Inside sales has never been (and never will be) a walk in the park. It’s challenging, demanding and can take its toll on even the most successful of inside sales reps. But being the cream of the crop doesn’t come from just mulling around making a few calls here and there; it comes from being informed, smart and well-calculated, all day, every day.
The most successful inside sales reps have a few common traits that lend themselves to smart sales calls and profitable customer relationships. Here are some of the most important.
They do their homework
Leap Job found that only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment. The spray and pray approach is no longer an acceptable tactic. The most successful inside sales reps are digging deep into their prospects’ and customer’s history, their likes and dislikes and their typical buying patterns.
Analyzing the changes in your customers, market and industry will give you the direction you need to modify your pitch as necessary. When you’ve researched some of the most common industry pain points, you’ll be able to handle questions and objections easily.
Spending your time doing your research and making 20 well informed, smart calls is so much more powerful than spraying out 100 cold calls that are exactly the same from start to finish and praying that they work. Use social media to get under the skin of your customers, look back through their past buying patterns to predict what they might buy next, or even better use technology to do all the legwork for you.
Today’s customers expect a more personal buying experience than ever before, so if you’re not stepping up, you’ll be missing out on sales.
They know when to move on
Any successful inside sales rep knows when it’s time to let go, walk away and move on. Wasting valuable selling time clutching at straws and hoping for a miracle close is time wasted.
In talking with your prospects, you’ll likely get a feeling that they’re either not interested, not ready to buy or not looking to buy at all. If you’re getting these signals from your prospect, have the confidence to ask them outright if you’re wasting your time and to close their file.
Forcing a sale on your prospect will only result in bad feedback, poor word of mouth and a customer that will leave as soon as they are able. Know when to cut ties and move on to the next one.
They sell the end game
Reeling off all the fantastic features that your product has is futile. The most successful inside sales reps will be those that sell the benefit that these bells and whistles will bring. Will it save them time and money? Make them more productive? Solve that niggling problem they’ve had for years? In any sales talks, you should be discussing the value that your offering can provide.
Say you’re selling the latest lawnmower. You’re not selling the lightweight new model, nor the fantastically sharp blades. You’re selling the ability to cut grass faster than ever, meaning more time to play with the kids in the garden and less time spent doing a ‘chore’ which you might actually enjoy now because it’s so easy.
By all means talk features, but remember to drop in the advantages and benefits of using your product over another. If your product has all the bells and whistles, ask yourself ‘so what?’. What do these features mean to your end user?
Be the one to add value to your offering, going the extra mile for your customers can be all they need to sign on the dotted line. Research by Corporate Visions found that 74% of buyers chose the company that was the first to add value, so make sure you cut the crap and tell them actual benefit that they’ll care about hearing.
They use the tech at their disposal
Spreadsheets and call lists are no longer enough to succeed as an inside sales rep. Technology is the best way to get ahead of your competitors and can empower inside sales reps to make more profitable and personal calls. Technology ensures the exceptional results, from simple screen-sharing and automatic dialling tools, to social media and powerful CRM.
If you’ve been given access to the latest bits of technology, be that CRM, business intelligence or anything else, do the smart thing and use them. The best inside sales reps are moving forward with the time and using all of the tech at their disposal. You’ll swiftly fall behind if you get stuck in a routine of doing things ‘your way’. Just because your way used to work doesn’t mean it always will or is as effective as it used to be. Open your mind to the idea that tech can help and your sales will increase.
They use their marketing team
Nurtured, warm leads are an easier way in. We all know that. But what’s baffling is how few inside sales reps actually use their marketing department to help them out. The age old horn locking between sales and marketing is just silly, especially when companies that nurture leads are getting on average 50% more sales at 33% less cost (Marketo).
To be successful in an inside sales position means using your marketing team to your full advantage. Content is king these days so things like whitepapers, eBooks, blogs and so on will only put you in good stead to start a positive conversation with your prospect. You’ll be positioned as a thought leader in your market and often the most profitable sales calls start with a bit of conversation about the latest happenings or challenges facing your customers.