I treat New Year as a milestone, both for my personal and professional achievements. I also wish that the New Year should be better than the bygone one. However, this can be only achieved if I am prepared to adapt to the evolving scenarios around me. This rule also applies to inside sales strategy. As an individual SDR (Sales Development Rep) or an organization, your goal for the new financial year is to outperform your last year’s target.
With technology and customer expectation changing very swiftly, you need to tap into the latest trends. So, without further ado, we bring to you the following drifts that will dominate the inside sales world in 2018-
# 1 Video Prospecting – Decision Makers are Preferring Non-text Communication
As per HubSpot’s list of “The Top Sales Trends of 2018”, video prospecting features right on the top. Additionally, according to Forbes Insights- “Video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives”. This means that top decision makers of an organization prefer non-text medium to understand and learn about a product.
In line with these trends, including video prospecting as an internal part of the sales cadence will be beneficial for your enterprise. Instead of sending out a purely text-based message, include the thumbnail of the video in the body of the email. Also, to capture the attention of the prospect make sure that the email subject-line includes the word- “video”. The key is to standout from the crowd and video prospecting is the way to do it.
# 2 Focusing on Account-Based Selling- Targeting Organizations Who Will be Most Receptive to Buying
Without a doubt, account based selling is an integral part of B2B selling. Rather than targeting an individual, you need to consider the business as a whole. For example, you should have a clear cut answer to the following questions before initiating any communication-
- What is your product all about?
- Who is it for? Is it for sole-entrepreneurs, mid-sized companies or large enterprises?
- What is the average length of the sales cycle?
- Who are the decision makers?- CTO, CEO, VP-sales etc.
- What is the total strength of the organization?
- What is the average revenue of the organization?
Answers to the above questions will make prospecting easy. You will be better prepared to answer any question about the enterprise and your product. SDR’s will be able to send out personalized message and subject line, thus improving the chances of the email being clicked.
# 3 Integrating Inside Sales and Marketing Teams – Bridging the Gap to Meet a Common Goal
The inside sales and marketing team can no longer work in silos. As per yet another HubSpot report, nearly 44% of inside group’s pipeline is generated by marketing. Prospecting quality leads and increasing the revenue is the common goal of both sales and marketing teams. Despite sharing a common goal, inside sales and marketing teams often are not aligned together.
Given the dynamic nature of the market and customer expectation, both marketing and sales team must act as allay. For instance, marketing team should keep the inside sales team abreast of with on-going campaigns- PPC, offline event, region-based event etc. This way the inside sales team will be aware of the nature of lead that they are expected to handle in the next few days. Similarly, marketing team should be involved during different stages of the buying cycle to get insight into pain points of the customers, latest industry trends, recommendation etc.
# 4 Adopting Fully Automated Sales Acceleration Software- Handling Everyday Tasks to Make Things Easier
The incorporation of sales acceleration software is on the rise and there is no slowing down in 2018. To boost revenue and improve sales pipeline, automation tools will assist in the following ways-
- Auto or predictive dialer will reduce manual effort and improve SDR’s efficiency by 300%
- Using automated email template can reduce the email time significantly
- Thanks to CRM integration, SDRs will get a 360 view of the customer
- Facilitate the development of sales cadence which will assist in prioritizing activities
- Automating to generate customized proposals
In the future, sales prospecting software is also expected to become more sophisticated. With the advancement of AL, Machine Learning and NLP, bots will be assisting you and the sales rep to identify leads, send customized messages and even prospect customers.
# 5 Higher Spend on Training and Development- Arming the Inside Sales Team with Better Skills
With jargons like “social selling”, “persona selling” and “high-touch sales points” doing rounds, it’s time to spend enough time and resources on the training and development of the sales workforce. You need to departure from the familiar cycle of- calling/emailing/messaging prospects and waiting for the response. Instead, SDR’s should engage in social media activities that are value driven.
Conduct exhaustive training session that is not just product, but also industry specific. Transform your sales reps as industry evangelist. The message is to not stick to the script, but think of more original and novelty ways to connect with prospects. This can only be achieved if enterprises set aside the budget for training and growth of the sales representatives.
Just like the technology around us, inside sales strategy needs to evolve with time. Remember that you have to win customers with the right mix of technology, common sense and originality. Only then will your prospecting efforts shall pay off.