Top B2B Blogs

B2B Marketing

Featured Author on Business 2 Community

AG on IT Marketing World

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Browse by Tag

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

4 Steps to Getting the Most out of your Inside Sales Reps

Today's Sales Prospecting Perspectives post is from Chris Lang, AG's Sales Director.   

Your inside sales reps have a tough job. I liken it to asking women if they will tell you how much they weigh. 98% of them will tell you no (some more colorfully than others), 1% will give you a vague range and then 1% will actually tell you. Sometimes management makes it even tougher for the reps to do their jobs by setting up road blocks along the way. Take the same analogy I was using above only ask the question while wearing a t-shirt that says "Skinny Police" on it and see what happens. What I am trying to say, in my own weird way is, don't make your inside reps wear the "Skinny Police" shirt. The job of management is to make the inside reps as successful as they could possibly be. There are a couple of things you can do (or avoid doing) to help your team out.

Calls Come First

The inside sales team should focus on outbound dials. Don't fill their schedules with non-calling related activities. Sure, we all have meetings and there will be some occasions when your reps may have to do something other than make dials, but keep this to a minimum. Inside reps should be able to log 100 activities per day (mix of calls/emails). If they are constantly running reports, making their own lists and sitting in on countless sales and marketing meetings; they won't have time to do the most important task of the day, make calls. Cold calling is the number one priority, everything else can wait.

Hire a Second Inside Sales Rep

This pertains to a lot of the smaller companies out there with a couple of outside reps and one inside rep supporting them. If you have the ability to, you should bring on a 2nd rep. The inside sales job is a very lonely one to do all on your own. Inside reps can become discouraged during down months. Having that 2nd rep gives both of them someone to share ideas with, and more importantly someone to compete with. You can expect your production from your inside team to more than double when you bring on a second rep as they bounce ideas of off each other and compete for your love!

Compensate the right Behavior

A lot of companies compensate based on the number of "leads" passed on a monthly and quarterly basis. While this can and should be a factor, it should not be the largest portion of an inside reps bonus package. When you incent based on the number of leads you are asking the reps to pass a bulk of leads that hit the bare minimum qualification needed to get paid. Rather than compensate based on the number of leads, compensate based on successful leads. I suggest having two main categories in your compensation package: number of leads that go to move into a "next step" after the initial meeting with your sales team and % of leads that are deemed "successful" by the sales team. Compensating based on the number of leads that move into a second step will ensure there is a good flow of opportunities and factoring the % in will make sure the leads are of the highest quality.

"But Chris, how about paying them based on closed business?" Great question imaginary reader. Giving a kicker for closed business is something I do myself, but I wouldn't make this a huge part of the compensation package. That is putting a lot of their pay in the hands of other people. Your reps could pass great leads and not get paid because a sales rep botched a call, proposed the wrong solution, didn't put forth the right amount of effort, etc... It can create a contentious relationship between the inside and outside reps.

Show Them Some Love

Try to make your rep's day a little fun. As I said before, this is a tough job. Prospects make it a point to avoid inside reps and when a rep does have a conversation the prospect's tone is often filled with skepticism and roadblocks. It is our job as managers to foster an upbeat and positive attitude in their workplace. Run some fun contests. Recognize the rep when they are putting forth a big effort even if the returns haven't developed yet and make a sales executive tell the rep when they have delivered an outstanding opportunity to the sales team. It is unreal how much production will increase when people feel appreciated or when you offer a $20 Dunkin Donuts card for "Most conversations in a day". Conversely, it is very predictable that production will drop if you crush your inside reps and only focus on the negatives when they are having a down month. I'm not saying that you should sugar coat poor performance, but focus on what they do well and how they can get better rather than why they stink that month.

Today is Monday. It is the toughest day of the week. Your reps are tired, possibly a bit hung-over (stupid late night Red Sox game) and they could probably use some positive motivation to get the week kicked off right. Have you put them in the best possible position to find out how much someone weighs?


I like your thinking here.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2024 8:09 AM by Joe Legendre
Comments have been closed for this article.