You can’t guess it. But the numbers show. Its in Inside Sales. So whats Inside Sales?
– refers to sales positions done remotely from headquarters, without face-to-face meetings with clients
The number of inside sales jobs has increased dramatically in recent years, far outpacing the growth in jobs for field salespeople.
- Astra Zeneca has replaced virtually all of its field sales force support for its mature brand Nexium with a 300-person inside sales team. The team provides for most doctors’ basic needs for samples and information at a substantially reduced cost.
- IBM has invested in social media training, toolkits and personalized digital pages to help its inside salespeople generate leads and manage account relationships. Early results include a 55% increase in Twitter followers and a significant increase in the number of high-quality inbound leads.
- SAP has refocused its large and growing inside sales team towards working with channel partners, rather than directly with customers, as part of a strategic initiative aimed at increasing channel sales to 40% of the company’s total sales by 2015.
Inside sales reduces cost-of-sales by 40-90% relative to field sales, while revenues may be maintained or even grow. Benefits include:
- Reduced sales force cost-per-contact and increased number of contacts per day
- Increased revenues in accounts that were lowest priority for field sales, but are high priority for inside sales
- Greater access and faster response times for customers
- Increased effectiveness by specializing inside salespeople by industry, product or activity, without the increased territory size penalty that specialization creates for field sales teams
- Flexibility to scale up the size of inside sales teams without relocation of salespeople
- Better coaching and development for inside salespeople who share a working location with their manager, resulting in shorter ramp-up and more apprenticeship.
When focused on the right market segments, stages of the customer engagement process, and product/services, inside sales drives huge sales force efficiency improvements with little or no effectiveness loss.