Most of our clients are placing more and more emphasis on their inside sales teams and really trying to leverage them. Here are three keys to consider when leading an inside sales team:
1) Leverage them for sales. Many times the inside sales team is an inside service team. They’re just supporting the outside reps. How do we leverage them for sales? First, they should own some accounts — C accounts, maybe some B accounts. The bottom line is they should have some account ownership.
2) They should be doing some prospecting. How can they be leveraged as a team to set up appointments and really dial up the sales activity for themselves and also for the outside salespeople? That’s the first key. The second key revolves around the environment. Many times we will walk into an inside sales team and notice that their environment is really poor. As leaders, we need to pay attention to the environment. Are they working together as a team? Do you have competitions taking place? How does the environment feel? We need to pay attention to the environment because it makes a big difference on their performance.
3) Leading inside sales teams involves lots of observational coaching. What do we mean by lots? At a minimum, 50% of your time should be spent on the phones listening to calls, giving feedback and modelling where necessary. The benefit when we’re leading inside sales teams is that we can spend up to half an hour on a call, observe three or four conversations, give some great feedback and that’s going to make a real difference. Whereas in outside sales, we just spend half a day.
And so, when leading inside sales teams remember, lots of observational coaching to really focus on the development and instilling accountability makes a big difference.