Posts Tagged ‘Inside Sales’

HBR Article On The Move To Inside Sales

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Following in the theme of my last post, I ran across the results of a survey done by Harvard Business Review on the move from outside to inside sales. You can find it here.

The writers surveyed over a hundred companies in high tech and business services. Over fifty percent say they are moving from an outside (field) sales to an inside sales model.

I found a few of the other conclusions interesting.

Inside sales is the favourite among early growth stage companies – it’s cheaper to get your message over to more potential customers.

Field sales is more effective for complex sales with long sales cycles, and inside sales better for Cloud delivered standardized package sales.

Reasons for the movement from outside to inside sales models were thought to be:

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Are Outside Salespeople Quaking In Their Boots…

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First what is an outside salesperson. It must be the opposite of an inside salesperson, right?

Yes – according to Ken Drogue the expert in the field of inside sales:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2013/02/26/what-is-inside-sales-the-definition-of-inside-sales/

Ken says:

“The most pragmatic definition of Inside Sales is simple: inside sales is remote sales. It has been called virtual sales, professional sales done remotely, or one of my recent favorites “sales in the cloud.” Where outside sales or traditional field sales is done face-to-face.”

So, really the difference between “in- and out- side sales” is the amount of time you spend face to face with the customer.

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Arm Yourself With A New Sales Strategy and Sales Tool: Change

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Change. It happens all the time, and sales cycles are no exception. Maybe even more often than in other professions, change happens. You’ve got a mix of personalities and factors. You’ve got a winner-takes-all process with dollars and careers on the line. There is competition, sometimes severe competition. There are others out there whose goal is to screw you over. They make plans, set their tactics to do so in secret and will spring them on you unannounced.

And that’s just on the selling side. On the buying side, you have many of the same factors. Budgets disappear, organizations re-organize, schedules expand or contract, urgency disappears or increases, new solutions to old problems are found, and so on.

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Stage-based Sales Forecasting – Why Won’t this Concept die?

Written by on . Posted in Forecasting, Sales Methodology No Comments

A popular post I wrote after the launch of the SalesWays Hub was called “Stage-Based Sales Forecasting – It Doesn’t Work.” In it I discussed specifically why it’s a terrible idea to tie probability directly to a linear sales stage. Probability isn’t necessarily, or even generally, tied to where you are in the sales process. Milestones in the sales cycle do not govern your chances of winning. Your product and your performance at those milestones do. I’d like to expand on this, taking on a new model called “High-Velocity Selling.”

High-Velocity Selling

There is a popular (within the entrepreneurial software world) new sales process for enterprise called “High-Velocity Selling.” The concept was first described in a post by a VC, Lars Leckie, back in 2010.  In it, he outlined a new model of thinking for enterprise sales and marketing which is inside sales driven and takes advantage of consumer internet technologies (i.e. marketing automation).

Sounds great – and I love it.  I think it makes a ton of sense, and I tend to agree that the days of the world travelling software sales organization are numbered. Companies such as Salesforce.com and Zendesk have adopted this model with great success.

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Inside Sales – A Productivity Engine

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Engine

The field sales force is an extremely valuable resource for every company in the B2B business. It has a strong effect on sales success, it is usually a scarce resource, and it is cost intensive.  No question that everything must be done to maximize the effectiveness and the efficiency of this resource.

One contributor to the effectiveness and efficiency of the field sales force is the internal sales force. Its role is becoming increasingly important. This is to a great extent attributable to the availability of modern IT technology, which strongly contributes to its effectiveness and efficiency.

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