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7 Tips to improve results with inside sales | What to do when you are in trouble?

inside sales

Inside Sales is now being implemented by many companies. However, there are those who say, “I don’t know how to operate inside sales well and increase the efficiency of sales activities,” and those who say, “I want to know what to do when inside sales don’t produce results.” I think.

This time, I will introduce the skills and tricks necessary to achieve results in inside sales, and what to do when you stumble in operation. After reading this article, you will understand the points when working on inside sales.

Table of Contents

  • What is Inside Sales
  • 4 Common Worries in Inside Sales
    • ① Leads are not collected
    • ② There are many leads and it is not possible to approach
    • (3) Lack of sales know-how and do not know how to approach
    • ④ Struggling with non-face-to-face communication
  • 4 Skills for Inside Sales
    • ① Hearing skills
    • ② Talk skills
    • ③ Proposal ability
    • ④ Planability
  • 7 tips for successful inside sales
    • (1) Set clear numerical targets (KPIs) in advance
    • (2) Set hearing items
    • ③ Create a talk script
    • ④ Create a rough schedule and operation plan
    • ⑤ Regular review
    • ⑥ Share data and know-how
    • ⑦ Collaborate with the field sales department
  • 3 ways to deal with inside sales stumbling blocks
    • ① Utilize sales tech
    • (2) Use an agency service
    • (3) Incorporating the opinions of people with knowledge and experience
  • 3 books you want to refer to to get inside sales tips
    • Inside Sales A Guide to Strengthening Sales Organizations to Increase Sales Without Relying on Visits|Akihiko Shigeno
    • Inside Sales Ultimate Sales Technique Transforming into a sales organization that produces outstanding results with minimal effort|Reihito Mizushima
    •  A book that understands the mindset of inside sales in 40 minutes | Yuho Noguchi
  • Summary

What is Inside Sales

Inside sales are non-face-to-face sales activities that use e-mail, telephone, online business negotiation tools, etc. to prospective customers who are interested in the company’s products and services .

Unlike face-to-face field sales, inside sales have the advantage of increasing the efficiency of sales activities because they do not require transportation costs or travel time. Since it does not take time to travel, you can spend more time on each measure and approach more potential customers.

If you work well with inside sales, such as approaching prospective customers after clarifying your goals, you can expect an increase in new customers and an improvement in the closing rate.

4 Common Worries in Inside Sales

If you can handle inside sales smoothly, you can expect great results, but there are also patterns that do not go well. So, here are the 4 points that are common in inside sales.

  1. Can’t collect leads
  2. Too many leads, unable to approach
  3. Lack of sales know-how and do not know how to approach
  4. struggle with non-face-to-face communication

① Leads are not collected

Even if you approach leads (potential customers) by phone or email, if the number of leads is small in the first place, you may not be able to conduct sufficient sales activities. Leads do not suddenly increase, so steady improvements are necessary .

Instead of blindly trying to gather leads, implement measures to increase interest in your product, such as improving your website and holding seminars. For example, it is effective to use MA (marketing automation) to add a pop-up display on the website or change the content of the email to match the customer’s needs.

Hold seminars and events to generate interest in your company’s products and initiatives.

② There are many leads and it is not possible to approach

Even if there are too many leads, you may not be able to approach and get stuck. Especially if there is a shortage of manpower in the inside sales department, it may not be possible to keep up with the delivery of phone calls and emails.

In such a case, let’s introduce sales tech.

For example, if you use a tool that has a simultaneous email distribution function, you can send emails all at once for each customer attribute (industry or department). In addition, there are tools that can analyze email open rates and website browsing history, so you can analyze customer engagement.

By automatically analyzing the degree of customer interest and conducting sales activities with priority on customers who seem to have a particularly high willingness to purchase, you can approach leads efficiently. ​​

(3) Lack of sales know-how and do not know how to approach

If you don’t have a lot of sales know-how or you’re just getting started with inside sales, lead generation can be a bit of a struggle. If the inquiry form or billing form is not sent, it is not possible to collect customer information as expected.

I don’t even know how to approach leads properly, and I think it’s hard to get appointments and contracts.

In doing so, please refer to the opinions and know-how of the top sales people in the field sales department. Let’s absorb the skills essential for sales activities, such as how to extract and approach prospective customers with high accuracy, and talk skills.

④ Struggling with non-face-to-face communication

In inside sales, communication is non-face-to-face, so there is a disadvantage that it is difficult to understand the feelings and intentions of the other party.

If you don’t see each other face to face, you may not understand the other person’s true intentions and you may not be able to communicate well. In particular, phone calls are more difficult than face-to-face sales activities, as they only use voice to communicate.

