By Jeff Kalter
Skitterphoto / Pixabay
The field sales person used to be a lone ranger. He operated beyond the walls of the corporation, with his own schedule and tactics. Yes, he’d call in once in a while for help from customer service and marketing, but his efforts were not part of a finely orchestrated sales strategy.
Today the tides have turned. Technology has enabled inside sales people to be more efficient and successful in working with prospects and customers. CRM keeps the sales process organized, the Internet provides ready access to research, emails and social media aid in communication and online meetings can often achieve as much as the face-to-face alternative.
At the same time, field sales people earn 12-18% more than inside sales people. Plus, there are associated costs of travel and downtime while en route to the next client. Therefore, it’s not surprising that inside sales is growing at an average rate of 7.5% a year while outside sales is barely holding its own with an average increase of 0.5% a year.
That, of course, brings up the question of how to integrate inside sales with field sales to get the best of both worlds. After all, despite all the efficiencies of an inside sales team, there is still something incredibly powerful about face-to-face meetings.
Here are some insights to help you maximize sales results:
- Management Matters Start at the top, recognizing that whether generated inside or in the field, sales are sales. Someone needs to be accountable for the big picture. For example, you might want to have a field sales manager and an inside sales manager who both report to a sales director or sales integration director.
- Who Does What?
The sales director is responsible for working with both sales managers to determine who is responsible for what and why that’s the best use of resources. After all, there are many ways to climb a mountain, and you want to find the easiest, most efficient way to get to the top.
For example, it may be wise to have your inside salespeople work with out-of-the-way accounts because of the cost and time of a field rep traveling to those locations. Alternatively, you might decide to have your outside salespeople focus on more complex sales activities while the inside reps handle maintenance activities within the same accounts.
- Roll-Out Rigor When you roll out your sales integration plan, you don’t have to do it all at once. In fact, it’s better to take it one bite at a time. Such a process enables you to take care of any issues that crop up before you go nationwide. Also, you’ll learn about the financial impact of your new sales model. If it’s successful, that provides you with success stories. You can use them as ammunition to motivate other sales territories to embrace the change in how they do business.
- Compensation Consistency
While you don’t have to pay inside and outside sales people the same amount of money, it’s helpful to structure their compensation packages in similar ways. For example, if the Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community