Lacking clarity in your sales process? Adopt 14 experts inside sales strategies to up your game today👇🏽
When leading a sales team:
- You hire and train people
- You set expectation
- You give them targets and leads
- Most of them seem disinterested
- They easily give up when the conversation becomes difficult
- They seem to be blindly chasing targets instead of trying to understand what is going wrong and how to fix
What if you can,
- Be assured that your team is putting their selling efforts on the right track
- Know that they are working with the right mindset and implementing the right strategies
- Track and monitor to make sure that they are always doing it right
That’s exactly what we will cover in this article with 14 expert sales strategy examples and 10 best inside sales tips from top sales trainers in India
If you’re here you’re probably trying to know ways to increase your sales performance and what strategies can you/your employees employ to increase productivity and ultimately the organization’s growth. We’ve got all the probable strategies you can use to help boost your sales and achieve monthly targets which may seem unfathomable as of now.
However, before moving on to the sales strategies one may use for enhanced performance and increased profits, let’s understand the concept of sales, what exactly is ‘inside sales’ and what are the best inside sales tips to make more sales.
Outside Sales vs Inside Sales: Which is Best for You?
In the simplest terms, sales are nothing but a transaction that happens between two parties, wherein one party, which is the seller, sells his/her goods to the other party, which is the buyer. The buyer pays for this purchase either via money or any other form of payment agreed upon by both parties. It is essentially a transactional process between a seller and a buyer.
In an organizational setup, this refers to selling the product or service provided by the company. However, the entire process of sales isn’t exactly this simple. In order to have a profitable sales division, the sales team needs to find the right target audience, build relations with prospective clients, maintain these relations so as to retain clients, and actively search for new ways to attract new clients and increase sales.
These sales were traditionally made in person, such as store visits by customers in a garments store. Such sales wherein the sales rep contacts potential clients in person are called ‘Outside Sales‘.
‘Inside Sales‘ refers to selling products and/or services remotely, from an office-based setup (or even from one’s home, as was the case during the Covid pandemic). Inside sales representatives use digital means such as emails, phone calls, video calls, and other online mediums to sell their products and/or services.
It is the most dominant form of sales practiced by sales professionals in Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Customer (B2C) organizations selling luxurious goods and/or services, and Software as a service (SaaS).
Inside Sales departments are typically divided into two divisions:
- Sales Development Professionals: These professionals contact existing leads and try to sell their products or service to them. Leads these representatives to focus on are generally from small businesses or even individuals who entered their information in the company’s website or app and performed an action.
- Business Development Professionals– These professionals contact bigger businesses and buyers with more buying capacity. Such leads are generally generated through big-scale corporations.
Also read: Sales Vs Marketing – Key Differences to Decide Which is Best for You
Best Inside sales strategies used by experts:
1. Know your Product
The key to selling something, whether a product or a service, is to know what you’re selling and have a deep understanding of it, its need, the solutions provided by it, and how it is beneficial for the buyers.
This is where the average sales representative goes wrong. They skip the part where they understand what they’re selling, and dive straight into approaching clients. However, without the right knowledge about your product or service, you will not be able to convert your target audience into actual paying customers.
A prime example of this strategy would be Steve Jobs, the visionary who is now known worldwide for his creation- of Apple Inc.
Jobs knew everything about his product, Apple Computer I, and that is what allowed him to sell a highly unconventional product at that time. Since he was convinced about the product, he was able to convince others as well, even those who had little knowledge about how computers work.
2. Setting Goals/Targets
This is a sales strategy suggested by almost every expert and even practiced by every sales department. Obviously, the ultimate goal would be to increase sales but by how much?
That is where goal setting comes in.
You set very specific goals for a duration period, which, ideally, has to be completed by all the sales representatives. These goals are predetermined and are based on the organization’s growth aspirations and needs.
Almost every company, be it your tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, or OnePlus, or even your food services, such as Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, etc. work according to the targets set by the sales department beforehand. These targets are set for profits, and when these targets are met by sales reps, it’s safe to say that the company is profiting and ultimately growing.