In order not to struggle with non-face-to-face communication, it is important to create a talk script, record your own talk, and get feedback. Talk skills are difficult to improve on your own, so be sure to incorporate the opinions of a third party before improving them.

4 Skills for Inside Sales

Here are four skills that will help you with inside sales. Hone these skills and improve the quality of your inside sales.

  1. Hearing skills
  2. Talk skills
  3. Proposal ability
  4. Planning

① Hearing skills

The important thing in inside sales is to listen to customers and understand their needs and issues . By understanding the needs and challenges of your conversations with your customers, you can determine what information you should provide to them.

Sometimes we can grasp the customer’s needs from a word casually spoken by the customer. Keep a record of the information you receive from your customers.

When communicating with customers, it will be smooth if you set hearing items in advance. The setting of interview items is introduced in the following heading (7 tips for increasing results in inside sales ② Setting interview items).

② Talk skills

Talk skills are essential when communicating with customers. After getting information from the customer, you need to properly provide the information that the other party needs.

In order to let other people know about your company’s products, you must first be familiar with the product yourself. After limiting the features of your product, explain how your customers will benefit from using your product.

Practice a speaking/description flow that successfully describes your product and engages your customers. It is more effective to record your own talk and listen to it again, or have a third party evaluate it.

③ Proposal ability

After listening to the customer’s attributes, needs, and issues, it is important to be able to make proposals that are tailored to each individual customer . After explaining the features and strengths of your product, explain your product purchase plan and your vision after the product is introduced.

In order for customers to feel the need for your product, please tell them the difference from other companies’ products and the impressions of companies that have actually introduced your product. It is effective to explain logically based on concrete information.

④ Planability

When launching inside sales, it is necessary to clarify the purpose and create an operation plan. Instead of working blindly, develop an implementation system and make a rough schedule.

If you can see the vision of the operation and make a plan to some extent, it will also lead to increased motivation. Always be conscious of what you should do and work on it.

It may not be easy to achieve results when you have just started, but let’s continue to work hard and accumulate know-how.

7 tips for successful inside sales

Here are 7 tips to help you succeed with inside sales.

  1. Set clear numerical targets (KPIs) in advance
  2. Setting hearing items
  3. create talk script
  4. Create a rough schedule and operation plan
  5. make regular reviews
  6. Share data and know-how
  7. Work with field sales department

(1) Set clear numerical targets (KPIs) in advance

Before we start working on inside sales, let’s clarify what the purpose of doing inside sales is. Also, prepare indicators for evaluating your company’s efforts.

This time, we will introduce KPI (Key Performance Indicator), which is one of the numerical targets. KPIs are numerical values ​​used to evaluate the performance of a company, and by setting them, it is possible to understand how well the company is performing.

◉Specific examples of KPIs

Examples of KPIs that can be used for inside sales are as follows.

  • Number of new leads acquired
  • number of calls
  • number of customer conversations
  • number of negotiations
  • Number of appointments obtained
  • E-mail magazine open rate

In addition to these KPIs, set detailed goals according to your company’s efforts. Setting specific numerical targets will help motivate employees.

(2) Set hearing items

When having a conversation with a customer over the phone or via an online conference system, etc., let’s set the hearing items in advance. Hearing items include the following.

  • budget
  • Decision-making authority
  • needs
  • Approximate timing for product purchase/introduction
  • what is bothering me now

Ask your customers questions along these lines and keep a record of their responses to ensure smooth communication next time. Let’s set the hearing items according to the situation so that you can get the information you want to hear.

③ Create a talk script

It’s useful to create a talk script before you actually talk to the customer. In your talk script, include questions to ask your customers and information to provide.

In addition to deciding the general flow of the talk, it will lead to smooth communication if you decide the content of the talk based on the scenario. If you have a talk script, it will be useful for training new employees and standardizing talk skills. In order to aim for higher quality communication, let’s create a talk script while there is time.

④ Create a rough schedule and operation plan

When launching inside sales, it is necessary to establish a schedule before the operation starts. Organize the items to be tackled while thinking about what you will do by when and what goals you want to achieve by when.

By making a rough plan, you can always visualize what you need to do and work efficiently. If you’re behind schedule, work with your entire Inside Sales department to catch up.

⑤ Regular review

Regularly review how successful your inside sales efforts are. Evaluate your efforts in line with goals such as KPIs that you set in advance, and find areas for improvement.

Even if you achieve your goals, set new goals to improve your performance.

⑥ Share data and know-how

As you proceed with inside sales, you will be able to collect a huge amount of customer data and conversation data. Record all of this data and share it with your inside sales department as well as your field sales department.

