If you want to improve your inside sales team’s results, it’s best to try tactics proven by research or your internal metrics to guide your decisions. Here are some inside sales tips based on studies that could help you to crank up your sales machine.
Employ Best Practices When Making Calls
Getting the timing and frequency of calls correct is a significant contributor to sales success.
1. Respond Rapidly
When it comes to lead qualification, procrastination is your enemy. That’s because it’s 21 times more likely you’ll qualify a lead that you call within five minutes than if you wait 30 minutes to follow up. There’s even a 400 percent decrease in qualification rates if you stretch response time from five to ten minutes.(Source)
Are you waiting 30 minutes or more to call back? Imagine how you could multiply your results if you found a way to reach leads more quickly.
2. Call Often
If you make six call attempts, you have a 90 percent chance of contacting the individual. One lonesome call, however, gives you less than a 40 percent likelihood of connecting. (Source)
3. Time it Right
Make sure inside sales reps are busy on the phones qualifying leads on Wednesday and Thursday because they’re the days most likely to be productive. Also, note that your best times of day to qualify leads are 8 to 9 am and 4 to 6 pm. (Source)
There are many ways to use technology to increase efficiency and provide a better customer experience. Here are just a couple of examples.
4. Area and Country Codes Matter
Just about everyone has caller ID, which they review to determine whether or not to answer a call. When people do not recognize the number, they use their judgment to decide if the call is worthy of their time. They sometimes base their decision to answer or not on the area- or country-code. It’s twice as likely people will answer a “local” call (one with a local area code) than an out of state one. It’s four times as likely that they will answer a local call versus one from a toll-free number. (Source)
To double or triple your chances of connecting with a contact, you can use SIP trunking, which enables you to use your phone over an internet connection. You can buy virtual numbers with a variety of area and country codes, providing the look of a local company.
5. Provide a Single View of the Customer
Usually, there’s more than one individual involved in onboarding, retaining and growing a customer. It takes a team that includes inbound and outbound inside salespeople, an account executive, an account manager and marketing personnel. In many cases, disparate systems evolve to address different functions within the sales and marketing process. Most salespeople say it’s critical to have a single customer view. Unfortunately, only 17 percent of sales teams say they have an outstanding holistic view of their customers. (Source)
Make More Calls and Be More Productive On Them
The more time your reps spend engaging with customers, and the more engaging those conversations are, the higher the likelihood of turning leads into customers.
6. Manage Time Wisely
Reps only spend 36.6 percent of their time on customer-facing, revenue making activities. (Source) So you might want to determine how to minimize the non-revenue generating tasks that are consuming the bulk their days.
Not surprisingly, companies with the most significant sales growth maximize the amount of time their reps spend with customers.
7. Let Business Advice Lead the Sale
Customers expect reps to act as personal consultants, understanding their needs and helping them to achieve their goals. They do not want the rep to “sell,” but instead to guide them to the right solution that adds value to their business. (Source)
Use the Best Human Resources Strategies
As a manager, you must treat your reps like gold and learn the secrets of your star performers. Alternatively, if you’re working with a partner to execute your inside sales function, make sure they are operating based on the best practices shown below:
8. Reward Your Reps
On average it takes a rep a little more than five months to reach full productivity so high turnover can impact your results. To keep reps happy, you need to compensate them fairly. A 2017 study revealed that the average base salary of an inside sales person is $42,833. Their average total compensation, including commissions, is $96,299. (Source)
9. Analyze Top Performers
An analysis of the management practices of over 100 sales organizations found that the highest growth businesses know who their top performers are and have analyzed the skills, knowledge and personality traits that drive success. If you know what works, you can try to duplicate it through your hiring and training practices. (Source)
Within these nine tips, there’s a lot to tackle. However, each guiding principle has been proven through research to produce sales growth. Rather than being overwhelmed, make it a goal to conquer one tactic at a time. Perhaps start by finding ways to respond to leads rapidly. Track your results. Once you see the rewards of your efforts, you’ll likely want to address other opportunities on this list.