Telemarketing Software Featured Article

The Right Tools to Succeed in Inside Sales

September 20, 2016
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

While most sales organizations may like to think they’re a finely tuned machine, the hard data often doesn’t support this. Sales organizations – particularly inside sales – often suffer from high turnover, poor management, insufficient tools and lackluster results. While it seems like a no-brainer that there is room for improvement in most companies, many have no idea where to start.

Good sales managers are, of course, a good beginning. Drill sergeants who bark out orders and insult sales personnel may look good on Hollywood screens, but in reality they are a disaster for most sales organizations. Employees engage with their jobs when they feel valued and motivated toward achieving personal goals alongside company goals. Regular performance reviews are important, as is encouraging language, open-door policies when it comes to advice and coaching, and a good foundation to help sales employees actually understand what they’re striving for, according to a recent blog post by VanillaSoft’s Genie Parker.

“It helps to know exactly what it is you’re working for,” she wrote. “Not all athletes are going for Olympic gold. Some are going for their personal best or working to improve their health and stamina. From a sales standpoint, what are your goals? Are working to improve conversion rates? Going for volume? Seeking quality leads over quantity? Knowing what you’re working for will help you to choose an appropriate path and stay on track.”

If the sales manager doesn’t know the answer to these questions, the rank-and-file sales personnel certainly won’t. Once concrete goals are established, the next step is good communication. While some competition is healthy in sales, collaboration is even more so, particularly in the case of business-to-business selling or complex, high-ticket items. If a customer returns to the sales department and hears a completely different story from a different employee, he or she probably won’t be inclined to buy. This leads us to the next important element: technology.

“Can you imagine Usain Bolt winning the 100 meters wearing a beat-up pair of tennis shoes?” asked Parker. “His talent means he’d still be fast, but you can bet he wouldn’t perform at his best without a pair of good-fitting running shoes built for the task at hand.”

Before a sales team can be truly effective, it needs productivity tools built for 2016. These may include telemarketing software solutions such as CRM with auto-dialing, email, lead tracking, appointment setting and a document library of easily customizable forms, brochures and sales enablement content. Good tools can put the sales team in the best starting position possible (to carry forth Parkers’ Olympic analogy).

“Talent alone will get you far, but if you want consistent performance and to work as efficiently as possible, you need the right CRM solution,” wrote Parker.

Well thought out and articulated goals can help the sales team understand where the finish line is located, performance management can track how well they’re getting there, and analytics and reporting can help managers understand where any problems or pitfalls still lie. 

Edited by Alicia Young