Are You Holding Back Your Inside Sales Team?
Research published by DePaul University shows that the staff turnover rates for inside sales positions stand at 26.9 percent, which is higher than the 25.7 percent associated with outside sales positions and significantly higher than the reported average of 15 percent across all industries in the United Kingdom.
Part of the reason for this high turnover rate is that many inside sales reps feel unable to carry out their job effectively. When this occurs, it doesn’t just cost your business through turnover, but through poor business performance as well. In this article, we look at the ways many businesses hold their inside sales team back.
Ultimately, sales performance may only ever be as good as the leads that are generated by those involved in marketing, sales development and sales consulting. In fact, according to a report from InsideSales.com, issues with quality and quantity of leads rank as the single biggest challenge facing inside sales reps today.
If your business is struggling with lead quantity, you may need to overhaul your marketing methods or at least try new approaches. However, quality is equally important, because sales reps who are bogged down with low probability leads are being held back from spending time talking to more realistic targets. For this reason, good communication between your sales development team and your sales reps is vital.
With that said, generating sufficient, quality leads is still only half the battle. You also need to make sure you are utilising technology and providing your reps with the right content at the right times.
Training and Coaching
Another area where many companies inadvertently hold their sales team back is through the provision of inadequate training and coaching. This can have a significant impact upon employee development, preventing them from developing the necessary skills and knowledge to do their job to the best possible level.
As revealed in the 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study produced by CSO Insights, ramp up times – defined as the time needed to bring new employees up to full productivity – have increased significantly over the past decade. Indeed, 60.7 percent of companies are now reporting ramp up time of seven months.
The same study revealed that 43.6 percent of onboarding training requires improvement, while a further 15.8 percent requires a major re-design. Moreover, coaching is essential for ensuring the knowledge gained during training sessions is retained, yet only 21.7 percent of organisations have a formal coaching process.
Last, but by no means least, many organisations hold back their inside sales team by failing to provide them with genuine opportunities for career progression. This can lead to frustration among staff, who feel they have more to offer and who, in many cases, will start to look elsewhere to advance their career.
Yet, this lack of opportunities for progression is counter-productive for more reasons than simple staff turnover rates. It means you are failing to get the most from talented employees while they are with you.
This lack of efficiency can be helped by taking the time to identify reps who show leadership potential and preparing them for future progression, even in the absence of a current vacancy. Staff who feel their efforts have been noticed are more likely to stick around and more likely to continue to make such effort in the future.
Holding back members of your inside sales team can lead to a number of problems, including poor morale and high levels of staff turnover. These issues can be reduced by taking the time to invest in quality training, by ensuring they have high-quality leads to target and by offering them genuine opportunities to advance their careers.
The 2017 Miller Heiman Group Sales Academy is the perfect place to start with your sales training. Not only sales reps can achieve world-class certification, but they will also benefit from Miller Heiman’s unique methodology and programme. Sales leaders can also enroll in order to broaden their expertise and raise their status in the international sales community. More information about the Miller Heiman Academy can be found by clicking here.