Uncomplicate – How to frame an inside sales strategy

Uncomplicate by Freshworks brings you crisp and insightful videos which will focus on answering one tactical question around sales & marketing, support & collaboration, employee engagement, and growth.

Inside sales has become a critical strategic tool for businesses today, predominantly because it helps cut costs. In addition to other on-field sales teams, most companies have inside sales teams for both inbound and outbound sales. 

How do companies go about building an inside sales team? 

There is no framework as such, says Keenan, the CEO of A Sales Guy Inc. There are a bunch of questions you need to ask yourself about the business, and the answers to those will lead you to the framework. 

Before setting out to build an inside sales team and invest in the resources required to make it work, companies have to make sure they have a solid understanding of the basics of the business—size of the market they are in, the companies they want to go after, who the ideal customer is—and other such basic questions about the product or solution they offer. 

Often, however, companies falter in this prerequisite. “What they don’t do is ask a very important question, which is what problem do we solve as an organization? Whatever it is we are selling, what problem does that product or service solve?” Keenan says. 

And once companies find the answer to this question, they need to move on to the next question on which of these target customers have the highest propensity to suffer from the problem that the product or service will solve. Companies should look into what characteristics or what elements exist in an organization that would give a higher rise to those problems being prevalent.

The answer to this question will automatically lead the company to the customers that the inside sales team should target. Businesses with a higher probability of having these problems should be targeted first.  

Once companies nail this down and have the list of prospective customers in place, they should start dealing with what is required—in terms of staff, tools, and other resources—to ensure that the deal comes through. They should evaluate things like whether the team will focus on inbound or outbound sales, what other teams they’ll work with, what tools they would need, etc. 

Often, companies start at this point, assuming that investing in a great inside sales tool is a magic bullet, but it won’t always work, according to Keenan. 

“Start with who you want to go with and understand who those customers are, understand what problems you solve, understand which companies are most likely to have those problems and which of those are most likely to have an impact on those problems, and then ask yourself how am I going to structure my teams to go after it,” Keenan says. 

(This post was co-produced by Praveen Ramesh.)