Inside Sales is swiftly gaining momentum over outside sales. Rapid advancement in technology has enabled the inside sales representatives to sell remotely and to have an edge over their field counterparts. Changing buyer behaviors and focus on cost-reduction are also some of the key factors accountable for this sudden transformation in the selling process.
However, to survive in this new environment of inside sales, the sales reps need to acquire certain skills to increase sales revenues and create satisfied and loyal customers. Inside Sales managers must plan for a proper coaching schedule to educate their reps on the required skills and must train them to become quota-crushers.
Here are 7 essential skills that every Inside Sales rep must expertise:
Have Absolute Knowledge of Product
The buyers these days make smarter decisions by researching everything about a product on the internet. Before they decide to talk to a vendor, they do their homework and are almost ready with their purchasing decision. Hence, it becomes crucial for sales reps to have complete understanding of their product-its features, USPs and how it can help the customer meet his business requirements. Managers should plan out a thorough product training program for their sales reps because the moment your buyer knows more about the product, you have lost the deal.
Master Prospecting Skills
Top sales prospecting skills that an Sales rep must know are- best time to call a prospect, type of conversation required to generate interest in the prospect, efficient cold calling techniques, asking for referrals from existing contacts who can be the ideal customers and so on. Sales leaders must make sure that the sales representatives master these skills over a period of time. Probably the beginners in this field can be trained by quota-crushing reps by simply monitoring their style of work and their daily routine for a few days.
Listen to the Prospect
Don’t talk much and listen to the prospect as much as you can. This way you will be able to detect the problem your prospect is experiencing and then offer a solution to it with your products/services. Try to solve his/her problem by explaining the benefits and USPs of your offering and how it will help them. This will happen only if you listen to your prospect actively.
Research Extensively Before Drafting a Sales Pitch
Prepare well before reaching out to a prospect. Based on proper knowledge of your product and its USPs and a complete research about the prospect and his/her company, create a sales pitch which is personalized and sounds appealing and convincing especially if you are in B2B sales. You can research about
- Prospect’s Company
- Career history of the Prospect (scan his/her LinkedIn profile)
- Prospect’s Industry and Competitors
- Online Forums on which h/she is active and the type of content shared and liked by him/her
Ask the Right Questions to Qualify the Prospect
All the leads may not be important to you. Never waste your productive time with leads who does not suit your criteria. Set up a qualification process and check the lead on BANT ( Budget, Authority, Needs and Timeline). Ask all the relevant questions to dig out these four details and then interpret if he/she qualifies as your prospect. Learn to make a good qualification decision after analyzing all these four points thoroughly. For example, if the lead doesn’t have the required budget to buy your solution then there is no point taking the discussion further.
Overcome Sales Objections
Sales reps must learn to tackle the roadblocks of objections that they might come across while dealing with a prospect. They must be trained not to fear rejection. Instead, conduct a deep research about the prospect and the issues or challenges that his company is facing currently and then anticipate the objections that he/she may raise. Keep the answers ready in advance and be well-prepared to tackle the prospect efficiently.
This is an utmost important thing for a sales rep to learn. According to The National Sales Executive Association “80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact”. But the truth is, seldom a rep follow this rule. Sometimes they don’t want to sound pushy but the fact is follow-ups are for relationship-building with the prospect at first and then selling the product. Set up a follow-up plan and always keep in touch with your prospect by sending relevant content such as newsletters, greeting and other industry-related engaging stuff on a periodic basis. This helps create top of the mind recall among the prospects regarding your offering and create a positive experience for them.
As a Sales Leader, ensure that your representatives expertise on all these necessary skills to become a successful player and have an edge over others in the marketplace, thereby closing more deals for your company.