Inside sales leaders are the unsung heroes of business growth.
They’re at the front lines every day, making sure inside sales teams are motivated and hit crucial milestones. In essence, they make sure the high-growth revenue engines keep running at full speed at all times.
That’s why you’ll find this article packed with raw, unfiltered advice from leading inside sales managers that are shaping our industry and enabling remote salespeople to crush their quotas.
Keep reading to gain practical and strategic inside sales advice from nine management experts from TripAdvisor, Coca-Cola, Zoom, and more 👇
It’s one thing to circumvent gatekeepers and actually get your prospects to pick up the phone, but it’s an entirely new battle to get them to trust you. But it’s key: building trust is essential for long-term success in sales.
Danny Young, National Inside Sales Manager at Canon, explained how trust and preparation go hand in hand, “I believe that the most important part of sales is a clear call process. But, apart from that, being able to use cognitive and affective trust effectively is critical too.”
Consistency and clarity build trust with prospects. It all comes down to the pre-call intelligence, which defines the purpose, the contact call, and a proper scheduled and agreed-on follow-up after each interaction.
Marja Mikkilä, Inside Sales Manager at FedEx, elaborates, “It is always important to create a clear picture for sales associates of why their contacts matter, especially since not every call can turn into a sale. The call-cycle in all different parts of sales makes a difference, but it needs to be tailored to the customer.”
Nothing is more powerful than learning by experience. Continuous call coaching gets sales reps prepared for the real-life out there on the frontlines.
Zoom’s Inside Sales Manager Tobias Renk says it has been key in ensuring success for every team he’s led: “Think of it like sports: every athlete trains for more days than they play matches. In sales, we need to do the same. So make sure to block enough time every single week for coaching to help your sales reps become better at what they do.”
He continues, “But I also found that nothing is more powerful than getting into practice mode via role-playing. Thanks to this, your reps can truly experience and prepare for real-life out there on the frontlines.”
On top of that, continuous on-the-job coaching and feedback on calls and meetings are essential to helping your newly onboarded reps become more skilled and confident faster.
“Make sure to block enough time every single week for coaching to help your sales reps become better at what they do.”Tobias Renk, Inside Sales Manager at Zoom
Remember, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” as Peter Drucker once said. Metrics are the foundation for measuring success, identifying learning opportunities, and continuously improve sales results.
Whether identifying skill sets to create a combination of customer success and inside sales teams, or optimizing the conversion of free trial users – revenue wins can lie inside the most unassuming inside sales metrics. And don’t be afraid to use them to implement big changes.
Robert Harding, Manager of Inside Sales at Trivium Packaging explains, “We use extensive metrics to identify the strengths of each team member and then use those skill sets in our business plans to be more successful. As a result of focusing on skill sets to define roles, we achieved a 7% increase in overall sales.”
But Robert’s not the only one. Francisco Bañobre, Inside Sales Manager at UiPath reveals, “Thanks to the usage of metrics, I was able to identify lost revenue due to free trial users that weren’t compliant without Terms and Conditions, but were using our software for free. As a result, our inside sales reps could now engage with these leads more effectively and convert them into revenue with a shorter sales cycle.”
Customer Success can’t be an afterthought in today’s competitive landscape. Our leaders have seen a multitude of positive effects: increased average deal size, lifetime value, and customer commitment.
Alicia Ribas, EMEA Inside Sales Manager at Qlik makes an automobile analogy about introducing Customer Success in the negotiation stage: “Our customers don’t just buy a fantastic car. We sit right next to them as co-drivers and make sure to show them how to get the most value out of it.”
In addition, Aaron Owen, Inside Sales Manager at Verizon explains, “The truth is that the secret to success is building an addictive culture based on positive attitudes and strong relationships over time. I empower my sales team to build trustworthy relationships with their internal and external stakeholders.”
“Our customers don’t just buy a fantastic car. We sit right next to them as co-drivers and make sure to show them how to get the most value out of it. And that’s where Customer Success comes in.”Alicia Ribas, EMEA Inside Sales Manager at Qlik
Not all sales reps are created equal. Some are natural negotiators, others are top-notch objection-handlers. Each one has something special to offer, and best practices to share throughout the sales organization.
Coca-Cola Inside Sales Manager William Beaty shares an example – “We have an internal mentor program that brings together all 23 inside sales managers to share learnings about their respective customer portfolios.”
Consider implementing an internal mentor program that can help crowdsource skills among sales reps. Many of the top leaders we chatted with also advised that structuring sales teams based on personal background experience and market segment can also increase wins.
William continues, “It helps to provide new learning opportunities. Additionally, we create follow-up stretch assignments that leverage these learnings to help our team gain actual hands-on experience. As a result, each person on my team brings more to the table than just sales.”
Additionally, all sales reps at Tripadvisor specialize in specific products according to their strengths as Tony Santana, the Manager of Business Development states, “For instance, some focus on CPA, subscription, or CPC.”
Great leadership can only go so far without the help of technology. Make sure your sales reps are truly assisted through every step of their day with a next-generation sales engagement platform.
On that note, Alicia continues, “We run continuous A/B testing to measure what works best all across every important sales stage – from prospecting to closing. This could be, for instance, finding the best cadence for prospecting in a specific market using our sales engagement platform.”
Overall, fine-tuning your B2B inside sales team isn’t an easy task. But these six recommendations from inside sales managers will help you along the way.
Plus, an all-in-one inside sales platform, can help transform your team into a precise, systematic, and intensive machine.
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