EP Huddle #36
Many companies view 'sales' as a one-size-fits-all department within an organization. But, it's important to understand that in the modern age of selling, there are specialties within the sales process that help create a more efficient and productive approach to customer acquisition and growth.
Here are the key sales roles that maximize revenue, reduce cost and allow for effective training, hiring, on-going coaching and management.
Inside Sales: Inside sales combines outbound and inbound sales activities with a mixture of phone calls, emails, webinars, lead generation, target research and a variety of other "in the office" activities. Inside sales professionals can generate new business, develop opportunities and move them through the sales process resulting in a purchase order. And, inside sales reps can also work with customers after the purchase to grow accounts with cross-selling, add-on sales and renewal sales. Inside Sales is cost efficient, leverages technology to have maximum activity while maintaining high quality, and can either be the primary selling strategy or compliment a field sales team to help keep field reps in-front of prospective and current customers.
Key Inside Sales Activities:
Sales Development: Sales development is a subset of inside sales that focuses exclusively on generating new business and filling the pipeline with new opportunities. Sales development representatives focus on heavy prospecting, nurturing leads to stay top-of-mind, and are focused on qualifying opportunities. Sales development is a critical component for any sales team, as new opportunities are the lifeblood of any company's success.
Key Sales Development Activities:
Account Management: Account managers work with existing customers to ensure a high customer experience. They typically pick-up the relationship with a client once a purchasing decision has been made, and account managers are responsible for coordinating the on-boarding process. Account managers also review product usage information, help resolve customer problems and make sure everything is working properly to guarantee the customer continues to renew.
Key Account Management Activities:
Field Sales: Field sales is the traditional approach to selling. Sales reps are out in the field, working with prospective customers and clients face-to-face. Field sales leverages the personal touch method, but can be inefficient and time consuming as the rep needs to travel from one appointment to another. Field sales is most effective for high value sales and heavy relationship sales. Field sales reps are most effective when appointments are scheduled, and much of the in-office sales work is completed for them. This means they should be partnered with an inside sales rep (at the very least a sales support staff member) to ensure the high activity work is also completed.
Key Field Sales Activities:
Sales support: Every sales department needs support, and it's in the best interest of the company to make sure the field reps or inside sales reps are not the employees doing this work. Sales support includes list generation, target customer research, data analysis, data cleansing, quote generation and purchase order processing. Sales support is critical for an efficient sales team. The work is important to ensure a successful sales campaign, but it's preferred to have a staff member who's not tied to a sales number completing these tasks. Revenue generating sales professionals need to spend most of their time in front of customers (phone or face-to-face).
Key Sales Support Activities:
As a team:
Talk about all of the key sales activities that are done by each member of your team. Are there certain activities that should be completed by someone else in the organization? Are your salespeople spending as much time as possible in front of customers or prospects? How can you generate more business by creating a more focused and streamlined process? Are there certain skills that any of the above roles require that aren't in-line with your current structure?
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