Cloud technology is tearing down departmental silos and enabling sales to happen anytime, all the time. We see this happening from SMB and mid-market sectors all the way up to enterprise and global companies. Inside sales has become a multidisciplinary “one-stop shop” for acquiring, expanding, and supporting customers.
This means that the capabilities of inside sales have expanded greatly and the expertise required for success is higher than ever. As experts in driving cloud revenue, N3 has identified several competencies that drive success in modern inside sales.
The importance of listening has been in the sales vernacular from the start, but the rise of inside sales has elevated it from the lip service of listening for a few concerns or opportunities to truly understanding customers completely. When technical support, sales, and account management are integrated in an inside sales environment, new opportunities for service can reveal themselves at any touchpoint. Active listening during every engagement reveals the upsell and cross-sell opportunities that drive top-line revenue growth.
Many of the lead generation and sales processes that were historically handled by field representatives are being replaced by technology. Tools like LinkedIn, Marketo, Olark, and Salesforce are the new icebreakers, meeting makers, and problem solvers. Leveraging inside sales is much more effective and efficient in helping buyers through their journey, and these technologies are helping to drive revenue faster. As sales prospecting is now being aided by social networking and customer database subscriptions, people that thrive using different apps, tools and social networks are today’s most successful networkers and future closers.
Inside sales has a legacy of performing the upfront legwork of the sales process with the heavy lifting left to field sales. Those days are over, and modern inside sales team members must be creative solution experts, able to think on their feet and solve problems quickly. With low barriers to exit and entry in the cloud, sales move in real-time and inside sales must be equipped to handle any issue or question as it happens.
Analytical thinking is one critical element to providing a solution, but without the initiative to act, it’s meaningless. Today’s inside sales people must have the drive to deliver results to customers and an entrepreneurial mindset that motivates them to be proactive in problem solving -- both for the customer and your organization. Every team member must be confident to step outside their comfort zone to find solutions that are not ‘in the script’. Quick thinking go-getters are the new standard for inside sales.
The modern inside sales team is a collegiate environment focused on solving problems for clients, not just selling them. The ‘as-a-service’ aspect of the cloud requires constant value validation towards customers. This can only be achieved when everyone on the team is fully ‘behind’ the product and the company. It’s a passionate believer that will go the extra mile to keep the client happy, connecting him or her with the right people in the company when needed. This makes company culture and cultural fit more important than ever.
Keep these in mind when evaluating your inside sales needs.
Tim Killenberg is a Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at N3, a global leader in outsourced Inside Sales and Marketing for technology and Cloud solutions.