Inside sales as a selling channel continues to surge. In fact, some 46% of high-growth tech companies are expanding specifically by using inside sales. The tremendous impact inside sales teams can have is not news to LogMeIn’s VP of Sales Amy Appleyard. Not only does she oversee the company’s inside sales professionals who provide remote access, device management, and security solutions for thousands of mid-market and enterprise customers, she’s an award-winning advocate for the inside sales model. Keep reading to learn more about why a move into tech brought her even closer to inside sales, her method for ramping up in a leadership role, and how she made a career change from strategy to selling.

I actually started in a finance role at a large retailer eight years ago, then moved to strategy, and then marketing. I was interested in getting closer to the customer and understanding the communication processes, and how we could move the needle with the mid-market portfolio through different channels. I then came back to strategy and developed a new way to manage the mid-market customer base by adding a field sales resource to the inside sales team and was subsequently asked to move into sales leadership and lead the sales team. I’ve found that it provides a tremendous amount of satisfaction and joy.

A big difference between strategy and sales is that with strategy, it’s more of a top-down approach, and when leading sales teams, the approach is often, how do we build this from the bottom up? For me, the lessons have come from spending as much time either in the field, or in the inside sales centers, as possible, getting time with our reps to really understand what their day to day is like, what the key levers are, and how we can help them be successful. It’s easy to gravitate to the top performers, but I like to make sure that I’m working with everybody to really understand all of the challenges we face.

Listening and learning as much as possible, not only about the current sales processes and technology in use, but really trying to understand who the customers are and the specifics of the product lines. And of course digging into the performance metrics and results. I’m fortunate to be working with teams that are performing well above goal, and the challenges ahead of us come from uncovering the best way introduce new and interesting product lines to our customer base. It’s also been important to me to get to know as many of the other internal business partners as possible – not only the folks from marketing, product, and sales operations who I will work closely with on a daily basis, but also the  groups my teams need help from in order for us to be successful, including business intelligence, business systems ,and finance. I value these relationships.

I’ve always been fascinated by the technology industry and am happy to be gaining hands-on experience at a tech company now. I’m currently working to line up reverse mentoring with a few LogMeIn product designers and engineers, so I can better understand the partnership between sales and product development. I am really enjoying exposure to these teams and the creative process involved with bringing new products to market. Moving into the tech sector has also brought me even closer to inside sales, which is a discipline I’m very passionate about.

In my previous role, I had to spend a lot of time changing the perception around inside sales and its value. One of the wonderful things about moving into a technology organization is that isn’t something I need to do. Our inside sales team is already viewed as a key driver of top line sales. In fact, there are many more inside sales reps than field reps. There’s also a great career progression in place, from inbound and sales development roles into quota carrying positions and more. I’ve also been fascinated by sales acceleration and enablement tools, and am very impressed with tech stack in use at LogMeIn. We have many great Salesforce plug-ins in place that provide insights and productivity enhancements to the teams.

I’ve found that an open floor plan works great for inside sales. At LogMeIn, I’m sitting right on the floor with my team. It’s very different than what I was doing before, which was a lot of remote management and travelling to the sites. Our Boston office has all of the features that would appeal to anyone of any age, not just Millennials, who make up much of the team: a coffee bar, a basketball court, a roof deck, and lots of collaboration spaces. The open floor plan also gives tremendous access to senior leadership.

I love the term and it's something I embrace. At LogMeIn specifically, it’s about making sure our customers are aware that we’re listening to their feedback and challenges, and we’re trying to develop solutions that meet their needs. One of the most incredible things is that the products we make and work with our customers on actually help them run and launch their businesses. It’s a wonderful lesson and an opportunity to get totally embedded with them. The more we can understand their business, the more our solutions meet those needs, and the more we maintain that trusted advisor relationship.

We are developing solutions or partnering with vendors in response to customer needs and wants. For years, we have provided a remote access solution, allowing customers to access their computers from anywhere. We’ve since wrapped in anti-virus software, as well as additional layers of security and password management. LogMeIn has recently acquired a market-leading password management solution called LastPass. Our teams are now equipped with a broader suite of solutions we can offer our customers, which are a mix of individual consumers, IT managers, and network administrators. There’s a tremendous amount of potential and my teams are excited by it. People don’t realize the impact of their weak password behaviors and the importance of secure password management. But there’s a simple technology solution that you can get up and running with minimal effort that will positively affect your life. Now, that’s a fun thing to sell.

I have stacks, and stacks, and stacks. Right now I love Trish Bertuzzi’s new book, The Sales Development Playbook. I’ve also gone back to a classic: Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross. And next up is Nonstop Sales Boom by Colleen Francis, which I am looking forward to reading after having seen her speak at Dreamforce.

I’d likely go with “Raise Your Glass” by Pink the next time I get up in front of my teams. It’s great celebratory song and also one that roots for the underdog, which is something I am fond of doing. I love to be a part of a team that works hard and delivers well above expectations.

For more insight on inside sales, be sure to visit our High Velocity Sales collection page.

Our inside sales team is already viewed as a key driver of top line sales. In fact, there are many more inside sales reps than field reps.”

Amy Appleyard | Vice President of Sales, LogMeIn
 
 
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