10 Tips for Mastering Inside Sales
Have you noticed how sometimes it feels that things just do not fit, but when you change the circumstances, it gradually falls into place? Relationships, jigsaw puzzles, squares and rounds, and different shapes?
Just sometimes, reps working in outside sales also feel the same. Maybe their skill sets don’t match, maybe they cannot cope with the stress, maybe it is just what they did not imagine themselves doing. But this does not mean that they cannot sell effectively. By changing the circumstances, like transitioning from outside to inside, you can still sell and like your job.
Look at the 10 tips for mastering inside sales, if you are a newbie shifting from the outside.
1. Care… sincerely
Caring for your clients forms the base of any activity in B2B businesses. If you are shifting from outside to inside sales, you should learn to genuinely care about your co-workers, the company, and your consumers. Be there when they need help because you are sure to receive it in return.
As an inside rep, cultivate an attitude of always being interested and ready to share – whether it be for information or for help. If you can accommodate these aspects of the business in your work schedule, you will definitely make one of the best reps in both sections of sales.
2. Be the shift that you want to create
If you are looking to shift from outside to inside sales, the initiative of being an asset to the team falls on you. When you are changing from face-to-face client meetings to a virtual setting, selling remotely, there is a different skill set you need to master.
Take classes, learn from your peers, make mistakes and gain experience. Know what you want from your career, from your position in the company, and craft a long-term plan. Make yourself the change that you want to see in the team.
3. Be who YOU are… people want to see realism, not perfectionism!
Imagine a conversation with a rep who has scripted answers for most of your questions, does not talk about anything except business, and has a cold tone to their voice that makes you feel you are talking to a robot and not a human. This does not go long in the B2B business, because clients want you to treat them as people with problems and not business opportunities.
Be yourself when you interact with them. Be real and genuine; have flaws and ditch the idea that you have to be perfectly prepared. They are humans and so are you, and it is through real communication that you will progress, not the over-the-top formalities.
4. Establish credibility with your expertise (preferably, LinkedIn Profile)
When you are working in inside sales, away from proper human communication, you need to provide your prospects something to base their trust on; they will only engage with you if they know you are reliable.
Establish your credibility as soon as you shift to inside sales. Building up a credible image takes time and patience, but LinkedIn is a great place to start. Share your profile and expertise, so that clients know they are talking to an expert from the company rather than an outsourced call center rep who might not have a good idea of the product.
5. Don’t do black conference calls – Turn on Video
What is better – staring at black screens feeling like you are talking to yourself or knowing that there is a very real human looking back at you who is in the same situation as yours? If you choose the former, maybe you should reconsider your decision. Inside sales already have a lot of communication discrepancies, and your black video only makes it worse.
When on a conference call, switch on your video and let them see you and your workplace. Let them look at the family photos on your desk, your organized (or not) cabinet, and your mug of coffee resting in between the files, just like them. They would rather know you as the ‘woman with the super organized rack’ instead of a senior sales rep at XYZ company.
6. Schedule a reconnect to maintain control
As a sales rep, you always want to keep a tap on the process and want it to go the way you planned. This applies to both inside and outside sales. But how do you do it when you are working remotely, far away from your office or your prospect?
You schedule a reconnect before you leave the current meeting. It helps you maintain control over the process and saves you the time of going back and forth with your prospect on deciding a meeting time. A small, but efficient hack for everyone who is working virtually now.
7. Do a pulse check on your prospect’s interest level
This point boils down to whether your prospect is qualified or not. You know it is not worth investing resources and time in leads that won’t convert, and hence the wise alternative of gauging your prospects’ interest in the product and company.
If you can read them, it really talks about your experience as a rep. If you cannot, ask them explicitly. Maybe ask them to place their thoughts on a scale from wanting to buy and never wanting to meet again.
If they are willing to buy, you can lead them forward, if they are not, you will know where to improve or what to give them in order to convert. Not only does it give you an insight into your standing, but also gives them a platform to share.
8. Create mutually constructed, readily accessible action plan
In inside sales, credibility, communication, and collaboration are very crucial aspects of interacting with a prospect. If you don’t invest the desired effort in these aspects, it is possible that your deal might fall apart. So how do you make sure you are holding up well on these fronts?
Make a plan of action that is readily accessible and mutually convenient. Create it along with your prospect, so that you have all the dates and times highlighted, right down to the closing date.
These plans are extremely helpful when you are dealing with a company having a number of stakeholders and they are also a manifestation of your commitment.
9. Create closure with breakup
Just like the real world, sometimes you just know that it is not the right client and you would be better off without them. If a prospect has been dodging you, move on from them and send them a proper, professional breakup email. If they were interested, they would reach back, else, you look out for more prospects.
Keep it real with yourself, have a good and filling pipeline. It is difficult to just let go, considering 65% of outside account executives are attaining a quota which is 10% higher than inside reps, and it builds up pressure, but it is better than investing the company’s resources where they won’t bear fruit. Keep the power in your hand and get closure with the breakup email.
10. Make exits easy
Typically, sales reps have been known to follow the policy of selling to whoever can use the product, even if the connection is very remote. But as the reps and the clients are both evolving, there is a consciousness on the part of the reps to accept it when the product will be of no use to the client, instead of dragging on the sales process.
Convey to your prospects immediately, when you feel that your product is not for them. Through your interactions, encourage them to tell you when they feel it is not what they are looking for, or when they have doubts or concerns to be addressed. Open communication is of prime importance in B2B sales, more so if you’re on the inside.
Sales is as competitive and nerve-wracking in the inside school as it is on the outside. But not everyone is made for the department they end up working in. If you are working in outside sales, and you are happily hitting your quota, enjoying your incentives, then that is the path for you.
But if you are struggling and looking for a change and have considered shifting to inside sales, you might want to learn as much as you can before you enter unexplored territory. Or, if you wish to earn greater RoI, you can also outsource it to expert B2B sales and marketing consulting firms.
Consider the above-mentioned techniques before you shift. They may not be as helpful, but they will sure tell you what to expect.
Do you also wish to master Inside Sales? Contact us today and we will take up from there.