Inside sales is very much different from field sales. Convincing a person from face to face interaction is quite simple then lining up a sales meeting or selling over the phone. Also, the changing business environment has shown a drastic shift from field sales model to inside sales model.
The smart and tech savvy buyers of today’s generation don’t have time to physically meet the sales person, rather they have the option to explore opportunities online. Therefore, it becomes the duty of an inside sales rep to proactively engage with his prospective buyers. Thus, managers need to ensure a well established inside sales training structure in place to curb the hurdles that every rep faces with the customer on call.
However, inside sales training involves various challenges that the management needs to overcome for achieving maximum success. Let’s take a look at the core challenges to raise awareness and to better understand the experiences of each rep:
Fixed training structure: Organizations need to understand the importance of the training programme to ensure complete engagement of reps. Many a times these coaching modules need to be tailored based on the new and trending trends in the market. But these days, management in the rush to achieve has failed to understand the importance of a tailored structure. They keep on following the same old module for ages due to which they keep on losing prospects to competition since they are not updated and implemented with the right tools. The training modules should ensure that the concepts are applicable and impactful with measurable results upon completion. Thus, the core objective of the programme should be to deliver the key selling message to the team.
Limited use of Live scenarios: Inside sales training structure with live examples and scenarios is one of the best ways to educate the reps. Training reps in a closed room with boring lectures and few powerpoint slides can provide no additive benefit to your team and can act as one of the biggest hurdles to their success. In order to make the training sessions more interesting and lively, managers can train the inside sales reps on ongoing calls with the customer. The managers or supervisors can barge in between or snoop the live calls to help the reps deal with an unfamiliar situation. With this kind of practice, managers can ensure that their team has hands on different kind of situations or queries to be handled.
Worn-out elevator pitches: The old sales training strategy included the one minute sales pitch polished and ready to rip the listener. Buyers of early days didn’t have much knowledge about the other options available in the market and hence it was easy for reps to convince the buyers with the one minute pitch. However with time the buying trend witnessed lots of changes. Today, if an inside sales rep calls a buyer with an intention to sell with that one minute pitch, he is ripped off with numerous counter questions. The elevator pitch needs to be altered and adjusted according to the questions or queries being raised by the customer. Thus, it is advisable for managers to provide a flexible pitch to the sales reps that can pull them out of any situation.
Lack of Gamification: Inside sales training programme can be amplified with gamification. Corporate sectors are witnessing an increase in gamification and it has proven to be a top-notch learning strategy with viable results. Gamification as an on-trend learning strategy is one of the effective ways to record success and to motivate the newly hired sales team. Often organizations underestimate the value of sales gamification and consider it as a waste of time rather than looking it as an ongoing learning activity. Managers should remember that the harmony of inside sales teams motivation and their performance can only be maintained with gamification.
Poor support from management: Specifically the management should help the reps in understanding how the training programme will help them in achieving the company’s strategic sales initiative. But these days organizations are much more interested in results than processes. Due to this they tend to incline more towards sales meetings and reviews rather than sales training. One should understand that the sales training helps an organization in achieving its strategic goals with improved employee morale. Thus, the leadership should be proactive in estimating the need of sales training in order to lay a strong foundation for their sales troops.