The top traits of an inside sales rep
Marketing Eye looks at the top traits of successful inside sales reps (or ISRs of you are into the whole abbreviation thing).
There are certain traits you need to look for when hiring or promoting an inside sales rep. There are the obvious traits including ambition and a thirst for success, knowing what questions to ask of the company and when to ask them (showing a genuine interest in their product or service goes a long way) and discipline. By discipline we mean calling leads back in a timely timeframe and being persistent.
Then there are the more difficult, less personal traits or habits to master.
Here are our top 5 traits and habits of highly successful ISRs to help you become the Yip Man of inside selling.
1. Be a social seller
Even before a lead has called in, the inside sales rep has done all he or she can to draw the scent. Oracle’s Jill Rowley recommends that inside sales reps optimise their LinkedIn profile and surround themselves with potential clients. Rowley recommends that reps identify industry influencers and curate relevant content. And most businesses will have already done their homework before they call; it is likely that they have followed the content trail you have left for them. In essence you have already drawn the lead, before they call to discuss what you can do for them.
2. Know what you can do for them
The most masterful inside sales reps are those that can answer the question “what is in it for me?” when the client inevitably brings this up. An ISR will be focused on the call, will know the company’s services and offerings inside and out and will be able to relay the positives of the company so that the potential client has all relevant information when asking for it. This is a presentation, and although you may not be facing the client, you must have prepared like you are standing in front of a room full of critics. Answer they’re every question and inevitably they will know what is in it for them.
3. Let the prospect steer
While you have mastered your pitch and presentation, you still need to allow the prospect to believe they are steering the conversation. Every interviewer knows that the best way to gain information is to listen. The same rules apply in sales. Listen and learn. Let your potential clients drive the conversation and understand when to interject and answer any questions they may have. Treat the process as you would an interview and understand the client and their needs. By doing this, you will likely help dissipate any reluctance that may have been at the surface when the call first came in.
4. Know your numbers
The best ISRs are the ones who know their numbers and take ownership of them. They are accountable. They learn from losses and celebrate wins. They track how many conversations it takes to book an appointment. They know what time of day is best to follow up a lead. They tack data to gain insight and make the sales process even more successful.
5. It’s a team game
The inside sales rep cannot do everything themselves. They need help. They need help from the marketing team. They need help from the sales team. They need help from the content managers. They need help from the senior managers. The ISR will use every peer and mentor at his or her disposal to help attract, retain and create loyalty among clients and prospects.
These are just five traits and habits you need to apply before you become a master of ISR. There are plenty more, but of course you already know that. That’s why you are so successful as an inside sales one-person force.