Your Guide to Shifting From Outside Sales to Inside Sales

August 10, 2021
By Greg Kallinger

Like it or not, the world of sales has changed in the post-COVID era. Even before COVID-19 hit the scene, outside sales professionals were already noticing a significant shift toward inside sales and digital marketing. After COVID-19, however, the need for flexibility, agility, and inbound solutions has become crucial to success in modern sales and marketing organizations.

Can Inside Sales Compete?

The reason for hesitancy by some businesses to embrace the inbound model is the belief that there’s simply no replacement for face-to-face interaction in the field. While nothing will ever be able to replace the experience of selling in-person, technology has provided new tools that, when used with purpose, can be just as effective in the long run.

A successful inbound sales system requires a willingness to embrace change and the opportunities it provides. For example, videoconferencing allows for one-on-one interactions with leads in real-time, but if you’re not willing to rethink presentation skills for effective on-screen interactions, you’re likely not going to get the most from the use of these technologies.

Making the Transition

It’s understandable that transitioning from outside sales to inside sales can be challenging, but the process doesn’t have to be difficult. Below are some tips to help you maximize your efforts and take advantage of emerging practices designed to generate more leads and close deals:

Training Your Current Sales Team

Now is the perfect opportunity for your outside sales team to learn new skills as you transition from a focus on outside sales to inside B2B sales and marketing.

Whether this means learning new CRM software, practicing digital communications skills, or anything in between, your team should lean on the knowledge and experience for greater success during the transition to inside sales.

Build an Inside Sales Team

There is one bright spot emerging for businesses in the post-COVID era: Everyone is in this together. You’re encouraged to put together an inside sales team that can learn and transition together.

Building a team can provide an opportunity for experienced sales veterans to learn new skills while also giving newer sales professionals the chance to learn from seasoned pros. When everyone learns together, everyone grows together for the benefit of the company and the customer.

Cross-Functional Communication

When building an inside sales team, you can also connect roles more efficiently. When you’re working in the field, it’s easy to figure that the marketing side of things is humming along back at the office.

With an inbound team, however, everyone needs to work together to achieve the goal of closing the sale. Marketers like to call this the “sales feedback loop” in which effective communication across functions and teams is vital to an effective inbound sales organization. Through this process, you may discover powerful human assets that you didn’t know you had.

Get to Know the New Funnel

Along with the changes that inside sales can bring to your organization, you may also need to rethink your funnels. Outside sales teams traditionally follow a lead from the first interaction through to conversion, but inside sales teams do more than this.

Inside sales is about fostering a relationship that builds across various platforms. The goal is to generate interest that brings the lead into a purposefully designed ecosystem. From there, the sale is supported through a growing relationship that generates ongoing interest in the brand and eventually the products and services being offered.

Marketing and Sales Are One in the Digital Age

In a traditional sales relationship, marketing often plays a supporting role in closing the sale. However, an organization focused on inside sales, intertwines digital marketing with the sales process.

Part of the reason for this is that attention spans are often stretched to the limit these days. A lead no longer becomes a captive audience who has time to sit and mull over a proposal. Instead, a Skype or Zoom session with a lead may compete against emails and text notifications, social media updates, and more – all of which are constantly fighting for attention.

This means that your marketing team needs to involve itself throughout the process to ensure that you are meeting the lead where they are. In the digital space, this means utilizing social media platforms as well as search engines and email marketing.

Embrace the New Direction

In the end, keeping an open mind about the possibilities for success is the key to making a smooth transition to inside B2B sales and marketing. You’re not alone in this journey, and there are many professionals out there who are facing the same tough decisions. What helps is to have a partner on your side who can provide guidance, strategy, and support.

To learn more about making the exciting transition from outside sales to inside sales success, contact OM Performance Marketing today.

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Greg Kallinger

Director of Business Operations
OM Performance Marketers

As the leader of Business Operations for OM, Greg mostly works behind the scenes helping to create scalable systems and processes that enable the team to focus on solving their client’s challenges. His career experience stretches across functions (finance, planning and operations) and large corporations (Lockheed Martin and CHEP) where he has found his passion for using data to simplify and solve problems that achieve results. When he isn’t working, he’s outside running, biking or swimming.

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