In February we released our 2010
Sales Performance Optimization (SPO) report and it has already been widely
distributed and read. As a part of that
survey, we also looked at Inside/Telesales and are continuing to gather data in
this area for another couple weeks (Take the Inside/Telesales Survey
Now!). The Inside/Telesales
Performance Optimization (I/TSPO) report will be released the end of this
As we saw in this year’s SPO, 2009 was a tough year on
almost everyone (though there were some exceptional performers), and we’ll be
interested in seeing how inside sales fared.
We will not know the answer to this question until we have all the data
in, but already a preliminary look at the numbers reveals some interesting
The number one overall sales effectiveness initiative for
improvement for 2010 is Revising/Enhancing Our Lead Gen Programs. The chart below (Figure 1) shows that inside
sales is significantly happier with leads generated by marketing than by field sales. It might be tempting to attribute this higher
level of satisfaction with lower level requirements (i.e., smaller deal size,
less complex opportunities, etc.). But
could there be a more compelling reason?
In our 2009
Lead Gen Optimization (LGO) survey-typically completed more by marketing
types-respondents reported they generated one-third of all leads, while sales last
year reported just one-quarter (24%) generated by marketing. Yet in Figure 2 below we see figures reported
by inside sales nearly identical to these marketing reported percentages. More importantly, ten percent fewer leads are
self-generated by inside sales reps than by field reps. This means the most expensive resources are
being used to do among the least productive, albeit essential, activities. What gives?
Higher Utilization of
A possible alternative to the lower requirement assumption
above might be higher technology adoption and utilization. Figure 3 shows that inside sales have
implemented lead management systems at nearly twice the rate of field sales
(33% vs. 19%) and has a higher percentage planning to do so in 2010. This is true not only of lead management but
also sales analytics, sales knowledge management and sales force collaboration.
This should not be that surprising; after all inside reps
are, by definition, inside-where systems, support and technology are a
given. Inside reps are literally
confronted by-and sometimes surrounded by-technology. By contrast, field reps are mobile, generally
remote and often can be frustrated by a lack of immediate technical support.
So is this technology paying off? We will look to see the answer to this
question in this year’s responses. Take the I/TSPO survey now
and be part of helping define the answer.
As always, participants in the survey receive the subsequent report at
no charge. And you will be able to
download our current Sales Management 2.0 eBook immediately upon completing the
Looking forward to having you or the appropriate person in
your firm participate (Note: you’ll need to be inside sales manager level or
higher to answer many of the questions; individual reps will not have
sufficient data to complete the survey.)