The Key to Impactful Inside Sales Training
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The Key to Impactful Inside Sales Training

If you’re reading this, I assume you lead a team of Inside Sales Reps who utilise the phone, email and social to generate qualified meetings for your closers, right?

Or perhaps your team also conduct demos and close business too?

Either way your Inside Sales Team is vital to the success of your business. Your company’s revenue is won and lost within your team and you’re responsible for ensuring they perform and hit their targets.

Gulp!

So, what are you doing to ensure targets are obliterated, your Inside Sales Teams successful and your company’s able to scale?

What does your Inside Sales Training strategy look like?

When I ask Inside Sales Managers how they’re ensuring his or her team are performing to their maximum and winning deals I often hear;

  • I provide Incentives (vouchers, bottle of plonk, hour early finish),
  • I run weekly 1 on 1’s
  • I carry out pipeline reviews

That’s all great… it’s a great way to hear from your reps what THEY think they’re doing well, how THEY think their deals are progressing.

I also hear

I monitor their work rate against KPI’s in the CRM

Another great thing to monitor, but it’s just activity, it shows who picks up the phone the most and who’s sending the most emails, however, those aren't the answers I’m looking for…

I want to hear Inside Sales Managers say; I listen to their calls, I watch their demo’s back, I deliver training to my inside sales team, I coach them to have better conversations with their prospects, we carry out role play exercises, I showcase ‘what good looks like’ and drive best practice.

Here’s my guide to what Inside Sales Team Training should look like;

Firstly, onboarding. You need to ramp these reps quickly, nobody wants to take 6 months until “Jimmy” picks up the phone to book a meeting. You need to train your Inside Sales Reps on everything, most notably;

  • Your product, customer and market.
  • Your sales process.
  • How to; cold call, deliver a discovery call and how to demo.

And it’s that final point that for me, is vital – engagements. It’s in these calls and demos where your revenue is won and lost.

Your reps need to have the ability to build rapport, ask the right questions, react to information, overcome objections, build credibility, uncover and build on pain, position your product correctly and of course, close.

Working hard is great, but coaching conversations is the key to unlocking success within Inside Sales Training. Activity based data and KPI’s only cover half the story. Picking up the phone more or sending the most emails doesn’t guarantee the quality of conversation. Activity doesn’t equal success and simply doing “more work” doesn’t enable a business to necessarily scale.

So how do you train your inside sales teams to have consistency good conversations?

  • KPI’s? No.
  • Phone scripts? Maybe… see this post on cold calling scripts
  • Coaching sales conversations? Yes.
  • Role Play? Yes.
  • Share best practice? Yes.

Coaching Sales Conversations

Q: Do you record your teams calls? If no, go away and come back when you’re calls are recorded. If yes, read on…

You must record your Inside Sales Teams conversations – without capturing these engagement’s it’s virtually impossible to review performance, identify the moments that worked and uncover the elements that could have been improved for next time.

With a recording you’re able to replay the call/ demo – they say hindsight has 20/20 vision so why not unlock this vision?

What else can you do with call recordings?

Well, if you're partnered with a conversation intelligence platform, like Refract you can get instant insight into key statistics such as your reps talk time percentage, number of questions they ask, most commonly used words and phrases. Platforms like Refract will also provide you with a transcript and automatically highlight pertinent moments for quick viewing.

Refract also allows you to benchmark the key traits from your top performers, this level of intelligence from your team’s engagements amplifies and accelerates Inside Sales training, it enables you to understand what’s working in your teams conversations and drive this best practice across the organisation.

**Share Best Practice **

Great moments shouldn’t be lost when the phone’s put down, you want great moments to happen again and again, right?

By recording your calls and coaching them within a platform like Refract you’re able to timestamp key moments from winning engagements i.e. answers to objections, positioning statements, pain building techniques etc. When you profile these moments you create ‘game tape’ – why wouldn’t you therefore share these impactful, revenue defining moments with the rest of the team and store it in a best practice library? With Refract, you can.

Sharing of best practice is a great way to deliver praise, profile what good looks like, drive best practice and help a new rep ramp faster with exposure to sales gold, your gold!

Role Play

I recently wrote a blog post on sales role play, it should be seen as one of the most powerful Inside Sales training tools.

Refract helps Inside Sales Managers ensure their reps have the right knowledge and pitching skills to deliver winning conversations and close business through bite-sized scenario challenges.

These digital challenges can be video, audio or text-based scenarios that replicate everyday situations your reps may find themselves in on the phone, on a demo or even out in the field when they’re closing…

Inside Sales Managers can then review their team's responses, uncover the common mistakes impacting performance and revenue as well as profile the champagne sales moments that can be shared across the team, again, driving consistency and best practice. Access to these replies can also help new hires during onboarding.

In summary, if you want to deliver impactful Inside Sales training you need to ensure your reps have the right knowledge and capabilities to hold winning sales conversations. You can look at all the data and activity levels you like, without insight into how your reps actually converse with your customers and knowing the difference between your top performers and middle of the road reps it’s virtually impossible to strategies and deliver winning inside sales training.

Sales Coaching Handbook