According to research from Vorsight and Insidesales.com, jobs for inside sales rep’s are growing 15x times faster and than traditional field sales; VentureBeat’s Inside Sales Landscape shows there are 669 sales-related technology start-ups in 2017; and the category of sales acceleration technologies has already pulled in more than $1.2 Billion in VC investments.
Sales methodologies have changed, and ‘Inside Sales’ is trending faster than fidget spinners and the latest Minecraft meme. The trend bodes particularly well for companies looking to expand into international markets, as it lowers up-front risks and costs.
Especially in the technology sector—and even more acutely in sales of SaaS services—the time-honored approach to prospecting, qualifying, and closing sales revenues is morphing radically in response to new workforce demographics, new sales technologies, and new customer expectations.
“Source: VB | Profiles”
What does the inside sales trend mean for CEOs and CROs, and what should your sales organization be doing about it? Here are 4 drivers that explain the inside sales trend, and that your sales management exec’s need to understand right now.
1) Sales closing cycles are accelerating: While large enterprise deals in the past might have required 6-12 months from to courting-and-close, a well-oiled inside sales team might do the same in 30-90 days. How?
– Forget getting on an airplane and instead use inside sales to increase the velocity of sales processes. Especially with SaaS products, it’s not about getting 10 meetings per week anymore. It’s about giving prospects the tools and information to qualify themselves at your website, and then answering whatever questions remain so that they feel comfortable moving forward with a free trial or paid pilot.
– Inside sales processes better optimize the handoff from marketing to sales. According to research from HubSpot, at least 44% of inside sales’ pipeline typically comes from marketing, and marketing automation tools allow those better quality leads by analyzing and fine-tuning a larger volume of prospects at the top of the funnel.
– Try rapid iterations in your high-velocity sales approach, and double-down on channels and techniques that are gaining the traction. Start by creating buyer ‘personas’ of your ideal customer and then gather whatever data you can to analyze the buyer journey and decision psychology. Using a more data-driven approach, instead of relying on the ‘gut’ of your best sales reps can increase sales volume and lower your sales costs.
– And finally, make it painless (or automatic) to schedule a meeting or demo by using free online tools like Calendly or Doodle. Remember also to make it easy to sign the contract! HelloSign and Docusign can help there.
2) Workplaces are now global: Companies operate in a global context and target prospects can procure from anywhere. Inside sales teams can be located in any country.
– Connected technologies have created a global marketplace and workplaces where colleagues can be sitting in different parts of the world yet still collaborate effectively. Video messaging apps let people have a face-to-face experience with anyone, without leaving the office.
– Likewise, sales people can be hired anywhere in the world—to localize inside sales processes to suit local cultures, and to call on prospects in their time zones to provide support and that final push.
3) SaaS and Services are proliferating: Mega-$$$ enterprise software deployments are fewer and fewer, replaced by SaaS services and monthly subscriptions. Front-loaded field sales processes are too expensive and risky for these types of deals.
– Subscriptions services can be found everywhere now, from your dinner meal delivered at home to your e-mail host at work. The proliferation of SaaS technologies has matured beyond hosting and storage and security, and is now driving the rise of inside sales as the SaaS mentality and technology is finding its way into marketing and sales processes.
– Along with inside sales processes, sales compensation models for SaaS products should be calculated based on lifetime value of the deal (expressed as MRR or ARR or TCV) versus price.
– This influx of SaaS technologies and on-demand services is driving the trend to measure and optimize everything, including sales processes.
4) Workforce demographics are changing: Your target buyer is likely a Millennial who is not interested in having lunch and more likely to respond to inside sales’ self-help product materials and marketing’s digital funnel campaigns.
– A sea change is happening in the demographic of tech buyers and tech salespersons. Millennials already dominate the workforces in the majority of technology companies, and GenZ is entering now. These new workers have already impacted everything from HR policies to office food choices, and they are a major force behind the inside sales trend as well.
By using modern inside sales methodologies, companies can capitalize on these trends and lower their overall cost of sales. In particular, companies can reduce the risks and costs of sales expansion into new markets and geographies like Europe.
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SFE is a pioneer of the Sales-as-a-Service model, starting in 2003. More than 200 enterprises have trusted SFE to expand their sales into Europe and other international regions using our acclaimed Accelerated Sales Platform. Our Platform includes Accelerated Market Analysis, Accelerated Lead-Gen, and Accelerated Sales modules, which can be delivered as an integrated service or as stand-alone modules.
If your company is looking for the latest sales methodologies to reach enterprises and channels throughout Europe, SFE can help you. Let’s talk. –Rick