‘Inside sales is remote sales.’ This is according to Ken Krogue of Forbes Magazine. Some businesses may also define it as virtual professional sales that are conducted in a remote manner. The term ‘inside sales’ was first used in the year 1980 in an attempt to differentiate telemarketing from phone-based business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) selling practices.
Simply put, inside sales is the sale of your products and/or services by your agents through the phone; they do not have to travel to meet your customers face-to-face just to close a sale. In fact, there are various ways that this type of sale can be conducted – as mentioned earlier, it is done through phone but it can also be performed through emails and live chat.
Sales personnel who conduct inside selling are still proactive about reaching potential customers even if they do not travel outside of the office. They may perform cold calling or your company may assign incoming calls from particular customers as inside sales. Moreover, some businesses opt to outsource their inside selling to a third party company to generate more sales – this is especially true for big businesses but becoming popular with small to medium companies as well.
Inside Sales VS Telemarketing
As early as 1950, businesses have been calling their customers to sell their products and services; telemarketing is an over-the-phone selling technique that has interrupted family dinners for decades! However, inside sales is different from telemarketing. Inside selling focuses on higher ticket items and is often used for B2B selling practices. Although inside selling may use campaign-specific talking points, it is not scripted like telemarketing – it does not rely completely on scripts.
Telemarketing tends to focus on low-ticket items such as insurance policies; a deal done through this selling technique is usually quickly closed or lost before the agent moves on to the next contact. Inside sales representatives are highly trained and skilled as compared to an average telemarketer. They are also paid much higher, based on their sales commissions because of their acumen and ingenuity.
Changes to Inside Sales
Over the past years, there have been significant changes done to the traditional inside sales model. Aside from being prominent among B2B sales practices, it has outpaced outside sales hiring according to an MIT Lead Management Study. In addition, the corporate industry has slowly been moving away from traditional office hours, which results to more agents closing deals through their mobile phones or emails from a remote location or their homes. Howard Brown, CEO and Founder of RingDNA stated that, ‘The shift to inside sales has been transformational, enabling managers to provide reps with better data, track their performance in real-time and help them be more successful.’ With the help of innovation and technology, inside selling is able to extend its reach – allowing representatives to connect with more prospects and promote smarter interactions.
Advantages of Inside Sales Over Outside Sales
- Inside sales is more cost-effective.
- Inside sales is more preferred by customers.
- Inside sales fosters better collaboration.
- Inside sales provides representatives with tools that promotes productivity.