3. Prioritize your Goals
Setting your monthly/quarterly goals is just the first step, however, what is equally important is prioritizing which goals are more important than others. This means while setting goals and distributing them amongst your representatives, ensure that the high-priority goals are being fulfilled first.
For example, completing the monthly target of sales would be placed as a higher priority than approaching prospective customers. Not contacting the desired number of new prospective customers but still fulfilling the monthly sales target is still better than contacting a huge number of potential buyers and ignoring the monthly sales target.
Chunking is a strategy employed by people to remember lengthy and complicated information effectively and easily. For example, the number ‘194708082022’ is an unusually lengthy number for someone to memorize quickly. However if it is broken down into ‘1947’ (the year of India’s independence), ‘0808’, and ‘2022 (the current year), it then becomes easy to remember the entire number.
In the same way, in sales, huge targets can be broken down into smaller ones and completed one by one, preferably on a priority basis. Trying to reach big targets can become overwhelming in the beginning, since there is so much to be covered.
However, breaking a big goal into several smaller ones, and then completing each one individually makes it easier and less stressful.
5. Have a sustainable public image
Having a public image is one thing, and sustaining that public image even when your brand is not advertising to the customers is what retains customers and ensures the company’s growth in the longer run.
This is exactly what Domino’s Pizza Inc. does. While delivering their pizzas, Domino’s isn’t stingy when it comes to giving out their seasoning. They readily give out extra seasoning with each order primarily to have a sustainable brand image. Even after the customer is done with their meal, they will keep the leftover seasoning packets with them. This makes them unconsciously more drawn to Domino’s since they are seeing those seasoning packets lying around in their kitchens.
Hence, make sure you develop such ways of making customers remember your brand even when you are not advertising.
6. Promotional Offers and Trials
Who doesn’t love offers and free trials provided by brands?
Everyone loves free items, and customers often look for promotional offers from their favorite brands.
However, companies, such as Rage Coffee, don’t give out free products and put up promotional offers just because they’re feeling generous. It is a way of building healthy and sustainable client relationships and promoting a positive brand image to the masses, even those who are not buying from the company.
Rage Coffee is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company that operates digitally. You will find offers and free goodies whenever you visit their website, and this in turn garners more people to purchase from their website, hence converting potential clients into actual paying customers.
7. Flash Sale
A flash sale is an interesting strategy generally employed by companies that produce goods on a larger scale. In a flash sale, a product is made available to the customers only for a very limited period of time and at a discounted rate.
This offer lures in a large number of buyers in haste of buying the good before it runs out since the quantity of this product is limited. Flash sales induce impulse buying, a typical consumer behavior wherein consumers impulsively buy a product, in this case, because there is a high chance of the product going out of stock in a short period of time.
OnePlus Technology Co. Ltd. knew this trick and employed this inside sales strategy at a very early phase. Their flash sales were highly valued by customers, which further increased the brand’s popularity. It is evident by OnePlus’s prominence in India that this strategy sure did work for them.
8. Have an Emotional Appeal
Marketing your product or service using an emotional appeal can be incredibly powerful if done correctly. One major example of this technique is The Coca-Cola Company. The company marketed its globally popular beverage, Coca-Cola, in a very emotional way.
The campaign focused on reconnecting with your family and loved ones, and the company successfully linked this with coca cola, and how the two can be shared at the same time. This blew up the company’s sales.
9. Use Social Issues to your Advantage
Social issues such as racism, global warming, hate crimes, poverty, sexism, etc. invoke strong feelings in the minds of the majority of the public. Knowing how to address these issues in such a way that brings forth a positive brand image of your company can help you increase your sales immensely.
This can be seen in the recent consumer behavior trends, wherein consumers like to purchase goods and services from companies that address social issues and work towards social causes.
Airbnb, Inc. used this strategy especially well when controversy regarding discrimination by one of Airbnb’s hosts against a customer made the news. Airbnb launched an all-inclusive campaign that focused on them accepting people from all genders, races, ethnicity, nationalities, and socio-economic statuses.
This promoted a sense of warmth and inclusivity in the audience’s minds and helped Airbnb’s sales increase significantly.
