Inside Sales Management – What Matters Now?


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It’s official! Our 2012 Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Report is now available. This report is focused on the inside sales (closing business) model.

Our fourth report since 2007, this year we tried something a little different. We asked survey participants:

How has managing inside sales changed in recent years?

Below, I’ve shared a few responses that really resonated with me.

A Shift In Management / Measurement

  • Inside Sales has changed from purely results driven, to metrics/efficiency driven, to a best blend of the two.
  • Managers have less and less time to work with their reps on managing their pipeline as they are overwhelmed with internal meetings and paperwork.

Buyers Have Changed

  • Customers are more informed and there is much more competition. More time than ever before has to be allocated to training reps on how to quickly and effectively demonstrate differentiation.
  • There’s less focus on “dialing for dollars” and more focus on “making the right calls”. While cold calling/prospecting is necessary to succeed, it’s also important to know why you’re calling.
  • Email has become a powerful means of communicating. Prospects can control conversations and refuse to engage in live conversation. As managers, we need to rapidly improve how are Reps are establishing credibility and connections with prospects. Conversations are still king, teaching reps to understand this is difficult.

The Talent Lifecycle

  • There is bigger need to recruit with more filters; PC/Net literacy; Phone Skills, B2B Sales Experience. These are table stakes for being successful.
  • Identifying good inside sales reps (hiring) and ramping new hires (getting them productive quickly) is a challenge.
  • Reps are expecting more with a better job market. Hiring, motivation and retention are more challenging.

What Matters Now

  • The difference between “field sales” and “inside sales” is shrinking due to the massive amount of information out on the net. Now, you don’t have to be face to face with the prospect/customer as much as you had to in the past. Inside sales is a becoming the mainstay/cost effective sales channel for more and more companies.

So, what do you think? How has managing inside sales changed for you in recent years?

Also, please feel free to take a look at our Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Report. I hope you find it helpful.

Find Matt on Twitter and Google+

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Bertuzzi
Matt draws upon his experience in technology product management and direct sales to help Bridge Group clients better define their customer profiles and gain actionable feedback from their target market.


  1. I agree with the point about sales reps not having to be face to face but would you advocate that this is the preferred method of selling or does it depend on the type of industry/cost of item being sold?



  2. That really is the question Tim.

    For me, it is all about pushing the ceiling up. Expanding the inside sales footprint in a controlled manner. Probably the most important piece is being willing to smash icons and ask again & again, “Why does this sale need a face-to-face?”

    Net net: I think buyers are changing must faster than sellers on this (and many other) front. If over the phone doesn’t faze them, it shouldn’t faze us.

  3. Good point. Personally I don’t have a problem with it and I am sure many companies are happy to discuss negotiations using technology. I wonder though, who is more likely to get the sale. The one who popped in for a meeting or the one who chatted by skype. I am sure there will be a time when it will be based more on the proposition than the person. I guess I was always told that people buy from people!!


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