6 Challenges Inside Sales Organizations Face and How to Overcome Them


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Worrying about filling the pipeline and maximizing revenue is enough to keep any sales leader up at night. You know your team has tons of untapped potential, but for some reason, you can’t seem to move the needle. 

We’ve noticed that many companies struggle with the same issues on their inside sales teams, but they often struggle to pinpoint the root problem. 

Put an end to sleepless nights. Here are the top six challenges that hamper revenue for inside sales teams and how to address them.

1. Transitioning to Virtual Selling

Inside sales professionals thrive when they build meaningful, face-to-face relationships with their prospects. But, as COVID-19 made office visits and lunches less common, salespeople scrambled to learn how to connect with prospects in a new way.

Digital selling has been challenging for sales reps, but there are many ways to build a relationship with prospects over a video call. Here are a few quick tips to help your teams build rapport while selling virtually:

  • Schedule dedicated time for the introduction. Encourage your salespeople to take their time, develop a connection, and resist the temptation to talk about business right away.
  • Always turn the camera on. Video conferencing can help reps gauge their prospect’s body language and interest, so conversation flows more freely. If your rep has their camera on, prospects are likely to turn theirs on, too.
  • Prioritize calls over email. Even customized emails lack the connection of a video or phone call. Focus on building rapport on a call and using email primarily for follow-up notes.

2. Not Engaging with All the Decision Makers

Developing a relationship with a prospect is important, but they’re not the only person your sales rep needs to meet. 

Reps can’t afford to wait until the prospect is ready to introduce them to the team. Have them start asking questions early on about what the decision-making process looks like in their prospect’s organization. Which roles are involved in the process? How does procurement work? 

Have reps suggest that prospects invite key players to a demo or conference call earlier in the process. This is the perfect time to ask for the business and set out timescales to keep the deal moving forward. Have reps confirm that the primary decision-makers are present and provide all the information to review offers and plan budgets.

3. Not Doing Enough Research

Asking the right questions shows the prospect you understand their needs, but you can’t know the right questions without doing a deep dive into your client’s business.

Successful sales reps do as much research as possible to qualify a prospect before the call. Review the company’s social media accounts, website, and investor calls to see if they have a clear need for your product or service. Gather information on broader market challenges, potential risk factors, and investment plans to flesh out the assessment.

Reps should evaluate their research and prepare critical points to show how the product or service stands out in the market and meets the prospect’s needs on their initial call.

4. Process Chaos

Even if your team is moving full steam ahead, your sales reps may be losing opportunities due to efficiency failures. Without processes and clear expectations to support their work, salespeople navigating digital selling can burn out. High attrition rates and deteriorating morale led to sales teams burning through their pipeline and abandoning high-quality leads. 

Creating methodical processes that analyze each stage in your pipeline can guide your team and provide insights that help you drive revenue. Meanwhile, defining best practices and monitoring team performance gives your salespeople explicit goals to target.  Sharing process development also offers a unique opportunity for peer-to-peer coaching and development.

5. Not Including Your Team in Process Development

Creating new processes often seems daunting, but your sales team may have more valuable input than you expect. 

Your processes will impact how they work, and they may see opportunities that aren’t obvious to someone outside their role. Without their input, you could end up creating processes that impede their success and set your company’s revenue back months or years.

Ask your sales reps what best practices they’ve identified in their role. Sharing your process development with them and requesting their input can help you gain buy-in as they gain a clearer understanding of how decisions are being made. This offers a unique opportunity for peer-to-peer coaching and development, too.

6. Not Hiring the Right People

Even with extraordinary processes, sales teams can’t succeed without the right talent. Unfortunately, many companies experience hiring challenges because they don’t know what the ideal inside sales rep is for their business. 

Get crystal clear on what your organization is looking for in a salesperson. The best sales reps intently research, listen, and use problem-solving skills daily. They’re also resilient and take feedback readily. Inside sales reps hear “no” a lot, but a strong salesperson needs to stay engaged and motivated to improve their pitch and become more effective in their role.

Once you know exactly what you’re looking for in your next employee, develop a vetting and interview process that helps you identify those qualities.  Start by being 100% transparent about every candidate’s role and responsibilities, the client, and the organization. Then, streamline interviews by designing a blueprint or strategic questions to benchmark candidates and identify the strongest applicants.

Turn Your Inside Sales Challenges into Opportunities

Finding what’s impeding your inside sales team is one thing, but addressing those challenges isn’t always easy. At ServiceSource, we’ve dedicated over 20 years to help inside sales teams thrive by solving these top six challenges every day. 

Ready to address what’s holding back your inside sales team? Contact us today to reach your team’s full potential. 

Peter Flynn
Peter Flynn is the CRO at ServiceSource. He oversees global account management and outside sales organization and is responsible for expanding existing engagement with the world’s leading iconic brands and winning new logos. Peter is passionate about creating innovative sales methodologies, CS Strategy, and customer journey mapping. Prior to ServiceSource, Peter held a variety of sales and sales management positions at large corporations, such as IBM, as well as various software startups. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in management and labor relations from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.


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