different people define inside sales differently. In actuality there are many flavors or implementations: appointment setting, interest development, lead nurturing, revenue generation...to name just a few.
First, define the role. What exactly is the desired outcome of Inside Sales' efforts? What does success look like? Take the time to define this goal from both short and long term vantage points. Also, Sales and Marketing should jointly define the role as Inside Sales is often the function that serves both masters.
Second, determine whether inside sales should report to Sales or Marketing. There is no hard and fast rule for this other than if it is a revenue generating role it should report to Sales. But, if focused on the front end of the sales process, the role should report to whoever has the expertise and bandwidth to make it successful. Let me repeat that... expertise and bandwidth!
There are many moving pieces to building an Inside Sales strategy. They all require significant time and attention so don't underestimate the bandwidth commitment.
As far as expertise, if you are hiring 4 or more reps, you need full time management role. For less than 4, and if you are considering managing the team internally:
- Do consider someone an expert if they have done the role in their past or if their last position involved "managing" the function.
- Do not consider someone an expert if they tell you they can "figure it out" or the function "reported to them" in the past.
Work through the process outlined above and you increase your likelihood of success!
Next up in "How to Successfully Build an Inside Sales Team"... Hiring
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