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Software Can Help Automate the Art and Science of Inside Sales

 
October 14, 2016


By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Telemarketing Software Contributor


Business-to-business selling relies heavily on the inside sales team to move forward. Selling b-to-b isn’t like selling to consumers: there are multiple steps and stages to go through before you can even consider a face-to-face meeting to close the sale. For high ticket items, this means a lot of sales and marketing personnel need to do their due diligence before they even begin the process.


Inside sales or telemarketing is a critical part of the b-to-b team. Cold-calling is never fun (not for most people), but at some point it will be necessary, unless you plan to wait for customers to come to you. A great inside sales infrastructure that is backed up by automation, reporting and analytics can take a lot of sting out of the process, however. To begin with, inside sales needs a good prospecting process.

In a recent blog post for Richardson (News - Alert) Sales Training and Strategy Execution, Will Smith noted that the prospecting plan you put in place should be SMART, or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. The right offer at the wrong time won’t get you anywhere with b-to-b prospects, nor will the wrong offer at the right time. The correct strategy is to establish a daily or weekly process to work your prospecting plan, and the best process is one built on leveraging activities that work

“Because every sales organization operates a little differently and all industries have different requirements, it’s hard to generalize about the proper activities to undertake,” wrote Smith. “Instead, step back and think about what has worked for you in the past. ‘What activities have I done that help me identify new prospects or create new opportunities for my business?’ Think of this as an activity inventory. Take 10 minutes to brainstorm all the things you can do in a day that can lead to business: visit people, go to industry networking events, make phone calls, leverage relationships on LinkedIn (News - Alert) for introductions, etc.”

From here, you can rank activities from the most effective to least effective based on experience, and determine where you need to focus your efforts first. Next, you need to determine what the best outcome of these processes is. If it’s focusing on LinkedIn, for example, you may determine that gaining 50 introductions each week is the target. For cold-calling, it might be having a dozen live conversations or setting a certain number of appointments.

Telemarketing software is invaluable in this process. It can help automate time-consuming tasks (using dialers, for example, to increase the number of connections). It can make outbound calling smarter by bringing information from the CRM database to the outside sales person before the call connects. It can automate the appointment setting process. It can run analytics on sales activities and determine if goals are being met.

“Prospecting is a disciplined art and science,” wrote Smith. “The science part has more to do with the framework and process, while the art involves constant refinement and improvement.”

A great telemarketing software solution can help with both the art and the science aspects by ensuring that effective processes aren’t getting left in the dust. 




Edited by Alicia Young



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