A recent study by Forbes found out that over the past three years, inside sales has grown at a fifteen times higher rate (7.5% VS 5% annually) over outside sales, generating over 800,000 new jobs.
Given the above statistic one can fathom the popularity of the inside sales representative job. With the number of inside sales reps coming into the industry today, a few skills to become the Inside Sales Ninja will help out beat the competition.
1. Product Knowledge:
If you carry out a survey on what puts customers off and prevent them from buying a product or availing to a service, they are sure to say it is because of the poor product knowledge of the sales reps. An inside sales person is expected to know his product or service from A-Z. They should be able to explain in detail how each product works, how it is beneficial to the customer and what business value it offers. Therefore, product training is the very first thing to be taught to new reps. Product knowledge will be the crux in formulating a powerful sales pitch.
2. Rapport Building on the Call:
Inside Sales reps fall short in front of outside sales rep in one main regard: meeting prospects face to face. It is obvious that they have to work double hard to make sure they build immediate connections with busy and sometimes unfriendly strangers over the phone. A proficient way to build rapport with the prospect over a call, is by performing a thorough research on him or her prior to the call. Investing enough time on researching about a prospect will give you an edge in the conversation, it will help you empathise and connect with them more easily.
For an Inside Sales rep; tone of voice, volume, pace of speech and personality is very important. Therefore, how you speak matters more than what you speak. From the opening pitch up to the closing statement, a uniformity must be maintained. According to a recent study, 7% of communication relies on content of what is spoken, whereas 38% of communication is about other aspects such as tonality, etc. Developing vocal and conversational skills help build on a sturdy impression by attaining trust and credibility.
4. Active Listening:
Most Inside Sales reps overlook this important step of active listening. The reps in a haste of providing product knowledge end up only speaking and not giving the prospect a chance to talk about their pain points. According to International Listening Association, more than 35 studies indicate that listening is the top skill needed in business. Listening keenly can also help reps to connect with the prospect as well as understand them better which eventually fosters selling.
Ever noticed an Inside Sales rep at his desk? You will see them making a strong sales pitch over a call on their headset, clicking through CRM to find relevant prospect information, and coordinating with other team members to get advice or hand off a lead all at once. Being an inside sales rep there is no road to success, if you cannot multi task. It may take a few hours of training and a couple of mismanaged tasks to get used to multi-tasking efficiently but it is an equally rewarding skill. No wonder inside sales reps are known to be ninjas!
6. Demo Skills:
Demo Skills is where all the research and product knowledge is put to test. The sales rep must be able to connect dots for the prospects issues and present it during the demo and translate features into benefits. A well-presented demo can lead to closing of deal 10 times more. Phrases like the below given have proven to work sales magic during a demo.
“Once you start using this feature, you will no longer have to…..”
“Imagine the benefits of not having to…”
We are all aware of the importance of closing technique quality, it has to be precise yet persistent. Most common challenge faced by a sales rep during a closing is; the prospect trying to push the closing date a few weeks here and there. You, as an Inside Sales rep have plenty of time constraint, you may be trying to reach a monthly or quarterly target. In such a situation, what you can do is to try and create a timeline, an event of emergency after which the purchase may not be as beneficial for the prospect as before the event.
8. Post- Sales Relationship:
15 years later when you approach an old client, he still must be able to remember, trust and be ready to purchase from you; such a relationship must be maintained with your clients or even prospects for that matter. Showing a polite gesture with a “thank you for your time” while signing off can encourage him to refer you to many others. No matter how clichéd this sounds but, Customer is King; and so, he should be treated as one.
Put the above skills to action and see the difference it brings in achieving targets. Become the Inside Sales Ninja and outdo your peers!