Providing your sales reps with incentives and bonuses upon completing a set of targets can be an extremely beneficial way of motivating them to perform better and invest more time and effort in their jobs, which eventually leads to the company’s growth and profit.
McDonald’s provides their employees with incentives such as “Employee of the Month.” Whoever performs the best out of the employees in a branch gets his/her picture on the frame of this title.
This might be a small gesture by the company’s side, but it has a significant impact on the employees since it engages them to work more and have healthy competition amongst themselves in order to get that title.
11. Creating Urgency
Making your product or service look urgently required as if the customer needs it right now, is a great strategy to help convert potential clients into paying customers quickly and efficiently.
If there is a sense of urgency in customers regarding purchasing your products or services, your sales performance will automatically grow. Urgency in sales targets the clients’ thoughts of missing out on buying the product or service and makes them act immediately.
12. Help your Customers find the right Product/Service
Say your company offers a range of products and/or services. This may confuse customers as to which one should they purchase, and which one would fit their needs the best. This confusion may drive away many potential customers, hence reducing your sales performance.
SkinKraft, a company that provides skin care products, uses this strategy very effectively. They personalize their shampoos to suit the needs of a customer. Customers simply answer a few questions about their scalp and after the quiz is complete, the website automatically provides them with the best-suited option for their needs, simply eliminating the effort required to choose from a number of options.
13. Use a CRM Software
Sales CRM helps you manage your sales activities and track your performance conveniently. It essentially digitizes your entire sales process, providing you with the necessary information required to improve your performance.
TeleCRM is the Simplest Cloud-Based CRM Software that not only allows you to store your data in a highly organized manner but also tracks your performance and suggests areas of improvement, which helps you recognize which area needs more attention. The software can be used to set predetermined targets and goals, which will help your sales rep follow these targets in a much more systematic way.
14. Find out your USP
In order to stand out from your competitors, who may be providing similar or exactly the same product/service as yours, you still need to find your universal selling point (USP) which will help you stand out from your competitors and give you an edge over them. After all, why should the customer choose you over your competitor, when both companies offer similar services? The answer to this is your USP.
Nike Inc. and Adidas AG, the two biggest giants of the footwear industry, have been rival companies ever since their inception. Both companies focus majorly on sportswear, however, they are not restricted to just that. Even then, Nike and Adidas have their USPs which make them different from each other. Nike’s tagline “Just Do It” symbolizes the company’s motto of not thinking twice and just going for it, grabbing that opportunity, give it your all, which resonates with many sportspersons.
On the other hand, Adidas’ tagline “Impossible is Nothing” gives wings to the ideas of creativity and curiosity, and makes their audience feel like there is no limit to their dreams. Both taglines set the core theme of the company, and differentiate them from each other.
15. Provide Solutions to the Problems
The simplest trick to shooting up your sales tenfold and seeing some major organizational growth would be actually providing solutions to the problems your target audience faces. For that, you will first need to recognize the problem, verify if there is a need for a solution, and then build a solution that will capitalize on this demand and increase sales performance significantly. Calculate the impact this problem has on your target audience, which will help you understand how urgent the need is, and the more urgent the need, the higher will be the demand for the solution you will build upon.
It’s also important to ensure that the sales rep and the potential buyers see the problem from the same perspective, that of there being a need for a solution, since only then will the solution be of any demand to the target audience.
10 Inside sales tips & tactics that actually work
The foundations of inside sales are now clear, therefore it’s time to dive into the world of tactics. Here are some effective inside sales tactics you may use if you’re an inside salesperson or team leader:
1. Get to know your prospect’s company extremely well:
Get to know your prospect’s company extremely well – Julianne Gsell, Director of Enterprise Sales at Box.com
For my team and I, it’s really crucial to focus on the business process and tie our value back to how it impacts their business. This is the one sales strategy that has helped us close more leads than any other.
To effectively cooperate with IT and Security in the modern world, we must have a thorough understanding of their business operations.
Instead of just selling them something, this sales strategy really gets to the heart of what it means to be a partner with your consumers.
