By Neil Smith
The most pragmatic and logical definition of Inside Sales is: Inside Sales is “remote sales,” most lately known as “virtual sales,” also the kind of professional sales that’s done remotely. On the contrary, Outside Sales or traditional Field Sales is done face-to-face and in person. More and more companies now have an inside sales based component to their sales structure. And this component is gradually growing when compared to outside sales. The major reasons for the drastic change in the form and method of sales are dependent on 5 factors.
Globalization and Increased Virtual mobility
Webinars have been in vogue for a while now presenting a PowerPoint deck online while explaining it over the phone is old technology, and not entirely effective. But the birth of more interactive, multi-media & conferencing tools that combine images, demos and video of participants is getting precisely to recreating the “we’re here together live” experience of outside sales. It’s allowing participants and parties to see each other, use non-verbal communication methods, and keep prospects engaged during the session
Advent of Social media
A primary significance of social media and social profiles for the sales process is to distinctly understand who the prospect is – what he or she cares about and their expectations. It’s all about relationship-building which is a key asset in any sales process. Previously it was difficult to execute this without being there in person. Now, you can learn sitting far off, more about the prospect and use the information before, during and after the interactions from a far to build rapport and establishments
Need for work/life balance
Inside sales used to be a role for the junior sales reps. It was a training ground where the minor leagues are graduating to higher-paying field sales roles. But, those outside sales reps are increasingly being tired of being on the road and being away from their families. These reps want to stay in sales, continue earning high commissions, but do so without even remotely the same level of travel. They’re being employed by set ups who are leveraging their sales skills, experience and expertise for growth
Dropping telephony costs
This feels tactical, but it’s a major issue for set ups that, in the past, have compared long-distance bills with T&E budgets for their field teams and sales reps. Long distance via traditional phone carriers is highly pricey, but on the other hand the cost of doing business all day through phone and Web (especially, with VOIP phones, Skype and other popular Web-based means of prospecting and meeting) has decreased by a great margin
Changing buyer behavior & preferences
As a seller, we mostly prefer to have face-to-face meetings. Earlier, our buyers wanted that too. But more often, buyers refute that level of commitment. They’re busy as ever, and are happier having a quick call or video conference vs. an in-person meeting. It feels faster, flexible and nowadays more reliable as well and the same business and outcomes are turning out to be excellent
The whole ball game revolves in and around money whether it is field or inside sales , now in a B2B or a B2C scenario, inside sales is that structured magnet which has been off late been able to fit in amazingly .The average cost of an outside B2B sales call is $215-$400 per call. An inside call, on the contrary, averages only to $25-$75. Now, we have 22 million salespeople. But this number is predicted to be reduced to 8 million by the year 2020. Mainly, because the customer won’t anymore need to engage early in the sales cycle: 57% of the buying process is done before connecting with a salesperson. It is expected, that 85% of buyer-seller interactions will happen only online through social media and video conf. Customers will not require a field salesperson to come on-site for a long lunch followed by a golf game.
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