The sales department is arguably one of the most important divisions of any company. Sales employees are responsible for effectively communicating the value of a business product or service in a way that a targeted group of clientele will understand and embrace. Add to that the mounting pressure placed on a sales department by other units dependent upon their success, and you’ve created a role whose impact is felt company-wide.
Inside sales refer to any sales done over the phone or by email, as opposed to the more traditional face to face sales that was commonplace in the past. In this day and age, the prevalence and strength of inside sales within your organization ultimately determine the reach of your products or services and the success of your enterprise. A strong inside sales organization will affect the following aspects of your business.
A primary function of any sales team is communication: translating the message a company wants to send into a message that a customer wants to hear. Frequently, the customer has been primed. That is to say that they are aware of your end goal, which may make closing the sale slightly more difficult.
A good inside sales department can utilize its communication skills to improve the conversational topics at hand. Gleaming bits and pieces of personal information through social conversation aids in building a client-specific sales pitch. If they collect enough data, the sales employee will be able to speak directly to features that benefit the potential client, ferret out objections, and construct valid rebuttals while building trust and credibility over the course of the discussion.
Relationships form when sales conversations result in a significant level of trust between the client and the sales employee. Clients tend to feel a certain amount of comfortability with individuals that have been made privy to the private details of their everyday life. That comfortability, in combination with the trust established early on, can lead to loyalty. Loyalty then translates into retention.
Seasoned members of a sales team habitually attempt to create meaningful connections with current and past customers by reaching out to them after the initial sales cycle is complete. They solicit feedback, thereby forming the impression that the company genuinely cares about the consumer experience. Any potential concerns are addressed promptly, and successes are celebrated mutually.
The clients’ impression of the company is consistently nurtured by the sales department before, during, and after the sale itself, ensuring the development of long-term, brand-loyal customers.
Perhaps the most obvious function of an inside sales team is company growth. It is their job to continuously shepherd the right kind of clients through your sales funnel. Team members that have constructed strong relationships through conversation are in the perfect position to build out their sales pipelines via the connections they have already made.
Current and prior customers are excellent referral sources. They can make recommendations within their network, and write positive reviews for publication on third-party outlets. These endorsements are considered to be objective and trustworthy when they originate from someone outside of the company ecosystem.
A competent sales team recognizes the referral potential in each client they interact with, and makes a strong effort to establish relationships that promote and encourage feedback both inside and outside of your business. Without sales, the number of meaningful customer touch points decreases, as does your opportunity to build a long-lasting, loyal client base.
Finally, the inside sales team is your field sales gateway into your company’s back office. Even today with all of the tools available to sales, field sales are still remote and need a strong tie back to the office to help facilitate transactions. Inside sales can provide that link to support the field sales team, through customer pre-qualifications, funnel development, and support.