We have been seeing a growing trend where inside sales has been moved from reporting to sales to reporting to the marketing team. Some of the largest companies in San Diego and around the world have moved their inside sales teams under marketing. This has a lot of upside potential. But what we have observed is that this is new territory for marketing so we’ve written some guidance based on what we hear from those inside sales teams and the marketers who manage them. These are the 7 C’s that marketing needs to keep in mind about managing inside sales.
The primary benefit for both the marketing team and the inside sales team is the tight association with the campaigns. Most often I would hear sales gripe they didn’t know what campaign was coming out so they could not answer questions or leverage that with their prospects. With a close connection to marketing, inside sales knows exactly the moment the campaign is dropped and is often involved in the advance planning. On the other side, this connection gives marketing immediate front line exposure and direct feedback into what’s happening, and how the buyers are receiving it. Overall, this closed loop feedback is the top reason for placing inside sales under marketing.
Cold calling is an essential part of any type of sales. Marketers need to take this into account two ways. The first is that they must understand that a significant portion of the day must be allocated to the phone, and that email (marketing’s favorite tool) alone won’t suffice. In sales, you have to get the prospect on the phone.
The other piece of that is the understanding that inside sales wants and needs to be on the phone and cold calling is hard work. So give them the time and the space to do that. Your inside sales folks won’t want to be sitting in long-winded marketing meetings during peak calling hours. They could also use a little space for the calling. The teams should be in close proximity but have enough distance so that marketing doesn’t have to hear phone pitches all day and sales feels like they can be loud.
Conference Calls and Meetings
This really goes to the fact that sales and marketing manage their days differently. The hours that marketing might want to have conference calls and meetings will likely conflict with top sales outbound calling hours. Realizing this and scheduling accordingly will save a lot of strife.
This is completely foreign territory for most marketing managers. If you need to manage the inside sales team, take a crash course on sales pay structure, comps, caps, incentives, and spiffs. As a wise senior sales consultant once told me, sales is coin operated. Setting the right incentives is the key to reps hitting their goals. This is a whole different language from marketing KPIs.
Ok, so any good team needs some training and coaching. But for sales, it’s super critical, and it’s an ongoing weekly requirement. Read CSO Insights studies on performance. You can pretty much leave your marketing team to fend for themselves day to day. But your inside sales team needs a regular weekly coaching program. Don’t take that on yourself if you don’t have the experience. Hire an experienced Inside Sales Manager and make sure that’s in their credentials.
Wait, you say, Isn’t Content the marketing world? Well, no longer. One of the reasons that Inside Sales is moving over to the marketing world has to do with content. But it’s not the traditional top of the funnel marketing content. Today’s buyer wants to obtain content throughout the buying process. That means content is no longer just the domain of marketing. Sales needs content in their part of the pipeline too. Creating a sales and marketing content strategy is the key to unlocking today’s buyer.
Everyone likes a good celebration. But for sales, it’s a lot more personal and goes a lot deeper than for marketing. Marketers are good with the monthly gathering and cake ritual. Sales needs to celebrate. Daily. Hourly. Ring the bell. It’s part of the DNA. The sales gong. The high five when you get a particularly tough prospect on the phone – live. Who high-fives over a good A/B test? You have to ring the gong for sales. Make sure you celebrate loudly and often.
By keeping these seven things in mind about managing inside sales, marketing will find it’s fair winds and smooth sailing.
Even when inside sales reports to marketing, your sales and marketing teams must be aligned. To find how if your sales and marketing teams are aligned for success, take our short 2 minute quiz.
If you need help creating a plan to get started with building your new inside sales team, contact us at Oinkodomeo today. More resources about managing inside sales can be found at The Association of Inside Sales Professionals website or join the AA-ISP Chapter in San Diego or in your region.