2. Acquire the ability to flourish despite the discomfort that comes with selling
Acquire the ability to flourish despite the discomfort that comes with selling- Lane Caruthers, Enterprise Account Executive at Zendesk
For many people, selling is an uncomfortable occupation by nature.
If you’re not careful, it’s simple to let your own anxieties, needs, and innate desire to be liked sneak into the conversation and ultimately cause you to pay less attention to what your prospect genuinely needs. And you’ve already lost the sale if your discomfort prevents you from helping the potential customer you’re speaking with.
You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable,
– says Caruthers
During a sales cycle, sales representatives experience a number of difficult situations. Take advantage of the stillness, for instance, when you announce a price change. Soak it all in. It won’t help to go on and on about your system’s price.
You risk losing your prospect’s trust if you attempt to rapidly gloss over a crucial aspect, such as product cost, as this could kill the sale. Only your own name will be on the death certificate.
Instead, decide to accept the unsettling fact that your product is expensive and make use of the chance to highlight how it is much superior to competing products. if you have any sales scripts, use them, and support your expense by demonstrating a proven return on investment via case studies.
3. Consider yourself the primary advisor and problem-solver
Consider yourself the primary advisor and problem-solver. – Megan Dunn, Lever’s inside sales
When asked what her most successful sales strategy is, Dunn, replies –
I personalize everything and approach sales extremely consultatively. I always make sure I know my audience and do my research before sending an outbound email to a cold account or attending a demo with 10 executives.
Does this make sense? Dunn stands out from the crowd of other salespeople who are merely begging to complete a deal by adopting this consultative style and being a genuine advisor who cares about the issues her clients are encountering during the inside sales process.
Plus selling like a guide is not new advice, there is no doubt that it’s effective
People simply prefer the perception that you took the effort to create an email, presentation, or demo about them, Dunn continues. Every business, every use case, and every customer is unique. To tailor my presentation or demo to the particular firm, use case, and customer is my responsibility in inside sales.
It’s only a matter of time before your prospects desire to work with you—even more, than you need them—when you can do that during your selling process.
4. Maintain your composure while listening to others
Maintain your composure while listening to others – Jill Angelone, Account Executive – Lyft Corporate Travel Emerging Markets
In all honesty, Angelone says-
My most successful sales strategy is to just be quiet. I ask several incisive questions while contacting prospects in order to obtain the data I need to qualify an offer. But the most important thing is to let your prospect speak. You’re doing something wrong if you talk more than the customer does. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves, and employees of businesses are no exception.
That is largely accurate.
In actuality, a startling 60% of interactions involve people talking about themselves. A scientific correlation between the joy we experience on a regular basis and speaking about ourselves causes increased levels of reward-related brain activation, which is what we experience.
Over the years, Angelone has regularly seen success with this sales strategy.
Also Read: 15 Sales Hacks You Need to Start Taking the Advantage of Today
5. Always make sure to follow up
Always make sure to follow up – Steli Efti, CEO of Close
Steli has created numerous seven-figure startups, including Close while honing his skills in the inside sales field for more than ten years. His attitude of following up—never considering a deal dead unless he’s gotten a very definite no from a prospect—is a big part of his success with inside sales.
I follow up as many times as required until I get an answer. As long as I receive an answer, I don’t care how it is expressed. I’ll note that in my calendar and ping someone again in 14 days if they tell me they need an additional 14 days to respond. If they say they are busy, I’ll reply and ask them when they think a good time would be for me to ping them if they don’t have time straight away.
Steli continues, Once I followed up with an investor 48 times before I had a meeting. Now keep in mind that I met this investor through a referral, and he responded favorably to my initial email before going MIA and becoming impossible to reach. After much follow-up, he eventually answered, we met, and he ultimately decided to invest.
6. Ask, clarify, and research
Ask, clarify, and research – Arjun Varma, Quantcast’s Sales Manager
When asked what his most successful sales strategy from nearly ten years in sales has been, Varma responds,
My best sales strategy has been successful in both my roles as a salesperson and now as a sales manager and can be applied in a brief conversation or a lengthy meeting. Ask, clarify, and investigate
In order to find out the biggest business difficulties a prospect is facing, Varma advises asking exploration questions. Describe the effects of these difficulties. Consider a collaboration or purchase that can assist the client to expand their business while addressing the identified difficulties.
