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The Good (Bad) News About Your Inside Sales Function

We asked the SellingBrew audience to participate in a research poll about Inside Sales. Specifically, we asked readers to select the statement that best describes their company’s Inside Sales function. Here were the options:

“A relatively inexperienced team, working to connect prospects with our more knowledgeable and highly-trained Field or Outside reps.”

Or…

“A team of experienced “virtual” salespeople, as knowledgeable and highly-trained as any of our Outside or Field salespeople.”

The good news is that 53% of the participants selected the second option.

These sales operations can take comfort knowing that their Inside Sales model aligns nicely with the dramatic changes in buyer behavior that have been taking place over the last few years. And while I’m sure that they’d all like their Inside Sales functions to become even more effective, at least they don’t have worry about it actually working against them.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the other 47% of the participants.

The bad news for the sales operations that selected the first option is that their Inside Sales functions might be doing much more harm than good. The changes in buyer behavior have now elevated initial prospect interactions to make-or-break status. And as a result, sales operations that are putting their least experienced and least knowledgeable salespeople in this critical “first position” could be losing lots of sales opportunities before even getting a shot at them.

But the good news for the 47%…and you know who you are…is that this is not at all an intractable situation. You can fix this.

In fact, many of the sales operations in the 53% whose Inside Sales functions are now on the right track actually had a “farm team” model at some point in the past. But as the environment changed, they recognized the problems with that approach and made the necessary modifications. It wasn’t easy and it took some time, but they made the transition.

And you can make the transition, too. Just don’t put it off for too long…because the bad news is that the longer you wait, the further behind you’ll be and the more sales opportunities you might miss.

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