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Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

What is Inside Sales?

by Matt Bertuzzi on Tue, Jul 14, 2009

To borrow a line from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart:

I shall not attempt further to define Inside Sales...But I know it when I see it...

Such is the case for many when it comes to the umbrella term Inside Sales.

Inside Sales can & does mean different things within different organizations. It also goes by many different names (e.g. Account Development, Account Management, Business Development, Sales Development, etc.).

Here are a few definitions of Inside Sales from Executives, Managers & Thought Leaders. I hope you enjoy the perspectives.

What is Inside Sales?

Telesales - Using a technology enabled inside resource to acquire new customers.  This model gives sole responsibility for the management of the sales cycle to the inside resource.

Teleprospecting - This model uses inside resources to generate and qualify leads based on predefined definition of a qualified opportunity.  Appointment setting is incorporated in teleprospecting.

Kathleen Maloney (Dir, Account Development at Endeca)
In my view, Inside Sales is a revenue generating function with the Sales organization that is tasked with closing business over the phone.

Inside Sales Reps are quota carrying and usually tasked with closing business for a specific product line or dollar amount. Inside Sales will move deals through the sales process to close using only the web & phone and without having face-to-face meetings.

Anne Fleischman (Inside Sales/Demand Generation at Kronos)
Inside sales requires getting to the point intelligently and quickly, demonstrating an understanding of the prospect's challenges and asking smart questions that will build the case for your product/service. Also staying on the phone or setting an appointment to talk in the future for a defined period of time.

Measuring the prospects interest by setting a clear follow-up is a must in Inside Sales, in my experience.

My take
inside sales \in-ˈsīd-ˈsālz\ Involves most or many of the following activities: cultivating prospective buyers; conveying the features, advantages and benefits of a product/service; and if appropriate closing the sale.

Different from Field Sales as employees do not leave the physical location of the office, relying on phone & web-based technologies.

I ran a cloud analysis on the keywords used in 10 Inside Sales job posts and found the following word frequency:

Does that sounds like Inside Sales in your view? A huge thanks to Kathleen & Anne for participating.

But what do you think? How would you define Inside Sales?

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Topics: inside sales strategy

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