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By Lusha February 23, 2018read more
Hi there, my name’s Lusha and I help sales professionals save time and meet their goals faster. Today I’m going to talk about how the sales process is evolving – and why inside sales is a better fit than outside sales for this new type of buying process. Read on to find out more!
You already know that the way people purchase has changed in recent years. Thanks to the advancement of technology and the internet, customers now do extensive research online before they even reach a sales rep – which means that sales teams must adapt accordingly. That’s where inside sales comes in, enabling salespeople to utilize technology for everything from pitches to presentations and product demos to closing deals.
In today’s world, customers are busier than ever and their time is limited – which is why an inside sales approach is often more convenient and can produce better results. In fact, according to a recent study inside sales teams are growing at 15% each year – and are expanding three times faster than traditional field sales roles.
Because technology acts as an enabler, it gives the edge to inside sales reps by allowing them to be much more efficient and productive than their field counterparts by doing almost everything remotely rather than spending valuable time traveling, or in the field. As a result, inside sales is starting to gain momentum over outside sales and virtual interactions are replacing face-to-face field visits. The days of long lunches followed by a round of golf are over: today’s salespeople are working smarter.
Improvement in video conferencing
Tools such as GoToMeeting, Skype, and WebEx mean that sales reps can now communicate quickly and easily with customers without having to physically be in a meeting with them – which means you can save a lot of time and money when it comes to travel because you can do more remotely. Think of the time and effort involved in organising meetings with 10 different people in 10 different locations – well, video conferencing can take the entire problem away. In fact, it’s expected that in the future 85% of buyer/seller transactions will happen online through social media and video.
Changing buyer behaviors and preferences
Today’s buyers tend to carry out most of their research online before they even contact a sales rep, which means they already know a lot about their chosen product. In fact, buyers are usually between 60-90% finished with the buying process before they even begin to engage. Added to the fact that your customers most likely have very busy schedules, and it’s easy to see why 70% of customers prefer inside sales and video conferences to face-to-face meetings.
Online customer information
Social media has transformed the way we sell by enabling salespeople to thoroughly research their prospects and find out their requirements and areas of interest by going through their online profiles. As a result, you can now have more personalized conversations and build real relationships with your customers. The facts speak for themselves: a staggering 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperform their peers.
Another benefit of inside sales is the significant cost savings it brings. Since the rise of inside sales, the cost of sales has been reduced by a whopping 50-90% compared to traditional field sales. With such significant savings, it’s no wonder that inside sales are set to replace traditional sales methods by the end of the decade. Did you know that the average outside sales call costs six times more than inside sales calls? And even without dialing technology, inside salespeople can reach out to more leads, connect with more decision makers and take more meetings in a day than outside sales reps – resulting in serious cost savings.
The way we work is changing
Like it or not, the corporate world is changing: businesses are moving away from traditional working hours towards more flexibility, people are working remotely and salespeople are closing more and more deals from their mobiles outside of office hours. Today’s workforce works smarter by working socially, virtually and inter-culturally – and inside sales supports that change, making for happier sales reps and satisfied customers.
The long list of inside sales pros speaks for itself. From the sales reps’ perspectives, inside sales is much more convenient than traditional field sales: there’s less need for travel, they can use their time more efficiently and as a result, they often enjoy shorter working hours. This means big benefits for business owners too, thanks to a happy and more motivated workforce, lower outgoings due to remote working and significant cost savings. And let’s not forget that inside sales is often more convenient for the customer, too, making it a win-win solution for everyone. Of course there are some cons to inside sales, with concerns including fewer chances for product demos and that inside sales might not be as personal as traditional sales, but on the whole, the positives by far outweigh the negatives.
Outside sales methods have worked for a long time though, so it goes without saying that there is still a time and a place for more traditional methods. Without a doubt the biggest benefit of inside sales is the relationship between salespeople and their customers; after all, it’s undeniable that face-to-face meetings help to strengthen relationships which can have a significant impact on sales success rates. Saying that, there are a fair few cons to take into account as well, with longer working days and a huge amount of travel naturally resulting in higher salaries – which means a much bigger cost to your business.
As you can see, the benefits of inside sales far outweigh those of outside sales – which is why inside sales should be a serious consideration for your sales teams going forward. Is your sales team ready to take the leap into inside sales and jump ahead of the competition? If the answer is yes, sign up to Lusha today to find out more!