Whether you are just starting a business or taking your business growth to the next stage, an inside sales team can be your most valuable resource. But before you set up your inside sales team in San Diego, whether you are based here or decided it gives you a good outpost on the west coast that’s just a short hop to Silicon Valley, here are some tips for success.
Start with a Team of Three Inside Sales Reps
Your inside sales team in San Diego should be just that – a team. The minimum number to start with is three. A group of reps all together in the same office will feed off one another’s energy and will collaborate best practices, which benefits the whole team. Three is the ideal number to protect your momentum in case of churn. Because, let’s face it, inside sales is hard and not everyone is cut out for it. Churn can be very high for that reason and also the fact that it’s pretty competitive here in San Diego and good talent is still scarce.
What is the Right Reporting Structure?
Gartner’s Todd Berkowitz reported that their 2017 research showed inbound-only tech SDR’s report into marketing about half the time while outbound report to marketing about 25% of the time. This makes sense to us and there are a lot of good arguments for closely coupling inbound inside sales with marketing to get the most effective response times and conversation rates out of targeted campaigns. This can be a symbiotic relationship with the right planning, infrastructure and oversight. One success factor is hiring a strong inside sales manager for the team to report directly to. This provides the structure, training, and coaching that the team needs. Your reps don’t come pre-trained so a professional sales manager is key.
Recruit Smart for the Best Inside Sales Team in San Diego
Since we are mentioned churn, let’s talk about the recruiting process. Most companies don’t put enough time and effort into this important step. You need to work to attract that top talent to your company! And let’s face it, the job market is tight right now so you have a lot of competition for good talent. Write a job description that tells them all about your company, what to expect in the role, and what advancement opportunities there are. Inside sales should be the pathway to career advancement into your company. Smart candidates should be able to advance easily to other customer facing roles like field sales, marketing, account management or customer success.
Ideally, you should have your managers doing the recruiting personally. But if that’s just not feasible, write an outstanding job description and requirements doc and get the help of a recruiter like Premierehire here in San Diego who specializes in inside sales development roles. Leverage local university job boards. Don’t hesitate to hire right out of college as long as you have a good training program and invest in career building. In my experience deep industry experience is trainable and not a prerequisite for this role.
Training and Coaching are Essential for Inside Sales Success
Training and coaching for inside sales teams is not the same thing. Whether you have an inhouse sales manager or a part time, interim or virtual one, they need to be spending time with the team each week. Initial training involves a strong onboarding program to get your team up to speed. Make sure they have a playbook to follow and the right tools to help them be productive. Training includes not just tools and product training but also a comprehensive program on sales process, cold calling, social selling and other important skills.
Education needs to last well beyond the first 60 days. Adding weekly coaching, role play, and reinforcement will significantly increase the productivity of your team. Consider additional skills and educational resources offered by the AA-ISP for inside sales career development. Local AA-ISP chapters provide live educational meetings for sharing ideas and techniques. San Diego has an active group led by some of San Diego top companies.
If you need help creating a plan to get started with building your new inside sales team in San Diego, contact us at Oinkodomeo today.
About the author: Kathleen Glass is president of the San Diego Chapter of the AA-ISP and founder of Oinkodomeo, a sales and marketing agency. Join the San Diego AA-ISP LinkedIn Group for more best practices tips and to learn about local meeting dates and times.
The AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals www.aa-isp.org ) is an International association dedicated exclusively to advancing the profession of Inside Sales. AA-ISP’s mission is to help Inside Sales Representatives and Leaders to leverage association information and resources through published content, local community chapters, national conferences, career development, and an Inside Sales Accreditation program.