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What is Inside Sales and How Is It Changing?

The inside sales model is often more cost-effective and has only become more so thanks to advances in sales technology. The inside sales model allows companies to interact with a higher volume of leads.
 
BY:jaikishan sharma


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Sales—especially B2B sales—is currently undergoing a transformation. Many companies are increasingly investing in a new sales model involving high touch transactions that are largely handled remotely. This model, which has come to be defined as “inside sales,” is now the preferred method of selling for many B2B and B2C companies that sell high ticket items. Because these companies are selling high value goods and services (that are often quite complex) it often requires multiple touch points from highly-skilled sales reps. Another reason that inside sales involves multiple touch points is because B2B (and high-end B2C) sales is strategic. This often requires inside sales reps to work in teams, coordinate with managers, marketers and other branches of a business to move leads through the sales cycle.

The inside sales model is often more cost-effective and has only become more so thanks to advances in sales technology. The inside sales model allows companies to interact with a higher volume of leads. Once on a call, inside sales reps can enjoy smarter conversations thanks to contextual data about prospects that can be delivered from CRMs, marketing automation tools and other types of cloud-based sales software.

What is Inside Sales?While there is near-unanimous agreement that the definition of inside sales entails selling remotely, opinions differ on which remote activities fall under the umbrella of inside sales. In Ken Sundheim’s Business Insider article, he points out that while certain companies describe an inside sales rep’s job involving heavy volumes of cold prospecting via the telephone or email, other companies hire inside sales reps in account management roles. In some cases, an inside sales job might not entail prospecting or cold calling at all.

Here are some common job functions that fall to inside sales reps:

Sales prospecting- (i.e. making outbound sales contact with leads). While these are sometimes cold calls, they are often qualified leads who have interacted with a business’ marketing content, filled out a form or downloaded a product demo.

Inbound Sales- Companies often place telephone numbers or click-to-call buttons on a variety of web pages. These buttons often dial inside sales reps. If a company has a sophisticated routing engine, then inbound prospects can be routed to reps based on numerous factors such as close rate, account lead owner, or specific product or industry knowledge.

Lead Qualification- Sometimes inside sales reps are given a list of leads in need of qualification. Certain organizations utilize inside sales reps to qualify leads before sending in a sales manager or field rep to close the deal. Reps often spend time before calls researching prospects’ companies online and viewing leads’ social media streams.

CRM data logging- The inside sales model involves high-touch deals, often from multiple reps. That’s why it is crucial for inside sales reps to capture data about calls and prospects in their CRMs. Sales reps often spend a sizeable portion of their time logging data and handling other administration tasks before calls.
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