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The last few years have seen a revolution in the way people see the world and how businesses operate and interact with their customers. In a post-pandemic world, businesses are revamping the way they sell with fewer trade shows and more remote options for both employees and customers. 

If you’re interested in a deeper look into the world of remote selling and how it can scale and grow your business, it may be time to consider inside sales and telemarketing. Learn more about the inside sales process and team structure when you follow along with this overview.

What Is Inside Sales?

The simple definition for inside sales refers to any sales activities that happen from within your office environment. Inside salespeople don’t have to travel to meet with their prospects or close deals. You can complete inside sales activities through emails, text messages, phone calls, video calls, and even social media.

Power up your phone calls. Explore the best cold calling software for increased efficiency and conversions.

However, inside sales doesn’t operate within a vacuum and these sales reps often collaborate with outside sales reps.

Success From Afar

Over 37% of salespeople involved in a LinkedIn survey reported that they closed deals over $500,000 without ever meeting their buyers face-to-face. The previous perception that million-dollar deals need an in-person touch has been overturned with the power of inside sales and their related tools.

Even more interesting is how the lines between inside and outside sales have blurred. When COVID hit, there was no choice but for all reps to handle deals online and remotely, so inside sales picked up the pace, with many offices taking a hybrid approach due to the low investment and easy scalability of an inside sales team.

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The Inside Sales Process

the inside sales process
Setting up your inside sales process to standardize ideal selling behaviors.

A recent survey from HubSpot found that over 60% of sales leaders who transitioned from outside to inside sales met or exceeded their sales goals for 2020. So what’s the process that helps these reps achieve their goals? Let’s take a look at the essentials:

With this setup, the inside sales process becomes much easier, including:

  • Lead capture
  • Lead distribution
  • Lead qualification
  • Cold calling
  • Following up
  • Closing deals

1. Start With Lead Capture

Your inside sales reps need leads before they can start generating revenue, so the first step of your sales process is to identify a target audience and find lead sources. A CRM tool or lead generation software can help capture information on potential customers, including names, email addresses, roles, and location.

2. Move On To Lead Distribution

The next part of your sales strategy is possibly the most important step of the process — lead distribution. Instead of an Excel sheet that allows your inside sales representatives to choose their own prospects at random, use a lead routing system that ensures uniform, standardized, and fair distribution so that no prospect is forgotten.

An added benefit of lead routing software is automation that reduces wasted time and manual labor on behalf of your inside sales professionals.

3. Begin Lead Qualifying

It’s not enough to find and distribute leads, you also need to understand how to prioritize them. Some leads are warmer than others and fit your buyer persona much better. Others can be dismissed completely, as they’re people who aren’t presenting the right buying signals or came your way by mistake.

Qualify inbound leads by defining your ideal buyer persona and adding lead qualification software to your lineup to score and rank new leads based on your requirements, their activities, and even their location.

4. Make Sales Calls

With quality leads in hand, your remote sales team can start reaching out to make their sales pitch. You can track the sales cycle through your CRM software, ensuring that progress is completely visible on your platform with milestones, call recordings, and opportunity recommendations.

5. Follow Up With Decision-Makers

While it would be amazing if you had a 100% close rate with just one call, it can take over five follow-ups to actually close a deal! Set up your outbound communication to touch base with potential clients on a regular schedule to tip the scales in your favor. Building relationships and using great communication skills increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

6. Finalize The Sale

Your outreach has worked and you’ve closed a deal, finalizing a sale that can help you meet your quota. Sign the paperwork, adjust client expectations, and hand them off to your customer relationship management team for continued support.

Inside Sales Team Structure

Inside sales team structure
Inside sales vs. outside sales, a transition in the way businesses are selling.

The inside sales organization is slightly different from field sales. For most regular B2B sales teams, you can expect to have a VP of sales, Team Lead, several SDRs for sales training and business development, and sales representatives. For your inside sales team, on the other hand, your structure includes a Director, Senior Manager, Team Lead, and sales reps.

Your managers and team leads of the inside sales model take on the role of training various sales roles on customer needs, setting cost-effective targets and goals, and reviewing reports throughout the sales pipeline, including activities like:

  • Number of calls made
  • Call duration
  • Demos scheduled
  • Pipelines created
  • Deals closed
  • Revenue generated

If sales reps aren’t meeting their goals in-house, it’s up to the sales manager to improve their sales behaviors to ensure better results.

Make Inside Sales A Priority

McKinsey reports show that pre-pandemic, 52% of B2B decision-makers preferred traditional in-person meetings. Today, 66% of account executives eschew meeting with outside sales teams in favor of virtual sales and video conferencing.

Take control of this trend for your own small business when you make this type of sales a priority. Whether you need to expand your SaaS tech stack to make it happen or transform your entire selling structure, the initial effort is worth the new stream of revenue.

Need more guidance on how to approach this new sales method? Sign up for the RevOps Newsletter to get insights from the experts every week, or take a look at the blog for more sales enablement recommendations.

By Phil Gray

Philip Gray is the COO of Black and White Zebra and Founding Editor of The RevOps Team. A business renaissance man with his hands in many departmental pies, he is an advocate of centralized data management, holistic planning, and process automation. It's this love for data and all things revenue operations landed him the role as resident big brain for The RevOps Team.

With 10+ years of experience in leadership and operations in industries that include biotechnology, healthcare, logistics, and SaaS, he applies a considerable broad scope of experience in business that lets him see the big picture. An unapologetic buzzword apologist, you can often find him double clicking, drilling down, and unpacking all the things.