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How Much Is Too Much Knowledge for Inside Sales Reps?


I have always over analyzed things. I was never told that there was no Santa, it just seemed highly unlikely to me so I stopped believing. (plus we didn’t have a fireplace so how was he getting in?) I never once thought my face would get “stuck like that” when I crossed my eyes and stuck my tongue out at the table or the starving children around the world never affected my desire to eat my dinner. After all, the food on my plate would go bad before it made it to them via mail and it was my Mother’s fault for over serving me. I was a well informed kid, but I believe my knowledge quest took away some of the fun parts of being a kid. (and gave my parents a lot of headaches)

Inside Sales Reps are kind of the same. One of the main problems I see is that they know too much about the product and it gets in the way of their true purpose: To make dials and qualify leads in or out. This is something that as a marketing or inside sales manager, you have to keep an eye out for. 

Your Inside Rep's walk a very fine line between helpful and destructive when it comes to product knowledge. Often times they lose prospects because they don’t know how to properly use that knowledge. They are prone to dumping out too much information on their calls and end up talking about features and functionality, that shouldn't be their focus. You want them to focus on the value of the solution and the value of having a discovery call with sales. They should pitch on how the product will help the prospect save money, make money or mitigate risk. Questions about features and functions are great, but they shouldn’t be answered by the Inside Rep. Get the prospect interested in the value of the solution and then use thet prospect’s product question as a way to transition to sales. “That’s a great question that I don’t have the answer for but based on what we’ve talked about I think it would be worth while to have a discovery call with a product specialist…”

If your Inside Rep doesn’t know how to transition they are probably engaging too long with a prospect. While of course your Inside Rep's should be able to have intelligent conversations with your prospect base; you do not want them answering all the questions a prospect has. The prospect needs to have unanswered questions. That is a big reason they talk to sales. If the prospect thinks they know everything there is to know, they will make a judgment as to whether or not the solution you are offering is useful. I don’t want prospects saying yes or no to my Inside Rep's. I want prospects giving that answer to the Sales Reps that I have trained to handle those answers.  Make sure your Inside Rep's stick to qualification questions and answering top level objections. Detailed questions about features, implementation, pricing, contract length, etc… should all be handled by the sales reps that you pay specifically to handle such questions.

Make the distinction as to what is an Inside Sales Rep topic and what is a Sales topic and make sure the two do not mesh. Keep detailed sales knowledge away from Inside Rep's as they have no need for it and generally do not know how to use it. Let them believe in Santa.


Well stated and I agree . . .  
Now when it comes to calling a prospect; we can never have too much knowledge. 
Paul Castain
Posted @ Monday, March 14, 2024 11:30 AM by Paul Castain
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