Behind the Scenes: Let’s talk Inside Sales (Part 1)

Over the past decade, a lot of companies have adopted the inside sales model as compared to the more prominent feet-on-street model. It is less cumbersome and makes more sense for companies which cater to customers across geographies. It is no different at Freshworks. It is, in fact, the preferred sales model for our sales agents. 

We had a chat with Sukumar, our VP of Sales to learn more about the inside sales operations at Freshworks. 

For about 80% of the customers who sign up for the product, there is an already established specific requirement. In this case, we perform the role of assisting them i.e, assisted buying. Our focus then, is threefold:

  1. Assessing the extent to which the product meets the specified need.
  2. Implementation speed is tested and gauged by the customer.
  3. The pricing and ease of use – both of which play a significant part in the decision making process for the buyer.

Freshworks currently has seven products, and the behaviour and functionality of each product differs as does the requirement behind opting for a certain product. 

For instance, in Freshsales, the customer persona is very different compared to a help desk; but ultimately the above factors are indisputable and indispensable when it comes to acquiring customers.

How to sell

So we seem to have a fair idea about what the customer wants from our product. How do we sell it to them?

We don’t.

We do not sell but enable customers to buy our products. 

When somebody signs up for the product as opposed to merely passing through the website,  it indicates a heightened level of interest. If they sign up and go through the process of the trial for a stipulated number of days, we can confirm that there is a requirement for the product.

All we need to do is hold on to his requirement, find as much information about it and try to weave a discussion around it. In this regard, we don’t function as pushy sellers, but we try to enable the buying process.

It’s a known fact that the competition in this space is quite challenging. Let’s take a look at what Freshworks does in order to stand apart.

Freshworks has predominantly been focusing on the SME sector. When a customer signs up, we start focusing on our key USP and take the customer through the process of understanding and implementing the product.

We ensure that a five or three agent holding customer receives the same support as a 1000 agent customer. This is important.

We choose to organically guide our customers in lieu of depending entirely and purely on automated explanations such as YouTube videos. The key value here is our nexus with the customer till he goes live and even beyond that.  

The pre-sales team handles the entire implementation; so if the customer’s data is to be migrated, we will migrate it. We focus on a comfortable process for the customer and end-to-end delivery, ensuring that we do not differentiate between customers.

There is also the added value about the weaving of the product.  Although the current scale predominantly caters to the mid-market, some of the richer mid-market features are now available for the SME sectors as well. So today, they’re able to get a feature-rich product.

So, what is the deciding factor when it comes to inside sales – the support we provide or the strength of the product?

Don’t they go hand in hand? Both the customer guidance and support we offer and the richness of the features and the overall compatibility of the product are equally important. Of course, we will always have to face competition in the market but that’s what pushes and drives us.

We have the battle armour, we know the positions – now all that’s left to do, is sell.

Every company has their own strengths and USP’s and this could be with regard to features of the product or in their customer support; or both.

At Freshworks, the sales and pre-sales is a personal and measured waltz with the customer, and we will gladly don our best dancing shoes and step on to the floor. 

On that note, we come to the conclusion of Part One on understanding Inside Sales. In the next segment of Behind the Scenes, we will continue our conversation with Sukumar, VP of sales- diving deeper into the number game, the risks involved, and various other technicalities of the Inside Sales model.