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Telemarketing Software Expert VanillaSoft Talks Revolution of Outside Sales to Inside Sales

April 02, 2013
By Jamie Epstein - Telemarketing Software Web Editor

Founded in 2005, Texas-based telemarketing software provider VanillaSoft caters globally to clients in search of a cloud-based lead management offering. The product is touted as increasing productivity significantly through the deployment of a best-in-class feature set that ranges from lead routing and auto dialing to onboard intelligent messaging and digital call recording.

Recently, Kevin Thornton, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing with VanillaSoft, sat down with the Sales Lead Management Association for an informative podcast where he stated, “Looking back when I started in sales back in the ‘90s, typically you would have an inside sales team with less qualified employees just starting out who were aligned with an outside sales rep who was the hunter. After a few years if you did a good job and learned the ropes, you transitioned into the outside sales division where the earning potential was higher.”

There are multiple benefits of having an outside sales team to be mindful of though. First, the face-to-face interaction that you can have with customers is key, as well as the opportunity to develop relationships with clients in their own environment. Like Thornton said, “In the end, people like to do business with a company they like and outside sales definitely a good thing in the marketplace.”

Yet, the cost of managing an outside sales team and a field-based team can be extremely expensive. Travel, salary and entertainment costs can quickly add up, and the amount of time outside sales reps actually get to spend with the customer on site is minimal.

To combat these heavy price tags, companies are increasingly transitioning their outside sales employees into inside ones. The availability of information, technology such as access to the Internet and smartphones, social media and the ability to react to leads much faster is enabling inside sales teams to see better results than ever before. Further, the talent level has definitely increased which in turn drives customer satisfaction.

While in the past marketers didn’t talk about their ROI, Thornton believes this “has to change dramatically. Within marketing divisions of one part of a company, they tended to get a pass since they weren’t able to generally talk about dollar signs. However in the modern era, every part of the business needs to talk with authority about how their investments are impacting business.”

Following up on the results of leads isn’t new to salespeople, but this is one of the frustrating factors leading to the misalignment of sales and marketing since sales has been a hyper measurable function while marketing often has not been. To boost sales, the lead investments actually paying dividends must be closely analyzed.

He added, “We just did some reviews and really it’s all about measuring what works. For example, a recent partnership with a medical device company allowed the firm to see which methods of advertising offered the best results. It has to be systematic.”

With crucial data in hand, it is much easier to see where marketing dollars are being spent. Also, a framework and methodology that enables you to compare how you are doing as compared to others helps everyone , whether they are members of the inside or outside sales tea,m to make sense of the numbers they are looking at.

Edited by Ashley Caputo