Understand the Value of Human Interaction with Inside Sales

Congratulations on making it to the last installment of our blog series about achieving success as a modern marketer! In this series, we’ve touched on the value of marketing technology, engagement planning and data intelligence in your quest toward increased revenue generation, and now we’re going to wrap things up with a look at the more human element of modern marketing — inside sales.

If you remember from the first post, a Forrester survey attributes superior results to companies that employ modern marketing techniques:

♦ 44% of modern marketers say their companies exceeded revenue goals by 10% or more over the previous year
♦ 55% of modern marketers say they’ve increased sales by upgrading their business practices
♦ 94% of modern marketers say they’ve attained a significant market share, and 49% enjoy the market-leading position (Forrester. “Why You Need to Be a Modern Marketer: The Business Impact of Marketing Maturity in the Age of the Customer.” Oct 2014.)

People buy from people they like.
While SiriusDecisions has found that 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally, human interaction with live salespeople is critical for progress toward a sale. (Megan Heuer, “Three Myths of the ‘67 Percent’ Statistic.” SiriusDecisions, July 3, 2013.)

But building relationships can be expensive, especially if you follow the traditional model of employing salespeople to schedule face-to-face meetings with prospects in and out of town. The alternative—inside sales—costs 40-90% less, according to the Harvard Business Review, and can be incredibly effective.

With inside sales, reps stay in the office and interact with marketing qualified leads via telephone and email. This isn’t telemarketing, because there’s no cold calling involved: Inside sales teams get their leads from demand generation campaigns, when they’re scored, qualified, and ready to close.

Modern marketers leverage inside sales during lead qualification and lead nurturing, two important stages of the sales cycle. Using human lead qualification teams to discover prospect needs, establish relationships, and build trust increases the quality of leads, avoiding a clogged pipeline and an overinflated sales forecast.

And by combining marketing automation with human interactions, modern marketers create powerful lead nurturing campaigns that effectively guide prospects through each stage of the buyer’s journey to close. From personalized emails to perfectly timed sales calls, lead nurturing keeps modern marketers top-of-mind and ahead of the competition.

One medical company improved its “bedside manner” with inside sales.
Monarch Medical Technologies, which provides a sophisticated glucose management system to help hospitals and other healthcare providers dose insulin more safely, needed extra resources to engage customers and achieve renewal goals. The company turned to the experts at Televerde, who deployed an inside sales team with a background in healthcare and technology.

The reps built relationships with customers and identified opportunities to expand Monarch’s offerings. The program was a huge success, and resulted in increased retention rates, double-digit increases in Net Promoter and Client Satisfaction scores, and faster renewal rates.

Apply best practices for the best results.
As with all the other modern marketing techniques we’ve discussed in this series, it’s not enough to just do inside sales—you have to do it right. Here are five ways you can make your inside sales more effective:

  1. Respond right away. You only have five minutes to respond when a buyer reaches out online, according to the Lead Response Management Study, conducted by MIT business professor James Oldroyd.
  2. Before picking up the phone, effective inside sales reps develop extensive knowledge of the prospective customer, the problem the prospect needs to solve, and possible objections.
  3. Make the first impression count. You have 7 seconds to make a good first impression, according to Business Insider. Good inside sales reps speak confidently, stay focused, have a plan, and make a powerful opening statement.
  4. Listen and ask questions. Talking too much is one of the most common mistakes inside sales reps make. Find out what your prospects’ wants and needs are, and then explain how you can help.
  5. Follow up (and again x 5). 80% of sales require five follow-up calls, but 44% of salespeople give up after only one, according to Marketing Donut.

Enjoy greater success as a modern marketer. We hope you’ve gained some valuable insights by reading this blog series and using the companion guide to modern marketing success.

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