In general, the most successful sales teams are those in which the inside sales force and the field sales force work as a team. The field service cannot use its full potential without the office service. Because sales staff can only work efficiently after office staff complete their tasks. But why is it like this?
What is inside sales?
Inside sales is part of the sales department. He supports the classic field service in the back office at the company headquarters and takes on both communicative and administrative tasks. Back office employees act as an interface between customers, field service and other departments of the company.
What is the office for?
Inside sales tasks are based on sales strategy and differ by industry, company, and experience. In higher positions, the internal sales department is involved in the design of the sales strategy and carries out analyzes and evaluations as well as sales control. The aim is to continuously optimize sales processes.
Other back office tasks can be divided into administrative and communication tasks as well as some technical tasks:
In the commercial field, the internal sales representatives are responsible for taking orders, preparing offers and processing orders. In addition, the coordination, planning and preparation of field service appointments as well as the maintenance and administration of customer data in the CRM system fall under the responsibility. In most cases, the back office is also responsible for creating and evaluating internal statistics for the field service, such as key sales figures and acquisition statistics.
Customer communication is an essential part of the duties of inside salespeople. You establish contact with potential new customers and are the first point of contact for customers with questions, orders and assignments.
Another important activity is entering data and information into the CRM system. The sales force can use it to prepare and carry out optimal sales conversations. At the same time, it makes it easier for field staff to acquire new customers.
Contact with customers goes far beyond the purchase or the conclusion of the contract. Employees work in both customer service and customer management. Inside sales represent an important key position between the field service and customers as well as other areas of the company.
Technical tasks in the office
In the sale of technical products or services, technical tasks are also part of the internal sales force. A certain technical understanding and a good knowledge of the products are then essential in the back office, because it is one of the most important interlocutors for the (potential) customer. The technical tasks of inside sales also include, for example, product management, purchasing, product development and logistics. Technical understanding of the back office can also play an important role when visiting trade shows.
What is the difference between Inside Sales and Inside Sales?
Even though the terms sound very similar, there are differences between back office and inside sales. Because unlike inside sales, a back office employee is rarely tasked with working in sales and is not responsible for generating sales.
Inside sales employees work in the customer center, in customer support, as well as with email and telephone and have the objective of selling products and services.
Inside sales employees support inside sales and field sales.
It is therefore absolutely necessary to link the areas closely with each other and to create transversal and central lines of communication. A customer relationship management (CRM) system is best suited for this.
What are the benefits of inside sales?
Increase efficiency with the right technologies
With the right software tools such as CRM, marketing automation, and social media opportunities, inside sales employees can connect quickly and easily with customers and prospects. This results in a shorter sales cycle and lower customer acquisition costs.
More efficiency in the field
With the support of the internal sales force, your sales force can work more efficiently. While office staff collect information, take on administrative tasks and coordinate appointments and client requests, field staff are well prepared for client appointments thanks to this preparatory work and can concentrate on the sale of products and services.
More quality in the lead pipeline and better revenue forecasts
As already mentioned, the back office is the interface between sales and the other departments of the company. Close cooperation between inside sales and marketing means the sales pipeline can be better filled with the right leads and more sales can be generated as a result.
Better collaboration in the company
Working with field staff in particular is not always easy, as there is little presence in the company. The back office then offers a central point of contact for all the other departments of the company and for all matters affecting the field service. This strengthens team cohesion and cooperation within the company.
Key figures always in view
Inside sales staff are also the first point of contact for important sales figures. You always keep an eye on them and can react quickly when optimization is needed.
Important Skills and Abilities for Inside Sales Employees
Communication – ensuring the flow of information
Good communication skills are essential for inside sales employees. On the one hand, you have to listen carefully to customers on the phone, on the other hand, you have to pass on important information to the field service. If they can’t keep information flowing, it can have fatal effects on the sales process and the customer journey.
Unlike in the field, employees rarely see their customers face to face. That’s why it’s much harder to build a real customer relationship just over the phone and email. Sellers should find strategies here to build personal relationships, for example with individual videos.
Inside salespeople must be absolutely reliable, both to customers and to their colleagues. Inside sales and field service depend on the back office to complete their tasks conscientiously and on time.
Customers expect deadlines to be met and information to be shared. If this does not happen, it will have a negative effect on the customer journey and, in the worst case, the potential customer will be lost.
Measures for a successful internal sales force
In order to make the work of inside sales as efficient as possible, you can take a few steps:
1. The right software
Manage and maintain customer data, develop leads, map sales processes, perform analytics, and keep tabs on key numbers. A CRM solution offers great added value for many inside sales tasks.
Your employees can centrally manage and retrieve customer information. It facilitates collaboration in sales, since inside sales and field staff also have real-time access to all relevant information in the CRM. In addition, analyzes can be performed automatically with just a few clicks, making it easy to track key figures.
2. Train employees
The office worker job description has changed in recent years. You need to have deep technical knowledge, bring sales skills and find ways to successfully develop leads. This is why internal sales people must also continue to develop: telephone training, training on social selling, complaints management… Depending on the sector, the company and the sales structure, other subjects are on the agenda. honor.
3. Cooperation between marketing and sales
For successful sales, it’s essential that sales and marketing find ways to work closely together and exchange ideas. The inside sales team plays a key role here. He is the spokesperson between marketing and sales. Take the time to establish communication channels here. This is the only way to create synergies.
4. Clear processes and strategies
Clear sales processes and strategies are important for inside sales success. Who does what at what time? When and how are advanced leads transferred to an account manager? All of these processes must be clearly regulated for a continuous customer journey and successful sales.
Conclusion: The sales office is essential for a functional sales department
Office workers are one of the most important cogs in the smooth running of business sales and turnover. Demands on employees have increased in recent years, making the use of efficiency-enhancing software such as CRM solutions and ongoing employee training all the more important.
A well-functioning in-house sales department brings many benefits to your business, such as constant optimization through continuous tracking of key figures, more efficient work for field service and inside sales, short reaction times in communication with customers and an increase in the quality of leads.