7. Recognize when to break your pitch
Recognize when to break your pitch – Caitlin Burch, Universe’s inside sales representative (a LiveNation Company)
It’s almost funny since it’s so straightforward and clear; listen
when asked what inside sales lesson she has found to be the most beneficial.
Let me correct that, please listen with empathy and sincerity.
According to studies, people typically talk about themselves for 60% of a conversation, therefore when someone is selling anything in the conversation, a less seasoned salesperson can be inclined to fill the silence with a long list of additional selling points and value propositions.
Instead, give your pitch plenty of time to soak in as you present it. Once you notice you sense a disconnect or that your prospect is beginning to sound perplexed, ask them to talk. Encourage inquiry.
Every sales training program should include this strategy as a fundamental element, yet it frequently fails to take. It must be crystal evident to your prospects that you’re not just there to close the deal and get out of there. That takes talking quietly and working together.
Clients will frequently express their wants in detail, creating the door for you to present a solution and close the purchase, says Burch. Just pause your autopilot long enough to hear it, then respond to their demands in an assertive yet polite manner.
8. Be truthful, open, and value-oriented first
Be truthful, open, and value-oriented first – George Vitko, sales manager at Reply.io
Most of the time, Vitko says,
Other vendors take days or weeks to respond to our prospects whereas we can book calls with them the same day or the next
His sales team keeps the initial excitement and momentum going right off the bat by swiftly qualifying his leads and getting them on the phone after initial contact, which is incredibly beneficial to prospects who are eager to move quickly and begin testing out their product.
Additionally, because Reply’s software enables users to grow their one-on-one email outreach, this quick-to-reply sales technique provides a real-world example of how their prospects would respond.
9. Determine your prospect’s main driving force
Determine your prospect’s main driving force – Christian Keroles, Reach Analytics SMB Account Executive
Over the years, I’ve learned that the most crucial step in selling anything is determining the need first, says Keroles. Prior to taking any further action, you must ascertain the current concerns and drivers of your prospect’s behavior.
The likelihood that you will lose the sale is considerable if you waste five minutes of your prospect’s time droning on about a product feature or service offering that isn’t going to immediately benefit their top business requirement.
10. Benefit from social selling
Benefit from social selling – Cole Sutliff, LinkedIn Sales Operations
Everybody has seen it. That Facebook or LinkedIn friend or link who routinely shares data, analysis, and opinion pieces on the state of their sector
Social selling is here to stay and it’s effective, like it or not.
Any inside sales representative can quickly use their network to discover the proper prospects, develop relationships, and initiate conversations that could result in an increase in closed deals thanks in large part to professional networks like LinkedIn.
Regardless of sales volume, Sutliff asserts that social sellers are successful. Establish your brand, approach the appropriate individuals, and engage in insightful dialogue to encourage natural, rapport-building conversations with potential customers about your solution.
Inside sales can be a slog, especially when you’re first starting out and experiencing the learning curve that every salesperson must go through for themselves.
Searching for future clients. calling phone numbers for hours on end and sending cold emails. maintaining contact with heated leads. monitoring the progress of the deals in your pipeline.
Equip yourself with the tools, sales training, and technology you need to do the task.
You’ll be well on your way to success in inside sales if you keep in mind these tried-and-true sales strategies.
Do you need extra materials to up your inside sales game? Get our free sales bundle, which includes scripts for inside sales, checklists, and more!
These were some of the best inside sales strategies used by top companies to increase their sales performance and drive higher profits. The key is not to solely focus on just one strategy and ignore the others.
Usually, a mix and blend of a number of strategies, when employed in an organized and systematic way, helps companies boost their sales performance. One thing to remember would be to communicate your overall goals clearly to the sales representatives and also be welcoming to their input. When employees feel heard and welcomed in an organization, their drive to work better and perform better increases significantly, which ultimately results in higher sales performances, fulfilled targets, increased profits, and the company’s holistic growth.