What Is Inside Sales? by Joseph Lora is an interesting little book about the inner workings of successful inside sales reps. It’s easy to read and digest, but the real meat of the book is when it delves into the psychology behind why these people do what they do. It’s a short book filled with practical advice and great insights, but one that really do need to be experienced to be understood fully.
The common perception about sales people is that they have the same tasks and quotas as any other sales person. This is a wrong perception and one that sales people must correct if they want to have success. Each sales team has their own quotas and each salesman needs to know and understand what these are. Without understanding this, it’s easy for them to go overboard with pressure on themselves and as a result, results become non-existent.
To help you get to know what is inside sales, let us first have a look at the core principles that guide every successful sales team. The basic structure is usually divided into three people: the Senior/Inspector, the Junior/Customer and the salesman. The Senior/Inspector is responsible for carrying out the functions required by his seniors; he monitors sales trends, prepares reports and does his homework on clients. He is in charge of bringing new clients and strengthening existing ones through a number of methods – giving speeches, providing presentations, giving seminars or workshops, among others.
Junior/ Customer is responsible for generating new sales leads as well as doing the cold calls. He gets the job done by his salesman brothers who are known as the “clients” of the Junior/ Customer. They usually make up the sales force. This is where the concept of chain of command comes in. The salesman is in close contact with all his sales people and understands their requirements and the way they think. Because of this, he also understands what motivates them and helps them to improve in every area of their sales.
On the other hand, the senior/Inspector is in charge of carrying out the overall responsibilities of his team. Most people think that the role of the Senior/Inspector is that of a gatekeeper to prevent unauthorized entry of a sales team member into the office and to prevent bad sales practices. Contrary to this view, however, the Senior/Inspector is actually a vital part of the sales team. He is in charge of identifying the problems of each member of his sales staff and assisting them to resolve the same. More importantly, the Senior/Inspector is the person who provides a service to the sales organization by checking out the current sales and marketing sales leads for the company.
One important thing that Senior/Inspector should know about what is inside sales is that he needs to stay away from sales quotas. Sales quotas are something that is imposed by a senior salesperson on his junior salespeople. This often causes resentment on the part of the junior salespeople as well as confusion in the mind of the senior salesman. One needs to remember that there are no “quotas” in sales. Quotas are an unnecessary and unneeded impediment to the smooth progress of any sales team.
As far as what is inside sales is concerned, another useful piece of knowledge is that the salespeople need to be kept informed about the latest happenings in the company. This way, they can act accordingly. If a particular issue arises, it is better for the salesmen to be ready with their counter-strategy than waiting until the issue occurs. They should be well informed about the present situation and plan their next move against the sales objections.
It is important for the Senior/Inspector to keep in touch with the salesman on his own so that he is aware of the sales progress. The salesmen will feel less threatened if the Senior/Inspector makes regular contact visits even after a gap of years. This shows that the Senior/Inspector is doing his role as a responsible member of the sales team. Another important thing that is to be kept in mind what is inside sales is the need for proper motivational support for the salespeople. They need to have the necessary confidence and motivation to make a sale.
It is evident from the above discussion that the seniority of a role in what is inside sales does not necessarily restrict him to a managerial position. He can be a field salesperson or a senior salesperson. There are various other positions that are present where the seniority does not restrict the senior person from taking up the responsibilities. What is inside sales is the need of such a role for the senior salesperson, who can now take up the challenge of developing the skills of the junior staff. This will ensure the growth of the business, which will ultimately lead to success for the company.