10 February 2017
According to the Harvard Business Review, there has been an increase in the number of ‘inside sales’ jobs at the expense of jobs for traditional sales people working in the field (Source).
The same research indicates that many B2B organisations seem to be making inside sales a priority. In the past inside B2B sales has been the dominant sales model for reps in SaaS, tech and B2B. We are beginning to see this stretch out into a variety of B2C industries selling high-ticket items.
What’s behind this change?
The way customers buy is changing – the digital marketplace has provided a new way for people to research, review and communicate with brands, products and sales people. Email, social media and applications including live chat with sales teams are increasingly familiar rather than strange or taboo. In fact they are increasingly preferred. There are many new ways to build customer intimacy and interaction and with each year that passes, more and more customers are jumping on board.
Drive for cost reduction and effectiveness– across the board and in particular for B2B sellers, there is a real push to achieve a reduction in business costs. When correctly implemented, inside sales can reduce the cost-of-sales by 40-90% relative to field sales, while revenues may be maintained or grow.
The line between field sales and inside sales is blurring. An interesting development in itself, it does provoke a new question: Do organisations really need to keep their sales ‘in house’, or is there a business argument for outsourcing this function to external agencies?
Taking the inside, out. What about external agencies?
Can you further reduce the cost of generating a sales pipeline for your external sales force by using an external inside sales function? Is outsourcing an option? For many B2B organisations this is a sensitive and delicate question.
High performing sales teams are also high tech – Engaging an external agency to assist in managing digital lead and demand campaigns allows companies to maximise on the latest sales strategies and practices without needing to invest in specialist full-time staff, new technologies or training and development.
We will address this in more detail in future posts. In the meantime, see our post on successful B2B sales strategies.
What say your customers?
According to benchmark study, 70% of customers were identified as not even wanting an in-person meeting. Key decision makers are quite receptive to doing business remotely. In fact, the majority of decision makers polled had taken an appointment or attended an event that came from an email or cold call. As telling as this research is, your products and services are unique to your industry. For many, removing in-field sales altogether would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
An effective alternative could include engaging a specialist B2B agency that can assist either on a campaign or product-line basis to manage lead and demand generation campaigns. This could include activations such as customer loyalty campaigns, email marketing and target telemarketing campaigns.
Where does your business sit in 2017? For the last sixteen years our team has brought brands and customers together through inventive and inspiring marketing and creative communications. To discuss how we might collaborate with your internal sales operations, please get in touch today.