This is Part 3 in a series about inside sales, a topic of increasing focus for sales managers and executives. Part 1 asked (and answered): What does inside sales consist of? Part 2 outlined what it takes to run a successful team. Finally in Part 3 we answer: How do you sell inside sales internally?
Some of you who saw the basic list of requirements in Part 2 may have noticed a missing key component. What is missing in that list is the most important part of running a successful inside sales operation: it must have executive management buy-in, support and belief in the channel.
Many organizations have an established inside sales team. For others it may be a thought and still for others it may not be a model that will get the best results for the organization. So what do you do if management does not yet support inside sales, and you want to start an operation in your company?
Here are 4 tips to help you introduce inside sales into your organization. This approach puts you in a strong position to achieve success.
Getting management buy-in sounds so simple, but without it you are brewing a recipe for disaster. It’s imperative that management understand and support the inside sales functions you have in mind.
1. Make executive support and buy-in a priority – Senior level support for inside sales it is one of the most — if not the most — important factors for success. In many cases it requires education. Seeing is believing and results produced are what matters most to earn management approval.
2. Educate yourselves about the results you can produce — So do you start on a small scale or jump in with a full-scale first effort? The best approach may be to conduct a pilot project to test inside sales. A pilot project provides a controlled environment to make initial refinements and adjustments and show success. But even a pilot project requires resources and planned steps for success.
3. Communicate your findings up and across your management chain — An important step for success in is collaboration between sales, marketing and IT. The results of a small-scale pilot in place can be shared with executive management across departments.
4. Show a repeatable process — Nothing gets buy-in better than results with a roadmap for systematic success. Keep the lines of communication open with executive management and share successes and results.
If you want to build or improve support for inside sales, these are a few suggestions to gain commitment with visible, measurable, reliable success.