Always sharing the latest data makes it easier for multiple employees to handle one customer. Furthermore, as you talk to customers and send emails, you can accumulate know-how on hearings and talking with customers.

Once you get the hang of how to communicate with customers, share them with your department. Accumulating know-how is also useful when training new employees.

⑦ Collaborate with the field sales department

Although there is a pattern of non-face-to-face business negotiations and closing of contracts, cooperation with the field sales department is essential when conducting these phases face-to-face (shifting to field sales).

Let’s record and share not only the basic data of the customer, but also the contents of the conversation over the phone etc. in detail. This information is essential for proposing products that meet customer needs and challenges.

If your field sales department doesn’t work smoothly, the last deal can go awry. Let’s keep in touch on a daily basis and establish a cooperative system.

3 ways to deal with inside sales stumbling blocks

Here are 3 ways to deal with inside sales when you stumble.

  1. Leverage sales tech
  2. use a proxy service
  3. Incorporating the opinions of people with knowledge and experience

① Utilize sales tech

It takes time to manage huge amounts of customer data, analyze customer behavior, and analyze purchase intentions manually. Reduce these times by proactively using sales tech to spend more time communicating with your customers.

Sales tech that can be used for inside sales includes SFA (sales support system), MA (marketing support system), and CRM (customer information management system) .

For example, SFA can manage the progress of sales activities, so you can check at a glance how far sales activities are progressing and how much results you have achieved. In addition, MA can analyze the customer’s willingness to purchase based on the customer’s website browsing history and email opening rate.

Let’s collect information about customers with CRM and business card management tools so that they can be checked and shared at any time.

(2) Use an agency service

If it doesn’t work for you, consult a professional. In the agency service, you can receive services such as operation planning, KPI setting, support and feedback after the start of operation.

Having professionals support inside sales operations not only makes inside sales operations smoother, but also allows you to absorb sales know-how from professionals.

When comparing agency services, let’s judge from points such as whether you can receive the service you need and what the fee structure is .

(3) Incorporating the opinions of people with knowledge and experience

If you’ve just started inside sales, you may not know how to proceed without the know-how. In such a case, seek the opinion of someone who has knowledge and experience in sales.

You should be able to get useful information, such as talk tips and how to properly approach customers. If there are few sales personnel in your company, consider hiring new ones.

If we can absorb know-how from people with knowledge and achievements, it will lead to human resource development in the inside sales department. Develop the best sales force within your company.

3 Books you want to refer to to get inside sales tips

Here are three books that I would like to refer to in order to achieve results with inside sales. Read these books and apply them to your own efforts.

  1. Inside Sales A Guide to Strengthening Sales Organizations to Increase Sales Without Relying on Visits|Akihiko Shigeno
  2. Inside Sales Ultimate Sales Technique Transforming into a sales organization that produces outstanding results with minimal effort|Reihito Mizushima
  3. A book that understands the mindset of inside sales in 40 minutes | Yuho Noguchi

Inside Sales A Guide to Strengthening Sales Organizations to Increase Sales Without Relying on Visits|Akihiko Shigeno

This book contains the knowledge necessary to launch and operate inside sales. The author who launched the inside sales department of Salesforce and BizReach explains in detail the basic knowledge of inside sales.

All the know-how of inside sales is posted and you can learn from scratch. This book is recommended for those who don’t know where to start when starting up inside sales, or for those who want to acquire basic knowledge.

Inside Sales Ultimate Sales Technique Transforming into a sales organization that produces outstanding results with minimal effort|Reihito Mizushima

In this book, the author who has experience in foreign-affiliated companies in Sekai Yausu summarizes inside sales methods. Inside sales are explained from a variety of perspectives, such as building an organization for inside sales, developing human resources, and setting KPIs.

This book is especially recommended for those who want to strengthen their organization, as it covers how to create a sales organization and how to raise the awareness of team members.

 A book that understands the mindset of inside sales in 40 minutes | Yuho Noguchi

This is an e-book that can be read in a relatively short time. As the title says, the volume can be read in about 40 minutes, so you can finish reading it during your break or travel time.

The basic knowledge of inside sales is summarized, and an inside sales introduction checklist is attached at the end of the book. It is recommended for those who want to grasp the outline of inside sales in a short time and use it for introduction.

Summary

This time, I explained the tips to increase the results in inside sales. In order to lead inside sales to success, it is important to improve the skills of each person in charge and to share information and know-how.

Before actually introducing inside sales, read books to gain knowledge, set specific numerical targets and plans, etc., and prepare a sufficient system. When you stumble, it’s one hand to consult a professional.

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