Today customers are finding you before you find them. The increased importance of inbound sales marketing methods is clear to see.
However, who is the first person to respond to an inbound sales inquiry?
Often it’s the internal sales support team or customer service departments that handle these calls and emails. They have a unique opportunity to capture the interest from a prospective customer and move the relationship on to the next stage.
The question is have you made it a priority to train and develop these individuals so they are confident, comfortable and capable of fulfilling this critical task of lead generation?
Too often in my experience the development of the internal sales teams is haphazard or inconsistent which represents a missed opportunity for three key reasons.
- They represent the face of the organisation to the customer.
- They provide a rich source of potential people who could move to external sales.
- They can win or lose you a significant amount of business.
One example highlighted this to me recently whilst working with a client, they had an internal sales team that was measured by now many calls they dealt with each day. Can you imagine what impact this type of metric would have on the team?
Their goal was to get the customer’s question answered fast and get them off the line!
By developing their abilities to ask great questions and encouraging them to show personal interest in the needs and concerns of their callers a dramatic difference was achieved in business results.
The one small change that made the difference was to change the old call metric for a metric that added value to the business.
We asked the team to focus on how many new sales opportunities they could uncover from their sales inquiries. This change led to a significant up lift in qualified sales leads for the external sales people. We tracked these sales leads and the external team had accountability to report back on which ones had converted to orders. This allowed us to remunerate the internal team for their success and create sustained motivation and results.
So I’d like to share this insight with you and challenge you to review what you are doing to maximise the vital resource you have right within your internal sales team.